OK - So yesterday was a pretty nice day and I thought I had an hour or two to spare so I started up 'Vesper the Vantage'...Noe she's 22 in August but shows absolutely no signs of age whatsoever, She's been very well cared for by a number of well heeled financier types and thankfully they've spent their money exactly in the right places at the right time, She's got a Harvey Bailey handling kit with adjustable Koni's, A supersports exhaust to help her breathe, an Aston Works lead free conversion, The paint is totally original as is the interior, no reconnolising in there, all the wood is perfect as are the carpets etc...When you sit in a Vantage you immediately feel at home, immensely comfortable, gone are the hip hugging Recaro-esque sporty items that the 550 has, replaced with a nicely worn in comfy chair, probably not great for exiting hairpins at mach 2, but just great for continental cruising...Starting is pure pleasure, twist of the key and she burst into life with a loud growl but settles almost immediately into a gentle V8 throbby purr, the exhaust makes her louder than std, but I like it - ALOT.
Starting off is easy, the gate is a dog legged 1st, similar to 80's Ferrari, so I'm very used to the feel, on the move throught the gears is dead easy, despite it's large than average size, she shrinks around you and you can quickly gauge were the corners are using the wing creases as guides.
Now in a Ferrari waiting at junctions is an occupational hazard, only young lads who want a good look or real petrol heads will let you out, In an Aston everyone wants to be your friend, I even had a Taxi let me out yesterday! - An all time 1st.
On the open road, she's unbelivably smooth, power from nothing to way past 5500 rpm, (that's as far as ventured yesterday, Red line at 7000, but I doubt I'll ever do that)...But the biggest most impressive thing is the TORQUE, In third at traffic lights by mistake...I put my foot down, and the World just went backwards as I pulled off - Incredible, simply incredible...On the Motorway, from 50 to a bit over the speed limit
goes past in a blink of an eye....But it's not the power, torque or even the looks, it's the real sense of occasion and heritage you get...Knowing that this really was the last of the handmade Aston engineered and produced in Newport Pagnell, Only 356 Vantage Coupe's were ever built, only 42 580Series BBS, Only 4 in Royal Cherry, and I am the very proud owner/custodian of this one!
I'll write more as we get to know each other, but I think this is going to be a very long and beautiful relationship.