Aston Martin History – Beautiful British Design

Aston Martin’s history flows through the last century like a golden thread that ties together some of the most quintessentially British successes – fast cars, superlative design, motor racing and Bond, James Bond.

It’s hard to imagine that this classic car brand started life in a small London workshop, but its humble beginnings belie the prestige, luxury item that it has become in a relatively short space of time – a little over a hundred years.

Aston Martin DB5 – James Bond

The Age of the Aston Martin

The Aston Martin has secured its position as one of the world’s most recognised and admired brands. But, in 1913, the year that the first car was produced, the world was on the brink of war and it had a huge impact on the brand.

The creators of the Aston Martin were British engineer, Robert Bamford, and motor vehicle dealer and manufacturer, Lionel Martin. Together, they founded Bamford & Martin Ltd. The company went on to adopt the Aston Martin name in 1914 to commemorate one of Lionel Martin’s successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire. Aston Martin’s car history could have been both brief and beautiful, as both Martin and Bamford joined the war effort with the outbreak of World War I. Martin joined the Navy and Bamford joined the Royal Army Service Corps. Not only did car design and development cease for the duration of the war, but all of Aston Martin’s machinery was sold to the Sopwith Aviation Company.

Surviving the Great War, the pair relocated the company to London in 1920 with a new model created. However, times were not easy and neither the company or the founders survived the roaring 20s. Bamford left the company in 1920, with Martin following suit in 1926. The company itself failed in 1924 and was refinanced, before failing again in 1925.

From Failure to Fabulous

Sometimes, it’s the triumph over adversity that attracts value to a brand; the belief that, at the heart of it, something wonderful has been created and it’s worth supporting. It could be the brand’s ability to survive its own early years is what sets it apart as a superb investment even still.

While the Aston Martin is a thing of beauty, from the DB5 to the Volante, it’s the standard of elite engineering that has cemented the Aston Martin’s place as the classic car of legend. The brand was born from Bamford and Martin’s love of fast engines, speed and racing. But, with Aston Martin, performance has never come at the expense of style, with each model more beautiful than the last.

Aston Martin DBS V12 Volante
Aston Martin DBS V12 Volante

Peak Performance

The Aston Martin refuses to rest on its laurels, with its earliest successes echoed by more recent triumphs. An iconic win in their inaugural French Grand Prix in 1922 is bookended by the V8 Vantage GTE’s 2017 success in 24 Hours of LeMans GTE Pro Class.

The luxury automotive industry is one of the most competitive in the world. The pressure to create something exceptional takes engineering nous in the first instance, but the end product also has to be enchanting and easy on the eye.

The Aston Martin brand was helmed for 25 years, from 1947 to 1972 by David Brown. An English industrialist by career, Brown revolutionised the company, with smart expansion plans that reinforced the brand name while also welcoming Lagonda into the fold. It was also the age of the Aston Martin DB.

Aston Martin DB History

Launched in the same year that Brown arrived in the company, the DB2 was the first Aston Martin to carry the DB name. Within 4 years, it took both 2nd and 3rd place in its class at LeMans. With each new iteration of the DB model, the car became ever more refined and high performing. Notable models include the DB3 and DB3S, and the DB4GT along with the DB4GT Zagato, following a high-profile and very astute collaboration with the Zagato brand.

There was still more to come, however, and, in 1963, was the launch of the DB5. The DB5 arrived on the scene and the world fell in love with it. Today, the DB5 is still often proclaimed the most beautiful car in the world.

Aston Martin DB5 Paris
Aston Martin DB5

The Aston Martin DB5’s position as a British icon was further cemented when it featured in ‘Goldfinger’, 1964’s James Bond release. The Aston Martin DB5 holds its value and makes for a good investment – the ‘Goldfinger DB5’ used in filming fetched $6.4 million dollars at American auction. 

Aston Martin understand inherently that they have a very special product and – like some of the most prestigious watch brands in the world – they keep their production rate low. The DB5 itself only enjoyed a production run of 1,057, which became rarer still when the Bond film makers managed to destroy one!

A Vantage Point

The Aston Martin Vantage, in the 1970s, was celebrated as Britain’s first supercar and had a top speed of 170 miles per hour. Vantage models were released alongside the Virage and the Volante; the DB also made a reappearance as the DB7. With cars, such as the DB9, DBS V12 and the V12 Virage released in recent years, it’s the ownership of Aston Martin that has witnessed most movement.

A partnership with Mercedes-AMG in 2013 and flotation on the London Stock Exchange, as Aston Martin Lagonda Holdings PLC in 2017, has served to secure the brand’s position in the luxury supercar market.

Where will the next century take Aston Martin? The brand continues to push at the boundaries of automotive performance, with the ‘Valkyrie’ currently in production. Developed in collaboration with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie promises acceleration of 0-60mph in 2.5 secs and will have a top speed of 250 mph for model that is street legal.

The Aston Martin is a British icon that stands the test of time. With over a century of production, Aston Martins remains a firm favourite that holds its value well. As an experienced and reputable pawnbroker with over 250 years’ experience, Suttons and Robertsons understand the value that a classic car, such as an Aston Martin, holds. If you are looking for a fast cash car loan to release equity from your Aston Martin, call us today.