If there’s any concern about the provenance of the Aston Martin Cygnet being a “real Aston Martin,” Aston hope it’s quelled by Formula One world champion Stirling Moss giving one of the diminutive city cars to his wife Susie Moss. The Cygnet–named for a swan’s ugly duckling offspring–is a Toyota iQ, leather-lined and otherwise overlaid with Aston Martin luxury trim.
Lady Moss (hubby is Sir Stirling) doesn’t get a standard Cygnet, however. Because every Cygnet can be trimmed to its buyer’s desires, it’s not surprising that Susie Moss’ Cygnet was finished in the same green color used by the Aston Martin racing team in the 1950s when Sir Stirling drove for the British sports car company’s racing team.
But if there’s any suspicion that Susie is “just a race car driver’s wife”, Stirling Moss has recounted how at a vintage race about 15 years ago, Susie changed the gear ratios on his car before the race, performing the daunting task of tearing down a transmission and reassembling it alongside Stirling.
The specially-prepared baby Aston (with a black leather with “coarse silver” stitching interior) was in planning for six months, according to Aston Martin, but to make the Cygnet particularly special, it was officially supplied (there’s no indication that Moss actually bought the car–though he is a race car driver) through HWM Aston Martin, an official Aston Martin dealer since 1951, the oldest of Aston’s 134 dealers around the world and the one which gave Moss his first Grand Prix drives in 1951/52 in HWM-built cars. Moss would be part of the factory team that in 1959 won the World Sportscar Championship in the Aston Martin DBR1, including a win in the Le Mans 24-hour.
According to Aston, Moss giving the car to his wife for her birthday was his idea, quoting the racing legend as saying, “Since seeing a pre-production Cygnet in January I knew that it was the perfect car for Susie; a proper little piece of British luxury and perfect for our life in town.”
Perfect city car or not, the cynic in us sees the Cygnet for Susie as a masterful stroke of product placement. If Susie Moss drives an Aston Martin Cygnet, you can give your wife a Cygnet too.
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