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Here's How People React When They See an Aston Martin

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2016

Today, I'm going to tell you how people react when you drive around in an Aston Martin. A beautiful, exotic, gorgeous, rare, V8-powered Aston Martin with a luscious sports-car engine note. The car of choice for James Bond himself. A car that cost more than $125,000 when it was new -- an amount of money that will also buy you a house in Tulsa with three bedrooms, a carport and a toilet that occasionally makes strange noises.

So what exactly do people do when they find themselves in the presence of such a car? Such an incredible masterpiece of the automotive world? Such a true road-going rarity? Nothing. They couldn't care less. Sometimes, they ask if it's a Maserati.

I'm serious. You want an idea of how people react when you're driving around in an Aston Martin? Go drive around in a Honda Civic. The reaction is roughly the same.

I know this will surprise some of you, but the Aston Martin gets noticed less than any other exotic car I've owned. Virtually no one ever notices it in traffic. Very few people ever say anything about it at gas stations. I rarely get any thumbs-ups, questions or approving looks. Instead, here's what happens when you have an Aston Martin: You're sitting at a stop light and look over at the person next to you, thinking they might be staring at the cool guy in the Aston Martin, and instead they're chewing on a Sharpie.

This wasn't true when I had my Ferrari back in 2014. Back then, people would approach me in any situation -- including in my dreams -- and ask me about the car. At gas stations, people would walk up and ask, "Wanna trade?" with such frequency that I seriously considered wearing a T-shirt that read "no" every time I drove the car so I could simply point to it in reply. By the end of my time with my Ferrari, I was driving 25 minutes out to the wealthy suburbs to get gas just so I didn't have to listen to one more person in a badly damaged 19-year-old Chevy pickup ask me how much money I make.

It was the same story when I had my Nissan Skyline GT-R last year. Although I thought an old, boxy, silver Japanese car would fail to stand out, people went crazy when they saw it on the street. Onlookers had several different usual reactions -- from "Is that a Skyline?!?!?" to "Why are you sitting on the wrong side of the car?!?!?" -- but regardless of what they'd say, you knew they'd say something. After the first 3 months of ownership, I drove around a lot with the windows up.

And then there's the Aston. Barely a word. Barely a point. Barely a look.

Admittedly, I've had a few memorable encounters in my Aston Martin -- but they all came when the car was out of context for the situation. When I drove the car to Maine for a summer trip with my fiancee, several local Mainers were stunned a that "city person" would bring such a car up to Maine. But nobody knew what it was. In the three or four situations where someone noticed it, their opening line was always the same: "What kind of car is that?"

I got a slightly different reaction in Salem, Massachusetts, when I parked the car near a liquor store, where I planned to leave it for the night. A person who was visibly drunk and carrying an open bottle of alcohol walked up and fawned over the car, lingering for much longer than he should have. Once he walked away, I moved it to an enclosed parking garage.

In rural Eastern Colorado, I was filming a video on a seldom-traveled country road, when a young guy in his early 20s rolled up, towing a boat behind his Dodge Dakota. He could barely contain his shock that someone had such an exotic car in his area -- though he, too, didn't know what it was. (He opened with, "Is that a Bentley?") That same situation repeated itself several times at trailheads in Maine's Acadia National Park -- which were often packed to the brim with weighted-down SUVs and... an Aston Martin -- and in small cities and towns all over the Mountain West. And then there's the Montana Highway Patrol officer who pulled me over in rural Eastern Montana and announced, "I've never pulled over an Aston Martin before. And I've pulled over a lot of cars!"

But when the car was in a normal setting -- near a city or a suburb -- nobody seemed to care.

So, why is this? I never did figure it out, and I was always a bit surprised. Sure, my car is boring ol' silver, and it doesn't have the low-slung look of a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. But it's low and wide in person, with an unusual, sleek shape -- and it has a very distinctive badge and highly recognizable taillights. Why doesn't anyone notice it?

I don't know. And considering I filled the car with fuel literally hundreds of times without one single annoying interruption, I didn't really care, either.

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Here's How People React When They See an Aston Martin - Autotrader