2015 saw Daniel Craig get behind the wheel of James Bond’s Aston Martin once more for the hit movie SPECTRE.
The Observer’s Rob George followed in his footsteps when he was handed a ‘licence to thrill’ in an Aston Martin DB9 as part of a driving day experience.
HAVING always been a fan of supercars, a driving day experience was a perfect gift and something which would never scare the living daylights out of me.
And when I arrived at U Drive Cars in Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire it very much felt as if I was there on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The Bond feeling certainly continued when I first caught a glimpse of the supercars on offer such as the Ferrari 360, the Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 and Porsche 911.
But my eyes only were on the wonderful DB9, a diamond which truly is forever and epitomises classic British engineering and is quintessentially Bond.
After a safety briefing which explained we should enjoy ourselves but had no licence to kill, it was time hit the ‘track’.
Based on an airfield, the team at U Drive Cars have modified an traditional racing oval on the runway with straights where you can put your foot down but with corners to keep you thinking.
After getting behind the wheel, very much feeling like I was about to drive to the Casino Royale, my instructor guided me through how the six laps would pan out.
Helpfully also called Rob, he explained how he would watch the mirrors and would indicate should I be overtaken, meaning I could fully enjoy the Aston Martin’s raw speed and power.
It was help that was much needed as very quickly you feel the power of the 450 BHP V12 which roars into life the moment your foot squeezes the pedal.
I had the option of an automatic gearbox or a paddle shift gear change, nothing in the world was enough for me to forego the opportunity of paddle shifting my way around the track.
The DB9 is a classic Aston, it rewards you with speed, doing 0-60 in just 4.7 seconds but also flatters good driving.
When you hit an apex perfectly, and you will trust me, the DB9 rewards you with the feeling you did that as the car handles like a dream.
While I couldn’t max it out to the full 186mph possible, I did reach the giddy heights of 107mph which was more than enough to make me feel like the man with the golden gun.
The Thunderball style thrills and spills came to an end much too soon but the quantum of solace I have is I can say I have finally been behind the wheel of an Aston Martin.
It was experience I will never forget and I would recommend giving the petrol head in your life their own supercar experience.
Whether they dream of the Italian supercar giants, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, or hanker after the classic elegance and power of the Jaguar E Type or the Aston Martin, U Drive Cars have the wheels to suit.
Call U Drive Cars on 01869 277112 or visit www.udrivecars.com for more information.