Aston Martin V8 Vantage is one such car. No slouch in the visual department, it's also a rare aural delight. I say this as someone who normally finds little pleasure in hearing an accelerating engine. Most often, and especially late at night outside my house, it inspires only thoughts of the violent revenge I'd like to carry out on the driver of the guilty vehicle.
But I feel sure I could listen to CDs of a speeding V8 the way some insomniacs find comfort in recordings of whale song. It's a deeply soulful sound, like a John Coltrane solo – only played on an alloy camshaft rather than a tenor saxophone.
What's more, it grows sweeter as the revs increase, so you can find yourself flirting with three penalty points while accelerating towards that beckoning siren sound. Alas, "I'm sorry officer, I was beguiled by the music of the engine", is the kind of explanation that soon leads to an exchange with a Breathalyser.
Why buy an Aston Martin V8 Vantage rather than, say, a Porsche 911? To most of us, this is about as relevant as asking where would we least like to live, North Korea or Burma? It's an abstract inquiry, a hypothetical game. Nevertheless, there are individuals who do face this very dilemma. And the answer, ultimately, is that you'd opt for the Vantage for reasons of style.