Most Aston Martins over the years have carried the DB name, a homage to the cottage car maker’s one-time owner, David Brown. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Aston eschews that tradition, as well as that of British reserve in its bold choice of wheels. Let’s determine if its price is just as cheeky.
Yesterday’s 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera was a Targa which means it could pop its top at a moment’s notice. That’s actually an ability that can diminish the car’s appeal since many Porsche proponents prefer the coupe version. With it also exhibiting exceedingly high miles, that Porsche’s $26,400 price tag had many of you flipping your wigs. That eventually earned the car a 76 percent Crack Pipe loss.
When it came time to translate Ian Fleming’s James Bond from the page to the screen, a major update was made to the unflappable secret service agent’s ride of choice, switching from a 1930s Bentley 4 ½ Litre to a contemporary Aston Martin GT. Why the change? Well, when Fleming first introduced Bond to the world in 1953’s Casino Royale, the Bentley was the epitome of what a suave and debonair English gentleman would drive. By the time Bond made his screen debut in 1962’s Dr. No, that mantle had been usurped by the hipper Aston Martin.
These days, Bond films pay fealty to the franchise’s history by having Bond drive a classic Aston DB5 at some point. That’s a bit of a head-scratcher since the whole concept of a secret service agent is stealth, and let’s be honest, there’s nothing stealthy about driving around in a half-million-dollar sports car.
If you’re keen to live the preferred Aston lifestyle but, unlike Bond, would also like to blend into the background then this 2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage should probably not be your entry into the marque’s fold.
That’s because this 430 horsepower coupé carries a unique color scheme and wheel package that makes it stand out even among its storied brethren. That paint is described in the ad as “burnt blond” (eww) and is wrapped around a deep burgundy leather interior. And, by leather, I mean damn-near everything in here is cow-clothed. Complementing all that are a set of enormous five-spoke alloys that have had their inner sections painted in neon orange.
This is not an introvert’s car.
The bodywork looks to be without notable flaws and is as handsome today as when the Vantage arrived on the scene more than a decade ago. Those crazy wheels carry new rubberband-like tires and look as though they could use some touch-up work around the outer rims.
The interior seems complete and without evidence of any wear in the pictures. Someone has added an Aston Martin badge and redundant all caps script above the central air vents, but that but of unnecessary branding could likely be easily reversed.
Power here is provided by a 4.7-litre 32-valve V8. That’s a painstakingly hand-built engine and while we sadly don’t get a look at it in the ad, I’ll bet there’s a plaque somewhere on it that names the builder and perhaps even what tea he or she had after torquing-down the last bolt. A seven-speed “Sportshift” auto-manual with flappy paddle shifters does transmission duties.
Overall, the Aston’s ad is light on details, but does claim the car’s condition to be “excellent” and notes that it carries both a 47,000-mile odometer count and a clear title. The asking price is $55,000, which comes in at a bit less than half what this car—without the crazy wheels—went for when new.
Okay, we’ve already established that Astons in general, and this one in particular, are not good cars for blending into a crowd. Why you would want to do so, however, is beyond me. Wouldn’t you rather stand out? Or better yet sit down behind this Aston’s wheel and pop that go pedal a few times? That would let everyone else enjoy the sound of the muscular coupé’s rorty exhaust and your fine taste in automobiles.
The more important question, of course, is just how much of an extrovert your wallet would need to be to make that happen. Aston built quite a few V8 Vantages over the years, and while these Porsche 911 competitors have their fans, they lack the ultimate panache of their V12 counterparts. Could this one, with its unique paint and wheels, make up for that to the tune of $55,000?
H/T to Bill W. for the hookup!
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