MORE than 350 Aston Martins cruised across the New Forest to Beaulieu for the attraction’s first-ever Simply Aston Martin rally, making it one of the largest gatherings of Astons in the south.
Aston Martin owners parked in the grounds of the National Motor Museum. Visitors were treated to the spectacular sights and sounds of these high-powered cars, while owners had the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and enjoy a day out in the picturesque setting.
Events co-ordinator Andy Ollerenshaw said: “With strong advance ticket sales, we were expecting up to 300 cars for the rally but we were absolutely delighted by just how many owners joined us for the first Simply Aston Martin event. The response from owners and feedback from visitors was incredible and we anticipate that this successful event will return next year.”
Every era of the British marque’s history was represented in the varied display. Pre-war examples such as a rare 1933 Le Mans Short Chassis were complemented by a selection of 1950s and ‘60s DB models, including a 1959 DB2/4 MkIII Fixed Head Coupe, one of only five made, and a pair of DB6 Volantes.
Classics from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s such as the V8 Vantage and DB7 were well-represented, while Aston Martin’s modern creations also featured heavily in the line-up. The latest DB9 and Rapide S models were parked alongside such special editions as a 1996 DB i6 GTS, a 2009 DBS ‘Quantum of Solace’ and two brightly coloured examples of the limited edition N430. Even an unusual Cygnet, the smallest car to wear the Aston Martin badge, finished off the extensive selection.
The Aston Martin Owners Club brought a selection of members’ cars, while visitors could see new Astons for sale on the dealer stand of Aston Martin Chichester.
Throughout the day, owners and visitors voted for their favourite car of the show in the People’s Choice Award. Taking the top prize in the afternoon awards ceremony was Tim Davis with his stunning 1930 Aston Martin International Series One.
Tim from West Sussex, who has owned his very early Aston Martin for five years, was presented with a commemorative Beaulieu trophy and an Autoglym presentation pack prize by Lord Montagu, before leading a cavalcade of the most popular cars around the grounds.
Lord Montagu also presented prizes to the two top People’s Choice runners-up. Terry Seaborn was chosen for his 1962 DB4 Vantage Series 4, which was one of only 44 built and has been extensively restored by Terry during his three decades of ownership. Also scoring highly with visitor votes was the 2009 DB9 belonging to Lisa and Steve Mackay, with its spotless black paintwork.
The other People’s Choice high-scorers demonstrated the remarkable variety of Astons at the rally. Tony Green’s 1950 Le Mans team DB2, a veteran of numerous motorsport events, contrasted with Ian Sheppard’s 2011 Cygnet. “It’s one of the rarest cars here,” said Ian Sheppard of his Cygnet, “and it was a good investment as values are going up.”
Nigel Brain’s brand new GT12 was one of only 100 built, yet there were three examples at the show. Doug Hale’s 2003 DB7 Vantage V12, Stephen Mount’s 2011 DBS, Nick Packham’s red DBS and Mr Leighton-Boyce’s silver DB4 were also part of the line-up.
Simply Aston Martin is part of the range of Simply rallies at Beaulieu, covering a wide variety of motoring marques and themes including Simply Jaguar, Simply Porsche and Simply Classics & Sports Car. For more information on the 2016 Beaulieu events calendar, visit http://www.beaulieu.co.uk/events.