Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. It was founded in by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. Steered from by David Brown , it became associated with expensive grand touring cars in the s and s, and with the fictional character James Bond following his use of a DB5 model in the film Goldfinger.
Their sports cars are regarded as a British cultural icon. One of Aston Martin's recent cars was named after the s Vulcan Bomber. Aston Martin had a troubled history after the third quarter of the 20th century but has also enjoyed long periods of success and stability.
Martin raced specials at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton , and the pair decided to make their own vehicles. They acquired premises at Henniker Mews  in Kensington and produced their first car in March All machinery was sold to the Sopwith Aviation Company. After the war they found new premises at Abingdon Road, Kensington and designed a new car.
Three works Team Cars with valve twin cam engines were built for racing and record breaking: Approximately 55 cars were built for sale in two configurations; long chassis and short chassis. Aston Martin went bankrupt in and was bought by Dorothea, Lady Charnwood who put her son John Benson on the board. Aston Martin failed again in and the factory closed in , with Lionel Martin leaving. Renwick and Bertelli had been in partnership some years and had developed an overhead-cam four-cylinder engine using Renwick's patented combustion chamber design, which they had tested in an Enfield-Allday chassis.
The only "Renwick and Bertelli" motor car made, it was known as "Buzzbox" and still survives. The pair had planned to sell their engine to motor manufacturers, but having heard that Aston Martin was no longer in production realised they could capitalise on its reputation to jump start the production of a completely new car. Between and Bertelli was both technical director and designer of all new Aston Martins, since known as "Bertelli cars".
Most were open two-seater sports cars bodied by Bert Bertelli's brother Enrico Harry , with a small number of long-chassis four-seater tourers, dropheads and saloons also produced. The "LM" team cars were very successful in national and international motor racing including at Le Mans and the Mille Miglia. Financial problems reappeared in Production shifted to aircraft components during the war. In , old-established privately owned Huddersfield gear and machine tools manufacturer David Brown Limited bought Aston Martin putting it under control of its Tractor Group.
David Brown became Aston Martin's latest saviour. Lagonda moved operations to Newport Pagnell and shared engines, resources and workshops. Aston Martin began to build the classic "DB" series of cars. While these models helped Aston Martin establish a good racing pedigree, the DB4 stood out and yielded the famous DB5 in The six-cylinder engines of these cars from up to were designed by Tadek Marek. Aston Martin was often financially troubled. The worldwide recession , lack of working capital and the difficulties of developing without proper resources an engine to meet California's exhaust emission requirements — it stopped Aston's US sales — again pulled Aston Martin into receivership at the end of There were workers when the plant closed.
Sprague later claimed he had fallen in love with the factory, not the cars, the workforce's craftsmanship dedication and intelligence. At this point, he and Minden had brought in investor, Alan Curtis, a British office property developer together with George Flather, a retired Sheffield steel magnate.
Six months later in September the factory — shut-down the previous December — re-opened under its new owner Aston Martin Lagonda Limited with employees and plans to lift staff to by the end of The new owners pushed Aston Martin into modernising its line, producing the V8 Vantage in , the convertible Volante in , and the one-off William Towns -styled Bulldog in Towns also styled the futuristic new Lagonda saloon, based on the V8 model.
Sprague and Curtis pointed out that under their ownership AML finances had improved to where an offer for MG might have been feasible. Gauntlett bought a Gauntlett also led the sales team, and after some development and publicity when it became the world's fastest 4-seater production car, was able to sell the Aston Martin Lagonda in Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar.
Understanding that it would take some time to develop new Aston Martin products, they created an engineering service subsidiary to develop automotive products for other companies.
Tickford's name had been long associated with expensive high quality carriages and cars and their folding roofs. It also finished seventh in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. However, sales of production cars were now at an all-time low of 30 cars produced in Although as a result Aston Martin had to make 60 members of the workforce redundant, Gauntlett bought a stake in Italian styling house Zagato , and resurrected its collaboration with Aston Martin. Cubby Broccoli had chosen to recast the character using actor Timothy Dalton , in an attempt to re-root the Bond-brand back to a more Sean Connery -like feel.
Gauntlett supplied his personal pre-production Vantage for use in the filming of The Living Daylights , and sold a Volante to Broccoli for use at his home in America. Gauntlett turned down the role of a KGB colonel in the film, however: Aston Martin needed funds to survive in the long term. In May , Gauntlett and Prince Michael of Kent were staying at the home of Contessa Maggi, the wife of the founder of the original Mille Miglia , while watching the revival event.
