On the Road with an Aston Martin

Filed in Car Culture by on September 1, 2013 19 Comments

Aston Martin

Aston Martin:

On a recent road trip with my Mom, we shared the highway with a 2013 Aston Martin Vantage, and I was able to observe this magnificent car’s road performance for about 50 miles. Of course, because of the road construction, we were only going 40 miles an hour, and since the Vantage can travel from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 183 miles per hour, I used my imagination a lot.

Aston Martin Goldfinger

Most of you will be familiar with the Aston Martin as James Bond’s car. He first drove an Aston Martin DB5 in the movie Goldfinger and has continued to drive one in every movie since. The Aston is also a member of the British royal family. In August 1985, the company was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales for motor manufacture and repair. In other words, the Aston was given the Royal seal of approval. Prince Charles received the car from his mother, the Queen, in 1969 when he turned 21, and Prince William and Kate Middleton drove a Seychelles Blue Aston Martin DB6 MKII Volante on their wedding day. I thought it was interesting that Prince Charles converted his 38-year-old Aston Martin to run on fuel made from surplus English wine.

Aston Martin was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, with the primary goal of designing sports cars that combined the elements of power, beauty, and soul. Martin described their objective best when he said

“ Our goal is to design and build a quality car of good performance and appearance: a car for the discerning owner driver with fast touring in mind, designed, developed and built as an individual.”

The first car to carry the legendary Aston Martin name was built by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini. Over the last 100 years, approximately 65,000 Aston Martins have been built, each one inspiring awe, both for their performance and their beauty.

If you are interested in buying an Aston Martin, get ready for some serious decision making.

First, you will choose between the following:

  • 20 body colors
  • 20 shades of leather for the seats (which come in a choice of solid or perforated hide)
  • 9 colors of alcantara for the roof lining (a luxury material that combines aesthetics, elegance, and function)
  • 8 carpets
  • 2 seatbelt designs
  • 7 dashboard treatments
  • 10 stitch designs

In addition, if you’re buying a Volante or a V8 Roadster, there are six different hood colors to choose from. And, of course, if you want a color or fabric that is not listed, all you need to do is ask and customer service will find it for you. When you buy an Aston Martin you can have it your way, special requests don’t upset them.

It will take anywhere from 250 to 350 hours to build your Aston Martin, depending on the model. Next, the exterior will need to be finished by hand to remove the blemishes inherent in aluminum. Then, nine coats of paint will need to be applied by rotating the inside of the paint booths to ensure that the paint is applied in exactly the same direction on every single panel for a perfectly matched finish. The paint shop operators even have a list of approved aftershaves and deodorants they may wear to lower the risk of contamination. The artisans crafting the seats of your car will use 32 individual pieces of leather, and one craftsperson is responsible for an individual dashboard or seat from start to finish, each taking six hours to complete.

The price tag, of course, depends on the model of car that was sculpted for you, but plan on writing your check for around $200,000. If you are very frugal, you might get away with a price tag of $153,000. Many customers pay cash for their Astons, but financing can be arranged.

Unfortunately, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage on our road trip did not follow me home. Its owner and I waved our goodbyes as he exited the freeway. My Mom admired the driver’s courage at driving a $200,000 car on a road under construction, while I suggested that a Vantage would make a very nice twenty-first birthday gift—I promised to take very good care of it. My mom told me to Bug on.

Good news on the June Bug! I will have a progress report this week, but we made great inroads on the engine issues.

What is your dream car?

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Cole 1

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  1. Omawarisan says:

    My dream car is a Porsche Speedster, but the Miata keeps me happy.

    I think your prospects for getting the Aston Martin would be better if your mom knew she wasn’t going to get jammed on insurance. By having me look after the car until you’re 30, you and your mom win.
    Omawarisan recently posted…The One Where I Try Not To Sound InsensitiveMy Profile

  2. Mike says:

    You wouldn’t trade your June Bug for an Aston Martin, would you?

  3. Katybeth says:

    PS: You’re “moderating” my comments?! Really?

  4. Liz says:

    Can I request that James Bond (Sean Connery) be delivered with my Aston?
    My dream car for now is a car that always runs, is always filled with gas, and transports my family safely to their final destination without any whining.
    In my old age I would like to toot around town in a Red Ferrari Spider.
    Glad June is progressing, will look forward to the update.

  5. Randy says:

    If I win the lottery tomorrow I’ll probably buy a 2013 Ford F-150 King Ranch. Hard to beat a great looking truck that works hard for you too.
    When you finish building your Beetle, trust me, it will own your heart and be your dream car for a long time.
    Happy to hear the engine problems are working out.

  6. Debbie says:

    NO WAY would I spend 200 grand for a car! Yes, the Aston Martin is awesome (it should be, since it costs so much!). Yes, having James Bond come along for the ride would be nice. But I’m far too frugal to consider tossing away that much of my hard-earned cash for a car. Golly, I can just imagine how scared I’d be to drive it. Or park it. (I know — spoken like a real mom!)
    Debbie recently posted…It’s Been One Noisy SummerMy Profile

  7. That car is awesome! However, my Porsche taught me about how expensive it is to keep a sports car running smoothly. So i’ll just enjoy my Pilot for a few years.
    Eager to hear how June is coming along this week.
    TTFN
    MJ

  8. Cole says:

    Good point about the Insurance. Could, I visit the car over long weekends?
    The Miata is a great car and very modable

  9. Cole says:

    Any convertible with a 0-60 of 3.3 and a quarter mile time of 11.3 is pretty snazzy.

  10. Cole says:

    Might depend on the Aston.

  11. Cole says:

    Great Truck. My favorite truck is the Hennessy VelociRaptor 800 twin turbo here it is the link, if you want to check it out.
    http://www.hennesseyperformance.com/62raptor800.html.
    The Bug is cool, it has a lot of character.

  12. Cole says:

    Ok, how about the fun-frugal Fiat 500 Abarth, a neat little Italian car that is reasonable priced. It isn’t that fast, but it feels fast because of the narrow tires and short wheel base. It’s a lot of fun and can be driven as an every day car. List price is about $22,000.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/2014-fiat-500-abarth-review-2013-8
    Web site: http://www.fiatusa.com/en/2013/abarth/

  13. Cole says:

    Kind of boring, but the Pilot sounds like it has some great gadgets on board.
    Update on June coming soon. OX

  14. Carol Smith says:

    I can only dream about that. In fact… I would be petrified to even drive the darn thing. My luck someone would run into me the very first outing.

  15. Cole says:

    I bet you could handle the Aston Martin just fine. Just don’t plan any James Bond moves.

  16. Cole says:

    No comment.

  17. irene says:

    Great information on the Aston Martin. I, too, would take Sean Connery with the car ^! I wouldn’t mind the Aston Martin James Bond is leaning against. Of course, if I can afford the car, I wouldn’t need to stress about something happening to it.

  18. Cole says:

    It’s a great car. James Bond would make it exciting, but I suspect exciting for me is different than exciting for you. Just back in town. Big bug update coming soon.

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