A personal highlight of every trip to London is that nowhere else can one find such a healthy population of Aston Martins being used as daily drivers. There’s something quintessentially British about the rumble of a naturally aspirated V-12 cruising down Piccadilly. On this trip however I could not help but notice a significant drop-off in the number of Vantages and DB-9s on the road, a relative absence that was probably heightened by the publicity for premier of the new Bond film Skyfall. Has the bad economy made the Astons too expensive to drive, or are their owners keeping a low profile to avoid provoking the wrath of the UK’s Occupy types?
This brought to mind a related, though maybe inverse, impression I had before I went to London. I spent the previous Saturday at the Petit Le Mans here at Road Atlanta. The manufacturers’ displays are always a sight — Chevrolet has its 638 hp Corvette ZR-1 and Dodge has the 2013 640 hp SRT Viper. I suppose it’s heartening that the two U.S. car companies who were bailed out by the Obama administration are still building such non-politically correct fossil-fuel-guzzling beasts. Which makes Ford’s lack of a supercar so puzzling — it’s been five years since the GT went out of production. Why is the one non-government owned U.S. car company not in the game?