In June, I received news from my dealership that Aston Martin had finally decided that they would indeed make a V12 Vantage Roadster. It would be a limited run of only 101 units and they just started taking orders. With the V12 Roadster having been my ultimate, but sadly non-existant, dream car for about 3 years, it didn’t take me long to make my decision. In fact, within 15 minutes of receiving the news I had placed my order.
Fast forward five months and the production of my topless V12 Vantage has started.
And the best part: we got invited to watch it being created at the factory in Gaydon!
Last Tuesday, we (my wife and I) were expected at the factory at 2 PM. The plan was that we would witness “The Marriage”, that is, the joining of the engine and drive train with the body, an important moment in a car’s production. However, as they had already told us, the timing of the marriage is difficult to predict. So as we arrived in the Gaydon facility, the marriage was a few hours away and probably wouldn’t happen until next morning.
Still, we were given a tour of the facility by John Muirhead, AML’s Marketing Communications Manager. Normally, there’s no camera’s allowed on the factory floor. But I told John I’d love to take photos of my car being created and he allowed me to take pictures as long as I kept it limited to just photos of my own car. Thank you, John!
This was our fourth time at the factory, so we quickly zoomed in on the Vantage production line and found the body of my Cobalt Blue Roadster. Still completely empty, no dash, no seats, no wheels, but already very blue 🙂
Apparently, my car’s internal order number was #291140. So with that knowledge, we went looking for other parts belonging to “the blue one”. There was no sign of the seats yet, but we did find the dashboard, with the beautiful carbon fibre facia:
At the end of the tour, John asked if we would still be in the Gaydon area tomorrow and if so, whether we would like to come back the next day to maybe attend the marriage after all. Of course, we took that chance with both hands 🙂
The next day, we arrived at the factory at 9:30 AM, this time hoping to witness the big moment. But alas, there had been a delay in the production line, meaning that my car’s marriage wouldn’t be until after lunch. And we had to get to the Dover-Calais ferry around that time, for our trip back to Amsterdam.
However, it turned out to be a very exciting morning after all…
First, we found the body of my V12 Roadster, a few spots further down the line and now with the dashboard fitted. And close to it, the enormous V12 engine with the drive train.
The engineer who was working on the drive train asked if I wanted to help tighten some bolts. Of course! Anything to speed up delivery!
But the fun wasn’t over. My wife and I both got to sign our names on the drive train!
So cool… now we know for sure this car is going be with us forever 🙂
After the signing ceremonial, we went hunting the factory floor for more blue parts labeled #291140, helped by AML engineers. And we found em all. The front and rear bumper, the doors and the rear deck.
Then finally in the seats / stitching area, tucked away in box under the desk of a seamstress, we found the leather for my seats, with the stitched “V12 Vantage” logo already in place!
What an amazing day! My wife and I couldn’t stop smiling all the way back to Amsterdam.
Now we really can’t wait for delivery of our roaring roadster. Shouldn’t take too long now…
BTW: just received an email from John:
Your V12 Vantage Roadster is now almost at the end of the production line, so I will take some more pictures today of the car on its final stations. I will then send images either by Yousendit or on a memory stick next week.
The car looks fantastic – I will try to e-mail just one shot of it to you today when they have taken the protective covers off and you can see it finished.
So I will back with more pics soon!