The Floral & Hardy Renault Avantime
Words by and copyright to Oliver Hammond, Features Editor, 06/06/2011
Last Friday morning amidst the exchanging of customary #FFs by us motoring types on Twitter, @OneCarefulOwner tipped me off regarding a Renault Avantime he sometimes catches sight of on his commute to work. He thought Simon Ford and I would like to know about it for our successful new motoring website www.simonscarspots.com, especially so because the Avantime in question happens to be branded, making it an ever rarer sight than an Avantime normally would be.
Almost immediately, being the huge Renault Vel Satis (and hence by way of sibling-ship the Avantime) fan that I am, I Googled “Floral & Hardy”, which @OneCarefulOwner said was the branding sported by the vehicle in question.
I contacted Paul and Helen at Floral & Hardy straight away to ask for their permission to use pictures of their Avantime, and to my delight my email was banded around the office and I subsequently received a reply giving me the green light to go ahead (whilst being quite surprised how much attention a vehicle can create!). Not only that, but Paul, the owner of the Avantime and co-owner of Floral & Hardy, took these extra photographs of the Avantime specially for us, in the grounds of Leeds Castle.
As well as Paul’s photographs splendidly showing off the individual and much-coveted lines of the Avantime and Floral & Hardy’s branding, they also draw attention to his fabulous private registration plate OA51S FH, which really does oblige us to doth our proverbial caps in commendation! Paul’s also pretty chuffed with his plate as you might expect, what with it tying in perfectly with their firm and hiding his Avantime’s age and some-might-say high mileage at the same time.
Floral & Hardy are garden designers based in Bromley and mainly undertake garden design projects in Kent, London, Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex primarily, but often travel much further afield in the UK.
Avantime owners are a pretty passionate bunch on the whole, rather like my fellow Vel Satis owners, so we’re pleased to know that Paul has been a member of the Avantime Owners Club for a while now. June the 11th was understandably short notice, so he and Helen are very welcome to attend the next joint Avantime and Vel Satis meet. Keep your eyes peeled on www.vel-satis.org for more details in due course.
We would love to hear from Paul in the near future with more background on why he chose such a rare and stylish car as the Avantime in the first place. As one of my Vel Satis Owners Club members said to me on Friday when this story broke, “When they choose a car like that, I’d have 100% faith in a masterpiece of a garden being produced. Must keep them in mind!”
By and copyright to Oliver Hammond, Features Editor, 06/06/2011