DB7 V8 LM Description
For the 1995 Le Mans 24 hour race, Michel Hommell, a French publishing millionaire, created a racing DB7 complete with a 6.3 litre 32 valve V8 and destined to compete in the GT1 class. Aston Martin agreed to sell a DB7 shell without engine or transmission and TWR arranged contracts for significant components.
R.S.Williams supplied a pair of race engines – they were detuned versions of the AMR1 V8 6.3 litre with an output 619 bhp and were mated to a six speed ZF gearbox. Whilst the V8 was not available in the DB7 road car, the GT1 rules allowed for the use of any road car engine from the same manufacturer and the 6.3 litre V8 was an option on the Virage. The car was built by Synergie, a Le Mans based constructor, and was significantly lighter than the standard car, weighing 1330kg complete with carbonfibre doors, wings and bonnet.
Hastily prepared for the qualifying weekend and driven by Eric Helary and Alain Cudini, the car failed to qualify for the 1995 race by the narrowest of margins. It was unfortunate as the DB7 had become victim of the intense rivalry between the other GT1 cars, the McLaren F1 and Ferrari F40 GTE. Despite being on the reserve list, it didn't race; its owner was so exasperated at being classified below three others that he retired the car. If it had been entered in the GT2 class, it would have raced, and could have finished well. The car now resides in the owner’s motor museum, Manoir de l'Automobile, in Brittany, France.