LIKE The Gentleman Racer?
As dawn breaks, we are firing down the M27 en route to The New Forest, and with it the open air sensation of the mighty Abarth 124 Spider. We are due to meet a good friend and his Walton-On-Thames sourced Aston Martin DB11.
Parked up, the DB11 looks sensational in Rownhams Services as the sun shows signs of life - peering over the glossy pine trees that border the New Forest. Those vents in the side streaking through Marek Reichman's design like a hot knife through butter. The DB11 bellows on start up, before slowing to a reserved hum - the Abarth 124 Spider is louder, trying to out-do the significantly more extravagant Aston Martin.
On the road, the DB11 pulls away with an effortless surge, leaving everything behind as if they were stationary. It really is on another level - that twin turbo V12 milking all of its 6 litres to propel you from 0-62 in little over 3 seconds. It's a gorgeous car, and following it alfresco means I can maximise my appreciation for the burble of the sublime V12.
Stop one is a particular favourite of mine, and one that is more African Savannah than British countryside. The hero image above was taken as the sun exploded into life draping the DB11 in all kinds of light - highlighting just how pretty she is. We stop to admire the view before heading over to the motoring Mecca of the South - Beaulieu.
Never has a traffic jam been more appealing! - Struck between 3 V8 muscle-car Vantage from the 80's, and a DB5, #SimplyAstonMartin really does have every kind of Aston on show. Last year over 300 cars arrived, this year - with the weather doing it's thing - looked set to appeal to even more fans and owners.
Everywhere you look there's Britains finest on show. The Astons pour in and are parked up for all to admire. I speak to one Gentleman in an original Vanquish who proudly tells me his is 'one of three' in particular deep shade of blue - I didn't have the heart to tell him the other two arrived shortly before he did!
With lunch time drawing upon us, we head over to The Pig on Beaulieu Road for some five star food in the sun, and reminisce the view from earlier today. Two GT8's, a Silver Birch DB5 and in my opinion the greatest of them all - Not one, but two DB4 Phase II Coupés. A really special sight, and incredible to be part of such a Patriotic event on such a beautiful day.