Tag Archives: Aston Martin

Al’s Favorite Drives of 2013

We, here at Mind over Motor, are about to wave goodbye to 2013.  I, however, don’t want to wave goodbye to some of my favorite reviews of 2013.  I didn’t put up as many reviews as I would have liked this year–and there are plenty of reviews on the way for 2014, I assure everyone.  However, of the cars that I took out for a drive this year, here are my four favorites.
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Test Driven: Aston Martin V8 Vantage S, Nick’s Take (7/10)

Aston Martin V8 Vantage S

The raspy echo of a snarling V8 carrying over the desert sand is usually something that would conjure up thoughts of American iron and righteous lawlessness. The movie Vanishing Point comes to mind, and the Dodge Challenger is just the car I would normally think of when the topic of V8s echoing over desert sands arises. But in this case, what I am describing is not a muscle car, but a suave British exotic, fresh from the pages of a novel by Ian Fleming. I am of course talking about an Aston Martin, the V8 Vantage S to be exact, and no, I cannot promise that will be my last James Bond reference because such cliches are obligatory when a journalist drives an Aston, of course.

My drive took place on the racetrack at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas, Nevada. I doubt many Aston Vantages see track time in the hands of their owners, but it was very interesting to get to know this little car in a setting where I could actually explore a good bit of its potential. Exotics Racing had unfortunately unhooked all of the machine guns and the oil slick from the car (things that come standard on every Aston), but on the positive side, that made the car lighter.

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Fun from Mach 5 Cars’ Exotic Rally Tour

I recently visited Mach 5 Cars to take part in one of their Exotic Rally Tours. Two of my friends work for Mach 5, an exotic car rental company in the Tri-State Area, and this is something I had been meaning to do for a while now. I took a few pictures, and shot some video of the fun we had on the tour. I was partnered up with my friend, Pete, who works for Mach 5, so when he was driving things got a little crazier.

Porsche 997 Turbo S at Mach 5 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder at Mach 5

So check out the video and the photos. Enjoy the sights and sounds of what was surely one of the more exciting days I have had in a while. We look forward to more collaborations with Mach 5 Cars in the future. Check out their website, and give them a call if you want to get yourself behind the wheel… their Exotic Rally Tours are one of the best values in the business. Enjoy.

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Test Driven: Aston Martin V8 Vantage S, Al’s Take (GRADE: B)

Las Vegas is a strange place. It was quite hot outside when I arrived at the track on July 5, during the tail-end of a massive heat wave in the vicinity. I was already sweating after just a few minutes in the 100+ degree heat. After signing in and attending the driver’s meeting, I chose this Aston Martin as my second car after some time in a Mercedes SLS AMG. After climbing out of the SLS, the sweat was replaced by a feeling of confidence.

I drove a total of four different cars on this track that morning, and of them, this Aston was by and large the most surprising. I didn’t know what to expect, with this Vantage S being my first ever Aston Martin, but after I climbed out of the hot seat, I realized that this entry into Aston’s lineup is a lot better than people might think.

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Scarsdale Concours d’ Elegance: Aston Martin DB AR1 Zagato

Aston Martin DB AR1 Zagato

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.

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Just gonna leave this here… Aston Martin Rapide Bertone Jet 2+2

This Rapide wagon will be a one off, commissioned by a wealthy collector…. obviously. It is a Bertone design, and was made to commemorate the long relationship between Aston Martin and Bertone. This Rapide Bertone Jet 2+2 is based on the new Rapide S, so underneath it is familiar, but just take a few moments and digest the visual beauty of this stunning machine.




Spotted! Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Munich, Germany

I found this beautiful V12 Vantage was parked in front of a fancy hotel in Munich during my visit this summer. I have only seen a few of these, and I think this is the only one I’ve seen on the street. It is always a good thing when a company puts its biggest engine into its smallest car.

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2012 Scarsdale Concours d’ Elegance

We were in attendance for this year’s Concours d’ Elegance in Scarsdale, NY. This show is one of my favorites because the venue and time of year are just perfect for this sort of event. The Fall air is a bit crisp, the trees are turning all sorts of beautiful colors, the town is quite nice, and the cars are incredible. This is an overview gallery of the event, and certain cars will get their own features later on. Enjoy.

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2012 Lime Rock Historic Festival: Some shots from the paddock

We were in attendance for the Lime Rock Historic Festival earlier this month. It was actually my first time at Lime Rock, despite having lived in the Northeast US for my entire life. It is a fantastic facility with great views of the track all around. I have loads of photos from the weekend, but here are a few varied shots from around the paddock. More to come.   Continue reading 2012 Lime Rock Historic Festival: Some shots from the paddock