FOUNDED BY MOTOR ENTHUSIASTS FOR MOTOR ENTHUSIASTS
That air of simmering capability, that always-elegant-even-in-gym-gear panache, that steely confidence. If you’ve got all that, no wonder you’d like an Aston Martin to complete the look. Choose from the musclebound DBX SUV for a bit of practicality and above-the traffic vantage point; the Vantage for a bit of sporty action; or for the real Bond look, the sublimely elegant grand tourer, the DB11.
If you want, “the ultimate production Aston Martin,” you need to look at the brutal DBS, because, well, that’s what Aston Martin call it themselves. The latest in a long line of high-performance DBS supercars whips from 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and tops out at 211mph, powered by a 5.2l V12.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF Aston Martin
Aston Martin was originally founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, who had a partnership to sell and service cars in London. Martin raced at Aston Hill, near Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire and built his own car for the event, wedding a Coventry-Simplex engine to an Isotta Fraschini chassis. He named it Aston Martin.
Bamford left the partnership in 1920, but Martin would go on to create record breaking race cars under the Bamford & Aston brand throughout 1922-24. Despite this success, Bamford & Martin experienced, for the first time, what was to become a frequent occurrence for the subsequent car brand – financial woes. Money problems have stalked Aston Martin throughout its history, with ownership changing hands no less than nine times.
Who owns Aston Martin now?
As of July 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund owns 16.7%, the Yew Tree Consortium led by Canadian billionaire, Lawrence Stroll, owns 18.3% and the Mercedes Group a further 9.7%. In September 2022, a 7.6% stake was purchased by Chinese automaker, Geely.
From 2015, the brand sought to broaden its appeal with a number of joint ventures, including the creation of the AM37 powerboat, the Project Neptune submarine, an Aston Martin-branded TAG Heuer watch, a luxury clothing range (with Hackett London) and a limited-edition bicycle. In 2018, the company even unveiled its Volante Vision Concept – a futuristic luxury VTOL aircraft.
Aston Martin is, of course, synonymous with a very particular secret agent. Aston’s relationship with the James Bond franchise has spanned decades (apart from an inexplicable hiccup in the Pierce Brosnan era, where he was a given a selection of BMWs to destroy). Although Bond would typically drive the very latest Aston Martin model, in the more recent Daniel Craig iteration of Bond, he returned repeatedly to his faithful – and perhaps most loved – DB5; a look back to the past that reflected the more introspective Bond that Craig played.
- King Charles III
- David Beckham
- Elle Macpherson
- Steven Spielberg
- Pierce Brosnan
- Queen Latifah
- Rafael Nadal
Aston Martin today
Financial troubles aside, what has remained constant throughout Aston Martin’s entire history is the extraordinary beauty and elegance of the cars. The brand has managed to retain a rarefied balance of brutal power and muscular stance with a gentlemanly self-control, culminating in one of the more quintessential expressions of ‘Britishness’, imbuing every new design with immediate ‘timeless’ status.
The brand continues to inspire and fascinate with special projects such as the Valkyrie, V12 Speedster and DBR22, while simultaneously leaning into its unique heritage with the ‘Continuation’ line of new-built legacy classics, such as the DB4 GT, DB4 Zagato and Goldfinger DB5. In 2021, Aston returned to F1 after a 61-year hiatus, and in 2022, launched its first SUV, the DBX707.
The brand also refined its logo and announced a commitment to electric-hybridisation by 2026, heralding a more future-focused mindset for the company.
Quotes about Aston Martin
“I may be the prat in the hat, that’s cool, but I drive an Aston Martin DB5.” Jay Kay