A Visit to Aston Martin

When Aston Martin is mentioned, what thoughts enter your mind? For me; James Bond, British, Luxury but also, a car brand which has changed ownership many times and perhaps lost its way a little? Its competitors; McLaren, Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini amongst others seem to have a ‘cleaner’ history and a clearer direction. These are my thoughts, and late last month I was invited to Aston Martin’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire to confirm or reject this theory.


As you might expect- the HQ is modern, stylish and seemingly cutting edge. Walk through the front door and you’re greeted by the Aston Martin Vulcan; a two-door, two-seater, V12 high-performance lightweight track-only limited edition car. Not quite the grand-tourer I was expecting to find in the lobby presentation bay, but equally impressive and ludicrously handsome.


We were given an introduction into Aston Martin; it’s history, the brand and its goals for the future. And afterwards; a tour of the factory. To be honest- this is a typical experience for Ape to Gentleman, this alongside a drive in a car, which in this instance was a DB11- a car designed to look like a shark according to Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer. Albeit a shark loaded with a 5.2L, V12 engine capable of 0-62s in 3.9s and 200mph, and a soundtrack which you can’t help but lust for.


Despite most of the visit being as expected, I was staggered by the attention to detail at Aston Martin- everything is either handmade or hand pieced together, and crafted using only the best materials. The options available are pretty much endless, they offer a truly bespoke service- each car is hand-painted to order for instance. I also learned that Aston Martin in fact haven’t lost its way- they very much know where they’re heading- sports cars with luxury and comfort as standard, a uniquely customisable experience for each customer, and after driving a DB11- a truly emotive automotive experience. But beyond all that- it’s a brand that not only delivers the ‘basics’ but also an emotional feeling or connection like no other car brand can.


It’s a brand which has earned its stripes- founded in 1913, driven by Sean Connery, admired by many, owned by few, and today is the embodiment of what it means to be Made in England. It’s a British flag-bearer and a brand which Britain should be proud of, much like the Italians are of Ferrari or the Germans are of Porsche. This is Aston Martin.


Chris Beastall

Chris is the Founder and Editor of Ape to Gentleman. His interests lie in men's style, male grooming and leading a better lifestyle - through minimalist, basic and clean design.