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Area 20 Testing and Tastind Day at Hartnoll Hotel near Tiverton

Andrew Fawkes | Published on 10/25/2018

Area 20 - Testing and Tasting

The late Autumn sun shone brightly for Area 20 members (and some guests) gathered at the Hartnoll Hotel in Bolham for a ‘Test and Taste’ day.

The event was organised jointly by Area Rep, Ray Perry and Aston Martin Bristol. The simple mixture of turning up, chatting, testing the latest Aston Martin models and enjoying a sumptuous lunch, is a tried and tested formula that’s always popular.

The latest V8 Vantage and DBS Superleggera were the stars of the show. A route around the area lasting some 25 minutes enabled everyone who wanted to try one of the cars an opportunity to do so with the very experienced Aaron Allnutt and Lloyd Newbery sitting alongside to explain the controls… not that the throttle and brakes took too much explaining! Both cars are amazing feats of engineering and show how AML boss, Andy Palmer, is determined to ensure visual separation between the various models in the Aston Martin range as part of his 'Next Century Plan'.

The new DBS Superleggera... star of the show

and the new V8 Vantage

The staff at the Hartnoll Hotel seemed equally excited and popped out whenever they could to take photographs and chat with their AMOC guests. Receptionist and main liaison for the day, Charlotte, learned much about the various cars on display as she excitedly texted pictures to her family! It’s always nice when staff at venues we choose for AMOC social events respond in that way.

Hotel staff admiring the view

Naturally, there was a terrific selection of members’ cars outside the hotel. Ray’s V8 Vantage took pride of place on the lawn… despite invitations to all, he was the only user of this temporary ‘overflow car park’! Andrew and Pym Mogford’s erstwhile DB5 looked resplendent alongside Steve & Sarah Hawkins’ Vanquish. A 1980s V8 completed the Newport Pagnel line-up. Naturally, there were plenty of V8 and V12 Gaydon cars on display, ranging from early DB9s and V8 Vantages to a couple of DB9 GTs.

There were 36 people sitting down for a pre-ordered 3-course lunch with lots of energy in the room. Many of the attendees had not met before but, as is often the case with AMOC, new friendships were forged and networks oiled.

Andrew Mogford and Aaron Allnutt muse over 'TT Ted's' choice of seat for Anthony King's test drive of the DBS (don't think he'd stay on there for long!)

Home beckoned shortly afterwards, although the test drives continued until circa 16:00.

I heard one member comment on how comfortable the new DBS Superleggera is. I suspect that sentiment was proved by Aaron, who spent nearly all day in the car and had the long drives to/from home bracketing his day!

The inevitable lunch photo!

With thanks to everyone who supported this event, especially the team at the Hartnoll Hotel and Aaron, Lloyd & Evie from Aston Martin Bristol.