Many years from now, when I think back to September 2016, I’ll primarily remember one thing: sitting in the surprisingly comfortable driver’s seat of my Aston Martin V8 Vantage, looking out the windshield, as the entire country passed me by. I will not remember standing on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck. I will not remember Cletus, the local diesel truck mechanic in Middle of Nowhere, America, opening up my hood and exclaiming, "It sure ain’t a Camaro engine!" Why? My Aston Martin didn’t break down once on my entire 6,522-mile journey.
For this reason, many of you said my cross-country road trip was boring. Not a single breakdown? Not one little hiccup? What a dull experience! My perspective is very different. It’s true that I drove 6,522 miles and many miles before that without a breakdown, but while a breakdown certainly would’ve been amusing, what happened instead is far more interesting. I proved that exotic cars really can be reliable. See the 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage models for sale near you
Allow me to explain. My entire life, I’ve always heard that exotic cars are temperamental. When I was a wee lad of eight or so, I remember going to car shows and hearing this from the participants. This was especially true, I was told, of British cars. You can’t go anywhere without bringing along some spare parts and tools.
Well, I drove across the country and back without a single spare part, and the closest thing I had to a tool was a roll of paper towels and one of those cigarette lighter radio transmitters that plays your music until you get close to a radio station operating on the same frequency, at which point you hear advertisements for used farm equipment. And I didn’t have any problems.
Really, I didn’t have a single issue, save for worn brake pads. Not one check engine light. Not one failed start. Not one worrying warning light that informed me my traction control was failing, my battery was weak or my car was slowly taking on water and I’d need to man the lifeboats. I didn’t even hear a single strange noise. You’d assume, in 6,522 miles, I’d hear at least one strange noise, but the car drives exactly the same today as it did a month ago, when I first set out on my trip.
To me, there are two interesting things to take away here. First, if you’ve ever been scared of buying an Aston Martin because of its perceived reliability, maybe you shouldn’t be. I’ve now been to 32 states and D.C. in mine, and I’ve driven it almost 18,000 miles in 10 months. I haven’t had a single major issue since the engine-timing problem just after I took delivery. Admittedly, that was a big one, a $4,409 repair, covered under warranty, that I’ve long attributed to the car sitting un-driven on a dealership’s lot for so long before I bought it. Since I’ve actually been driving it … nothing.
The other important takeaway is that if Aston Martin can do it, other exotic car companies should be able to do it, too.
From talking to car enthusiasts, I gather that most people still think exotic cars are highly expensive, temperamental beasts that can break down with absolutely no notice simply because you decided to go over a speed bump. But is it really true anymore?
The simple fact that Aston Martin offers an unlimited mileage bumper-to-bumper warranty suggests that Aston Martin doesn’t think so. As it turns out, Bentley offers the same warranty of 1-year, unlimited-miles, bumper-to-bumper coverage, renewable for future years. Lamborghini, Maserati and Rolls-Royce also offer certified pre-owned programs, and Ferrari, perhaps known for the most questionable reliability of all, now offers a factory warranty that covers vehicles up to 10 years old.
Here’s what I think: Exotic cars have gotten reliable, and our perceptions haven’t quite caught up yet.
I’ve had a lot of experience with older exotic cars, and even the nicest ones are generally basket cases with poor electronics, engine issues and windows that roll up at roughly the same speed as tree growth. And there’s always some starting procedure. "You can’t just turn it on," the owners always say. "You have to turn it on, pump the gas four times, let it warm up for 3 minutes, pump the gas again and talk to it like a raccoon for 10 minutes. Then, it should be good to go."
Newer exotics just don’t have these issues. For example, my Aston Martin still looks and drives exactly like it did when it left the U.K. factory, bound for its very first owner. With only one exception: The odometer now reads 59,322 miles, after many amazing and successful adventures without a single tool needed. Find a 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage for sale