A brief history of the car manufacturer Aston Martin.
Aston Martin’s history and a recap of the models that have helped to make the company a success.
Aston Martin are famous for the DB range that have enabled James Bond to drive around in style, but how was this famous company established and how did it become the renowned car manufacturer that it is today?
The company was founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in 1913 when the two business partners started to design the first Aston Martin vehicle. The design of this first model revolved around plans to modify a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini by fitting it with a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine. Although the success of this model was limited, it did enable the duo to acquire their first factory in 1915 and then go on to design their first production car, the Aston Martin Coal Scuttle.
Then came the outbreak of the First World War, which meant that their production schedule was put on hold until 1920. This major setback financially crippled the company until the late twenties, with the company facing bankruptcy at least twice. In fact it wasn’t until 1926, when financiers started to invest in the company, that Aston Martin’s future became secure.
From 1926 to 1936 Augustus Bertelli was appointed technical director of the company and the subsequent range of cars became known as the ‘Bertelli cars’. These were racing rally cars and included the 1½ litre Aston Martin T-type, the 2 litre 15/98, the International, the MKII and the Ulster (pictured). Then in 1936, the company shifted their focus from rally cars to road cars. Meanwhile, as World War II broke out Aston Martin retained some of their success by manufacturing aircraft engines and engine components.
After the war, the company was bought out by David Brown Limited and the DB range of Aston Martin vehicles was born. This range included the 1950 DB2, 1953 DB2/, the DB2/4 Mk11 in 1955, the DB Mark III in 1957 and the DB4 in 1958. Then in 1964 the DB5 featured in the Bond film Goldfinger and with that one iconic model James Bond was given the style and class that only an Aston Martin could deliver.
Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s the production of Aston Martin cars became more industrial, which helped to ensure that the company made substantial profits and became the manufacturing giant that they are today.
In the 1990’s the 2,000th DB7 rolled off the production line, with sales continuing even further until 2002 when the 6,000th DB7 was manufactured. On 12th March 2007 Aston Martin was purchased for a record figure of £479 million and to date it is thought that the company is worth in the region of £575 million.