Crystal amazing

Crystal amazing

From starting to sumptuous finish, the Aston Martin DB9 is a class apart, writes Bob Aurora. But best find out first where the fuel goes.

ne9 main2As the chef and owner of the busy Sachins Restaurant on Forth Banks, Newcastle, my team and I are currently working on a range of dishes to add to our menu and, as you can expect, getting the spices and flavours right is a lengthy process. We are also supplying the food hall at the department store Fenwick with our dishes and I am pleased to say they are keeping us very busy.

We have also just started outside catering; we are aiming not only at Indian weddings but also at events looking to cater for anything from 50 to 1,000 guests, so as you can see, we have our hands well and truly full! So, when I got the call from BQ to drive the Aston Martin DB9, all of the above were put on hold as this was way too good an opportunity to miss.

Being a car nut, this was music to my ears. The car I drove was British Racing Green and not normally a colour I would choose, but with its cream leather interior it looked incredible. The exterior has a real aggressive and sporty look which is accentuated by the silver grill and mesh on the sides and on top of the bonnet.

The door handles, however, left most passengers wondering how they actually opened.

The interior is dominated by excellent quality leather and a great piece of polished wood in the middle of the dash.

The dials look like the face of a Bell & Ross watch, and the rev counter moves in the opposite direction to the speedometer, which was very quirky. Ignition is by using a fabulous looking crystal key.

Be aware though that if you drop the key and it smashes, it’s going to cost at least £800 to replace, so think twice before you throw them on the hall table when you get home. Starting the car is a real pleasure as it just sounds fantastic; the engine has a really meaty warble, and the exhaust valves open up at4000rpm making it sound amazing.

To free up the centre console the DB9’s handbrake is next to the driver’s seat - which makes handbrake turns very easy to perform (only joking Stratstone).

The DB9 is a big car and the parking sensors are necessary if you want to avoid expensive parking scrapes. One word of advice for potential drivers, however; if you buy or test drive a DB9, get the sales people to show you where the fuel cap release button is.

While I had the car, it invariably needed petrol and I assumed the cap would be on the driver’s side, but to my embarrassment it was on the passenger side. To make matters worse, I tried to open the petrol cap from the outside and as a filling station queue formed, I frantically searched the car trying to find the release button.

Admitting defeat, I had to read a manual for the first time in all my driving life. The DB9 is one of the most beautiful looking cars available today; it would not look out of place in the South of France or cruising around our magnificent cities.

It’s certainly a head turner.

The Aston Martin DB9 driven by Bob Aurora is priced £109,000 and was provided by Stratstone Aston Martin Tyne & Wear, Stoneygate, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne & Wear, DH4 4NJ, tel 0191 512 3512, email paul.thursby@stratstone.com Pre-owned models are available from £50,000.