“Every car mans dream and one mans reality, to design and build his own supercar”
It was Barry Weir’s dream to design and build his own Aston Martin supercar to his specification and ideas with no restrictions.
So what type of man can do this and when does he have the time!, Barry is an adventurer, artist and a world champion rally driver of historic motor cars, who needs little sleep and never lets go!
My first encounter of Barry was when he wanted to achieve more headroom in his new Aston Martin DB7, so after a number of back-to-back meetings, we totally redesigned the interior of one of the most successful Aston Martin of its time, so he could sit in the car with plenty of leg room and good head clearance to stop his hair brushing on the roof panel (shaving his head was not an option). Being a tall man he had to feel comfortable at all times.
From this day on I know he would not give up until we had achieved exactly what he wanted, it was a massive feat, but we did manage meet his requirements.
This was followed by an adventure of a lifetime, driving a 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKI around the world in 80 days! This took him through 22 countries crossing 4 continents covering 34,000 miles in just 80 days.
The preparation was endless and so much was covered in the build up. The car had to survive more then just a long rally; it had to survive some of the worst roads in the world. The car and Barry survived, so what does this man do next? Build a supercar!
By now you must be thinking this man is mad, but it did not stop there. In 2009 Bertone built a concept, known as the Jet 2 shooting break on the Aston Martin DB9 platform, Barry enquired if the car was for sale, but no it was Lilli Bertones personal car.
“Bertone, an Italian automobile company, which specialized in car styling, coach building and manufacturing. Bertone styling is distinctive, with most cars having a strong "family resemblance" even if they are badged by different manufacturers. Bertone has styled cars for Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Citroën, Ferrari, Fiat, Iso, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes Benz, Opel and Volvo, among others.”
Then in October 2012 Barry received a call from Bertone “Would you like to build another Bertone Jet 2?” The answer was a direct NO, but after a couple of hours and a couple of coffees later the call was returned “Perhaps, How much” So a meeting was set up in November 2012 at Marco Polo Airport sat around a Formica table and plastic chairs, the adventure began.
Yes this was going to happen!
Three pieces of paper were taken back to Bertione and a couple of rough sketches to the design team at Bertone.
It was decided that the best donor car would be a An Aston Martin Rapide. Barry had set out 10 requirements:
1/ The finish car had to live up to or go beyond the reputation of the Rapide (The most luxurious 4 door saloon in the world)
2/ It had to have a note pad in the front and rear with matching pens.
3/ The hump of the rear air vent had to go…does not sit well in the car.
4/ It had to have a glass roof. No curtains. Just clear glass that turned opaque
with colour patterns.
5/ It has to fit 4 adults and not midgets. More head room and more leg room.
6/ It had to be a shootbreak
7/ Its huge front seats had to be made slimmer to avoid the claustrophobic feeling in the rear.
8/ It had to look stunning. Like an Aston Martin, but different, fast, sexier, useable.
9/ It had to be cheap. “Impossible” His wife exclaimed, its an Aston Martin!
10/ Something Aston Martin should have built, but never did.
It took Aston Martin 30 minutes to agree to support the build, as long as they could see the design. When the Bertone design team flew to Gaydon to show the design, the first words were “Whoa, where did that come from?”
Barry agreed the design, with a few minor changes and it was full speed ahead, with a fixed budget.
The car was purchased and arrived at Bertone in Turin in December 2012. By January 2013 the full size clay model was in place and the decision for interior fitting was needed, wood, leather and fixtures.
The re-designed seats were sent back to Aston Martin for a special design to camouflaging to slimmer and smaller seats.
Bertone announced that the car would be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Fair on 5 March 2013, a tight deadline, especially when the glass roof had not been manufactured.
It all came together like a planned rehearsal with a few finishing touches to be completed after the show.
The release on the day was specular and one which Barry would miss owning to a planned holiday in South Africa, but he was there in mind, if not in body.
The car was a real show stopper, even in the company of other great release on the day. It was a dream sports car with a double celebration of a historical sixty years cooperation anniversary between Aston Martin and Bertone.
Barry has covered over 9,000 miles in the car to date and has displayed it at a number of events used it as it should be, it is a dream come true and an experience that turned out to be more then a dream come true.
The biggest problem is WHAT NEXT, we are just waiting for the telephone call!
For further details on the car please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org