To the British Riviera with Hackett and Classic Driver – Day 1
Having just taken delivery of our Aston Martin DB11 Classic Driver Edition, built to celebrate our 20th anniversary, it seemed only right to head straight off in search of England’s finest and most beautiful roads, on which we could stretch its legs.
Several destinations were floated including St Tropez and Lake Como, but given the miraculous heatwave that’s currently gripping the nation, we soon settled on the trio of seaside Devonshire towns that form the so-called British Riviera: Paignton, Torquay, and Brixham. But not before a blast through the Cotswolds and a stopover in the historic city of Bath – this was as much about the culture and the sightseeing as the driving, after all.
We left London at dawn to beat the rush-hour traffic. As we cruised from Wellington Arch along South Carriage Drive towards the Royal Albert Hall, the slowly rising sun was already bringing out the metallic green pearls in the DB11’s Classic Driver Grey paint.
Several hours of boring motorways were instantly forgotten as we speared into the Cotswolds. Beginning at Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare’s birthplace, we deliberately deviated from the main roads. Twisting ribbons of tarmac resembling the greatest corners from the greatest racetracks around the world were interspersed only by quaint honey-coloured villages that forced us to stop and explore.
As lead designer on the DB11 Classic Driver Edition project, our designated driver Ben Knapp Voith found day one of the road trip to be particularly rewarding. “After working on the project for such a long time, it was truly fantastic to get behind the wheel of the car for the first time,” he said. “And when you’ve got such beautiful scenery and fantastic roads right on your doorstep, why would you drive to St Tropez? It felt right to keep a thoroughly British car on its home soil.”
The day concluded at the 17th Century Sherborne Park Estate near Cirencester – a suitably regal setting for an elegant and unique Grand Tourer that seems to get better looking with every passing minute.
Photos: Robert Cooper for Classic Driver © 2018