5 Things I learnt driving an Aston Martin Vanquish in a tiny posh village
It isn't often that I get my hands on a V12, so when the opportunity arose to take the latest Aston Martin Vanquish out for a spin to the first ever London based Cars and Coffee meet, I jumped at the chance, even if it meant getting up at 5am... on a Saturday.
I was a huge fan of the original Vanquish and I still think it is very underrated as one of the most stylish supercars of the 21st century.
A lot of this was down to the James Bond film 'Die Another Day' where he flips it over a missile... As a 13-year-old I lost my shit at this moment. I've never had the privilege of driving the original Vanquish, so all of my impressions are based on Pierce Brosnan and his awful but brilliant double entendres. I guess that experience will be a 'Drive Another Day....' I'm not even sorry.
After spending the day with the new V12 Vanquish I was filled with so many emotions. Such an array of emotions can't possibly be conveyed in the written word, but I've managed to break them down into five easily digestible bitesize things that I can now pass on to you. How ruddy convenient.
The majority of the day was spent lost in the posh village of Marlow, so the title reflects this slight annoyance:
5 things I learnt being lost in the shitty village of Marlow... in an Aston
Thing 1: It is massive
The first lesson I learnt driving around the sleepy town of Marlow is that it is massive. Seeing as I'd been driving the small and nimble Fiat Panda 100HP the week before, the Vanquish engulfed the road leaving me uncertain if I was going to run over pedestrian's feet and scuff the diamond cut rims. This is a lesson I obviously didn't learn properly as I made the big mistake of taking it down some narrow country lanes. See Thing 5 for my stupidity.
Thing 2: It is fast enough to save face
One of the best features about the Vanquish is its ability to surprise. I embarrassed myself many times by going down roads that were way to small for the Vanquish. This resulted in a back up of traffic and several angry commuters behind me. This is where the speed comes into play. As soon as there was a gap after the large Ford Transit squeezed by my poorly placed Vanquish, I could slam the throttle down before the angry mob behind me had a chance to call me a number of obscenities.
Thing 3: Still looks classy in McDonalds
Being classy all day in a tiny posh village was rather tiring. After all the nodding and dothing of caps to the local residents assuming I'd purchased the Aston with my own money made from stock investments, I just fancied a dirty Big Mac to bring me back down to the Supercarless reality of my life. The Vanquish still managed to look the business.
I didn't dare eat it in the car though as it has one of the most beautiful and comfortable interiors I've experienced.
Thing 4: V12 is better than I'd imagined it
You build up the experience in your head so much that a V12 can't possibly live up to the expectations, right? Wrong. I found a very quiet road and put my foot flat to the floor and it was like stepping on a "love grenade" (copyright that phrase for my debut album). I didn't tell my colleague, Ben Hodges, that I was going to floor it just for my own satisfaction of seeing him thrown back into his seat.
The combination of the V12 noise and torquey kick was dangerously addictive.
Thing 5: Don't get cocky and take it up a lane
I don't feel like this video does it justice, but to avoid a long drive around the tiny posh village of Marlow for a 5th time, we went up a country lane despite the warning of the builders who blocked our path. I wish I'd listened to those wise builders.
About an hour later and a long queue of pissed off hatchback drivers I managed to arrive at Cars and Coffee feeling like I'd been on the longest adventure of my short life. If you asked me to do it again, I would in a heartbeat.
A big thank you to Stratstone for letting us borrow the Vanquish for the day.