Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster - A car for the connoisseur

Hotel manager Brett Shohet enjoys life behind the wheel of the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster

How did you start your career in the leisure industry?I went to Butlins in Skegness to learn and returned to Brentwood and got a job at the Holiday Inn. I got to know the son of the owner of De Rougemont Manor who asked me to become their general manager. The hotel has recently received a £4.5 million refurbishment and achieved its AA 4-star rating.

Do you enjoy driving and what would your dream car be?I really like driving and if I had the money I would love to buy a car like this Aston Martin. I own a black BMW 3 Series Sport convertible, which I love to bits. My first car was a Vauxhall Nova.

Is there anything you dislike about driving?In comparison with America, where I've spent a bit of time, petrol is very expensive but the traffic is a lot less stressful over here. If I were Minister of Transport I would find a way of taxing people on the amount of driving they do. So, how do you rate the Aston Martin V8 Vantage?I appreciate good quality brands and having this Aston Martin would really make my day. Cars like this don't get their reputation just by being expensive and it's the way it's made and the quality of the engineering and materials that sets it apart, as well as its performance.

Could you live with this car?In practical terms, this is not a car I would be able to use every day. But it is very user-friendly and it's as pleasant to drive slowly as it is to drive fast. Aston Martin has come on in leaps and bounds since the early days and the interiors and the finish are so much better nowadays. If I won the lottery I'd go straight round to Grange Brentwood with my chequebook.

How does the Aston Martin drive?I have to confess I am a James Bond fan. The way it drives, the way it looks on the road, the sound and the sheer experience of sitting in it are just overwhelming.

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