Many refer to this buyers guide as the ‘Bible’ when it comes to understanding the evolution of the Gaydon era Aston’s. Grant Neal has authored this book as a labor of love over the past 10 years and 16 editions. Grant has extraordinary access to information, rare photos and details of the past and current models. The book is a visual extravaganza including show cars, prototypes and technology details. It’s full of interesting details for each model and covers options, colors, configurations, strengths and weaknesses.
In April 2021 he published the latest edition (16th) that now includes new information on the DBX SUV and special editions of the DB11 and new Vantage. If you are looking at purchasing a used Gaydon era DB9, Vantage, DBS, Rapide, Vanquish, Virage, One-77, DB11, or DBX this book should be required reading. It will allow you to go into the purchase with more model specific knowledge.
I am quite chuffed that Grant gave me the opportunity to submit a small section that was added in this edition where I was able to share my DIY experience with the DB9 and to outline common aging issues that are occurring with the earliest cars.
When I purchased my used 2005 DB9 some 8 years ago now, this book was the first stop in my research. I wanted to learn about each model, what technology was in various years of cars, what features were standard, what options were available, and where the problems might lie. I have a hard copy of the 11th edition that was some 295 pages long. I purchased it off Amazon.com for about $50 USD back then. My copy is now well worn and dog eared [and not for sale]!
As many of you know Grant discontinued offering hard copies a few year back as the burden of producing and distributing a printed edition grew. The guide is now exclusively offered on the Amazon Kindle platform. While some may bemoan not being able to have a printed copy, I think the benefits outweigh any drawbacks. The one issue I had with the hard copy was the size of the book (just 6″ x 8.25″). I wished it was larger. Larger to see the photos better, larger to read the text easier. There is so much content pack in I wanted to see it all better. The Kindle approach solves this. Pinch, pull, zoom to your hearts content. View it on a phone, iPad, tablet, laptop, desktop computer screen or even a TV screen. You can now have it as large as you want.
It’s also with you anytime you are interested in it. You can pull up the Kindle app on your phone while chatting with a friend at a Cars & Coffee, or while you are perusing the latest used Aston’s for sale on BringaTrailer.com.
Being fully digital allows Grant to expand the content without increasing the cost. The current edition is now over 403 pages! He shared with me a summary of the new content in the latest edition:
“The core guide is as before with any applicable updates and information applied, (plus a few layout changes) the new content primarily applies to the new generation models. As the early DB11 and new Vantage are now offering excellent value more buyers are reviewing the new range, so we felt it important to enhance their coverage and also include new model year changes, colour changes/additions (inside & out) and new model launches since the last update in 2019.”Grant Neal
Main New Content
- The DIY View – Steve McEvoy, a DB9 enthusiast and founder of the Aston website http://www.aston1936.com, shares his thoughts and advice on working on your own car.
- New Owners reports – Vanquish S – Vanquish Zagato – New Vantage – DB11 x2
- An introduction to the evolution and new features, functions and options of the new generation models – 10 additional pages.
- New Vantage AMR and Manual
- Vantage Roadster
- Vantage F1 Edition
- Vantage 007 Edition
- Vantage Model Year Change
- DB11 Shadow & Q-Editions
- DB11 Model Year Changes
- DBS Volante
- DBS Model Year Changes
- DBZ Centenary & Q-Concorde plus -007 Edition
- New DBX – 15 pages
- New Generation Recall & Service Action pages
- Valkyrie Update
- V12 Speedster
The digital format also allows him to update the editions more frequently. In hard copy publishing you need to worry about inventory levels. You won’t release a new edition if you still have a thousand current editions still to sell. With a Digital edition he can just flip the switch and release the new edition anytime, and ALL of us get access to the new edition instantly. In fact- this edition is offered as a free update if you’ve already purchased a Kindle edition in the past. Just go into your Kindle management page and you should see the book along with a “Update Available” button. Click that and the new edition should be available to send to your devices! Thanks Grant for the gift!
Another treat of the Kindle edition is its price. It’s less expensive than the hardcopy used to be since there is less production cost, and Grant has passed this savings along to you. For about a weeks worth of morning latte’s you can own your own copy of the bible (under $40 USD or £27). If you don’t already have a copy, here are links where you can get it right now (and be reading it in 5 minutes). And be sure to check out the picture of my ‘Princess Piddles’ on page 279.
[Note from Grant – You can’t buy via the Amazon app on an iPad due to Apple/Amazon agreement. On an iPad use Safari or another browser to open the Amazon website and order]
Here’s a little sample for you – Enjoy!