Aston Martin was founded in 1913 and has changed hands many times on a “roller coaster” ride of varying degrees of success before it was floated on the London Stock Exchange as “Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC” in 2017, more than a century after it was firstborn. Here, we delve further into the past and events that have helped Aston Martin become such a significant British brand.
The secret to understanding Aston Martin’s history can be found in the company’s unwavering commitment to hand-built quality and superior performance regardless of the economic environment. The business endured some difficult times during recessions and oil shortages, but it never gave up on producing some of the finest automobiles of its time. Despite the fact that it was founded in 1913, it did not produce much until after World War I.
Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, who sold Singer cars in West London, founded Aston Martin. Their firm, Bamford and Martin, was founded in 1913. They also competed in the ‘Aston Hill Climb,’ with a special car designed by Martin in 1914 using an existing engine and frame.
The first Aston Martin, nicknamed “Coal Scuttle,” was built and registered in 1915. After Martin joined the Admiralty and Bamford joined the Army Service Corps, production was halted for the duration of WWI.
Following the war, the first new Aston Martin was produced in 1920, and the company continued to manufacture cars until 1924, mostly for racing but also for general use. Before the Second World War, the company changed hands several times and officially changed its name to Aston Martin.
David Brown Limited, a tractor manufacturer, purchased the company in 1947. David Brown also purchased the Lagonda car company, which included the services of engineer W.O. Bentley and the new V6 engine he had been developing. The ‘2 litre sports’ (later called the DB1) was the result, followed by a series of versions bearing David Brown’s initials DB.
Aston Martin was in the midst of a renaissance at the time. Since the DB5 was featured in the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger,” where it was fitted with a variety of gadgets, and helped to develop the marque’s global desirability. In his sole appearance as 007, George Lazenby drove a DBS in the 1969 film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and in 1970, the future Bond, Roger Moore, drove a Bahama yellow DBS in the television film “The Persuaders.” David Brown sold his business to a banking group in 1972.