- The Article I'm referencing.

Who is the New Aston Martin V12 Speedster actually for?

An exploration of the potential customer for this spectacular if utterly useless vehicle.

First of all, I want to clear something up. I'm going to say it: I think the V12 Speedster is truly a thing of beauty.

So what's this post about then?

Well, It's written in response to this post:-

In particular, it's written in response to some of the comments, pointing out how useless this car is, despite its inherent desirability. I'll be honest, as a car it IS pretty useless. Yes, it has a reasonable boot for this 'sort of thing'. I accept that. However, I honestly don't think the V12 Speedster is a car you could use every day.


Well, aside from the obvious security and weather concerns of having no windscreen, roof or door windows...

First of all there's the price. It's essentially an ultra-rare circa £800,000 Limited Edition Aston Martin. The fear of it getting damaged would probably dissuade you from leaving it parked almost anywhere unattended.

Secondly there's the fact there's no windscreen. I appreciate I already mentioned that, but I feel like it's such a big deal it's worth mentioning twice. Why is it such a big deal? Well, there's no windscreen. There's also notably; not even a fly screen. This means basically that driving the car at anything other than incredibly sedate speeds will be painful, bordering on dangerous. If you've ever stuck your head out of sunroof at 70mph, or seen a tiny pebble flirt up and crack your entire windscreen... Then you'll know what I'm talking about. Aston Martin helpfully provides two full-face helmets, which strap in place in the cargo area. I'm not sure whether you need to provide a helmet size when you order one of these? Anyway I digress. This is obviously an admission that driving this car at typical highway speeds really requires helmets. On a trackday helmets make sense. On a motorcycle they make sense, but what you can't appreciate unless you've worn one for extended periods of time is that helmets seriously hinder your peripheral vision. You're basically peering out of a letterbox that fits on your head.

Thirdly there's the fact that if you leave this car somewhere and it rains - it will fill up with water. Again, I've touched on this, but again it's such a serious flaw you need to address it twice. Imagine the damage a sudden downpour could do this car's interior if you'd left it parked on a restaurant car park while you had a meal? (Not to mention the wet back and bum for the drive home!)

Alright, we get it. So WHO, IS the Aston V12 Speedster for?

Okay, let's get straight to the point. It's for someone wealthy. You've just struck it lucky and won a million pounds on the lotto? It's not you for you, PAUPER! This is a car for proper wealthy. Just won 20 million on the Euro Millions? Dream on! This car isn't for you!

I don't think many of us can easily perceive how the 0.01% live.

To give you some context, if you're interested in the details, here's an article which is quite helpful:-

Basically the main market for these cars will be people who are in the $100,000,000 a year income or more bracket. A simple way of looking at is shown here:-

The crux being that to be top 1% in the USA in 2018 you had to pull in $737,000 a year, but to be in the top 0.01% you have to pull in over $2,000,000 a year. This backs up my argument. I'm not going to disclose how much I earn, but I will tell you this:- I would NOT be prepared to pay a whole year's salary for a car. If I earned £20k a year I wouldn't drop £20k on a car. If I earned £200k a year, I wouldn't drop £200k on a car. Bearing in mind that the V12 Speedster is a car you'd spend most of your time garaging, I think we can all agree it's beyond the reach of a 1%'er unless they are prepared to break themselves financially to own one.

