Figuratively speaking, an Aston Martin can leave most men weak in the knees. Driving one for the first time has as much impact as being bombarded by a smart cluster bomb in the Korengal valley in Afghanistan – only you’ll probably survive to tell an awesome tale. I figured that Bharat Aggarwal, a 26-year old business tycoon, is now a veteran of such a barrage. His 2008 meteorite grey example, probably the oldest V8 Vantage in the country, sounded like I was revisiting a slightly de-tuned, but no less virile copy of the Gulf Oil liveried Aston Martin DBR9s that visited Mumbai a few years ago.
In essence, I could see why someone like David Richards would want to pick up a brand like Aston Martin – and my knees hadn’t stopped playing ping-pong. Admittedly, this was my First. Real. Time. behind the wheel of an Aston Martin, so some exaggeration is, well,anticipated and therefore forgiven (humour me, please). Also, forgive Bharat and me... okay, mostly Bharat, for having bought a 4.3-litre V8 Vantage and not the current production 4.7 motor. But then it doesn’t take away from the fact fact that it is an Aston Martin, the sum total of which means there were, as of December 2010, no more than half a dozen examples of the winged logo resting on Gaydon’s finest in the country.
But since the calendar turned a new page, more cars have been quietly finding their way into the homes of the rich and famous across the country. Yes, Aston Martin is officially in India, through two dealers (Delhi and Mumbai) and they have big plans when their showrooms open in April – but more on that later when I’m done telling you about the Vantage. Shall we proceed?