I’ve publicly said I think my Aston Martin is slow when compared to rivals of a similar price point and that when it’s presented with a long straight it can be lacking at times. However last week I dug through my coppers down the back of the sofa and bought some new shoes for the Vantage. The 21s were breaking my spine, robbing me of my soul and making me an overly grumpy bastard if I’m honest, so it was time to change. After finding a cheap set of forged V12 vantage wheels and winning them on eBay for a steal I set about ordering some rubber. Blackcircles had some deals on Goodyear Eagles which I’ve experimented with before and enjoyed. £556 later they were fitted and balanced resulting in a happy Sam.
I can’t put into words the transformation of this car thanks to the revised wheel and tyre setup. The car would crash into its stops on the Nitron coilovers almost constantly with little provocation. The wheels absorbed little to none of any impacts and passed them right through my coccyx. The “fitment” crowd will sob at my 40 section side profiles up front but my god I don’t care, the Vantage feels supple and light on its feet, less susceptible to cambers as well.
After weeks of deliberation it was settled that the Aston would take part in its first road-trip. I’ve always liked the idea of getting a sports car massively dirty and driving it very hard for as long as possible. I genuinely think I’ve found the perfect road for a V8 vantage. The B672 from Morcott to Caldecott is an exquisite piece of tarmac and even better when it’s a little bit wet. You’ve a multitude of tight second gear corners as you row through the gearbox then heel-toeing all the way down again. There’s crests and dips, cambers, slow corners, fast corners and straits long enough for the v8 to sing, yet not so long you’re wishing for more power. I really fell in love with the Aston this weekend it’s softer side made it compliant at speed which meant I could drive it harder and really enjoy the balance the chassis has to offer. She’s a porker at over 1600kgs but apart from a few moments breaking rear-end traction the car behaved faultlessly. Even after several “obligatory” runs along this route at pace.
I’m really proud of this little car, the boot swallowed our luggage,the engine only devoured a tank and half of fuel in just over 350 “brisk” miles and the Goodyear’s were confidence inspiring and comfortable. Overall it’s proven where the cars strengths are. Now it’s soft enough to handle a B-road and my word does the V8 absolutely roar in the upper Rev-range. You get a lot of very interesting looks from people that hear you coming a couple of miles away, I’ve put that down to seldom seeing as Aston getting a good spanking and revving out to deafen the local population. If photos are your thing then Harringworth viaduct is a beautiful spot, I never managed to take my foot out of it and stop but I’ll remember next time… probably.