Thursday – Bonding?

cropped-v10.jpg

So here’s the thing… Aston Martin won’t say if one of their cars will feature in the next James Bond film, due for release in late 2015. Will it be the last time we see Daniel Craig in his swimming trunks, I wonder.

The Aston press office reels off the usual line about the company’s ‘long association’ with the film brand but refuse to go any further. Which, I imagine, means somebody with a large wallet is already negotiating the terms for the ultimate product placement.

So, if 007 is going to get his license to thrill in a Vanquish, will he opt for the quilted white leather, or a more conservative black trim?

I mean, can you imagine Sean Connery – the most masculine Bond ever – turning up for a job in a white trimmed Aston? Alarming thought that I will leave with you to ponder…

Wednesday – The Real World

cropped-v91.jpg

All the ‘issues’ that you might have living in the real world with the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante would disappear if you could afford the £200,000 required to buy it in the first place.

Zero leg room in the back seats? You’d probably own a Range Rover as a second car. Worried about cleaning those white leather seats? Surely you just get somebody in to clean them? Slightly concerned by 18.1mpg? Here’s my Coutts credit card

Driving an Aston Martin around for a week is not living in the real world for the majority of us. I’ve driven faster and more expensive cars but the Vanquish just has a little something that is best described as the X factor. You can’t put your finger on it but it makes all the difference.

For me, it’s the ‘made in Britain’ tag, the rasping exhaust pipes that provide the perfect soundtrack to every drive and the breathtaking interior. Even though I would never pick white leather…

Tuesday – Sour Milk

cropped-v4.jpg

Just how do you clean quilted, white leather seats? Not surprisingly, Malin the hound hasn’t had a spell riding shotgun in the Vanquish this week – not when the upgraded trim costs an extra £10,000.

One of the worst car trim disaster stories happened to a friend of mine many years ago. On the way back from the supermarket, he spilt a pint of milk on the seat of his prized Ford Escort.

In case you didn’t know, milk dries sour and the smell after a few days is just appalling. It’s impossible to get rid of but after lots of scrubbing, my friend thought he had just about managed it.

Right up to the point when he left the side window down, just wide enough for a neighbour’s cat to creep in and pee on the same spot as the milk. Imagine that in an Aston Martin…

Monday – Lots of Horse Power

cropped-v7.jpg

I found myself in the middle of a Cotswold hunt this morning. Usual sort of thing – 70 odd horses careering down a lane towards a £222,000 Aston Marin supercar…

It’s a moment that demands a steady nerve, not for the riders but for me. The Vanquish may sound remarkable when you are driving it across country but those twin pipes are guaranteed to put the fear of God into a galloping mare.

It was the first time I considered the Aston’s rasping exhaust a hindrance rather than a joy. Perhaps a system like the Porsche 911, which allows the driver to turn the sound on or off, might be worth considering?

Incredibly wet roads aren’t conducive to thrashing a 500bhp+ rear-wheel drive car like the Vanquish. So, today’s hot gossip is that we have achieved 18.1mpg in everyday use. Not bad, if you ask me…

 

 

Sunday – Dear Santa…

cropped-v6.jpg

It obviously goes fast, very fast, and it definitely costs a small fortune – but what should you actually expect on Christmas Day when you open the front door and discover Santa has left an Aston Martin on the driveway?

Well, don’t imagine it includes a glovebox because the dashboard is so uncluttered, a storage space has been dispensed with. There’s no legroom in the rear – unless you are one of Santa’s very little helpers – and there’s nothing as vulgar as a head-up display either.

What the Volante does boast is a rather splendid brolly that matches the colour of the paintwork. If has its own secure fixing in the boot. The seats are definitely on the firm side of comfortable, despite multi-electrical adjustment. So you might need a fluffy cushion to stop numb bum on longer trips.

And if you don’t have a public profile, you certainly will have after driving a Vanquish for a few days. I parked slightly over the white line in Waitrose car park and you should have heard the fuss from miffed locals! That wouldn’t have happened in a Ford Fiesta I can tell you.

 

 

Saturday – Sound Pipes

cropped-v1.jpg

If you like the sound of silence in your motor, the Vanquish is not for you. And the convertible Volante is even more noisy, despite a hood that is so good it’s hard to tell from the inside that you are actually in a drop top.

It must be a boy thing because the sound of the Aston Martin’s exhaust pipes are sheer music to my ears. I’ve even forsaken Test Match Special on the DAB radio to marvel at every tweak of the accelerator.

On the other hand, Jessica thinks the car is too noisy. I think she’s in love with the white leather interior and uncluttered dashboard though – the centre of which isn’t to my taste and doesn’t look worthy of a car costing £222,000.

Today we drove down to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire. It was pretty empty with most people out Christmas shopping, so all the exhibitions were empty.

First stop? The James Bond exhibition. Lots of Aston Martins on display there, one with a Gatling gun on the boot lid. Could have done with that on the drive home to clear a way through the appalling Christmas traffic…