In this Aston Martin history, we briefly look at the origin, models, information, and facts about the Aston Martin sports car brand.
Aston Martin is a manufacturer of sports cars and Grand tourers based in Britain.
One of the world’s most reputable and famous sports car brands, Aston Martin has changed ownership repeatedly.
The company, which has not found success as much as its rivals in motorsports, most especially Formula One, has edged its rivals in popularity.
Thanks to its association with the fictional James Bond spy character.
Aston Martin Brand Information
- Date Founded: 15 January 1913
- Founders: Lionel Martin; Robert Bamford
- Headquarters: Gaydon, Warwickshire, England, UK
- CEO: Lawrence Stroll
- Other Brands: Lagonda
- Website: www.astonmartin.com; astonmartinlagonda.com
- Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube
Aston Martin History
Aston Martin traces its roots to Bamford & Martin, a company founded by Robert Hanford and Lionel Martin, which focused on selling cars made by Singer and service vehicles made by Calthorpe and GWK.
In 1913, the duo decided to produce their cars.
The company’s first car was in 1915 and was based on a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine fitted in the chassis of a 1908 Isotta Fraschini.
However, World War I delayed the car’s production for sale, as Bamford went on to fight for the Army Service Corps, while Martin went on to join the Admiralty.
Following the war, the duo continued to produce a car but in new premises in Abingdon Road, Kensington.
Bamford soon left the company, but Count Louis Zborowski invested in it.
Bamford & Martin produced cars in 1922, which competed in the French Grand Prix and Brooklands.
At Brooklands, Bamford & Martin cars set endurance and speed cars.
In 1924, Bamford & Martin went bankrupt and was then bought by Dorothea, Lady Charnwood.
When the company entered another round of financial woes in 1925, Martin sold the company again.
The new investors, which consist of Dorothea, Lady Charnwood, Augustus (Bert) Bertelli, and Bill Renwick, rebranded the company like Aston Martin motors and moved operations to Feltham, the former Whitehead Aircraft Limited Hanworth works.
Fenwick and Bertilli had set out to produce a new car.
Upon hearing that Aston martin was in financial woes, they decided to buy the company and produce their car, using the company’s reputation.
Bertelli assumed Aston Martin’s technical director and designer posts, and in that capacity, he designed the “Le Mans,” “International,” and other cars widely known as “Bertelli cars.”
Bertelli raced his cars, specifically the “Le Mans,” at various racing events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it found success.
In 1932, Aston Martin entered another financial aid and was rescued by Lance Prideaux Brune. Lance Prideaux Brune then passed on the company to Sir Arthur Sutherland.
Aston Martin began producing road cars in 1960. About 700 of the road cars were produced until World War II broke out.
Aero-engine became the focus of Aston Martin during the war.
David Brown (1947–1972)
World War II put Aston Martin into another financial crisis and was rescued by David Brown, who bought the company in 1947 through David Brown Limited.
Under David Brown, Aston Martin acquired Lagonda and went on to produce various models of cars.
A deeply indebted Aston Martin had its debt cleared by David Brown in 1972, who then handed the company over to Birmingham-based investment bank, Company Developments, and chaired by William Willson.
William Willson (1972–1975)
The economic recession of the 1970s and the difficulty of meeting California’s exhaust emission requirements soon led to Aston Martin pulling out of the US.
In April 1975, Aston Martin was sold to Jeremy Turner, a British businessman who insisted on Aston Martin remaining a British business.
Other buyers include Peter Sprague of National Semiconductor, and Toronto Hotelier, George Minden.
The company was sold for £1.04 million. Soon, investors Alan Curtis and George Flather joined the team.
The company then rebranded to Aston Martin Lagonda Limited (AML) and released the V8 Vantage in 1977, and the Volante followed the following year.
Aston Martin was riding high in profits, and there were rumors that the company planned on buying Lamborghini. As the 1970s ended, 10% of AML was acquired by CH Industrials plc.
Victor Gauntlett (1981–1991)
In 1981, Victor Gauntlett of Pace Petroleum bought Peter Sprague and Alan Curtis shares in Aston Martin.
That year CH Industrials and Pace Petroleum became equal owners of Aston Martin.
AML continued to be successful and was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment by the Prince of Wales in 1982.
As AML needed more finances, Gauntlet sold his shares in Pace Petroleum to Peter Livanos of ALL. Inc.
Thus, ALL went to own 55% of Aston Martin’s shares.
ALL and CHI Industries equally owned an engineering subsidiary of the company named Rockford, which had been formed.
ALL was bought by Livanos’ father, as Peter Livanos shipping empire battled financial crisis.
Gauntlett then came back as an AML shareholder but owning 25% of the company.
The deal which saw Aston Martin changed hands made the company valued at £2 million.
To increase Aston Martin’s popularity, Gauntlett made Aston Martin part of the James Bond Universe and provided his Aston Martin vintage for use in the James Bond movie production, The Living Daylights.
