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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In Echo to Hythe's thread : "I'm going to be Alpina-less", I wanted to share some of my feelings and good news with this community.

First of all, I fully understand Hythe in his choice. Nowadays, better go for a pragmatic car for daily commuting, and keep the money for something really exciting for sundays and eventually track days. When I say this, I rather think to yougtimer cars from the 70'-80's. Whatever the personal tastes, these cars offer more value for money than buying any new sportscar from the dealer, IMHO.

About Alpinas, I realize I bought my B3S as new, already in 2001 (ordered). Time flies. At that time I was an absolute Alpina freak, and frankly I went for the B3S just because I coudn't afford the B10 V8, which was my first choice.

In +6 years, many things changed. I became a 40ager, my family grew up (in size of children), the traffic is becoming worse and worse, and last but not least, the citizen's attitude towards fast cars and automobiles in general has known an evolution which was totally unthinkable upfront.

The Alpinas have also evolved, for the good and the bad. They offer now exclusive Diesel cars to a larger audience, which is good. I will however always regret that their modern petrol fast cars do not anymore offer the technical refinement and subtleness that we used to know in the old days with the B8, B10 BT, B7 turbo and so on. Even an B10 V8S is for me an absolute special car, for its so-well balanced V8, its switch tronic, and its special Brembo brakes. The B5 was a deception for me. I just cannot have fun with a car whose maximum engine rotation is limited to 6000 rpm. Yes it's super fast, yes the power is devastating, yes it's an incredible car for long journey. But so is a 535D. The fun is quickly over, after the surprise and the novelty effects are over. Then you will stay with a car which is depreciating as an ...Alpina. My test of the latest B3 biturbo did not reconcile me with my most admired manufacturer. I dare to say it was worst. Super fast, rather boring. Very similar to an Audi RS6, some years ago, before Audi decided to make its cars more funny.


In terms of new cars, the most exciting, mind blowing, noise effective car I tested last year was an AMG ML 63. Absolute summum of sensations, accelerating like a porsche with the sound of a Messerschmitt airplane, sitting on top of other cars, was an exhilarating experience.

But the depreciation, the mileage, the other people's opinion on such a car, made that I decided it was not for me.

And now ? I still have my 2 old Alpinas, the B7 Turbo and the B10 Biturbo.
I use the B7 Turbo on Sundays, and for some Events (oldtimers rallys, exhibitions,...) where it knows a decent success.

The B10 biturbo is undergoing a body work to bring it at the "collector" level to which she pertains. However this is a car for lovers like me, not for daily drive. Your driving licence would be over in no time.

My daily car is, since 1,5 years, a mercedes ML 320 Cdi. Good car, confortable, quiet, excellent mileage.

As I said in the beginning of this post (what an introduction!), I'm a strong believer in yougtimers of the 70-80's . Therefore my choice for a new toy, has finally turned to an ...Aston Martin V8 Vantage, of 1980, which was my ustmost dream when I was a teenager, and was totally out of reach for me even 5 years ago. It took me lots of time (3 years) and energy to find the right model for me, but I'm confident this is the one. I bought it in London, last month, to be delivered next week at home.
This is not a forum on Astons, therefore , if interested, I refer to this link:
http://www.blenheimgang.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=769&st=60


I will certainly keep my B7 Turbo, as a milestone of another period of my life.
The B10 BT will or will not go, but it's more questionable. I would however be surprised to still own it in one year from now, as I don't have the time to drive with all these cars.

And Best wishes for 2008 to all of you.
 

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You have such great taste in cars, and you have an ML??

Cheers mate, agree with the rest :thumbsup:
 

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Ooooh, nice Aston...

How does he drive?

My future car plans definitely involve an old V8 Aston at some point, but as I've grown older I'm coming to the conclusion that it'd either be a PoW or a PoW spec V8 Volante (or possibly Saloon) with the 7 litre EFI RM Williams motor! I'd love to have one for cruising around in the US, as it would suit the roads and weather there so well, but the US spec cars all had such ghastly bumpers and strangled engines, I think I'd import a left-hooker from Europe or the Middle-East.

Are you any good at tuning carbs? You might just need to be, with a Vantage! :)

What was your experience with Nicholas Mee? They seem to have a good rep.
 

