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Aston Martin V12 Vantage - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above for high-res gallery of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage

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Our friend Lou Ann Hammond of Carlist was among the small cadre of early-rising journos who ventured out to Pebble Beach's 18th green on Thursday morning to see Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, formally introduce the DBS (video here). Now, while pricing on the sumptuous supercar apparently wasn't supposed to be announced until the Frankfurt show in September, an enthused Dr. Bez went ahead and told those gathered, "this is a car which will cost, in America, $265,000."

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The Detroit News just reported that the winning bid for Aston Martin might be a little lower than we originally thought. The group of investors led by Prodrive's David Richards is about to close the deal for about £450 million ($870 million). That's a full 10 percent lower than we just reported yesterday. The £500 million guess would have been half of Ford's initial asking price for the British luxury sports car maker. Whatever the final price, we still believe Ford will keep an inte

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Latest rumor in the FoMoCo/Aston Martin fire sale has Aston chief executive, Ulrich Bez considering making an offer for the firm. Bez said he plans on making the sale complete "as rapidly as possible," and that he plans on staying with the company in his present capacity. With a return to profit and the promise of the new "DB9 Vanquish" latest James Bond whip DBS being shown at Detroit in January, Aston could fetch Ford a pretty penny from its own CEO.

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For the first time in forty years (!), Aston Martin has booked a profit, although theFord Premier Automotive Group to which it belongs lost about $100 million in 2005.

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