Aston Martin's Flagship $280,000 Vanquish

By Jason H. Harper - 2013-05-17T09:10:02Z

Photograph by Aston Martin via Bloomberg

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Dream for Innocents

I pull a white Aston Martin Vantage S roadster out of a Manhattan garage and the rumble of the V-8 reverberates, vibrant and animalistic, down the crowded street.

I get less than a block before a woman leans out of her SUV and asks, “Is it a six speed?” I tell her it is. She sighs expressively. “Good. A car like that should have a stick shift.”

Two more conversations ensue before I can escape to the highway. People like Aston Martins.

This year marks the brand’s 100th anniversary. It began life in 1913 as Bamford & Martin Ltd., and has endured a steady turnover of owners, including an oil companyFord Motor Co. (F) and a group of Kuwait-based investors.

Left, Aston Martin's Vantage V-8 Is a Dream for Innocents.