Archive for category Aston Martin Magazine
The World Of Modified Cars – A Brief History
Tracing the rise of the British modified car and associated cruise scene back to its roots has always been the source of much debate. Many would point back to the original vintage and classic car rallies of the 50′s and 60′s. Others make reference to the legendary Ace Cafe London to Brighton cruise, an event synonymous with classic motorcyclists. The notorious hot rod scene also argues a strong case, in fact many popular modifications derive from that era. It all depends how far you want to go back in time, perhaps to the point from which you hold the fondest memories. Everybody of course, has their own view.
Most of us however would agree that the birth of the modified car world as we know it today, truly began in the early eighties. Iconic car launches including the MK1 Golf GTi, the Escort RS Turbo, the Renault 5 GT Turbo and the Peugeot 205 GTi created a market of dedicated followers with a passion for performance cars that would last a lifetime.
In the late eighties and early nineties these cars were joined by a new raft of Japanese imports, fuelling demand and raising the profile of the scene even further. Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru sold the Civic, Supra, Skyline and Impreza in huge volumes, in many ways repairing some of the damage caused by years of lacklustre models and shoddy reliability. European manufacturers responded to the Japanese influx with a wave of iconic motors including the BMW M3 E36, the Peugeot 306 GTi-6, the Renault Clio Williams, the Vauxhall Calibra Turbo and the Volkswagen Corrado VR6. Thousands of former petrol heads look back at this era with affection, and good examples of such models still attract high prices. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re British, Aston Martin is pretty much the only supercar maker that hasn’t been gobbled up by an international conglomerate – even though it was a few years ago. You could say McLaren are viable for that title, but they only have the incredible MP4-12C in their model line-up, so for now, Aston wears the crown.
It’s not all rosy in the garden, though. Aston Martin has a problem, and rather oddly, it’s to do with its design principles. The majority of all manufacturers have a ‘design-face’, which effectively means all of the cars in their range look different but sort of the same. It helps consumers recognise the brand on the road and thus, theoretically, boosts sales. Aston does this, but to a whole new ridiculous level. There’s no denying the DB9 is one of the finest supercar designs ever made. When it was released in 2003, the world gasped and millions of hormonal teenage boys instantly forgot about Cheryl Cole and started looking at a new form of titillation – the DB9. It marked the first properly ‘new’ and ‘modern’ car from Aston, and absolutely nobody objected.
Then came then V8 Vantage; it looked as aggressive as a wart-hog, as fast as Linford Christie in slippers and as luxurious as Buckingham Palace – but more importantly, it looked pretty much the same as the DB9. We all let them off with that, though, as the V8 Vantage was considerably cheaper than its big GT brother, which meant the Aston-lifestyle could be bought into for 911 money.
So at this point everything is going swimmingly. We’re all having a blast; Aston’s making big profits, the cars look great and everyone’s pleased. And then in came the DBS. Don’t get it twisted, the DBS is probably one of the most sorted motors available right now, but the fact remains it just looks like a DB9 that’s been hanging around with too many steroid junkies. It’s beautiful, but it costs £170,000 and what do you get? A few more horses and some bonnet vents. Fan-bloody-tastic. Read the rest of this entry »