In 1913, Lionel wins against all odds racing coasts of Aston Clinton in Berkshire in England with his car facing competing Stutz 4.9 L and Bentleys 4.5 L. With this success, Lionel Martin manufactures and markets its prototype " Coal Scuttle "in 1914 with his partner Robert Bamford under the brand Aston Martin. Lionel Martin took over the management of the brand following the withdrawal of Robert Bamford in 1920. Lionel Martin left Bamford & Martin in 1926. From then on he dedicated himself to its second passion, bicycles. On 14th October, 1945, now a relatively old man, he was entangled into a traffic accident, knocked down and killed while tricycling to his home in Kingston.
Count Louis Zborowski (1895-1924)
Was a racing driver and automobile engineer, who was an early patron of Aston Martin and raced for them at Brooklands and in the French Grand Prix. He designed and built four of his own racing cars in the stables at Higham Park, assisted by his engineer and co-driver Captain Clive Gallop, who was later racing engineer to the "Bentley Boys". Read the full story Chitty Bang Bang history
Sir David Brown (1904-1993)
Was an English entrepreneur, managing director of his family firm David Brown Limited and one time owner of shipbuilders Vosper Thornycroft and automobile manufacturer Aston Martin. In 1947, Brown saw a classified advertisement in The Times, offering for sale a High Class Motor Business. Brown acquired Aston Martin for £20,500 and, in the following year, Lagonda for £52,500, followed by the coachbuilder Tickford in 1955. He subsequently concentrated all the Aston Martin manufacturing at the Tickford premises in Newport Pagnell.
The legendary 'DB' series of Aston Martin cars, including the Atom, the DB2, the DB3, the DB4, the DB5, the DB6, the DB7, DB9 and the DBS were named after Brown using his initials. Aston Martin was sold off in the 1970s when the company was in financial difficulties. He was a natural adventurer who owned race horses, played polo at Ham Polo Club, raced cars and motorcycles, and was a qualified pilot. He was knighted in 1968. Sir David Brown died in September 1993 in Monte Carlo.
Company History & Timeline
Company History 1908 - 1913
In 1908, Lionel Martin opens the repair shop on Abingdon Road in the district of Kensington in London with his friend and associate Robert Bamford and becomes dealer of the English car brand Singer and preparer "Ten Singer" proposed under the brand Bamford & Martin Limited. Both partners design their own racing prototype "Coal Scuttle" based on a chassis Isotta Fraschini powered by a 4-cylinder Coventry Climax 1492 cc 70 bhp capable of speeds of 115 km / h they pose in 1913 to compete with Bugatti 's Ettore Bugatti.
In 1913, Lionel wins against all odds racing coasts of Aston Clinton in Berkshire in England with his car facing competing Stutz 4.9 L and Bentleys 4.5 L. With this success, Lionel Martin manufactures and markets its prototype " Coal Scuttle "in 1914 with his partner Robert Bamford under the brand Aston Martin. They produced their first car in March 1915. Production would not begain till 1920 because of the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918)
At the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire in a tuned Singer Car. Shortly afterwards a car was entered by Martin in the Aston Hill Climb with the name of Aston Martin
Company History 1913 - 1920
Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as 'Bamford & Martin Ltd', the company has developed into an iconic brand synonymous with luxury and elegance. 1914 saw the birth of the name Aston Martin following one of Lionel Martin's successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire, England. Within a year the first Aston Martin had been built and registered with the name and by 1920 the business had relocated to Kensington. In 1918, after the First World War, the firm was saved financially by wealthy patron Count and Polish racing driver Louis Zborowski. Lionel Martin took over the management of the brand following the withdrawal of Robert Bamford in 1920.
