Having slightly caught the Concours bug by attending some of the Aston Martin Owners Club (what a nice bunch!) events, we somehow found ourselves filling in a form that suddenly committed us to presenting ourselves and our DB7 to the AMOC Spring Concours at the new Aston Martin factory in St. Athan.

The couple of months between putting the entry form in the post and arriving in South Wales were full of anguish, remorse and regret. The DB7 has led a quiet life, covering just 2000 miles in the past 10 years, so is pretty much new, despite being 16 years old. However once you realise that you’re expected to present a car as close as possible to how it left the factory, there turns out to be a bit more to do than you expected.

There are people working in the Parts Department at Aston Martin Works who deserve some kind of Customer Service Order of Merit. Not once did they query our emails asking for the price and availability of, say, a single grommet. Does it surprise you to learn that it is possible to purchase something from Aston Martin for £0.07p. Well, you can and we did. A single M4 nyloc nut.

Finally the polishing was over and we were on our way, a stunning early morning down the M4 in a pristine British V12 grand tourer. There really isn’t much to match that.

The event itself was epic – thousands of visitors appeared and the huge hangers were buzzing. The Judges got to work, all white gloves and coats, working their way down the lines of cars in the various classes. They spent a long time on our Aston, clipboards at the ready and then . . . a single white gloved finger appeared held high bearing traces of, no!, dirt from a wheel arch.

Well it was fun trying – time for lunch.

Some hour later, on the journey back, it was hard not to wonder where we were going to put our little silver plaque – the one engraved with ‘2nd’ on it!

Perhaps it was worth it after all?