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Why Aston Martins use Volvo keys

Wed, 29 Oct 2008

By Nick Gibbs

Motoring Issues

29 October 2008 14:03

Did you know that Aston Martins use Volvo keys? We should hardly be surprised, since we all know that Astons dip into the expansive Ford parts bin for everything from sat-navs to switchgear. But you’d expect them to at least go to some lengths to remove the original badging.

‘The keyfob was damaged when we got it back from the client,’ said Edward Legge, general manager of Rio Prestige hire. ‘Our reaction was amusement and slight horror. We all know they share parts, but you would have thought someone would have invested a tenner to rub the name off.’

Aston Martin is now owned by a consortium headed by Prodrive boss Dave Richards, but Ford still have a £40m stake in the company. The firm points out it is moving from old-tech keys to new 'Emotion Control Units', the glass-block keys you'll find in a DBS.

The V8 Vantage borrows quite a few bits from Volvo, including the window and mirror switches, but it’s nothing new. The envious have always known how to upset Aston owners by pointing out the various shared parts, often from much humbler cars.

The DB7 used the entire XJS floorpan, while the DBS V8’s taillights were taken from the Hillman Hunter. The DB6’s rear lights were shared with the Triumph TR4, and those of the Virage came from the VW Scirocco. It also sported headlights from the Audi 100.

No shame in that. ‘Manufacturers have to take hardnosed decisions,’ said Quentin Parker, general manger of the Aston Workshop in County Durham. It also makes classic upkeep that bit less financially painful.

You just imagine that someone would have taken the time to pick off the decals beforehand, though…

By Nick Gibbs