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Aston Martin AMV8 Experience 

No - not a review! Our November competition was a little special - the chance to drive a Formula One race car, or have the use of an Aston Martin AMV8 for the weekend. Our winner, member 'Terfyn' chose the AMV8 - an experience he could share with his family. I asked whether he'd take a few pictures that we could post here - he went one better and wrote up the whole experience for us.
Castell Deudraeth - Portmeirion Morfa Bychan - Gwynedd
Llyn Gwynant
Morfa Bychan - Gwynedd Wow! Can we have one?
Click image to enlarge!

Please do click on the pictures to see them more clearly - they are worth it!

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The Aston Martin Experience started at 4.30 Friday afternoon as we watched the AMV8, on its trailer, shoot past as the driver sought the exact centre of our postcode using his SatNav. A phone call and five minutes saw the wonder car arrive outside.

The car unloaded, the driver, a very friendly, cheerful and knowledgeable young chap, explained the intricacies of starting the engine (clutch down and wait for the red light) and the fly off hand brake (pull lever up, press button, let fly). He then cleared the paperwork, warned that any threat to steal the car should not be challenged for my own safety, as the car is fitted with the latest tracker, and set off home.

Our first drive took us to Porthmadog and a petrol station. The first surprise was the way the car handled our country roads, not a hint of contrariness, the huge engine bumbled along without a sign of misfire and we cleared the humps without "bottoming" once. (memories of my old TVR having its exhaust polished by the central grass strip!) We returned home via Criccieth.

On Saturday, my son drove from Manchester and we took the Aston on a trip around the shores and mountains. First stop was Portmeirion for a photo shoot and then into the mountains, stopping for photos at Llyn Gwynant, and then down the pass to Llanberis. The car just ignored the steep hills and slipped round the tight bends as if on rails. Only the narrowness of the road and the rocks sticking out of the walls required tight concentration and a steady right foot. Back home, we took more photos, mainly of my granddaughter sitting in the driver's seat.

Morfa Bychan - Gwynedd
click to enlarge

On Sunday I visited our neighbours and took the two lads for rides in the car. Ellis asked if I had been over 100 mph - not that easy on these local roads! The farming community were more impressed when I mentioned that David Brown used to make tractors.

Monday was a quiet day for the Aston. We took it shopping and then for a final run round. At the agreed time the 4x4 and its trailer reappeared. The Aston was loaded up and we watched it disappear down the road - a bittersweet moment.

These seats are just right!
click to enlarge

The end of a fantastic experience. The Aston is a beautiful car and the quality of the engineering shone through. I felt rather nostalgic as I was not sure whether I was driving what would soon become a piece of history. The chance to use the full potential of this fabulous car gets less for every year that passes, traffic levels, speed restrictions (60 on any decent road round here) and the increasing price of fuel could soon relegate the Aston Martin to a museum.

I enjoyed every moment, even the three trips to the petrol station, the car drives perfectly on narrow lane or A Road and never gave cause for concern. (This may be due to the Traction Control being locked ON by the owners!!!!!) The driving position was ideal and the response to the controls, especially the steering and the brakes, gave great confidence. My only niggle was that the seat was a little narrow for my ample shape!

My grateful thanks to Gadgetspeak for a truly memorable weekend.

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Editor : For those of you with deep pockets that like the idea of an Aston Martin for the weekend, the car was provided by "The Aston Experience" - they were a very helpful bunch! We're also very grateful to Nero who sponsored this competition and did all the organisation as part of the launch of Nero 8.

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