Company History 1922 - 1928
Competing in the 1922 French Grand Prix saw Aston Martin take its first historic steps in overseas competition with two cars completing the race. Financial problems plagued the company over the next decade and would undergo many changes of ownership. Louis Zborowski continued to invest in Aston Martin until he died in 1924 in a auto racing accident at Monza. With the business forced to close in 1925 only to be rescued by a group of investors in 1926, forming 'Aston Martin Motors Ltd'. Lady Charnwood saved the situation and purchased Aston Martin, appointing her son John Benson on the board. Lionel Martin became the Technical Director but left the company in two years. The company still was unprofitable and was sold again to engineer Bill Renwick and his partner Augustus (Bert) Bertelli, who immediately transferred car manufacturing to the town of Feltham, in Middlesex County. The business was soon on a sound footing, with a competitive range of sports cars and an increasing reputation for engineering and design. This progress lead to the first entry of an Aston Martin in the Le Mans 24-hr Race in 1928.
Company History 1930 - 1939
Production Increases: Aston Martin won great acclaim at Le Mans, when the 1.5l model took a clean sweep of the podium places within its class at the 1933 race. Road car production numbers continued to increase throughout the 1930s with 140 cars being built in 1937, the highest pre-war figure. 1939 saw the production of the Aston Martin Atom, an avant-garde prototype developed using an early form of space-frame chassis and independent suspension - a further development of Aston Martin's engineering excellence.
Company History 1949 - 1958
The David Brown Era - It would be largely through the ownership of David Brown Ltd. of Huddersfield that Aston-Martin would become the company renowned during the 1950s, who bought Aston-Martin for £20,500 British Pound Sterling. 1947 saw the dawn of the 'David Brown Era' as the business was acquired by the English industrialist. With verve and energy the business expanded, with the next few years seeing the purchase of the Lagonda marque and the relocation of production to Hanworth Park, Feltham, Middlesex. The DB2 model entered production in the same year, quickly followed by 2nd & 3rd in class success at Le Mans in 1951. Production was moved to Newport Pagnell in 1955 and the site became the home to the DB2/4, a car launched the year before. 1956, 1957 and 1958 saw further milestones for the company with the DBR1 race cars, DB Mk III and the DB4 all being introduced.
Company History 1959 - 1962
Aston Martin ended the 1950s with further racing success, as the DBR1 team secured the 1959 World Sportscar Championship by winning races such as the Nurburgring 1000km race and the famous Le Mans 24hr. Away from the circuit, the DB4GT, a high-performance version of the DB4, was launched to acclaim. 1960 saw a further DB4 evolution and the founding of an historic collaboration with the Italian coach builder Zagato to launch the DB4GT Zagato. A seminal year for the business saw success for the DB4GT at Monza and the launch of a new model, the year was 1963 and the model was the Aston Martin DB5.
Company History 1963
The Aston Martin DB5 frequently acclaimed as the most beautiful car in the world, the Aston Martin DB5 entered production in 1963. The following year saw the birth of a relationship that has left an indelible mark on popular culture, as the DB5 was chosen to be James Bond's car of choice in the classic film Goldfinger
Company History 1965 - 1966
Following up on the success of the DB5, the DB6 and DB6 Volante were launched in 1965 and 1966 respectively. Energetic product development continued in the rest of the decade with the Aston Martin DBS, DB6 Mk2 and DBS V8 all being introduced.
Company History 1972
Despite the development of an iconic product range, the 1970’s saw a change in ownership for Aston Martin as 'Company Developments Ltd' took over the firm in 1972. In the same year the Aston Martin V8 entered production.
Company History 1975
In 1975, just three years after its last take-over, the company entered receivership and was rescued by a consortium lead by Peter Sprague, George Minden and later Alan Curtis. The first car to be unveiled under this new ownership was the revolutionary Lagonda as the iconic sister marque of Aston Martin was re-launched.
