By on February 16, 2017

aston martin db4 gt

Who loves stick shifts? Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer loves stick shifts!

In an industry that’s rapidly heading towards autonomous vehicles, “mobility solutions” and other high-tech dreams of a 21st century society, Old World charm is becoming increasingly hard to find. Leave it to a British automaker to take a stand for old technology.

During a speech at the Canadian International Auto Show this morning, Palmer declared his devotion to the antiquated row-your-own transmission, stating that Aston Martin will always keep the three-pedal lifestyle alive. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2017

Aston Martin and Mustang, Image: www.dailycarblog.com

Bill writes:

I am considering adding a fourth car to my family fleet, and I’m seriously weighing the options between a new Ford Mustang GT coupe with a manual or a 2005-2008 (or so) Aston Martin DB9. This would be a car I would drive around 3,000 miles per year.

In anticipation of your first questions, my other cars are a 2004 Honda S2000 AP2, which I plan to keep forever, a 2013 VW Touareg VR6 and an utterly original 1991 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL (W 126) with just 113k miles. I can afford, within reason, higher ownership costs associated with a luxury GT as long as the engine doesn’t have to come out of the car for service (like seemingly every Ferrari before the 360).

It looks like a DB9 coupe with under 30,000 miles can be had for around $45k or so. I’d love to find a manual gearbox but they are rare.

Please give me three good reasons why I should run to my local Ford dealer and find a ‘Stang. Or not. Thank you! (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2017

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante S

Even though the DB11 highlights a marked transformation for Aston Martin, there are still a few sexy dinosaurs milling around its factory floors. The Vanquish is one of those dinosaurs and, last November, Aston debuted a 580 horsepower S coupe to keep it from supplicating for its own extinction. This month, the British automaker hacked off its roof to bestow unto us the Vanquish Volante S.

Unless your supercar is completely ridiculous-looking — and Aston’s tasteful examples typically are not — converting one into a droptop is a straightforward way to ruin its grandeur. Fortunately, Aston Martin has a decent track record with convertibles, thanks in no small part to bulging rear fenders and abundance of inoffensive style.  (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2017

Aston Martin Logo Emblem

Aston Martin filed a trademark for a thatched-diamond logo over the summer, designated primarily for small merchandise and marketing endeavors. It looks like two opposing Volkswagen emblems laid atop each other and is about as iconic as any random series of intersecting lines could be. Fortunately, it seemed like it would only appear on less-relevant Aston-related trinkets — with items like shaving kits, polo shirts, and attache cases being a worst case scenario.

Then, earlier this week, Aston Martin made a secondary filing that included those items, mobile devices, automotive chassis and vehicle designs. Meaning that the we will assuredly be seeing this new design on merchandise affiliated with Aston Martin and possibly even its cars. (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2016

aston martin db4 gt

As things get older they gradually become “priceless.” However, before that happens, there is a long period of grotesquely inflated cost mathematically intertwined with the object’s historical relevance.

When Jaguar announced they would resume production on the 1957 XKSS in 2017, they added up the D-Type’s success at Le Mans, Steve McQueen’s seal of approval, the car’s extremely limited numbers, and the tragic production-ending fire at the Browns Lane factory. A continuation car dripping with so much historical mystique wasn’t going to go cheap. Jaguar sold the nine “new” cars at $1.5 million each.

Aston Martin’s DB4 GT has a similar allure. It’s a low-production high-performance version of an already coveted classic. Even if you are filthy rich enough to own one, it probably exists in a temperature controlled garage next to other massively expensive vintage automobiles you dare not drive. Well, sixty years after being first introduced, Aston Martin plans to build twenty-five new track-only continuations of the DB4 GT. (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2016

Car Not A Costume, Ford/Land Rover

True story: Many, many years ago I briefly dated a young woman who, at the age of 16, was the subject of a custody battle between her hard-luck mother and her suburban aunt. You’d expect this to go the way of the aunt, and you’d be right. But what you would not expect is that the aunt was married to a fellow who, some 15 years earlier, had been L. Ron Hubbard’s personal bodyguard. He was deeply involved in the “Sea Org” and a bunch of other Scientology-related stuff. He also claimed to have been a Green Beret and a decorated Vietnam veteran. (More information on the dude here, if you’re interested.)

Scientology in general, and my girlfriend’s foster dad in particular, was notorious for “fair-gaming” its lapsed members and anybody else who gets in the way of the organization. “Fair Game” is an L. Ron Hubbard phrase that means, basically, no action that can be taken by church members against the person in question is off-limits. It’s okay to attack them, kidnap them, have their home “SWATted”, destroy their careers or their credit rating. Being “fair gamed” by the Church of Scientology is very far from a picnic. The Church now disavows “fair gaming”. (More info here.)

The Ford Motor Company, on the other hand, doesn’t seem too reluctant to “fair game” a few of its lapsed members, as you’ll see.

