Britain's Greatest Car Manufacturer - Aston Martin
Aston Martin is renowned for their rich history which has left lasting impacts on the racing world, cinema and also British culture. A staple of British manufacturing, they have been included in our series which explores Britain's Greatest Car Manufacturers. However, who is Aston Martin? How did they become what they are?
Aston Martin in the Early Years
Aston Martin's story began on January 15th, 1913 as Bamford and Martin Ltd. Their founders, Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, chose a vision of impeccable design and supreme performance to be associated with the brand. This vision still exists today and acts as the organising principle behind each addition to the Aston Martin family.
Ventures into Motorsport
In 1914, Bamford and Martin Ltd changed their name to Aston Martin which was taken from Lionel's success at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire. Their affiliation with motorsport continued as they debuted as Aston Martin at the French GP in 1922. Since then, Aston Martin has accumulated numerous successes in some of the most prestigious championships in motorsport such as the Nürburgring 1000km, Le Mans 24 Hours and other championships held in the Americas and Asia.
David Brown and Aston Martin
If you have ever wondered what DB means then cast your mind back to 1947 when Aston Martin was struggling to get their car manufacturing up and running again after WW2. The war had forced them to halt production to make aeroplane components instead. Unable to find funding, the company was eventually put up for sale and advertised in a newspaper. Sir David Brown who was an agricultural and engineering entrepreneur paid £20,500 to acquire Aston Martin.
Sir David Brown's intervention helped to liberate Aston Martin. His initials were used as a moniker for future cars which still exists today under the 'DB' series. Sir David Brown would eventually sell Aston Martin in 1972.
The Iconic DB-Series
"Inarguably the most famous film car of all time and therefore probably the most famous car of all time, full stop." - Jason Barlow's review of the DB5
Aston Martin started writing themselves into cinematic history through their iconic partnership with James Bond. This partnership goes back to 1964's Goldfinger which was the third instalment of the world-famous franchise. Sean Connery was chosen to partner the Aston Martin DB5, after Jaguar resisted supplying two of their iconic E-types, and this was the beginning of an Aston Martin-James Bond relationship which has lasted over 50 years and has helped to cement Aston Martin in history with an array memorable scenes which has culminated in Aston Martin featuring in countless countdowns of the best movie cars of all time. The DB5 would make another appearance in 2012's Skyfall which surely brought back a lot of memories.
The Future of Aston Martin
Aston Martin's ingenuity can be found at their state-of-the-art HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Their founding principle still exists today where they continue to make real their desire to create cars of impeccable design and supreme performance. Examples of this include their DB9.
"The Aston Martin DB9 matches the emotion offered by a Ferrari" - Matt Prior's review of the DB9.
Next in Our Series
It's no doubt that Aston Martin is a manufacturer who has endeared the hearts of people around the world but enough to be Britain's greatest? See more additions to our series with Bentley coming up next where you'll be able to see how Aston Martin link with the brand.