In May 1987, a conversation between Gauntlett and vice president of Ford Europe, Walther Hayes, led to Ford buying Aston Martin’s shares in September 1987.
With more funds needed to produce the DB7, Gauntlett decided to hand over his shares in the company to Ford.
Ford Motor Company (1991–2007)
From 1991 to 2007, Ford owned Aston Martin. In 2007, David Richards of Pro Drive bought Aston Martin for £475 million.
Private Limited Company (2007–2018)
From 2007 to 2018, Aston Martin remained a Private company, with various companies like Investindustrial, buying 25% of its shares in 2013, and Daimler AG acquiring 5% of the company in 2013.
London Stock Exchange (2018–Present)
In August 2018, Aston Martin became listed on the London Stock Exchange as Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc.
In January 2020, Lawrence Stroll, a Canadian billionaire, infused £182 million in the company for 25% stakes.
He then went on to become the company’s chairman.
Toto Wolff of team principal of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport claimed 4.8% in the company, and Ernesto Bertarelli, a pharmaceutical magnate, acquired 3.4%.
Aston Martin Logo History
The Aston Martin’s traditional wing logo and badge traces its origin in ancient Egypt, derived from the open wings of the scarab beetle.
The wing is a symbol of speed, dreams and freedom.
Facts About Aston Martin
- Aston Martin’s relationship with James Bond dates as far back as the 1980s.
- The Aston Martin DB5 used in the 1964 Goldfinger, James Bond spy thriller movie, has been missing since 1997. The theft remains a mystery.
- Of the 23 James Bond Movies, Aston Martin DB5 has been presented in 12.
Aston Martin Models
- Aston Martin Standard Sports (1921–1925)
- Aston Martin First Series (1927–1932)
- Aston Martin International (1929–1932)
- Aston Martin International Le Mans (1932–1932)
- Aston Martin Le Mans (1932–1934)
- Aston Martin 12/50 Standard (1933–1934)
- Aston Martin Mk II (1934–1936)
- Aston Martin Ulster (1934–1936)
- Aston Martin 2-litre Speed Models (1936–1940)
- Aston Martin 15/98 (1937–1939)
- Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports DB1 (1948–1950)
- Aston Martin DB2 (1950–1953)
- Aston Martin DB2/4 (1953–1957)
- Aston Martin DB Mark III (1957–1959)
- Aston Martin DB4 (1958–1963)
- Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato (1961–1963)
- Aston Martin DB5 (1963–1965)
- Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante (1965–1966)
- Aston Martin DB6 (1965–1969)
- Aston Martin DBS (1967–1972)
- Aston Martin V8 (1969–1989)
- Aston Martin V8 Vantage (1977–1989)
- Aston Martin V8 Zagato (1986–1990)
- Aston Martin Virage/Virage Volante (1989–1996)
- Aston Martin Virage (1989–2000)
- Aston Martin Vantage (1993–2000)
- Aston Martin V8 Coupe/V8 Volante (1996–2000)
- Aston Martin DB7/DB7 Vantage (1993–2003)
- Aston Martin V12 Vanquish/Vanquish S (2001–2007)
- Aston Martin DB7 Zagato (2002–2003)
- Aston Martin DB AR1 (2002–2004)
- Aston Martin DB9 (2004–2016)
- Aston Martin V8 and V12 Vantage (2005–2018)
- Aston Martin DBS V12 (2007–2012)
- Aston Martin One-77 (2009–2012)
- Aston Martin Rapide/Rapide S (2010–2020)
- Aston Martin Virage/Virage Volante (2011–2012)
- Aston Martin Cygnet, based on the Toyota iQ (2011–2013)
- Aston Martin V12 Zagato (2012–2013)
- Aston Martin Vanquish/Vanquish Volante (2012–2018)
- Aston Martin Vulcan (2015–2016)
- Aston Martin DB11 (2016–present)
- Aston Martin Vantage (2018–present)
- Aston Martin DBS Superleggera (2018–present)
- Aston Martin DBX (2020–present)
- Aston Martin Atom – concept (1944)
- Lagonda Rapide (1961–1964)
- Aston Martin Lagonda (1976–1989)
- Aston Martin Bulldog – concept (1980)
- Lagonda Vignale – concept (1993)
- Aston Martin V12 Vantage RS – concept (2007)
- Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 (2007–2008)
- Aston Martin Lagonda SUV – concept (2009)
- Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Edition (2010)
- Aston Martin DBS Carbon Black Edition (2010)
- Aston Martin Rapide Bertone Jet 2+2 – concept (2013)
- Aston Martin CC100 Speedster – concept (2013)
- Aston Martin DB10 – concept (2015)
- Lagonda Taraf (2015–2016)
- Aston Martin Vanquish Vision – concept (2019)
- Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato (2019)
- Aston Martin V12 Speedster (2020)
- Aston Martin DB11
- Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
- Aston Martin DBX
- Aston Martin Vantage
- Aston Martin Valkyrie
- Aston Martin Valhalla
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