Labour for main service: £300.00
Labour for “additional work” £4,140.00
Parts total: £4,680.19
Invoice Total: £10,716.22
Now the additional labour required numbered some 36 points that needed addressing ranging from a couple of new centre caps through to the much needed full front suspension rebuild, but even so that bill was what you might call an “ouch”.
The front shocks at nearly a grand each were painful, but examination of the removed items showed them to be worn, leaking oil and definitely on the way out.
What was the car like after that lot? Completely transformed. Comparisons would be simply stupid. Silent, not a creak or rattle, and everything just worked. That’s the sort of car I wanted to have and own, and it was a clear indication to me that even a full dealer history is not enough on a car like this – you need to get to the specialists.
Since then, the car has racked up nearly ten thousand hard road miles. It has mooched through the centre of London, looking evil and menacing, and maintained its normal running temperature despite 30 degree plus outside. Inside, you are as cool as a cucumber.
We’ve taken the car to France on a long trip with Aston Martin chums. There will be a report on that to follow in my forthcoming Vantage journal. Suffice it to say, going round the Peripherique at rush hour in an RT and Vantage in convoy is not my idea of fun.
Since the mega-service, the car has been back to PMC once more. This time round, I had the spare wheel tyre changed for a new one (I can’t work out why I said to only change 4 originally). And those naughty yellow Mulliner handling bars have been fitted, which transform the hustle-ability of the car.
In a month it will need a check-service – this will take about 3 hours and hopefully leave change from 300 notes. Well, it might, but there is that Mulliner ECU calling out to me… 650lb·ft of torque is too tempting. It would be rude not to do it, wouldn’t it?
Meanwhile, this is one of the ultimate super cars. You can outrun almost anything from the lights. It is huge – nearly three feet longer than my E-class estate. It looks moody and magnificent; the combination of black with walnut fascia is simply gorgeous. It eats long journeys and the comfort levels are extraordinary. The fuel consumption is not too bad at 80-90mph cruising speeds – 45 litres for 200 miles. Spirited driving drops this to 70 litres for 230 miles. And around town, there is no noise. No engine noise. No vibration. A merest hint of some road patter, especially on a choppy surface.
And there is nothing, but nothing, that can compare to the feeling of sheer over-engineering that exudes from every switch, latch, control and door on the car. It’s heavy, and built to last. Truly a steel fist in a leather driving glove.