The most iconic car in Aston Martin history was born not in a James Bond laboratory but in the sleepy town of Newport Pagnell (population 15,000). Aston Martin introduced the DB5—a luxury sport coupe that cemented the carmaker’s reputation among billionaires—from its Aston Martin Works facility on Tickford Street, opened in 1955. Now the company is celebrating the famed factory’s diamond anniversary with six limited-edition versions of its modern-day luminary, the Vanquish.
Those ultra-tailored luxe vehicles are already spoken for, but the V12 Vanquish we drove still dripped grandeur. A knock on the exterior emits a resonance, as all body panels are crafted of aerospace-grade carbon fiber. Aggressive turns and accelerations are knife-edge events that will cut an ill-equipped novice deep but, with the proper respect, deliver a drive experience on par with almost anything currently designed by the Italians.
Although our ride wasn’t equipped with the limited editions’ many over-the-top accoutrements—such as control knobs fashioned from the pistons of former Astons—the stately cabin interior of the “ultimate convertible” was created with the artistic simplicity we expect from Aston Martin. The brand’s bespoke division (cheekily dubbed “Q”) offers a catalog of color and trim options, each smart enough to ensure that even the wildest pairings won’t make this cockpit garish. The lesson here: You can’t make this car look bad.
Engine: V12 | Horsepower: 568
Torque: 465 ft.-lbs. | Zero to 60: 3.8 sec.
MPG: 13 city/21 hwy. | Price: $305,820
For more luxury rides, check out the Playboy Garage video series.