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Superb write up Sherlock, I must be getting old, cause I fully agree with you .... And with the Aston also (might sell the B8 and get one, as everytime I use the B8, I get stopped!)
 

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The Aston is fantastic value for money nowadays...but it is more like a fast truck in terms of weight I think. It is something totally different to the Alpinas-but I think keeping the B7 and owning an Aston is very reasonable....hope you get a fine Example of this british classic, spare parts must be very expensive...well compared to the biturbo they should be ok...:haha:
 

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I can relate to the sentiment and agree with what you say up to a point. However, my main interest lies with Alpinas in the E30-39 bracket rather than the earlier models. I might change my mind if I had access to a B7 turbo but my feelings on the newer models echo many people on this thread.

I haven't driven a B5. I'v sat in one in the hope I would be tempted but I didn't feel the urge to ask for a test drive. I was left wondering what car I will be driving in 10 years time - I guess it will still be my B10 V8 :hihi:.

Perhaps the E32 will become my daily driver when it returns from the bodyshop. It has 200k miles and I'd like to take it to 300k just for the hell of it. It will cost more to run than a D3 but the lack of depreciation will make up for that. I'll probably buy an E46 B3 Touring as well at some point because my spaniel is missing my previous E36 B62.8 Touring. He doesn't get access to the B10!.

The BT and B8 are great for sunny Fridays and shows. There's still an empty space alongside them where an E31 B12 will sit when I can find the right one.

I have a concern that Alpina will become more like AMG in the future rather than the bespoke automobile manufacturer that they proudly boast about. That will be a shame but I understand the reasoning behind it. Many people compare Alpinas to //Ms and AMGs. For me they were closer to Bentleys and Astons for their heritage and exclusivity. I can understand anyone who 'trades up' to one of these. Having said that, Astons are now heavily diluted and the Jag is said to be a better car. That leaves the Bentley, with all the negative connotations that go with it.

By time this becomes a problem for me, the greeniees will probably rule the world and I will have been executed for owning / driving two 4.6 V8s in any case. In the meantime, I'll enjoy looking after the ones I've got. hiha
 

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Looks stunning lovelove, I have very fond memories of my DB6, still it gave me the deposit for my first house :)
 

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Heavens to Murgatroid Sherlock! That is one beautiful car!!! I have to say that old school charm turns my jollies far more than new school metal. Congrats!

How does the car feel under normal driving and under hard driving? Does it have sufficient power to weight ratio? For example, the BiTurbo is about 10 lbs per HP. What is this Aston like?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How does the car feel under normal driving and under hard driving? Does it have sufficient power to weight ratio? For example, the BiTurbo is about 10 lbs per HP. What is this Aston like?
Had not the chance yet to drive under hard conditions.
The weight is 1850 kgs for 380 HP and 550 NM , compared to 360 HP / 520 NM and 1680 kgs for the B10. SO weight / HP ratio is comparable (4,8 - 4,6).
But the cars deliver the power in a very different manner.
The Aston is very spectacular (as from the engine start, with a fantastic noise) , lets you feel you drive a very big and massive GT. Accelerating creates lots of adrenalin, because you see this huge engine hood in front of you raising up, and the car pushing you in the back with a very deep roar. Altough, the steering is not very precise at higher speeds, the gearbox may appear slow or gears difficult to change quickly, and vibrations appear as of 100 mph, incitating you not to try the top speed. Of course, this is a 28 years old car, with more than 100,000 miles in total. Still, I remember the journalist Paul Frere, in his test of the B10, compred the gearboxes (both ZF's) finding the Aston's one very heavy and slow compared to the perfection of the B10.
Indeed, it's even more obvious, coming from the Aston, that the B10 is really, really a perfectly well rounded car. Not such an inspiring presence, no big show, but the manner the power is delivered, without ANY drama, with razor's edge gearbox changes, continuous power delivery without interruption and way beyond 6000 rpm, with no vibration at all, even at high speeds, with suspensions who will not betray you, brakes by far more efficient than on the Aston, and a steering which is, if not perfect (some lag noticed on my B10, but it gets a complete new steering box these days) , is much more precise than on the Aston. The B10 seems "planted" on the road, and if you want to drive hard, plant you foot and it just goes. Nothing else happens than insane speed. On the Aston, first you need constantly to correct the direction with the steering wheel, and when you want to drive fast, prepare yourself. You'd better be twice as cautious with the gearbox , not to fail with a shift, coordinate with your left foot for the very heaby clutch, who won't forgive you any centimeter too short ("too bad you missed the gear shift, here is a horrible sound from the gearbox to warn you" ) keep an eye on the road, disregard strange vibrations coming from transmission or the body itself, looking at your oil gauge (temperature climbs rapidly when the engine is tickled), and put your Quies earballs because the engine sound, although fantastic, behave sometimes like an uninvited host.
Last point on the interior: the B10 is just functional. German perfection. Not sexy. The Aston is as appealing as a woman (more? :)). The finest leather is ALL over everything, when it is not wood "ronce de noyer" (don't know the word in english) , or the deep , profound wool Wilton carpets. The Aston wants you to caress her everywhere (dashboard, roof are in leather as well) before you can start using it. The carpets are an invitation to drive with naked feets. The smell of this interior is absolutely fantastic. This leather smell, combined with the fuel and oil fragrances, are one of the best aphrodisiacs I know. Ever.
The B10, I think I don't need to describe you ...


