At 4:30 on a Monday night, traffic on the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel was at a crawl. These were not the ideal conditions for test driving a V12 DB9 Vanquish Volante, a car with a price tag of $200,400. But then again, I was hardly the company's target customer. The really serious potential Aston Martin owners would get their chance to drive this car in a few hours at what the newspapers like to call a "tony" bash. That's the kind where the folks in attendance resemble those in the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street.
The party was held last October on the very day that plane maker Bombardier was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the LearJet's first flight and the 100th anniversary of the Aston Martin which I wrote about for The New York Times.
|Stanley Tucker with the first Ford Mustang ever built photo courtesy Ford|
So whether the private jet aficionado really has anything in common with British sports car fans may be beside the point. I was wondering whether the people who fly planes have a special interest and aptitude in gauging a car's performance.
|Aston Martin Brand Ambassador Terence Jenkins in New York|
Of course you have to know that our day was about more than driving. Yes, some flying was involved. To learn about our afternoon, keep on reading.
|(L-R) Les Abend, Pete Frey, Rory Kay, Nadia Marchinko, Mike Bowers, David Paqua with Jenkins|
|Pete Frey helps at the grill|
So we cooked up some hamburgers, with Delta Air Lines captain Pete Frey manning the grill, while private pilot and airplane builder David Paqua took corporate pilot/flight instructor (and sometimes fashion model) Nadia Marcinko up in the Acro Sport he built on the 3rd floor of his glass shop in Stamford.
|Marcinko and Paqua in the Acro Sport|
Tom's HU-16A flying boat has lived through some pretty dramatic times, not the least of which was Hurricane Sandy - a 2013 storm that wrecked havoc on planes, homes and cars across a wide swath of the north east US.
|Another set of wings for Jenkins.|
Surprisingly, Jenkins told me he has never flown in a private plane. The timing of his flight back to Los Angeles precluded him from sticking around and joining us on the Albatross. We can hope that someday soon he'll try the drive/fly comparison himself.
|The Aston Martin Rapide S we drove at Danbury|
|Acrobatic pilot Rob Marsicano takes off from Danbury Municipal Airport|
|United Capt. Rory Kay poses for his wife before his test drive|
|Nadia Marcinko modeling with an Aston Martin |
Photographer: Tereza Janakova, Make up: Kodo Nishimura
|My little car on a previous encounter with the Grumman Albatross|