Given that Aston Martin chief Dr Ulrich Bez once spent many months of his life painstakingly developing and building making a small batch of ultra-lightweight racing bikes of his own design, you’d expect him to love the art component of great engineering.
Since taking the controls of Aston Martin in 2000, he has continued to talk fervently of cars as art, insisting that the Aston models he has created are appreciated for their fine detail, and photographed with loving care.
However, this new venture, the One-77, values the art component of a car more highly than anyone has ever done before. What he’s offering is, essentially, a beautiful and very expensive development of the cars Aston builds now – yes, with a new carbon chassis, hand-beaten aluminium panels and hugely powerful version of the well-known V12 - but he wants to charge six times as much for it as he does for a DBS.
On the face of it, that’s a rather poor deal for the squillionaire who can afford to take the proposition seriously, and I’ve always been told that rich people are that way because they’re rather better than the rest of us at judging what makes good value.
Aston promises its One-77 owners unprecedented input into their cars. If someone wants it to be a two-plus-two, he’ll get his car that way. If another wants it to be a convertible, that’ll be fine, sir. If the owner wants to take part in his own tyre tests or suspension development programme, he’s welcome.