Shaken, and stirred

Shaken, and stirred

Paul Martin, divisional director of Brewin Dolphin in Leeds, jumped at the chance to play Bond for the day and test drive an Aston Martin DB9

When the email arrived from BQ Magazine asking me if I would like to test drive an Aston Martin DB9 I was obliged to go through a mentally challenging thought process before responding. Did I really want to spend a couple of days in the company of what many have suggested is the coolest car in the entire world?

Did I really want to drive a true supercar that was going to be the focus of attention wherever it went?

Did I really want to fulfil a childhood ambition of emulating James Bond, even if I couldn’t have machine guns coming out of the front bumper and an ejection seat? In short the answer was ‘yes please ‘.

I collected the car from the very friendly team at JCT600 in Leeds and spent some time just admiring the view – the low profile, long hood and big rear fenders that resembled well defined muscles were a true portrait of elegance and strength.

The interior simply oozed quality and style. Bathed in leather and almost intoxicated by the smell of it, I pored over the various controls and switches which were all clearly laid out and easy to follow.

The tiny rear seats might be best thought of as parcel shelves but for this individual nothing could detract from the cabin (or fast jet cockpit as it was more akin to) and I felt like I was sat relaxing in my favourite armchair at home.

My addiction to the smell of the finest leather was temporarily forgotten via the growl and grumble of the engine starting and I couldn’t resist increasing the revs before feeling slightly embarrassed from the looks of passing drivers. Being stared at was something I was going to have to get used to.

The DB9 is a seriously impressive car to drive. On the roads and in traffic around Leeds the Aston drove just like my own BMW X6, nice and sensible but with no hint of the potential to propel me above 180mph.

I could quite easily use this car everyday purely from a driving perspective, I would though have to overcome the strange feeling of looking at my speedometer and where I was used to seeing the needle sitting at 30mph the Aston instead was nudging 80. That’s quite disorientating but of course it comes with the territory and I had nothing but a permanent grin on my face.

On the motorway the ride was smooth and you are almost guaranteed first class access to any lane should your right foot desire. Acceleration in the mid-range was effortless and almost graceful and the gentlest of nudges was all it needed. Out in the country on the roads of North Yorkshire was where the most fun was had.

The DB9 really came into its own on tight and twisty stretches, the rear tyres struggling for grip in the cold, damp conditions but never once giving any cause for concern.

It really was grand touring at its finest, hearing the glorious shriek of the V12 at high revs and the crackle and pop on deceleration into corners. Wow! In summary, the DB9 is one fine motor and it was with great reluctance that I shut down the engine for the last time.

I lost track of how long I just sat there and when I closed my eyes it was as if I had dreamed the whole thing - had I really just had the pleasure of the private company of one of the world’s best supercars?