Like many, I always dreamed of owning an Aston. My journey began just before my 40th birthday when, quite by accident (the plan for the afternoon had been to look at the Jags in the dealership next door), I found myself sitting in the driver’s seat of a beautiful Tungsten silver V8 Vantage roadster. The salesman, sensing love at first sight, offered me a drive. He knew his business. I held out for about 24 hours - by which time I was convinced my man-maths made sense. It was my gateway drug.
Back then - some 10 years ago - I thought I was very much a purist. Silver was the perfect colour. Very Aston. Very classic. Very me. That was until, a couple of years later, I saw for sale, at the same dealer, a V12 Vantage - the original 6-speeder in the launch-spec Mako blue. It had a non-standard blue leather interior and rock-hard carbon bucket seats too. Hardly a classic spec. But somehow the bright colour showed off the car‘s stance fantastically well. The same salesman (who had not lost his knack) fired up the V12. Soon after I was signing on the dotted line.
My third Aston followed a few years later when, idly browsing the Aston website, I saw a V12S Roadster for sale. The ex-factory launch vehicle no less. Also in Mako - now firmly my favourite colour - it came complete with satin black wheels and, inside, OTT “California Poppy” leather highlights. I would never have been brave enough to spec a car like that. In the metal, it was stunning.
I thought that car was a keeper. Even when, one day, I saw a YouTube video comparing three V12 Astons driving around the West Country, through Cheddar Gorge and finishing on the pier at Weston-Super-Mare. These included a lovely silver Vanquish S and the then-new DB11 in white. But my eye was immediately drawn to the third car - a 7-speed manual Vantage V12S, one of only a handful in the country, in a rather loud green. I did some digging and found this to be a super rare colour - Viridian. In fact, the car in the video was the only V12S manual in that colour. A true unicorn car. It oughtn’t work, but somehow it did. Then again, I couldn’t see myself ever buying a car that bright (it wasn’t Mako after all).
But when I saw that very car for sale a year later, I remembered the video and, curious, took a trip to the dealer the following weekend. Just looking, you understand - no intention of buying. But the green mist descended. Stood there, under the dealership lights, it was sensational. And it was a “dogleg” V12 - the holy grail of the VH-platform Vantage. I sat in the alcantara bucket, gripped the wheel and contemplated the inevitable.