The Aston Martin brand has done exceedingly well since its inception back in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. Over the years it has created a range of classy cars and made its way into films, millionaire’s driveways and even onto some of the best race circuits in the world.
Martin and Bamford started off by selling vehicles in Callow Street, London. Martin was a keen racer taking part in specialist events like the Aston Hill in Buckinghamshire. Together, the pair made their first car bearing the Aston Martin badge in 1915 but the onslaught of WWI meant that production never got underway. After the war, the company was re-founded at new premises in Kensington, London, and a new car was produced bearing the iconic emblem.
The brand Aston Martin did not work for the pair. Bamford, who left in 1920, and Martin who left the company in 1926 left once they’d gone bankrupt. The new investors into Aston Martin could see the potential the brand had and one of them, Augustus Bertelli, was head of design from 1926 until 1937. The cars produced during this era had come to being known as the Bertelli cars. Cars like the T Type and the Ulster were mainly two-seater open-top vehicles but Aston Martin also produced a number of saloons and tourers. Bertelli was also a keen racer and entered Aston Martin into great races like the Le Mans and even took part, but after more financial problems the company decided to concentrate on production cars. WWII hit and the plant was closed down or rather developed to make parts for planes and the war effort.
In 1947, Sir David Brown bought the car firm and it’s from here that the iconic DB brand grew. The DB2 was produced in 1950 and just three years later saw the production of the DB2/4. Many other great DB cars would come under the guidance of Sir David Brown like the exquisite DB Mark III and the Italian looking DB4 with its 3.7-litre engine. It was also during this period that Aston Martin made its first appearance in a James Bond movie – Goldfinger in 1964. An Aston Martin also appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds and the original The Italian Job. Brown sold up in 1972 after financial problems with the firm and new investors were brought in.
Over the next 20 years the ownership changed hands a couple more times and the DB brand was reintroduced with the launch of the DB7 in 1993. Ford took control of the company the following year and a new era began. Some truly outstanding cars were to be made here with the likes of V12 Vantage hitting the roads in 1999, the DB9 which came as a coupe, convertible or Volante. In 2007, Ford sold the company for $848 million but kept a $70 million investment in the brand. The same year saw the end of production in Newport Pagnell and the plant shutdown after being home to Aston Martin since 1955.
Aston Martin launched the first four-door car in 2010 after showing it as a concept car four years ago. It retains its impressive power and can reach speeds of 184mph and the future for this luxurious car manufacturer looks awesome.