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Aston Martin Centenary 2013


Aston Martin is a name that is dear to the hearts of British car enthusiasts. Even those whose interest in cars stops at them being mere transport will concede that over the years they have made some truly beautiful vehicles and they just go on getting even more desirable.

It was on the 15th January that Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded this iconic brand. The company was originally called Bamford & Martin. Bamford had successes at the Aston Clinton Hill Climb (you can see where this is going) in their first cars. Although Gaydon in Warwickshire is now the base the company was first based in Henniker Mews in Chelsea. The two founders first sold Singer cars but soon decided to build their own at which point the company became Aston Martin.

To celebrate this there will be a photo-shoot at Henniker Mews on the founding date featuring the oldest surviving Aston, an A3 (pictured) and the latest ultimate dream machine, the 2013 Vanquish. There will be a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

It’s a surprise to learn that in the first 90 years of production, even during the famous David Brown years, the company built less than 15000 cars! Introducing a note of horror, David Brown – who put his initials on some of the most famous cars – actually used a Jaguar XJ Series 1 as his personal motor! It says something about the more recent transformation of the company that, since 2003, they have built 45000 units.

In the same period the company has supplemented the modern range of the DB9 and the Vantage with other models and variations including the superb Rapide. Now that’s what we call a family car! The expansion has continued worldwide as Aston Martin have become truly international boasting 146 dealerships around the globe.

From the 15th to the 21st July there will be a week-long festival. It’s open house at Gaydon that week and will include factory based events and driving tours. Form an orderly queue. The highpoint is a concours event in central London. It will be a year to remember for Aston Fans.

In the century since the company’s inception, Aston Martin has represented the peak of sporting excellence, stunning design and old-school craftsmanship. Times change and other owners will come along but the name Aston Martin arches over such trivialities to remain resolutely British at heart. Just ask James Bond.

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