By Robin Roberts.
The largest ever gathering of Aston Martin models and their owners in Wales converged on St Athan yesterday (9 April) to mark the official “move in” by the car maker.
Historic and European models were assembled in the enormous ex-RAF hanger, which is being converted to an assembly hall for the new generation of sports cars, as part of their Spring Concourse.
There was a dramatic drive by outside the hanger with tens of thousands of horsepower unleashed for the spectators at the free-to-attend event.
Dealers for the marque converged on St Athan with their demonstrator models and were joined by customers and enthusiastic members of the Aston Martin OC. Number plates from all over Europe could be seen parked outside the massive hanger.
Aston Martin Cambridge used the event to unveil Red 10, the last in a special limited edition created by the dealership’s chief operating officer Simon Lane in collaboration with the Red Arrows display team.
Nine of the aviator series of Vantage S models have been built and sold for £275,000 but Red 10 will be auctioned this year to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund, which looks after the social and medical needs of ex-servicemen.
Red Arrows pilot Mike Bowden told the audience what a thrill it is to serve in the RAF and with the world renowned display team; injured RAF Regiment member Luke Wignall spoke of his thanks to the Fund for its support after he was injured on active service.
Director of strategy and fundraising Group Captain Mike Neville said how grateful it was to Aston Martin and Aston Martin Cambridge for donating Red 10, and Simon Lane expressed the hope that the raffle for the car would raise hundreds of thousands of pounds before it was handed over to the lucky draw winner.
The highly personalised Red 10 will have special exterior graphics and customised interior echoing elements of the cockpit of a Red Arrow jet, and will be worth about £500,000 when completed.