As Aston Martin themselves say, their ethos is Power, Beauty and Soul. We can’t think of a better way to sum up this incredible marque, whose cars have become a byword for sophistication, elegance and adventure.
Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as ‘Bamford and Martin Ltd’, the company changed its name to Aston Martin in 1914. This was because the company’s first car, the ‘coal scuttle’, saw great success at the Aston Hill Climb, with Martin in the driving seat.
Over the next 25 years the company built a reputation for speed and high-quality engineering, coming to prominence with wins in F1 and Le Mans. At Brooklands in 1922, their prototype – nicknamed ‘Bunny’ – broke ten world records in 16 and a half hours.
After the war the company was bought by engineering entrepreneur David Brown, under whose leadership the company moved to Newport Pagnell, produced its famous ‘DB’ range of cars and began its famous association with the James Bond films.
After Brown sold the thriving company in 1972 it entered into a rocky financial period, until Ford bought a significant stake in 1987. From there major investment transformed the company, and in 1993 the famous DB7 was launched, followed by cars such as the V8 Vantage which alerted the world to Aston Martin’s new vigour.
Development of the much-loved DB9 commenced in 2003, and by the time Ford sold the company in 2007 the marque had a world-beating stable of supercars. The new owners only increased Aston Martin’s innovation and output, and the last 7 years have witnessed the birth of iconic cars such as the V12 Vantage, the Virage, the Volante and the One-77.
Today, the company pursues its goal of making the highest-quality, handcrafted vehicles that are as beautiful as they are powerful. Attention to detail, including an obsession with flawless fit and finish, combined with top-of-the-line manufacturing technology, ensures a memorable experience – whichever Aston Martin you drive.
Ten things you might not know about Aston Martin:
1. The company was given a Royal Warrant by Prince Charles in 1982, and still holds on to it today.
2. You can own an Aston Martin bicycle – the One-77 bike – for £25,000.
3. The DB5 which featured so dramatically in Bond film Skyfall was actually a replica made with a 3D printer – phew!
4. The Aston Martin Owners Club is now over 70 years old.
5. A plaque was placed on the company’s original home in Chelsea to mark its centenary.
6. The first Aston Martin was called ‘the coal scuttle’.
7. In the past 10 years, Aston Martin has built three times as many cars as it did in its first 90!
8. In the Ian Fleming books, James Bond was more closely associated with a Bentley than an Aston Martin
9. Aston Martin has a dedicated test centre at the Nürburgring
10. The fastest car in the range is the limited-edition Aston Martin One-77, with a top speed of 220.007MPH.