ITH – Best of British – the Interview {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

29 Nov 2017

We’re a funny bunch, us Brits. We love to complain about the weather, be it too cold, too hot or too windy. We absolutely love to queue. We avoid confrontation or outwardly showing emotion at all times, save for extra loud ‘tutting’ if something displeases us. But somehow, with all that going on, we manage to produce some of the best automotive engineers in the world meaning few other countries can compete with us when it comes to making great cars. To choose our cars this week we asked David Bartlett, English Gent and Head of Business for the exceptionally British Aston Martin Mayfair dealership and he has come up with a cracking selection. He let us know why he chose them…

New Aston Martin Vantage

“Aston Martin have done it again. Beautiful, eye-catching and with heart pounding performance. A true driving machine set to shake up the sports car market.”

We fully expect the new Vantage to be incredibly popular for us here at BOTB, sure it may be more expensive that the outgoing model but it’s more powerful, looks incredible and has an amazing new interior with loads of Mercedes tech used. We know that the AMG-sourced twin turbo V8 is an incredible engine, so we just can’t wait to see how it drives.

TVR Griffith

(Image courtesy of Goodwood Road & Racing)

(Image courtesy of Goodwood Road & Racing)

“Great to see this famous British Brand reborn and hope the new Griffith proves worthy of its name and if looks are to go by, it certainly should.”

Couldn’t agree more with David here, we’ve been too long without a TVR on sale, so it’s fantastic to see the stunning new Griffith finally revealed. And what a car it should be with a naturally aspirated Cosworth tuned V8, a manual gearbox and side exit exhausts!

Range Rover Sport SVR

 “Amazing power for an SUV and they make a very popular British stablemate to a new Aston Martin!”

Once again, he’s not wrong! Just imagine the perfect two-car garage and the new Vantage sitting next to a RR Sport SVR is pretty much up there at the top of most people’s list. Admittedly you might need shares in Shell or BP, but they’re both luxurious, fast and sound great with fantastic handling.

Mini John Cooper Works

“Loads of power and nippy, the Mini is an icon and a great city car that also excels on back roads.”

We know that our players love hot hatches here at BOTB, and who can say no to a Mini with 228bhp? There are few cars that you can drive through a busy city with no fear, then blast down a twisty country lane making your pulse race all while looking stylish and sporty – the Mini JCW is in a class of its own.

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We are speaking to David 24 hours after one of the most momentous days in Aston Martins history the launch of the new Vantage.

As someone who has worked for the Aston Martin brand for nearly a quarter of a century, its clear David is already head over heels in love with the all new Vantage.

“It’s absolutely stunning,” he says. Even though we’re talking on the phone, it’s clear he’s beaming from ear to ear. “The car itself has delivered everything I expected, it has a purposeful design which is intense and beautiful”

Our window to chat is short because the launch has already had a huge impact on activity at the flagship Park Lane dealership.

“The phones haven’t stopped ringing in the last 24 hours and it’s a real mix of people – existing Vantage customers who want to come into the new era of Aston Martin, as well as those new to the brand who just think the latest Vantage is a thing of beauty.”

In many respects, no one is better placed than David to talk about how the brand keeps refreshing itself.

“There have been some ups and downs during my time with Aston Martin,” he ponders, “but the company is always striving to move forward. It’s definitely accelerating now with the addition of the new Vantage to the new era model range.”

BOTB has got to know David pretty well over the last few years as the majority of our Aston Martin winners have picked up their cars from Park Lane.

“Handing over the keys to the BOTB winners is particularly special,” he says. “Most of them may have dreamt that one day they’d get their hands on an Aston Martin so to see that dream come to life is pretty amazing.

“Obviously the surroundings here are incredibly luxurious and the winners are still in shock to some degree when they walk through the door. It’s a surreal experience no doubt but seeing them drive off in their new car with a huge smile on their face is brilliant.”

As for David’s favourite car, he answers in an instant.

“When we launched the V12 Vantage that was a car that made me smile,” he remembers.

“It was exhilarating to drive and while the Vanquish S is our flagship car, the more compact V12 Vantage is the one for me.”

We quickly gloss over the fact that he drives a 3-series BMW diesel – “people definitely hear me coming in that” he laughs – and get onto the topic of motorbikes.

“I passed my driving test at 18 but I’d already been driving bikes for two years. In those days it was a necessity – riding in wind and rain and whatever else the weather threw at you. Now I just ride for pleasure and love touring round Europe.”

As you’d expect of someone who works for Aston Martin, David is loyal to British brands.

“My main bike is a Triumph Tiger 800. I lowered the cc from my last bike because I didn’t need an all out sports model. I much prefer to take my time riding around, which is why I love the open roads of France and Spain. I certainly don’t take my bike into the centre of London anymore!”

 

 

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