Aston Martin History: From Iconic Classics to Modern Marvels

Experience the Essence of Aston Martin Today


The icon is born

Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as “Bamford & Martin Limited,” the company has become an iconic brand in luxury and elegance. 1914 saw the birth of the Aston Martin name thanks to the success of Lionel Martin at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire, UK. A year later, the first vehicle was built and registered under the Aston Martin name, and, in 1920, the business began operating in the city of Kensington.


Debut in the competition

The first racing debut came at the 1922 French Grand Prix with two cars on the podium. In this way, the history of the firm in motor racing would begin to take shape. During the decade, the company’s financial problems plagued itforced to close in 1925, to be rescued by a group of investors in 1926, forming “Aston Martin Motors.” In this way, the business began to prosper with a wide range of vehicles and an increase in reputation for engineering and design. Thanks to this, Aston Martin entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928.


Increase production

The firm experienced great success in this decade when the Aston Martin Le Mans 1.5L swept the podium with its rivals at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1933. At the same time, the range of production vehicles increases throughout the years. The 1930s reached 140 vehicles manufactured in 1937 (the highest number before the war). In 1939 the Aston Martin Atom was introduced, an avant-garde prototype with a revolutionary tubular chassis, aluminum body, and independent suspensions.


The David Brown era

In 1947, British industrialist David Brown acquired the company. With fresh air and energy, the firm expanded with the acquisition of Lagonda. Following the purchase, production was established in Hanworth Park. In these facilities, the Aston Martin DB2 began its series production. Successive victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans of the same year increased the company’s recognition.

In 1954, production was moved to Newport Pagnell. These facilities became the birthplace of vehicles like the Aston Martin DB2 / 4. Two years later, these facilities also saw the birth of the Aston Martin DBR1 for competition, as well as the Aston Martin DB MK III or the Aston Martin DB4. 


Victory after victory

 Aston Martin ended the 1950s with great racing success. Thanks to the Aston Martin DBR1, the firm won victories in tests as demanding as the 24 hours Le Mans or the 1000 km of the Nürburgring in 1959. Outside the circuits, Aston Martin launched the Aston Martin DB4GT on the market with great success and evolution sportier than the original DB4. In 1969, the firm collaborated with the Italian bodybuilder Zagato, launching an even more exclusive version: the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato. A pivotal moment for the company was 1963, with the success of the Aston Martin DB4GT at the Monza Grand Prix and the market launch of the long-awaited Aston Martin DB5.


A new decade

 Following the Aston Martin DB5, the firm launched the new Aston Martin DB6 and DB6 Volante in 1966The continuous development in engineering and mechanics results with models such as the Aston Martin DBS, DBS MK II, or DBS V8. Throughout the seventies, the company went through a serious economic crisis and subsequent bankruptcy in 1975. Thanks to the rescue in the hands of the consortium formed by Peter Sprague, George Minden, and Alan Curtis, the company took off again. The revolutionary Aston Martin Lagonda was the first vehicle launched on the market after the rescue. 


The new change of hands

Aston Martin changed hands throughout 1980 with the purchase of the firm by Victor Gauntlett. In 1986, the Aston Martin Vantage V8 Zagato saw the light thanks to the reinforcement in collaboration with the Italian bodybuilder. A year later, Ford took 75% of the company, opening a new stage in the history of Aston Martin.


The Ford era

 Throughout the eighties and nineties, the firm reaffirms its consolidation thanks to iconic models such as the Aston Martin Virage, Vantage, or the Aston Martin DB7. In 2003, the firm opened its new production line and headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Thanks to this, models such as the Aston Martin DB9, DB9 Volante, or Aston Martin Vanquish see the light in the market. In 2004, the company opened a new plant to develop and construct V8 and V12 engines in Cologne, Germany.

Leave a Comment