Another house guest was Walter Hayes , vice-president of Ford of Europe. Despite problems over the previous acquisition of AC Cars , Hayes saw the potential of the brand and the discussion resulted in Ford taking a share holding in September Although Gauntlett was contractually to stay as chairman for two years, his racing interests took Aston back into sports car racing in with limited European success.
However, with engine rule changes for the season and the launch of the new Aston Martin Volante model, Ford provided the limited supply of Cosworth engines to the Jaguar cars racing team.
As the "small Aston" DB7 would require a large engineering input, Ford agreed to take full control of Aston Martin, and Gauntlett handed over Aston Martin's chairmanship to Hayes in Ford placed Aston in the Premier Automotive Group , invested in new manufacturing and ramped up production.
In , Ford opened a new factory at Banbury Road in Bloxham. In Aston Martin produced a record vehicles. Until the Ford era, cars had been produced by hand coachbuilding craft methods, such as the English wheel. In the 2,th DB7 was built, and in the 6,th, exceeding production of all previous DB models.
Expected to have few changes before its introduction in , the Vantage brought back the classic V8 engine to allow Aston Martin to compete in a larger market. With capacity to produce up to 5, engines a year by specially trained personnel, like traditional Aston Martin engine production from Newport Pagnell, assembly of each unit is entrusted to a single technician from a pool of 30, with V8 and V12 variants assembled in under 20 hours.
By bringing engine production back to within Aston Martin, the promise was that Aston Martin would be able to produce small runs of higher performance variants engines. In December Aston Martin announced it would return to motor racing in A new division was created, called Aston Martin Racing , which became responsible, together with Prodrive , for the design, development, and management of the DBR9 program.
In , an internal audit led Ford to consider divesting itself of parts of its Premier Automotive Group. To demonstrate the V8 Vantage 's durability across hazardous terrain and promote the car in China, the first east-west crossing of the Asian Highway was undertaken between June and August The promotion was so successful Aston Martin opened dealerships in Shanghai and Beijing within three months. On 19 July , the Newport Pagnell plant rolled out the last of nearly 13, cars made there since , a Vanquish S.
The Tickford Street facility was converted to Aston Martin's service and restoration department. More dealers in Europe and the new pair in China brought the total to in 28 countries.
On 1 September , Aston Martin announced the revival of the Lagonda marque, proposing a concept to be shown in to coincide with the brand's th anniversary.
The first production cars are slated for In December , Aston Martin announced it would cut its workforce from 1, to 1, Ulrich Bez has publicly speculated about outsourcing all of Aston Martin's operations with the exception of marketing. Italian private equity fund Investindustrial signed a deal on 6 December to buy As sales had been declining, from Aston Martin sought new customers particularly wealthy female buyers with cars like Lagonda and DBX while releasing concept cars like the Vulcan.
The first model to sport Mercedes technology is the DB11 , announced at the Geneva Motor, sporting Mercedes electronics for the entertainment, navigation and other systems.
The V8 Vantage , unveiled in late , also uses the Mercedes twin-turbo V8 and infotainment systems. The car was driven before by racing legends like Carroll Shelby and Stirling Moss.
Aston Martin has diversified into other market areas in the modern day. The cabin of the boat has mood lighting and air conditioning complete with a microwave oven, refrigerator and a table that converts into a bed meaning that the AM37 is a complete day and night crusier. Two versions of the boat are available with a AM37S version reaching speeds of 50 knots. Aston Martin has also diversed in to the fashion industry collaborating with luxury clothing company Hackett London to deliver luxury items of clothing that match the luxury feel of Aston Martin vehicles.
In November , Aston Martin unveiled a special limited edition bicycle after collaborating with renowned bicycle manufacturer Storck. Only models of the exclusive Fascenario. The frame and forks are the result of the latest advances in carbon fibre and aerodynamics, while the componentry is of the highest quality, meaning that the Aston Martin Edition sits at the very pinnacle of current road bicycles as of Aston Martin sponsors 2.
Bundesliga club Munich. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Lionel Martin Robert Bamford. Cars portal Companies portal England portal. Retrieved 28 March Retrieved 27 March Watch an Aston Martin supercar play with a jet fighter on the track". Retrieved 9 March Retrieved 27 May Retrieved 23 AugustMore...