Aston Martin Zagato on the Furka Pass
Before heading out to Switzerland, strictly in the name of research, I watched the remastered DVD version of Goldfinger. It was simultaneously brilliant yet rubbish: sub-zero Sixties cool riddled with clunking special effects, hammy acting and gaping plot holes. I feared the V12 Zagato might be the same. In the last couple of years, some of the Aston range, though lovely to look at, listen to and - in a hairy-backed way - drive, has started to feel long in the tooth: too reliant on Gaydon's box of Ford leftovers, the product of a company lagging behind the pace of progress set by Ferrari and the Germans. But the Zag feels more personal, more handcrafted than anything Italy or Germany can offer. In combination with the fantastic Furka, it's almost as good as motoring gets.
Almost. Late in the day, a couple of hills down the road from Furka, we stumble on the Passo della Novena. Curled cosily against the Italian border, the Novena is 50m higher than the Furka and even better: a stack of great, wide, sweeping hairpins, Corby-trouser-press-smooth tarmac and, best of all, free of motorcycles. If you're ever in southern Switzerland - hell, if you're ever in Western Europe - take a detour to drive it. If our latest get-rich-quick scheme comes off (a multiple pyramid scheme christened ‘The Toblerone') you'll spot TG heading the other way in a V12 Zagato, exhausts trumpeting, tyres scrabbling up another grand switchback as the evening light casts the glaciers and peaks purple.