How to Remove the Grill from an Aston Martin DB9

My 7-bar grill looking a little tatty

The iconic grill of a DB9 is one of distinctive and signature looks of any Aston Martin.  The shape is immediately recognizable to any car enthusiast.  The early DB9’s were fitted with the distinctive 7-bar grill that has 7 horizontal bars.  Later models received an updated 5-bar grill.  Same grill shape, just fewer bars.  The 5-bar grill can even be retrofit to the earlier models.  The grill in the Vantage is similar, but absolutely not the same (8-bars and a different construction).

From what I’ve learned grills came in different finishes.  The grill in my DB9 is an anthracite grey color.   I’ve seen that a ‘polished’ finish was also available as an ~ $1,000 upgrade. Continue reading “How to Remove the Grill from an Aston Martin DB9”

How to Remove the Engine Slam Panel from an Aston Martin DB9

What the heck is a ‘Slam Panel’?   When you have the engine compartment open in your DB9 and you gaze with amazement at the V12 engine, the slam panel is the large panel right in front of you that covers the area between the front bumper and the front of the engine itself.   It has the cool little plaque listing the name of the final inspector at the factory that signed off on your car (thanks Paul!). Continue reading “How to Remove the Engine Slam Panel from an Aston Martin DB9”

Where to Apply Clear Bra Paint Protection Film on an Aston Martin DB9

The paint on my 14 year old Aston Martin DB9 is brittle and fragile.  If you look closely at the gorgeous Merlot Red color on the most of the front of the car, you’ll see it marred with a field of tiny chips.  I’ve had my share of cars over the years, and NEVER have I seen such a field of chips.  You’d think I drove all 42 thousand miles on gravel roads behind a truck with no mud flaps. Continue reading “Where to Apply Clear Bra Paint Protection Film on an Aston Martin DB9”

Where ‘ya been Steve?

I have to admit that I am guilty.  I spent my summer playing with my Aston Martin rather than working on it.  I have neglected this blog and the YouTube channel.   My apologies.

Earlier in the year my Sweetie suggested that we do a getaway drive for fun (did I mention I love my wife).  Coincidentally – two of the regional clubs reached out to me to join their gatherings, and just like that we had the makings of two road trips. Continue reading “Where ‘ya been Steve?”

Aston Martin Dealer Opens in Walnut Creek, California

It might not seem like an issue to those living in the UK, but here in the USA Aston Martin dealerships are few and far between.   If you live in a Major metropolitan area you usually have an option, but in smaller cities they just can’t manage to survive.  I live in Sacramento, California with a population north of one million, but no luck.  My nearest dealership (up to now) was 130 miles and at least 3 hours away in Silicon Valley.   If you are an avid reader of this blog you know occasionally I sneak my car over to the Maserati dealership in town, I just just heard that they’ve given up and are closing in September.

Laura Schwab, President, Aston Martin The Americas

I was pleased to have just received a form letter from Aston Martin The Americas President Laura Schwab (read the entire letter here).   It’s not like Laura knows me from a hole in the ground (I would like to meet her though if someone out there can arrange it).   Aston Martin has just opened a dealership in Walnut Creek, California.   For those of us in Northern California this is considerably more accessible than the Silicon Valley dealership in Los Gatos, CA.  For me its now ‘just’ 75 miles and about a 90 minute drive [half a day minimum out and back for an oil change still]. Continue reading “Aston Martin Dealer Opens in Walnut Creek, California”

My Other British Love is For Sale – 1961 MG Midget Mk I

My Aston Martin DB9 wasn’t my first love.  It was 43 years ago when I met her back in Canada.  She’s been with me through high school, watched my career develop, carried my kids around, and always been a constant in my life.   But the fact is I just don’t play with her much anymore now that the Aston has caught my eye.

I’m talking about my 1961 MG Midget Mk I of course (not my Sweetie).

I’ve decided to sell her.  Hopefully to a good home.  I won’t go into all the details here, but if you are at all interested, or know someone else that might be interested please pass this information along.

She’s up for auction now over on the BringATrailer.com website.  You can access the posting by clicking here.   The auction wraps up Monday April 22nd, 2019.

As you might imagine I have developed a extensive WordPress site with all the service history, condition, and hundreds of photos and videos if you’d like to learn more (by clicking here).

