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Ad-Vantage to Aston Martin Cambridge - or is it merely Academic?

2018 Aston Martin Vantage

2018 Aston Martin Vantage

2017 Aston Martin AM Vantage GTE

2017 Aston Martin AM Vantage GTE


Yes, this scholarly county town established its university 283 years before Christopher Columbus discovered America, but the eight centuries of Cambridge being an educational magnet for many of the world’s sharpest minds, is by no means the only element of success to which this picturesque English city can lay claim. Pioneering in the research and commercial fields of science, technology and medicine, Cambridge is truly prospering in terms of industrial investment, highly skilled manufacturing jobs and wealth creation.

And, on the back of that, of course, top tier professional people and successful entrepreneurs often like to own luxury and high performance cars. Logic suggests, and it shouldn’t require a stroke of genius (or a Cambridge degree) to conclude, that the Aston Martin dealership located nearby - ideally positioned on the road to London - would be selling an awful lot of cars every month, right across the range. 

© 2018, Classique Car Conduits

Therefore, when it wants to launch a new model costing a minimum of £120,900 (c.$150k) to its existing and potential customer base, it needs a bit of space, to say the least. Where better, then, to accommodate well over 400 people, than a magnificent museum of aviation history, especially when IWM Duxford is only about 10 minutes away.

The new Aston Martin Vantage ticks a great many desirable boxes in terms of motoring benchmark statistics; such as exceeding 500 bhp and 500 lbs/ft of torque. As a consequence, it will reach 100kph (zero to 62mph) in 3.6 seconds, shifting through its semi-automatic 8-speed gearbox on the way up to 195mph, and takes many styling cues from James Bond’s DB10, as showcased in the film 'Spectre’. Low, wide and aggressive in stance, corporate Aston Martin themselves describe it as ‘the archetypal hunter’, ‘raw and instinctive’ and ‘a born predator’. Certainly the sight of the shark-like nose and menacingly slim LED lights looming large in your rear view mirror will inspire you to let it pass immediately, lest the huge dark expanse of its radiator mouth, below, swallows you and your little shopping car whole. 

No doubt a sigh of relief as the four litre, twin-turbo, AMG produced, V8 propels it towards the horizon ahead of you, and the equally dark matrix of carbon fibre rear diffusers is the final fleeting vision you remember. However, as only one static example was unveiled for the large appreciative audience - dramatic and vivid in red, as it was - clear profile photographic shots and close examination opportunities were at a premium. So, joining the party were a range of the Vantage’s moderately older - or in some cases, venerably older - siblings and cousins.

They comprised various Gaydon era sports cars, of which the majority of guests were already owners, but also a few hand-built favourites from Newport Pagnell. A rare V8 Zagato from the mid ‘80s, together with a fine traditional V8 Vantage, an immaculate DB6 and a striking DBS in primrose yellow that garnered particular interest. 

Also on stage, but slightly in the wings, was the equally brand new DB11 Volante, a silver example of this open-topped Aston being a shade less extravagant than the star of the show. But in contrast, wanting to rip the flesh and bite the heads off anyone who approached, was the sixteenth of just two dozen extant Aston Martin Vulcans, kept docile by almost total darkness and amongst the only machines more powerful - jet fighters and heavy bombers - in the museum’s vast main hanger.

What a privilege, then, on what otherwise would have been merely a cold and wet winter’s evening in January, to be surrounded by both automotive and aeronautical excellence, on such an imposing scale.

By Classique Car Conduits