Moving to the Northeast and Ottawa has been quite an adjustment from an automotive pursuit. In Seattle you are spoiled with weather that permits driving any car that can withstand rain all year long – on salt free roads. And parking is plentiful. So is the ability to get exotic cars serviced.
Ottawa is filled with snow and salt. This means an all-wheel-drive vehicle that can withstand salt. And anything else has to stay in the garage for half the year. Parking is not plentiful – spaces are small. Most people take the bus/train (except when there is a strike – sigh). And getting an exotic serviced – you will be driving to Montreal or Toronto.
This has caused a reset of my automotive hobby. My daily driver, a Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE, fits right in. But for a “fun” car – neither of the Bentley’s are a fit – both size-wise or service-wise. So with reluctance I parted with my 2005 Continental GT and my 2000 Arnage R. The Continental is not a car I will miss – it is an excellent automobile but it lacks the kind of quirky character I desire in a British car. The Arnage is everything I ever wanted in a British saloon. I will miss it dearly. But, the Arnage of my desire is not this example – but actually one of the Series II cars made between 2005-2009, preferably a special series such as the Blue Train, Diamond, Concours, or Final Series. And it certainly does not fit an Ottawa lifestyle.
So with fondness I bid these wonderful machines farewell – and welcome a brand new Aston Martin V8 Vantage. I never thought I would ever own a new Aston Martin. But, year-end specials made that an extremely attractive option – and less expensive than most pre-owned examples. This car also happens to be fully loaded – in my favorite color scheme (identical to 007’s). (In other words, if I commissioned a new example – it would be identical to this car.) It is not a winter-driver, but can at least be serviced in Ottawa. My DB7 Vantage was my favorite of the sports cars I owned. My only criticisms were size/weight and lack of luxury amenities. The V8 Vantage addresses both of these in spades – being significantly smaller, lighter, and gadget-laden. It also has the ironic benefits of great mileage and cargo capacity – qualities not associated with tiny sports coupes.
It shall be fun to be driving like Bond again! 😀