In the market for a $50K compact car? It’s not a trick question. What if I told you it had an Aston Martin badge and trademark grille to match. Doing anything for you yet? I thought not. Much was the collective head scratch from auto enthusiasts and industry insiders alike when Aston Martin announced their shocking product
botch up link up with Toyota’s no frills microcar back in 2011. To be clear, the limited-production [about 4k units annually] Cygnet begins life as a Toyota IQ [branded as a Scion here in the states]. Modifications are entirely cosmetic and have been grafted onto the vehicle in a way that screams of afterthought. My favorite touch is the vented hood louvers, a crucial cooling element for Cygnet’s “massive” 1.3L 4-cylinder engine. Truth be told, the vehicle was introduced so Aston Martin could comply with the EU–imposed fleet average emissions regulations that took effect this year. Funny how a gaggle of Aston-branded Toyotas can offset all the horsepower the marque is know for putting out into the world each year. Consider it a testament to Toyota’s fuel economy prowess I guess.
Hitting every jackpot in the world would not result in a reasonable rationale for buying one of these monstrosities. Apparently the owner of this white on red example spotted on Piccadilly begs to differ. Go figure.
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We love spotting new product. Especially when it has an Aston Martin badge sitting pretty on the hood. Aston says the Rapide is the most elegant four-door sports car in the world and I’m not inclined to disagree with them. The 4-door super sedan is essentially a DB9 Coupe – V12 and all – that has been stretched to accommodate a set of leather-lined, hand finished rear passenger doors. The transition from coupe to sedan is the epitome of seamless and, from the side, you are hard pressed to even distinguish the lithe Rapide from its two-door DB9 sibling.
The owner must be on somebody’s A-list because the valet outside of the Fashion 26 Wyndham Hotel said the car had just 300 miles on the odo and was one of three to currently exist in the U.S. The license plate surround tells us this baby was purchased in Greenwich, at Miller Motor Cars, which is no shocker considering that the tri state area (NY-NJ-CT) represents the most, if not second or third most, important market area in the country for exotic vehicle manufacturers like Aston.
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There is obviously more than one way to protect yourself from the elements, but we’re not here to discuss disposable ponchos. Being that rainy days are about as British as Queen Mary and bad teeth, some talented blokes came up with a classy solution to all the rainfall a long time ago. Namely, keeping dry under the finest of materials. Of course, we’re talking about the Aston Martin DB4 Convertible and the Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrella. Both issued royal warrants for supplying the royal family and both were sported by the likes of 007.
The Aston Martin DB4 Convertible was unveiled in 1962 and is definitely among the sexier ways to keep the rain out. The lightweight, Superleggera body was designed by Milanese coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring. Leave it the Italians to design Britain’s sexiest car, and form the basis for all future Aston Martin classics. Beautiful and rare, just 70 convertible examples were known to have been built out of the roughly 1,110 DB4s produced.
You may not think you know Swaine Adeney Brigg, but perhaps the most famous hat in show business, the one worn by Indiana Jones throughout the film series, was crafted by the famed British company. Formed in 1943 when Swaine Adeney joined forces with Thomas Brigg and Sons, Swaine Adeney was origninally a maker of fine leather whips and later luggage. The company went on to specialize in the finest of walking sticks and umbrellas. The wide variety of hand woven silk cloth and luxurious handle materials makes them the choice of any true dandy.
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Our good pal Darren from TeamSpeed spotted this Hardly Green 4-door Aston Martin Rapide cruising East 61st Street one sunny afternoon last weekend. Yes, you read that correctly…a 4-door Aston Martin. I know what you’re thinking…since when does Aston Martin concern themselves with backseat passengers? It’s akin to a watering hole offering day care for patrons or a strip club with 401K plans for their employees. But, truth be told, Aston has actually built their fair share of sporting saloons over the years. The one you see here is actually a pre-production model, or prototype to sound more exciting, likely being used for VIP test drives and high end dealer salon shows. How do we know? Because the Rapide isn’t out yet. This probably explains the pissed off expression seen on the passenger’s face. But hey, you can’t drive around in something this sexy and not expect to be photographed. Look for the 470 HP Rapide to hit dealerships next month for about $200K.
Awesome find Darren!
None of the openers I was able to come up with quite topped that of Jay Shoemaker in his 2006 review in The Truth About Cars – “Walking up to the Aston Martin DB9, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to drive it or sleep with it.” The talented auto scribe could not have said it better because this near $200,000 drop top is some kind of design sorcerer for what it has accomplished with mere aluminum and sheet metal. Too bad for that scuffed wheel. I think we know a guy who can buff that out.
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One of our field snappers from the other side of the pond spotted this exotic Vanquish outside the Olde Bell Coaching Inn. We have heard of rich guys who buy expensive sports cars to compensate for smaller things but this owner has really raised the bar. Bravo
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