Here's an interesting article for UK people to consider:-

The characteristics and incomes of the top 1% -

The richest members of our society get a lot of attention. Much of the public conversation about economic inequality is concerned with, loosely, the top 1%, how different they are from the rest, how they got to where they are, and what – if anything – policy should do about it. It is also a fact that this group is extremely important for the funding of our public services and welfare system, because it pays a large portion of our tax revenues. Figure 1. Share of national income accounted for, by top 1% of adults Note: From 1981 to 1989, the top 1% share refers to the share accounted for by tax units (where spouses’ incomes are jointly assessed). From 1990, the top1% share refers to the top 1% of adults. Source: World Inequality Database. The highest-income 1% of adults receive around 14% of national income (Figure 1). This share increased significantly in the 1980s as overall inequality increased, but the group pulled further away from the rest throughout the 1990s and most of the 2000s (until the financial crisis), even though income inequality across most of the population was actually stable or falling over that period. But the picture we have of this group is often rather patchy or anecdotal. In part, this is because the types of household surveys on which we typically rely for data on economic inequality, while providing broadly representative samples of most population groups, are known to be unreliable when it comes to capturing data on the very richest. In this briefing note, we use data from HMRC’s income tax records to document some key facts about the highest-income people in the country. Key findings To be in the top 1% of income tax payers in the UK (i.e. to be among the 310,000 individuals with the highest income), a taxable income of at least £160,000 is required. £236,000 is required to be in the top 0.5% and nearly £650,000 to be in the top 0.1%. 43% of adults pay no income tax and to be in the top 1% of all adults (or the top 540,000 people), a pre-tax income of at least £120,000 is required. The top 1% of income tax payers are disproportionately male, middle-aged and London-based. A man aged 45–54 in London could be in the top 1% nationally while still needing a further £550,000 to be in the top 1% for his gender, age and region. These patterns become more pronounced at even higher income levels. Almost half of the top 0.1% of income tax payers are based in London, over 40% are aged 45–54 and only 11% are women.The top 1% of income tax payers have become more geographically concentrated since the turn of the century. The 65 (out of 650) parliamentary constituencies with the highest density of people in the top 1% now contain half of all of the top 1%. This is up from 78 constituencies in 2000–01.Partnership and dividend income account for over a quarter of the total income of the top 1%, and over a third of the total income of the top 0.1%, a much higher share than for those with lower incomes. Partnership and dividend income are taxed at lower rates than normal salaries – a policy choice to tax the incomes of business owners at lower rates than employees, which therefore benefits a significant share of the top 1%.The top 1% of income tax payers are not a stable group – a quarter of those in the top 1% in one year will not be there the next. After five years, only half will still be in the top 1%.As a result, someone has a much higher chance of being in the top 1% at some point in their lives than they do in any given year. 3.4% of all people (and 5.5% of men) born in 1963 were in the top 1% of income tax payers at some point between 2000–01 and 2015–16.

£236,000 is required to be in the top 0.5% and nearly £650,000 to be in the top 0.1%

Institute for Fiscal Studies

To be in the top 1% of income tax payers in the UK (i.e. to be among the 310,000 individuals with the highest income), a taxable income of at least £160,000 is required. £236,000 is required to be in the top 0.5% and nearly £650,000 to be in the top 0.1%

This again, backs up my theory. If you're in the top 0.1% you can't buy a V12 Speedster with a year's salary. You'd never drop that sort of cash on a car you couldn't use unless you were either insane or complete enthusiast who doesn't mind his wife divorcing him on the grounds of financial recklessness.

Great, so WHO is going to be buying the V12 Speedster?

Think yachts. Think business owners. Think investment bankers. Think inherited wealth, that people have managed to grow rather than squander. Think, people who see income tax as optional and have multiple homes around the world to facilitate their lifestyle and their non-taxpayer status. Some of them will pay their share of tax, because they think it's a moral obligation. Other's choose not to. The bottom line is; for this elite, income tax is optional.

If I was earning £650,000 a year and I was taxed on it. I'd pay £277,500 a year in tax and have a take home pay of £355,640 a year. So I'd really have to save up for that V12 Speedster.


You can see why some of these peeps choose not to pay tax. They'll have top drawer private healthcare and send their kids to top private schools. So They're actually arguably less of a burden on 'the system' yet they have to pay more. I would argue that they can afford it of course but...

If I saved up £300,000 in the first year (I could live on £55k) I could then invest that £300,000 into stocks which pay monthly dividends.

Examples are STAG Industries[STAG], O Reality Income Corp[O], LTC Properties Inc[LTC.US], Main Street Capital[MAIN], Vanguard [VCIT] and American Capital Agency Corp [AGNC]. Say they pay an average 10% dividend. £300,000 / 100 = £3000, x 10 = £30,000. That gives me £30,000 extra income. If I continue to live on my £55k (Which I could manage) then the next year if I reinvested my dividend I'd gain an extra £33k per year income. Now imagine you're a 0.01%'er and you can add a zero to every figure I just mentioned.

Suddenly £800,000 becomes a trifle. It becomes a toy that a spoilt rich kid blows his pocket money on.

Is this a problem?

Well, that's the debate isn't it? You could argue that our wealth should be more evenly distributed and that the wealthy hoard money rather than spend it - and so don't stimulate the economy. But then if we lived in a world without the 0.01% there'd be no reason to engineer and build cars like the V12 Speedster and I think the world would lose something for that. Most of us will never become top 10% earners, or even top 20% earners. But we aspire and we dream. We know one person being a multi-billionaire isn't necessarily good for society, but that doesn't mean we don't covet it.

The alternative was tried in the USSR, a world without capitalism. Communism failed. Capitalism is broken, and it often needs shoring up to keep it working. But I think it's the best system we have available to us at the moment and without it we'd never have the Aston Martin V12 Speedster.

Martyn Stanley

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Comments (2)

  • Don't forget the criminals, these cars are great for moneylaundring purposes...

      1 year ago