Production of the 4000th car on February 16 - a Galloway Green Vantage coupe - took total Aston Martin DB7 production ahead of the combined figure for the DB4, DB5 (the model made famous in James Bond movies) and DB6 models.

The DB7 record was set in six years, exactly half the time taken to build 4,000 DB4, 5 and 6 examples between 1958 and 1970.

Every Aston Martin is custom-built to the exact specification and requirement of the customer and, over the last year, cars have been supplied in almost 100 different body colors while almost 50% received further customisation by the Aston Martin works service division at Newport Pagnell, north of London.

It is rare for a particular specification ever to be repeated, but on this occasion and at the express wish of the owners - brothers living in Northern Ireland - the 4000th DB7 was built identical in every respect to DB7 number 3999.

Last year, Aston Martin set a new sales record with 1021 cars, an increase of more than 40% on the previous record set in 1997.

British sales increased by 23%, mainland Europe sales were up 40% and, in the United States and Canada for the first time, more than 200 cars were delivered - an increase of 46% on the record set in 1998.

A new model, the V12 Vanquish, makes its world debut at the Geneva motor show next month.