His­tory boys

A worldex­clu­sive drive in As­ton’s £1.2m mega GT Is­sue 234 – this month in 2012

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Sorry to burst the bub­ble, but TG doesn’t have the lux­ury of be­ing able to pur­chase ev­ery car we drive... mostly, we rely on man­u­fac­tur­ers to loan us theirs. Un­for­tu­nately, As­ton made a pledge that no me­dia would be al­lowed to drive its ul­tra-rare, ul­tra-pricey 750bhp One-77, even when the full pro­duc­tion run was sold out. This led us to get... creative.

So, when Mr Al Ketbi, owner of Dubai deal­er­ship Al Ain Class Mo­tors, told us he had pur­chased a One-77 and we were wel­come to come and have a go in it in Dubai’s back­yard, we were on a plane quicker than you can say third-de­gree sun­burn.

It’s an odd ex­er­cise, re­view­ing a car that’s al­ready sold out – did any­one re­ally care how we rated it? All the more rea­son to im­merse our­selves in the ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ence of it all – that alu­mini­um­clothed car­bon chas­sis, the sculp­tural in-board pushro­dac­tu­ated coil springs, the Cos­worth­fet­tled, 7.3-litre nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V12 pro­duc­ing 750bhp and 750Nm of torque. Un­sur­pris­ingly, as we pinned it down sandy straights and the oc­ca­sional corner, it was that front-mid-mounted en­gine that dom­i­nated, emit­ting a “heart­pierc­ing scream” beyond 4,000rpm. Shame the stut­ter­ing six-speed au­to­mated-man­ual gear­box with an ap­petite for clutches let the side down. A big shame con­sid­er­ing the £1.2m price. But, be­ing pro­fes­sion­als, we man­aged to pull our­selves to­gether and ap­pre­ci­ate the op­por­tu­nity for what it was – a once-in-a-life­time drive in a car that “roused the 12-year-old” in us all.

This year, the world’s great­est car mag­a­zine cel­e­brates its 25th an­niver­sary

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