Conclusion:
the Aston is a unique testosterone and adrenaline pumping machine. Look, feel and sound are beyond everything else that exist, according to me. That's why I bought it. It has been the car of my dreams for more than 20 years, and I'm not disappointed at all.

The B10 is a perfection come true, as a fast, fast, fast driving machine. But you need to realize what she does for you to get impressed, because, in absence of any drama, she is not impressive, in a direct, immediate manner. The fanstatic character of this car is only an indirect conclusion that you have to elaborate in your mind. Others can not see, feel or hear it. In this perspective, the B10 Biturbo is a much more subtle, and sophisticated car than the Aston. I love it as well.
 

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Thanks for the write-up, Sherlock. Very interesting!

Your Vantage looks so nice. I have always liked them, very aggressive but still really classylovelove
 

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Sherlock,

You have very, very good taste when it comes to cars. :biggrinbounce:Must be one the coolest garages around. You have inspired to look for an old Aston Martin Lagonda, same type as you have (But I will never sell the B10 BT). Can you say anything about the market for the kind of cars you just bought? Typical prices etc?

Best regards,

M.A.
 

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Nice pics, and a beautiful car, Sherlock!
 

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I keep coming back to this thread...

Such a lovely car, the big Aston. A proper gentleman's hot-rod, too.

Sherlock, yours is a V580BBS with the Ronal wheels added later, right? Any reason why you didn't go for a V580X, other than the additional cost? Have to say, the condition of your car looks fabulous.

Not that I'm a closet fan of old Astons, but your post has got me mentally measuring up the garage to see if one would fit... :)

Maybe in a couple of years, when the house renovations are complete and the cashflow frees up. Funnily enough, with the changes we've made to the front of our house (£60-70k on a reclaimed granite driveway, new front wall with railings, new gates and lots of new plants & trees), our interior designer said the other day that we're going to need a supercar to park out front - good news, since my wife listens to him!

But coming back to Sherlock's original point with all of this - he's right, modern cars are great for commuting with no hassle and all mod-cons, but where's the emotion, the romance, the hormones - even with our beloved Alpinas? The last Alpina with a real soul was probably built a decade ago, sadly... No wonder Burkhard drives a B8 4.6 and a vintage Rolls-Royce.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I keep coming back to this thread...

Sherlock, yours is a V580BBS with the Ronal wheels added later, right? Any reason why you didn't go for a V580X, other than the additional cost? Have to say, the condition of your car looks fabulous.
It's the very first V580, not yet BBS. BBS have been added at some point, and Ronal are new, as they were my negociation point with Nick Mee.
One expert on the AMOC forum draw my attention on the fact that the rear arches are the thin ones, and the front ones are those of the Xpack. Although not standard, this set up seems to be well balanced : right tyres size (255) in a relative restrained body.

I did not want an X pack . I test drove the X pack one year ago. Torque is higher , steering is heavier (275 tyre size), noise is becoming too much for a city drive. BTW this is a typical debate in the Aston V8V's family (X pack or no X pack). Endless discussions... Depends on what you want to do with your Aston, where you live, etc...
 
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