The British car manufacturer and racing legend, Aston Martin turns 100 today. I have always loved Aston Martin. With their rich racing heritage, consistent styling, and hand-built quality, whats not to love? And what better day to write about this brand than their 10oth anniversary.
Aston Martin began in 1913, founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The two partnered as Bamford & Martin the previous year to sell cars made by Singer. Martin was also a professional driver, and he raced specials at the Aston Clinton Hill climb event near Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire, England. The duo decided to make their own vehicles. The company was born when Martin installed a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini, naming their creation Aston Martin in homage to Aston hill. They relocated to Henniker Place in Kensington and built their first car in March 1915, but regular production did not start until well after the end World War I.
In 1947, David Brown Limited purchased Aston Martin, and managing director Sir David Brown was at the helm, he was the “postwar saviour”. The company also purchased Lagonda that year and its W. O. Bentley designed engine. The companies benefited from combined resources and R&D. This marriage brought forth the classic “DB” series of cars . In 1950, the company announced the DB2, followed by the DB2/4 in 1953, the DB2/4 MkII in 1955, the DB Mark III in 1957, and the Italian-styled 3.7 L DB4 in 1958. These cars did a great job establishing Aston Martin’s racing pedigree, but the model that really made the name famous was DB5 in 1963, thanks in no small part to their relationship with british spy James Bond. The company maintained course with its GT styling with the DB6 (1965–70), and DBS (1967–1972).
In this generation the modern Aston Martin is the maker of some of the most beautiful and sought after supercars in the world. They still have an intimate relationship with James Bond being featured in the latest film Skyfall, and other recents like Die Another Day. British cars are unique in the car world, they are some of the most breathtaking beauties, some of the quirkiest to keep up, and definitely some of the most luxurious and best built. By comparison Aston Martin is very unique among the brits, or cars in general perfectly marrying sport and luxury in one unmistakable and iconic package. Heres to 100 more great years for Aston Martin, there are many great car makers out there, but few do it quite as swell.
(images courtesy of: money.cnn.com, supercars.com, astonmartin.com, giulianomazzuoli.it)
- Aston Martin’s centenary year (telegraph.co.uk)
- Kate Middleton’s wedding carriage of choice: See the stars and their cars as Aston Martin celebrates 100 years (mirror.co.uk)