ON January 15 1913, Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded a new automotive venture – who would’ve guessed it would become one of the most prestigious marques in the world?
This year, Aston Martin marks it’s centenary and to commemorate a spectacular 100 years, it will be holding a series of celebrations.
Originally called Bamford & Martin, the company later became known as Aston Martin, acknowledging Robert Bamford’s success at the Aston Clinton Hillclimb in Buckinghamshire, where he had successfully raced its very first cars.
Bamford and Martin began their business in Chelsea’s Henniker Mews in London, becoming well known as providers of sporting machines to enthusiastic racers and discerning enthusiasts.
In the century that followed Aston Martin has come to represent many things, from sporting prowess through to technical innovation, beautiful design, fine craftsmanship and superior performance.
In Aston Martin’s first 90 years the company built fewer than 15,000 cars. The open bodied two-seater sports specials of the pre-war years gave way to the David Brown era of the 1950s and beyond which saw the introduction of the legendary DB2/4, DB4, DB5, DB6 and DBS, before the V8 Vantage and Virage led Aston Martin to the DB7, original Vanquish and on into the modern era.
The 1950s also saw the company move production to Tickford Street in Newport Pagnell – a factory now historically preserved.
For 50 years, it served as teh company’s home as it produced some of its finest cars and became a leading super-power in the world of prestigious cars.
The brand is, of course, the motor of choice for secret agent James Bond, and the cars have featured heavily in the popular series of movies.
The DB5 is arguable Mr Bond’s most famous car, first appearing in Goldfinger, later appearing in another six movies. But he has also tried his hand with a V8 Vantage, the V12 Vanquish and the DBS in recent years.
And while the company has left its Tickford Street home and moved into a new, state-of-the-art facility in Gaydon in Warwickshire, it retains a presence at its old site with a service centre and a showroom.
Throughout 2013, the brand will be celebrating its history with a host of events. On Tuesday, January 15, a plaque will be unveiled at Bamford & Martin’s first home, at Henniker Mews in London. There will also be several centenary drives in the summer, allowing Aston Martin owners to take in some of the most picturesque routes in convoy, and a birthday bash in London in July.
For more information on Aston Martin’s 100th year celebrations, visit www.astonmartin.com/aston-martin-centenary