My Top 5 Favourite Aston Martins - Change My Mind
The Germans have the Porsche 911, the French have the Citroen DS, the Italians have pretty much any Ferrari or Lamborghini that bent the rules of physics. The Americans? Well, they have the Mustang.
It's all open for debate, but each country has a national icon of sort. Something which their people will always love and respect, no matter how old or obscure it was.
There's quite a lot of iconic British cars that everyone remembers; and I can name 3 off the top of my head: the Mini, the E-Type Jag, and the Aston Martin DB5.
The DB5 became famous for obvious reasons - Sean Connery made the brand cool and sought-after. Suddenly, everyone adored Aston. Every Brit on land wants one - even to this day! No matter how old or young you are, retired or schoolboy, everyone loves an Aston. Not many brands carry this synonymous desire.
Strangely though, the DB5 isn't one of my favourites. Truth be told, the Astons I lust after tend to be the ones that aren't mentioned too much in the car culture. And coming up now, is a selection of my personal favourites - enjoy:
Still a gorgeous shape today.
It's probably a minor offence to prefer this over most of Aston's range of recent times. And in my personal opinion, THIS is the real Vanquish rather than the 2012-18 car.
I love the original 2001 car because... well, for nostalgic reasons. I remember seeing Die Another Day in my younger days and I used to drool over this car. It looked bulky, but without cutting any huge vents into the bodywork, which also made it nice and elegant.
The 460bhp 6.0 litre V12 also had a smooth, deep tone to it rather than the childish pops and crackles which can be found in modern cars. And you may be shouting across the screen saying: "but the gearbox was awful!" which is true, but (albeit for a large fee) you can get proper manual conversions with a stick.
Yes, the new DBS Superleggera is better in each objective way, but it just doesn't have the nostalgia factor that I have with this.
This is what I prefer over the DB5.
I once read an article by one of the DriveTribe staff at some point, and I remember it stating the DB5 was "famous for it's beautiful looks." In fact, the whole paragraph waffled on about the sheer beauty of the thing.
I'd be inclined to agree, but it almost felt like the person writing that piece had no idea that the achingly similar DB4 and DB6 existed - which were also bodied by Italian coachbuilder, Touring. I would argue that the DB4, 5 and 6 are beautiful for more-or-less the same reasons.
But nevertheless, the DB4 is my favourite of the bunch. The simple headlights and shorter wheelbase appeal to me more than the cliche DB5. And what's more? Chopping the roof off only made it even sexier!
And let's not forget, the DB4 was a sportier animal than later Astons - which probably suits my country-road handling antics a lot more. The DB5 was designed to be fully-fledged touring car - a bit like a Jensen or a Bristol.
I'm sure Michael Caine would hold the same opinion :)
This never happened to the other fella...
Another car which I happen to think is prettier than the DB5 is the William Towns-designed DBS. I fell in love with this car after watching On Her Majesty's Secret Service - which, rather famously, Bond's new wife is assassinated at the end.
But glossing over that, the DBS initially shared the same 4.0 litre straight six as the DB5 and 6 before receiving the lovely 5.3 litre V8 in 1969, along with a few subtle styling tweaks.
But I love the six-cylinder car, in Olive Green with the wire wheels - or what I'd like to call the George Lazenby spec. Like the other two so far, it's nostalgia that makes me love the DBS, and if I were to ever drive such a thing, I'd have Louis Armstrong singing on the 8-track player.
Oh, and I also personally think that this is prettier than the Touring-bodied Astons that came before it. Controversial, eh?
Complete with the winter pack.
Timothy Dalton did two things in The Living Daylights that entertained me: one being a rather hectic escape in a military-spec Hercules, and sliding around Czechoslovakia in an Aston Martin V8 - complete with its own ski set!
It's important not to get this confused with the V8 Vantage: that had a body-coloured front spoiler, different wheel options and a tuned version of the 5.3 litre V8. I've seen too many people call a standard V8 the Vantage, so I had to clear that up once and for all.
Later versions of the V8 got those sexy spotlights on the grille - which really complete the front fascia of the car. And honestly, I prefer the clean look of the standard V8 rather than the more aggressive Vantage.
I love this car not only because of its scrumptious aura, but also because of the gorgeous soundtrack. I reckon this is one of mankind's greatest-sounding engines - even at around 3000rpm where it gives off a smooth, yet menacing burble.
The V8 used in the Bond film actually had the engine tuned to Vantage spec - and that seems like the best of both worlds, don't you think?
A gear lever like a power ranger's leg. What a car!
Like the Vanquish, the DBS takes me back to my younger days. I remember seriously loving this car after Clarkson reviewed that beautiful Racing Green example on series 10 of Top Gear.
Truth be told, I bet I can quote that review word-for-word.
I love the styling for kickers: I'm contradicting myself here because I've been championing elegance in this article, but with the DBS, it works. The vents, the excessive carbon fibre and the rear diffuser add genuine beauty to this car rather than unnecessary silliness.
Using Clarkson's Keira Knightly comparison, the DB9 is her in silk. The DBS on the other hand, is her holding 2 handguns and a knife hidden in her waist. And like the Vanquish, the 6.0 litre V12 (this time, at 510bhp) doesn't shout about itself too much; it retains some of that subtlety without going noticed. I like that.
And lets not forget shall we, that this car had one of the coolest-looking gear levers to date!
So, that's a list of my top 5 all-time favourite Astons. I love them all mainly because of nostalgic reasons or because I dream about them after watching Bond films... What are your favourites and why?
Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed the article, and I'll have some more out very soon. Ciao!