On Wednesday 8 March members of the Club visited Aston Martin at its Gaydon headquarters. The tour is always a firm favourite and judging by the huge grins and beaming smiles, this visit was no exception, with one member referring to it as ‘a thrill to the senses’.
Guests were treated to a behind-the-scenes factory tour providing a fascinating insight into the production of Aston Martin cars, but a real highlight of the event was the opportunity to drive its latest production models, including the Vantage S, Rapide S and the most powerful DB production model in its history – the DB11.
There was an air of excitement that greeted the member’s arrival, as just the day before Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing revealed the name of their ground-breaking hypercar at the Geneva Motor Show – the ‘Valkyrie’, which will feature a bespoke 6.5 Litre V12 Cosworth engine and hybrid system. Only 150 models will be created at Gaydon, which have been pre-sold at an estimated 2 million pounds each, with first deliveries rolling off the production line in 2019.
The informative tour was led by Nick Duckworth and started with a brisk walk down an avenue of historic cars showcasing the history of Aston Martin through the decades. From the first car built in 1923 under the Aston Martin name to the yellow Aston Martin DBS that Roger Moore drove in the hit 1970s action adventure show, The Persuaders. The factory tour led visitors through the trim shop, machinists, paint shop, through to the final assembly line where the marriage of the powertrain joined the chassis, and finished up along the inspection and quality assessment area, where once ‘signed off’ were ready for delivery. Nick explained in marvellous detail the length of time that each section took in its build process, making members fully appreciate the quality of the craftsmanship. It’s no wonder that Aston Martin is the most revered name in the international luxury car industry.