Petrolhead Vs Family

My wife always joked that when she was pregnant, I would have to sell my two seater Aston Martin Vantage to make way for a family car. I already had a saloon and a 4×4 so I just ignored it.

It has been 20 months since my son was born, and apart from the odd Vint-tro  road trip, my car has only done only a few hundred miles! Even on a nice hot sunny day, the car now stays in the garage because I need to go out and spend time with my family so I can’t take the Aston or the only other option is to take two cars which as you can imagine is quite ridiculous and doesn’t go down well with the wife.

To keep enjoying the two seater Aston I could use my car for that daily trips on my own, but I want my car to feel special, if it becomes the runabout on gloomy days, it is no longer going to have that excitement and with one more house move to our forever home, I cannot consider the option, yet, of having two or more weekend cars.

 So, after a long ponder and continued searches on Autotrader for different cars, my mind is made up, the two-seater Aston must go, and be replaced with a 2+2, but which one?

 

My list so far is:

 

  1.       Aston Martin DBS – 1st Gen
  2.       Ferrari FF – 1st Gen
  3.       Ferrari California – 1st (modern) Gen
  4.       Maserati GranTurismo – 2nd or 3rd Gen

 

  1. Aston Martin DBS

 This must be the prettiest of the group and possibly the best sounding. James Bond made this car a childhood pin up and the admiration of any Bond fan, and I do not think this feeling has changed today. It is certainly not slow, with its naturally aspirated 5.9L V12 510hp and 420 lb ft or torque. 

It’s very difficult these days to hear a car at full song, simply because cars are manufactured too fast but the DBS has more than what you need and it maintains that beautiful and traditional Aston Martin growl from the throaty exhaust. I have always adored that sound!

I love the DBS, but the only drawback is the additional two seats, space and finding one with a manual gearbox. The manual is what really makes this car special and possibly top on my list. My challenge is finding a manual 2+2 as the majority were purchased without the rear seats, plus 2+2’s are rare and come with a huge premium.

I could have the additional seats installed but at an additional £6k-£8k I question myself is this worth the aggravation, would I be able to get a colour match and would it devalue the car at all?

Space is also an issue, it is a big car but even fitting a baby seat will be a problem, so I might not even be able to get my son in the back.

 

  1. Ferrari FF

It should be job done with this car, prancing horse, V12 and four proper seats. The FF was not on my list at first but jumped up quickly the more I researched. I have grown to love the styling, and this is why it’s on the list as a close potential option. I should note, I have lost a lot of money on cars, and I am buying with my head and not wasting my son’s inheritance.

Pricing has dropped considerably over the last 6-12 months and this is one of the down sides. Ferrari’s pricing is usually propped up by the previous model. 458’s hold their price due to F430 and they hold their price due to 360 and so on. So, what holds the price of the FF, it’s a first being four-wheel drive and a shooting brake styling. The previous four-seater was the 612 but that was a flop in styling.

This is the downside and one I will need to manage but otherwise any space limitation and availability issues of the DBS are gone with this car, and a flappy paddle is no issue with the 7-speed dual clutch, the interior is stunning and has all the modern comforts, more so than the DBS. 

I do not need a big boot but it’s more than big enough. The rear seats will fit two adults easily so the baby seat will go in and grow with my son, if I keep it that long.

My only other consideration is servicing and maintenance, that will have to be carefully investigated.

 

  1. Ferrari California – 1st (modern) Gen

 An interesting one, is this really a Ferrari or a Maserati with a Ferrari badge? Should this really be an issue anyway as both are amazing brands. This is the entry level Ferrari, and even though the entry to motor heaven, does it feel special, does it give me the fizz! Until I drive one, I will not know, but as a convertible only, this will add that element of drama to driving with the roof down and a V8 singing in my ears and my little son would love that I know. 

The rear seats are tight but will fit a baby seat, but nothing else. This is also the cheapest of the bunch, and I feel pricing is slowing down be it a long way from the bottom. 

Maserati prices tend to keep on plummeting compared to its Ferrari cousin, could this one day be the cheapest entry into a modern Ferrari? The California is worthy to be on the list and provides me with four seats (it was offered without) and plenty of cars available, so not an issue there. 

I have been told they can be pricey on running cost, a few maintenance issues and it seems they go through brake pads like Rod Stewart does with wives. Jury is out on this car and I feel getting behind the wheel of one will only answer my questions.

 

  1.   Maserati GranTurismo – 2nd or 3rd Gen

 I have covered a lot of my points on the Grand Turismo in my California review and this car has a lot of similarities. The GranTurismo is a pretty car and sounds amazing and has two good seats in the back. So, it ticks all the boxes and should be a front runner, but does it give me the fizz! I am just not sure, against an Aston and Ferrari, when I search Auto Trader and read more about this car, it does not get my heart going like the other two brands. I do not want to own this car and look at the other two brands and go, it is not Ferrari or an Aston Martin. It is still a contender and I want to test drive a Gran Turismo to give it that chance to change my mind.

 If you think I have missed any good 2+2 options or you have any advice on the above cars, please email at: jonathan.howard@vint-tro.com  I would love to hear from you

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