This last year, my wife finished her MBA giving us a double dose pay raise. First the tuition stopped, second she went back to work. Since then I have been looking for a new upscale car to add to my garage.
I will start by telling you that I am biased towards a small two seat convertible. Since selling all of my Harley’s, I have been wanting something to go back to the “Sunday” drive with my wife. She hasn’t been much of a fan of riding since our height difference plants here eyeballs right at my neck. Not much to see there. My next Hog will be just for me.In the interim I have been looking at high end rag tops so I can still get a little sun and wind while cruising aimlessly on Sundays. One of my favorites has always been the BMW Z8. The car exuded grace and style. As a child growing up in the 70’s the Z8’s very slight resemblance to the Mach 1, is another high selling point.Since I haven’t seen a good used automatic Z8 in a while and the next one is a little “Bangleized”, I started looking for something else.
When Ferrari announced a new version of the California for 2009 I was quite excited. Here was an entry level Ferrari. Better yet a Ferrari I might be able to find a way into. While visiting a Ferrari Dealership in Scotsdale Arizona, I saw the new Aston Martin Vantage as well as several photos of the new California.The Style of the new California struck me as rather similar to the Maserati’s. The front grill extended via snout like shape well past the headlights. It reminded me of a placastomus fish feeding on the side of the tank. Not at all what I expected from Ferrari. A fan of the 73 Dino since the first time I saw one in person, I couldn’t come up with a Ferrari I didn’t like. The photos of the California were indicating it might be the first. I hope to see one in Newport Beach this month and will let you know.The Aston Vantage on the other hand has really grown on me. It is simply an elegant car. The grill very gently extends beyond the headlights with an almost sinister smile. It is like it is saying to those red light camera’s “Hah, missed me this time”. The car is about twice the price of the new top of the line Corvette, and it clearly says “I am worth it” if you look long enough.
The graceful lines of the Vantage are highlighted by LED running lights and filled with technology like blue tooth and GPS navigation. The complete package comes together as a very streetable, fun machine. Aston like Harley has clearly spent some time in the sound chambers. The exhaust note is throaty without being over powering. Put the loud pedal down and you know what is happening with all your senses. Cruise gently and the car politely wisks by.
In one dealership there was a water leak dripping on the aluminum hood. As a guy who designs acoustically treated rooms, the sound of the water was music to my ears. The solid plump, plump, plump instead of ding, ding ding, let me know the aluminum had been treated with a sound deadener. If I am going to spend this kind of bank on the car, it can’t be louder than my cell phone call unless my foot is buried in the loud pedal.
When I was selling cars, the first cool car I sold was a Porsche Whale Tail 911. The car was frost blue with chrome cookie cutters. An instantly recognizable classic. As much as I would like to own a Porsche, my 40 plus year old butt doesn’t fit comfortably in the seats. I am not a girl, so I refuse to sacrifice comfort for cool. The Aston seats are a perfect fit for me and my wife. She is a size 2, and I am a 175 pound 34 inch waist. There is no reason to take a country drive and come home with a sore back or butt from seats that don’t fit. Like my one buddy said “I sold my Ford GT because I bumped my head every time I got out”. We men are lucky, we get to have style and comfort. Try finding your wife some sexy Jimmy Choo pumps that she’ll want to wear because thier comfortable. Sorry ladies, it is what it is.Aston Martin has clearly put together a winning combination of design, engineering and power. There might be one in my future.