(Read More…)

By on December 6, 2016

2017 Nissan Pathfinder blue front quarter

As we bring you one Question of the Day each weekday, we figured getting someone from TTAC’s commentariat to ask questions of the same commentariat above the fold would add a dose of flavor. That flavor comes from Ohio, and its name is CoreyDL. Welcome him to the headlines and bylines.

It’s entirely likely in 2016 that you or someone you’re very close to own one or more crossovers.  The CUV is as prevalent in the North American landscape these days as the midsize sedan was in about 1988.  But as with the body-on-frame SUV which came before, and the all-American wood-sided family wagon before that, the party can’t last forever.

Safety groups want pedestrians to giggle like the Pillsbury Dough Boy when struck by two-ton metallic death machines, necessitating ever softer edges. Stricter fuel regulations push the roofs lower for the sake of aerodynamics, shrinking space for people and cargo. Designers who don’t shower very often show us shapes inspired by used bars of soap.

How long can this go on before the party’s over, and the CUV isn’t the cool kid any more?

(Read More…)

By on September 28, 2016

Aston Martin AM37

Cue the yacht rock.

Aston Martin’s latest offering isn’t a curvaceous, high-performance car. Nor is it an SUV. It’s a boat, and a nice one at that — but it’s also a gamble. The British automaker wants to squeeze money out of previously untapped markets, starting with the boaty set.

After this, the sky’s the limit. (Read More…)

By on September 2, 2016

Aston Martin Vanquish. Picture courtesy Aston Martin

The Aston Martin Cygnet was just the beginning.

For those who thought the luxury automaker’s now-defunct rebadged Toyota city car was a weird idea (and that includes just about everyone), just wait. Aston Martin is now eager to sell you anything — your clothes, your baby stroller, and even your house. (Read More…)

By on April 21, 2016

Sean_Connery_(Goldfinger_promotional_still)(Smaller)

Of all the Bond movies, there’s no doubt Goldfinger is the most iconic. Glamorous women, exotic locales, evil (and expendable) henchmen, nifty gadgets galore, and cars, cars, cars.

The 1964 film created the template for the movie franchise, and provided us with timeless images of vehicles we’ll probably never own in places we’ll probably never drive.

The man behind the movie, director Guy Hamilton, shuffled off this mortal coil yesterday at the age of 93. Though his career includes such classics as The Third Man, we can’t remember that film containing an ejection seat-equipped Aston Martin. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2016

Mercedes Benz; C-Klasse

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler is getting cold feet about opening a factory in Russia, and thinks it might just skip a little bit west.

That, two Porsche executives avoid the Big House, the NHTSA wants autonomous rules post-haste, Volkswagen seeks a quick way out of trouble, and Aston Martin wants an F1-inspired moonshot … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2016

astonfisker2

Car designer Henrik Fisker is planning on launching a new vehicle, called the Force 1, next week at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in conjunction with Bob Lutz’s VL Automotive.

To make sure that the debut comes off without a hitch, according to the Detroit News, Fisker is suing Aston Martin in U.S. Federal Court for $100 million, alleging civil extortion.

Fisker used to be in charge of design for Aston Martin. The British automaker had claimed earlier that Fisker’s new design was cribbed from one of its own. (Read More…)

By on December 18, 2015

RM-NYC-2015-1955-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Sportabteilung-Gullwing-15

During the last week, much has been written about the “Driven By Disruption” auction Dec. 10 by RM Auction/Sotheby’s.

Most of that reporting was about Janis Joplin’s Porsche, which sold for a mildly outrageous sum of $1.6 million (plus fees), which beat the estimate about 2.5 times. Other top-dollar cars were mentioned as well, especially the first Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato sold in almost a decade, or the Ferrari 290 MM that was driven by the famous Juan Manuel Fangio in the Mille Miglia. Both cars brought even more eye-watering amounts of money – $13 million for the Aston, $25.5 million for the Ferrari. The Aston even set a historical record for the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.

The message is clear: The collector car market is not only alive and well, it’s thriving. Cars sell for ever-higher sums and they are a marvelous investment value. After all, they aren’t making any more classic Ferraris and Astons, are they? So the value can only go up, right? (Read More…)

By on August 20, 2015

AstonMartinRapide

Gearing up to sell its own four-door, all-electric sedan in a couple years, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told well-heeled listeners in Monterey, California that Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed” was plain ol’ dumb, Automotive News reported.

“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” Palmer said.

(But selling a variation of a four-door Aston Martin that’s been on sale for 6 years with a 200-mile range for $200,000 to $250,000? That’s genius.) (Read More…)

By on August 6, 2015

3d-printed Aston Martin

Ivan Sentch, the New Zealander who is 3D printing an Aston Martin DB4 and building the car in his garage, is back at it after a two-year hiatus, he told us today.

In an email, Sentch said he’s moved into a new house and is bringing the car back into the garage where he’ll pick at the project, bit by bit, until he’s done.

“It’ll just be a couple of hours at night after the kids go to sleep but you’d be surprised how much you can get done doing just a little bit each day,” said Sentch.

Kinda puts our Facebook meandering before bed to shame, really.  (Read More…)

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