There are many Aston Martin collectors, and while all of them are special, some are obviously more special than others.

Take Osamu Chatani, one of Aston Martin’s top Japanese customers, who fell in love with the brand, perhaps predictably, via 007. He participated in the Arcadia 110 event in Tokyo recently and won ‘The Best In Show’ with his Aston Martin Speed Model Type C LMF385, a rare derivative of the Two Litre Speed Model. There were just over 20 examples of the Speed Model built, to special order and split into three distinctly different model styles. This car was restored in the UK a few years ago to an absolutely stunning level and is believed to be one of the best examples of this model.

What caught the imagination of the judges at the Arcadia event was the accurate period features of the car, so carefully restored and that it stood out as a car, built in 1940, that bridged the gap between the pre-and post-war periods of Aston Martin design language. The Type C was the first Aston Martin sports car to use aerodynamics to help achieve its performance goals (with a top speed of 100mph) and with more modern styling features that would evolve in the models that followed. For an event that was celebrating 110 years of Aston Martin, the judges felt that this car caught the spirit of the event and perfectly represented how the marque has evolved over the decades.

And Mr Chatani’s car is beautiful. He uses it to commute

between his home in Osaka and his holiday house in Yamanaka Lake, near Mount Fuji. It’s not his only beautiful car, either, as previously he has invested in a gorgeous Aston Martin 1951 DB2, a slick 1986 V8 Volante as well as a Toyota 2000GT and

a 1980 Porsche 928. He first fell in love with the brand when he saw the DB5 driven by Sean Connery in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, although the car has also appeared in Thunderball, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Spectre, and, most recently, 2021’s No Time To Die. He was actually on the verge of buying from another car manufacturer, and after seeing the DB5 immediately changed his mind.

“I love the brand because of its originality, dignity and grace,” he says, perfectly encapsulating the Aston Martin DNA. “The brand is so special because of its heritage and its design sensibility,” he says. “It has all the hallmarks of a classic British brand, and yet it is truly international. I love driving
the cars because they are not just smart and sporty, but they make me feel incredibly proud. The other British brand I love
is Paul Smith, and they both have a similar sensibility. If I’m honest I would say that design is more important to me than performance, and yet it’s good to know you have something serious under the bonnet. I love the metallic blue colour, which to me is the classic Aston Martin hue.”

While Mr Chatani is obsessive about the brand, he has one ambition he has yet to realise. “Unfortunately I have yetw to drive an Aston Martin outside Japan,” he says, “but I hope that is about to change.”