Step away from my new car, lol! : )
A D A Y I N N E W P O R T — Two Aston Martins and a Lotus were parked in front of Grenon's of Newport Saturday, August 28th, for an annual ensemble show and sale in conjunction with Aston Martin-Lotus of New England, Waltham, MA. The black Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster, above, called to me clearly as the din of the busy street and pedestrian traffic faded away... Take me home, take me home. If only!
I traveled to Newport with three girlfriends for the "by invitation" shindig this past Saturday. I ventured into the jewelry store long enough to sample a delicious canapé, sip a glass of champagne, and realize the gals were totally in their element, so while they picked out their new baubles I mainly hung around outside with the cars. Of course!
The New England dealer brought a black-as-metallic-coal Aston V8 Vantage roadster, an equally dark and elegantly sinister DB9 coupe, and a brand-new-to-the-USA bright red Lotus Evora. I must have looked all right, the girls insisted I wear long pants, and the very cool salesman unlocked the DB9 for me, opened the hood, explained the dry-sump system, and gave me not only a copy of the summer issue of Aston Martin Magazine, but a hard cover book of the V8 Vantage—in it's own fitted white box! If he only knew the pants were rented, lol. I kid, I kid... To read more about the magazine, or book, click the embedded links. A big thanks to all involved.
To see my own artandcolour version of the V8 Vantage click here, or to see my DBS Shooting Brake, click here.
The henna-colored leather interior of the 'base model' V8 Vantage roadster, starting price $132,000, but there wasn't any sort of tacky price stickers on the cars. "If you have to ask the price..."
The just-introduced-in-the-USA, Lotus Evora. I have to admit it was better looking in person than I thought it would be, although I'm not sure that any inanimate object would look its best next to a current model Aston! The Evora, and Lotuses in general, are among the best-handling cars for sale anywhere in the world, bar none. Discerning buyers, those that would be drawn to a Lotus in the first place, already understand Lotus's stature in the world, so perhaps being parked next to an Aston isn't a bad thing for the storied British marque. Rumored to be priced in the neighborhood of $75,000, no real Lotus buyer is going to expect the gentleman's club ambiance of a modern Aston Martin interior in the lithe mid-engined Evora anyway. I didn't get a chance to look under the rear hatch to see the engine, but I'd assume all the Toyota-embossed engine parts are out of sight...
The aluminum-intensive interior of the Evora. While the aroma of Aston's hand-worked leather literally wafted out of them onto the sidewalk, the Lotus is much simpler and more business-like in its accoutrements, and for its customers, probably all the better for it. While the late Colin Chapman might not recognize the latest car to wear his celebrated Lotus badge, his credo, "Simplify and Add Lightness" was still very much in evidence in this Evora, even with all of the 21st century safety and convenience items present and accounted for.
The metallic black DB9 coupe. Elegance and Beauty. Period.
I didn't even notice the mint, Continental kit-equipped '59 Impala cruising by in the background until I downloaded the photos this morning! Can't say that has ever happened to this vintage automobile obsessed writer before!
I can't adequately describe the heady aroma of hand-picked leathers used in this DB9 interior. The matte-finished wood used on the doors and the dash was stunning as well.
A piece of art. I could hang this door on a wall. While the car is quite low, the door's unique "swan-wing" hinges move the doors upward and outward ever-so-slightly as they swing open, to clear curbs.
The V8 Vantage's engine. Sculpture and power galore. The 420hp engine is mounted behind the centerline of the front wheels, for a front mid-engined layout, resulting in better weight distribution and outstanding handling. The lightweight strut-tower brace ensures flatter cornering and reduces chassis and body flex.
The aluminum filler for the dry sump oiling system. I'm not terribly mechanical, but I know a dry-sump system allows for a lower engine and a lower center of gravity, both important in über performance cars like this Aston.
A quaint Old-Worlde touch. Aston Martins have always had an engine 'signed' by the elite worker that built it for the car, but now there is an 'inspected by' aluminum signature underhood.
And now for the smaller, wearable jewels!
One of my friends trying on Hidalgo stackable rings to add to her collection inside Grenon's of Newport. Grenon's has been open since 2000, and is a certified retailer of upscale brands too numerous to mention. Offering individual service, attention-to-detail, and, on occasion, Champagne and canapés, the ambience was relaxed and elegant. It was a fun day for all, inside and out, with beautiful jewelry and beautiful cars to peruse and, perhaps, to purchase.