Aston Martin owners from all over the world spare no expense to have their prized possessions taken care of in Newport Pagnell.
Although production may have stopped in 2007, their base Newport Pagnell still carries a huge level of prestige - so much so that Aston Martin launched their latest car there on Friday.
The Vanquish Volante broke cover in Tickford Street, attracting visitors throughout the day to cast their eyes over the latest masterpiece to roll out under the Aston Martin banner.
Since moving to Gaydon in Warwickshire, many felt the writing was on the wall for Aston’s former home.
But few could have predicted the renaissance they’ve enjoyed. With an 18 month waiting list on car refurbishments, a garage full of cars being serviced and customers from around the world wanting the Newport Pagnell stamp in their vehicle’s log book, things look great for Newport Pagnell in Aston Martin’s centenary year.
Paul Spires, General Sales Manager at Aston Martin said: “One hundred years for this company is a real achievement, especially when you consider the ups and downs Aston Martin have had. But we’re still here and still making cars in the UK.
“I’m so proud to be part of it.
“Production ceased in 2007 but after that, we’ve seen the service department expand into some of the old buildings.
“Our service department is world renowned - people want their Aston Martins to come back to have that all important ‘Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell’ stamp in their book.
“It’s very important for us, and for the local economy. We have the Bonham’s auctions here, and it fills every hotel and restaurant in town.
“It’s fantastic for us to be an integral part of the local economy.
“When you look at the investments the company has made in not just the showroom, but everything behind the scenes, it shows we’re here to stay in Newport Pagnell.
“The showroom only opened 12 months ago, and we’ve never sold cars to the general public before, and we’re doing it here.
“We built everything in about six months. To be the first person to do it is a real accolade for me. I’m very proud of everyone who is here.”
That includes a host of young apprentices coming through the ranks, learning the ropes at Aston Martin to continue the hands-on methods the company encourages.
Mr Spires said: “Most of the apprentices are local to us. It’s important they have the right skill set and we need to bring in the next generation to take over from the old hands. Almost everything here is done by hand. In the age of computers, it’s so important that we get people who want to be hands on, we have to take the best of the best and bring them on.
“After I’ve gone, the building and the company will still be here.”
While Aston Martin will continue to look to the next great car, the latest advances in technology and the world-wide expansion of the brand, Mr Spires believes there will always be a place in the company for Newport Pagnell.
He said: “Aston Martin and Newport Pagnell are so synonymous with each other. You can’t think of one without the other.
“Newport Pagnell to Aston Martin is like Ferrari to Maranello - they’re that interlinked.
“This is the historic home of Aston Martin. It’s sad we don’t build cars here anymore, but the business argument is that it’s just too small. But this side of the road has been refurbished, and we’re giving a much better working environment for the people here.
“I wholeheartedly think that in the next 100 years, there will be an Aston Martin presence in Newport Pagnell. The foundation we have here now will last for 100 years, and I can’t see that changing. It’s such a big part of the company. When you see people roll up in their old DB4s and DB5s, they want a picture outside Sunnyside in Newport Pagnell. There’s such passion about it. So many car companies would love the heritage we have.
“We are keeping that heritage alive here. It’s not a living museum, but it’s close!”