Company History 1981 - 1986
New Ownership: The 1980s saw Aston Martin change ownership again, with Victor Gauntlett and Pace Petroleum buying the business in 1981. 1983 saw further investment for the firm as Victor Gauntlett partnered with the Livanos shipping family. 1986 saw the V8 Vantage Zagato produced as the collaboration was revived. 1987 saw a further ownership development with the Ford Motor Company acquiring a 75% stake. In the same year the 007 relationship continued with the V8 Volante appearing in The Living Daylights
Company History 1988 - 1991
1988 saw the introduction of the Virage at the NEC International Motor Show, ensuring the company moved into the 1990's with a new sportscar at the heart of its revised model range. Aston Martin also returned to the track as the works supported 'AMR1' came sixth in the World Sportscar Championship. In 1991 Walter Hayes was appointed Chairman and work began on a new model.
Company History 1993 - 1998
The Aston Martin DB7, The iconic 'DB' moniker was resurrected in 1993 with the introduction of the DB7 at a new production facility at Wykham Mill, Bloxham. The same year saw Ford Motor Company increase their holding to take full control of the business. The 1990s also saw Aston Martin feature in two separate James Bond films as the DB5 rolled back the years with a performance in Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. In 1998 the company was presented with the Queens Award for Export, recognising the contribution of the firm to the UK economy.
Company History 2000 - 2001
Aston Martin began the new millennium with a new Chairman and Chief Executive as Dr. Ulrich Bez was appointed to lead the business into the modern era. In the same year production of the 5.3litre V8 engine designed by Tadek Marak and utilised for over 30 years came to an end. 2001 saw two landmarks for the business with the 5,000th Aston Martin DB7 being produced and the launch of the V12 Vanquish, a car that lead a new era of technology and appeared with Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day.
Company History 2003 - 2004
The Modern - Aston Martin's new global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire opened in 2003 - the first purpose built facility in the company's history. With fresh impetus the same year saw the unveiling of the AMV8 Vantage concept car at the Detroit Motor Show, a model which has developed into the iconic Vantage range. The following year saw the all new DB9 and the V12 Vanquish S enter production. Alongside these product developments came further expansion as 2004 also saw the Aston Martin Engine plant in Cologne begin production of all V8 and V12 engines. At the Los Angeles Motor Show in January 2003 Aston Martin showcased a lightweight Roadster, designed specifically to appeal to US customers. 99 Limited edition examples produced 2003-2004
Company History 2005 - 2006
2005 saw a landmark step as Aston Martin returned to the race-track with the launch of the DBR9, a race car based on the DB9 road car. In the same year the DB9 Volante and V8 Vantage were confirmed for production, and the following year saw Aston Martin reach the milestone of 30,000 production cars. The introduction of the current flagship, the Aston Martin DBS took place in 2006, as it was seen for the first time in Daniel Craig's James Bond debut Casino Royale. This launch was quickly followed with the unveiling of the V8 Vantage Roadster at the LA Motor Show.
Company History 2007 - 2008
A New Chapter in the company's illustrious history was written in March 2007, as Aston Martin was sold to a consortium of two major international investment houses, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment. The consortium was led by Chairman David Richards and Dr Ulrich Bez continued to lead the management team into this new era of independent ownership as Chief Executive. The production ready DBS was launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and 2007 ended with further expansion as a new Design Studio was opened at Gaydon. 2008 saw the DBR9 take GT1 Class victory at the Le Mans 24-hr race for the second consecutive year. The same year saw the marque's love affair with James Bond continue as DBS made a second James Bond appearance by featuring in 'Quantum of Solace'.
Company History 2009 - 2010
2009 marked one of the most active years for product development in the company's recent history. As both the V12 Vantage and the DBS Volante were launched. Further developments included the unveiling of the Rapide at the Frankfurt Motor Show and an announcement of the intention to revive the Lagonda brand.
On top of these dramatic engineering and product developments 2009 also saw Aston Martin unveil the ultimate Aston Martin, the One-77, the most powerful naturally aspirated car in the world. Launched to acclaim, on its debut the One-77 won the design award in the Concepts and Prototypes Class.
In 2010 with the unveiling of the Cygnet concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, positive customer reaction saw the car confirmed for production in the same year. Other model developments saw the launch of the V8 Vantage N420 derivative and the first production model of One-77.