 

Come Join me at the AMOC Western Canada Meeting

Please come join me in attending the AMOC Western Canada meeting coming up July 27th and 28th in beautiful Victoria, BC.

My Sweetie and I are going to drive up from California in our DB9 to attend this event and make a long weekend getaway of it with meeting some other Aston enthusiasts along the way.   If you are heading up from south of the border, please leave a comment on this blog if you’d like to meet up along the way and make the journey as a group.   Anyone in NorCal interested in going (and take advantage of the incredible exchange rate right now where $1 USD will get you about $1.33 CDN) ?

If you are located in Western Canada or the Pacific Northwest, please consider attending this well organized event.  They are hoping to get 30+ Aston’s of all vintages to attend.

They have two great days of events planned for the Saturday and Sunday.   Day one is for AMOC members and their guests, and will include some interesting speakers like Stuart from Velocity AP and Richard from Redpants.lol,  The event will be held in a beautiful setting.  All the details about the event are listed down below (thanks to Wyman Lee for sending along the details).

Continue reading “Come Join me at the AMOC Western Canada Meeting”

Protecting the Headlights of an Aston Martin DB9 using Clear Bra Paint Protection Film

The Headlight assemblies in an Aston Martin DB9 are a major part of the it’s great looking front end.  We spend all sorts of time polishing and protecting the paint, but we usually ignore the headlights.  They are under constant attack from the Sun’s harmful UV rays that are trying to discolor them, and from road debris popping up to try and scratch and chip them.   My DB9 is my daily driver here in California and I am out in the sunshine and on the roads every day.  I wanted to protect them now before the damage occurs.

The solution to protecting them is quite simple actually.  We can apply a Clear Bra of Paint Protection Film (PPF) to them.  PPF is a tough, clear, UV resistant film that can be stretched and applied over the curved headlight pod.  It filters out the Sun’s harmful UV rays, and is tough and resilient enough to prevent scratches from most road debris.   The really good news is that a kit is inexpensive, and simple enough for anyone to install themselves in about an hour.  Read on to learn how. Continue reading “Protecting the Headlights of an Aston Martin DB9 using Clear Bra Paint Protection Film”

Aston Martin DB9 Sport Pack Option – Is it Worth it?

Aston Martin began offering a ‘Sport Pack’ option on the early DB9s to spice the model lineup after its initial year or two (read the announcement here).  The option included:

  • Special Wheels with slightly larger tires
  • Lightweight Titanium Lug Nuts
  • Thicker Front Anti-Roll Bar
  • Stiffer Front and Rear Springs
  • 6mm Lower Ride Height

The option when introduced was factory installed.  What was nice about this was the Sport Pack option could be retrofit to any DB9 manufactured to date by your local dealer.   The factory fitted option went for about $4,700 USD (£2,495) back in late 2006.

Sport Pack Wheel

I’ve been trying to track down the cost if it was fitted by your local dealer.  It was sold as the DB9 Sport-Pack Kit that included all the goodies.  You can still order it apparently.  The kit varies based on model year and LHD vs. RHD.  For example, my 2005 LHD Automatic Coupe would be kit Aston Martin part number 4G43-24-10811 available online today for about $8,446 USD.  This kit even includes a new steering rack.  Later model kits (MY07-09) do not need a steering rack and can be had for a few thousand dollars less.  I presume the steering racks unadvertised inclusion on the early models addresses some ‘feel’ issues.  These prices don’t include dealer install costs, so I expect a retrofit on an early model to touch $15,000 USD all in.  Ouch.

I was intrigued by the idea of tracking down some of the bits for my DB9, and recently I had an opportunity to purchase a like new set of the Sport Pack rims and Titanium lug nuts from one of the readers of this blog (thanks Austin Fritts!).

While I had two full sets of wheels (old and new), I wanted to weigh the difference between the Original and Sport Pack lug nuts and rims.   The assumption would be that the ‘Sport’ versions should be lighter right, but by how much?  Read on to get the answer. Continue reading “Aston Martin DB9 Sport Pack Option – Is it Worth it?”

The Power to Weight Ratio of an Aston Martin DB9

I’ve been pondering on ways to improve the performance of my DB9.  Is it better to make changes that add horsepower or to loose weight?  The answer is to do both of course, but which will provide more seat of the pants perceptible performance for the least amount of dollars?   Which will be easier to accomplish?   I set about figuring it out below. Continue reading “The Power to Weight Ratio of an Aston Martin DB9”