Aston Martin is a company with one of the richest and most prestigious of heritages in the history of automobiles.
In the year 1913 two motor racing enthusiasts by the names of Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin founded a company by the name of Bamford and Martin Ltd in order to sell cars that were manufactured by Singer. Martin was a Specials’ racer at Aston Hill near the Aston Clinton and owing to numerous good race runs, 1914 saw the company renamed to Aston Martin – a name that till day is a benchmark in the world’s most luxurious and elegant fast cars .
The Birth of Aston Martin Motors
By 1920 the company shifted its base to Kensington and by 1922 Aston Martin took its first historic steps in overseas competition – the French Grand Prix, with two of its cars completing the race.
Financials took a downturn forcing a brief closure of the company in 1925 and quickly there was a revival in ’26 by a group of investors then forming “Aston Martin Motors Ltd.”.
In no time at all the business boomed again with a competitive range of sports cars and their reputation for engineering and design capabilities went on a constant climb. This led the Aston Martin to make their debut in the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1928. In 1933 Aston Martin took a clean sweep of all podium places in the 1.5 L category winning great acclaim.
The Avant-Garde Prototype
1939 saw the development of an Avant-Garde Prototype on an early form of the space frame chassis and independent suspension – another step in the company’s engineering capabilities. It was called the Aston Martin Atom.
In 1947, the company changed hands and was acquired by an English Industrialist called David Brown. Passion, love and energy towards building cars saw the purchase of the Lagonda marque and production was relocated to Middlesex. All models produced under Brown’s ownership were prefixed with his initials “DB” and the cars that were produced henceforth helped Aston Martin achieve worldwide recognition and awe. The DB and DB 2 were launched subsequently and the 1950’s saw Aston’s success at the LeMans race, the World Sportscar Championship, and the Nurburgring 1000 km race.
Off the circuit, Aston Martin launched the DB 4 GT, a high performance counterpart of the DB 4, and in 1960, a historic collaboration with the Italian Coachbuilder Zagato, saw the evolution of the DB 4 into the acclaimed DB 4 GT Zagato. In 1963, the Aston Martin DB 5, a car frequently acclaimed as the most beautiful car in the world, was born. The year 1964 saw the commencement of a great relationship that has left its mark on the popular world culture ever since, with the DB 5 being chosen to be James Bond’s car in the film ‘Gold finger’.
The next decade saw a successful model after model launch owing to the success and popularity of the beautiful DB 5. The DB 6, DB 6 Volante, DBS, DBS V8 were all, one after the other, introduced to the world.
However, even with the iconic product range, once again Aston Martin saw a new takeover in 1972, by “Company Developments Ltd.” The same year saw the Aston Martin V8 enter in to production, and in 1975 yet again, Peter Sprague, George Minden and Alan Curtis led a consortium to take over the firm. The first car to be unveiled under this new ownership was the revolutionary “Lagonda” as the iconic sister marque of Aston Martin was re-introduced.
Bond Films with Aston Martin
After repeatedly changing hands, the Ford Motor company, acquiring a 75 per cent stake made a successful return to the race track, and many more successful Bond films with Aston Martin as the protagonist’s car of choice, Aston Martin moved into the 90’s with a new sports car leading its model range – the Virage.
The year 2001 saw two landmarks with the 5000th Aston Martin DB7 rolling off the production line and the launch of the breathtaking V12 Vanquish – a car that brought with it the next leap in technological advancements and also appeared in the hit Bond film “Die Another Day”.
With the brilliant engineering and design developments, highlighting the company’s run through the first decade of the 21st century, its end saw the unveiling of the “ultimate” Aston Martin One-77, the most powerful, naturally aspirated supercar in the world. Only 77 of these were built and the very foundations of its design lay in in-depth study and research of “divine proportions”. On its very debut, the One-77 won the design award in the concepts and prototypes class at the event held in Italy.
Last year, the largest gathering of Aston Martins in the history of the world took place during the special centenary week celebrating 100 years of the company. With an unparalleled history of hand-overs and a heritage of passion and hard work put into designing some of the most beautiful sports cars in the world, Aston Martin drives forward with new investments and the strongest model line-up ever created.