I am generally a fan of anything with the Zagato name on it, but I have a special love for the Aston Martin DB AR1. It is probably my favorite modern Aston because it has such depth to its appeal. Obviously the stunning, absolutely gorgeous Zagato bodywork counts for a lot, but that is just the beginning. The DB AR1 is also a barchetta style roadster, with no roof at all. That means that you have to drive it the way it was meant to be experienced, with the wind in your hair and the thunder of that 6.0L V12 bouncing back to your ears off the trees. Speaking of its V12, which certainly makes a proper sound for an Aston Martin, it sends 435hp to the rear wheels through a manual gearbox. That may not sound like much by modern standards, but remember that Astons are about the total experience, not all out performance. 435hp is still quite a lot to play with, and the fact that the DB AR1 is a modern Aston with a clutch pedal means that it will offer the optimum amount of fun on those sunny occasions when you take it for a spin.
Now factor in the rarity. Just 99 DB AR1s were built, all for the US market. What you wind up with, in my opinion, is one of the most desirable modern Aston Martins yet made. It is a car that offers a profound experience, and that is really what you’re paying for in a car like this. I was blessed with the chance to shoot this DB AR1 this past Fall at the Scarsdale Concours d’ Elegance in New York. I took a quick look online and found two DB AR1s currently for sale, both with delivery miles in the range of $170-200k. That begs the question, would you buy a newer DB9, DBS, or Vantage, or would you have one of these? I’d go with the DB AR1 for sure.