I went to Chris Lawrence's Memorial Service today and very moving it was too. A suitably dignified service with interesting speeches by a number of different speakers, including Charles. An amazing collection of cars outside the Abey, including TOK 258; an SLR (258 TOK); a Monica and the Deep Sanderson 'Twinny' amongst others, including Charles' AeroMax.
After the service I went back to the Works and saw the progress on a number of current projects, or should that read new cars? Firstly, does anyone recognise what is in the background here (TOK is in the foreground):
Yes, they had just finished the first pre-production prototype Plus 8+ (or whatever they decide to call it!) and it was hidden away in the Aero shed, in amongst a number of other Trads. Well after a special request, it was agreed that I would be one of the very first to drive it and it was brought out.
As this is a pre-production model, many of the items on show are not necessarily those of the production car, and many final spec decisions have not yet been taken. Thus, this car has Aero SS wheels and seats and these will not necessarily be on the final version. The front wings are not Superformed (but will be) and are produced in the Works on this car, etc, etc. I'm sure you get the picture, though the car having been stored in a dusty environment could have done with a wash!
First impressions are very positive and especially from the side view the car does not look any bigger than a Roadster. From the front the wider windscreen gives the game away, but the car does not look ungainly in any way. The same from the rear, it does look like a slightly larger 4/4 Sport and whilst the exhausts look the business and sound great, side-pipes a la Aero SS will also be available, so that option is really a no-brainer!
The interior is not completely set in stone as yet, but this does give you some idea of the 'look'
Now the $64-thousand Dollar question is how does it drive? Well in many ways like an Aero with a Trad body!
No surprises there then, it does feel really well planted and also very light and without the same slight roll-oversteer you get with most post Series I Aero's, but there is now doubt that it is fast and there is certainly nothing much wrong with the set-up straight out of the box.
I did take some other photos, especially of the 3-wheelers available, but will post them on a separate thread tomorrow.