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GALLERY: Aston Martin Db7 Review

Without the Aston Martin DB7, we'd probably be without the iconic British marque today - it was the car that saved the company. Ford had owned the company since 1988, and began to invest seriously following the launch of the Virage. Using the remnants of the stillborn Jaguar XJ41/42 project, from 1990 and with the assistance of TWR, a new affordable Aston Martin took shape under the codename NPX.

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As trading became tighter in the petroleum market, and Aston Martin was requiring more time and money, Gauntlett agreed to sell Hays/Pace to the Kuwait Investment Office in September 1983. As Aston Martin required greater investment, he also agreed to sell his share holding to American importer and Greek shipping tycoon Peter Livanos, who invested via his joint venture with Nick and John Papanicolaou, ALL Inc. Gauntlett remained chairman of AML 55% owned by ALL, with Tickford a 50/50 venture between ALL and CHI. The uneasy relationship was ended when ALL exercised options to buy a larger share in AML; CHI's residual shares were exchanged for CHI's complete ownership of Tickford, which retained development of existing Aston Martin projects. In 1984 Papanicolaou's Titan shipping business was in trouble so Livanos's father George bought out the Papanicolaou's shares in ALL, while Gauntlett again became a shareholder with a 25% holding in AML. The deal valued Aston Martin/AML at £2 million, the year it built its 10,000th car.

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