Leaving Las Vegas in an Aston Rapide S
Another classic feature from the last 20 years of TG mag: the ultimate test of Aston’s four-door...
Posted: 22 Oct 2013
Unfortunately, it is with a head full of epicness that I get lost, and decide to turn around. As I swing wide to make better use of the dusty margin, I realise the sand just past the edge of the tarmac is a little deeper than I had assumed. With no chance to back out or change tack, I clench and continue the arc, being as gentle as possible. The rears immediately lose traction in soft, silken sand, and the enormous 295/30 rear tyres dig a pair of neat little holes the exact depth of the rear bumper. Which is where we came in. We invoke the Navajo rescue clause, and are off again.
Within an hour, we're miles from the nearest real road, with the Rapide parked precariously on a cliff edge, huddled in the shadow of a 1,000-foot escarpment. I have never, ever been to a place as immediately impressive, as dwarfing, as Monument Valley. Created by 50 million years of erosion by wind and water, this was once a plateau, gradually peeled away over millennia to reveal the monstrous sandstone buttes that vary in height from about 400ft to the 1,000ft monsters that dominate the landscape. And you can get up close and personal - $15 gets you access to a valley trail and one of the most amazing roads in the world. Only one issue. It's sort of off-road.