The Aston Martin AM37 is not the first Aston I have driven. The first time I drove one is a time I’ll never forget. I was a budding car journalist, barely out of short trousers and in awe of the trust placed in my inexperienced hands.
The car in question was a Virage Vantage, a vast beast of a thing with a hand-built 5.3-litre supercharged V8 developing 550hp and enough torque to spin the globe on its axis.
At the time it was one of the most powerful cars in the world, yet it was dressed in such a sober set of hand-crafted aluminium panels that you’d never have known it.
Even back in the 1990s, it was something of an anachronism – a lumbering dinosaur struggling to keep pace with a new breed of faster, leaner, sexier supercars from Italy, Germany and Japan. Did I care? Not a jot.
So when Quintessence Yachts announced that it had signed a licensing deal to build the first ever Aston Martin boat, the AM37, it was never going to be a stripped-out 100-knot race craft.
That kind of speed may sound appealing but anybody who’s driven a really fast boat knows that speeds over 50 knots are rarely an enjoyable experience. Exciting, yes, for a brief period, but also loud, scary and deeply uncomfortable in anything other than mirror-flat water.
No, what it aspired to build was a swift, luxurious, elegant craft that captured the true spirit of Aston Martin; a British Grand Tourer that could outshine its glamorous rivals from Riva and Chris-Craft.
That’s a hell of a big shout, especially for a brand new company that’s essentially starting from scratch, but thanks to the remarkable efforts
of its own engineers as well as the exceptional level of input from Aston Martin’s design team, the first fruit of its labour is now waiting for me to drive. Watch the video above to see what it’s like…