I might have to use this photograph by Helen and Chelfyn Baxter as my ofﬁcial publicity pic. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage may be inferior to the Porsche 911 dynamically, as my quick drive out to Bethells Beach near Auckland revealed, but it turns heads like crazy. A few moments before this pic, tourists near where I am standing thought, ‘Bugger the Maori artefacts. Let’s look at this.’
The Aston shows that the brand and how it’s expressed are the heart-felt reasons for spending NZ$245,000 or £79,995 to buy one of these cars. The brand ideas have to include the whole James Bond mystique—which came about because Ian Fleming included a DB3 in the Goldﬁnger novel, and the car was updated for the ﬁlm—along with the underdog impression—how for most of its history, Aston Martin never made a penny. The car looks bonkers cool.
If it were logic alone, the 911 would be the better choice—more kit, more grip, better handling and better acceleration. All that was obvious without measuring it with scientiﬁc instruments, which won’t please Aston boss, Ulrich Bez, formerly of Porsche.
But I would still choose the Vantage, which did win Lucire’s Car to Be Seen in for 2006. The Henrik Fisker looks, the sexy styling, and even the fact that the admirers seem to be a better class than those who wound down their windows to compliment me on the 911 Carrera. There’s a quieter appreciation for a car that looks inﬁnitely better—and those looks seduce me enough to live with those slight inferiorities. Most importantly, the brand values of Aston ﬁt more with my admiration for the underdog; if it weren’t for them, those inferiorities would not be covered up quite so effectively. Posted by Jack Yan, 13:04
Update: Helen Baxter has written more about our day out west at her blog. Much more real than my brand-theorizing!Post a Comment
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Copyright ©200210 by Jack Yan & Associates. All rights reserved. Photograph of Jack Yan by Chelfyn Baxter.