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Aston Martin:
Over 100 Years Of Power, Beauty & Soul

 

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Aston Martin is one of the most evocative names in motoring and Grange are proud of our long-standing association with this iconic, luxury marque. Aston Martin's long-term association with James Bond is no coincidence - strength, sophistication and charisma all define both car and character - it truly is the perfect harmony.

The first Aston Martin was crafted more than one hundred years ago in a small London workshop. Since 1913, Aston Martin has had a passion for creating luxury, high-performance motor cars. Founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, Aston Martin has grown to become an internationally admired luxury marque.

Alongside Aston Martin, Lagonda remains faithful to the forward thinking, ever adventurous spirit of Wilbur Gunn, an Anglo-American engineer and entrepreneur who founded Lagonda in a greenhouse at his home in Staines to the west of London in 1904.

Aston Martin has transformed the face of luxury high-performance motoring over the past century, with the marque going from humble beginnings to the phenomenally powerful cars like the new DBX at its factory in Gaydon and the new Aston Martin Vantage.

Join us as we take a journey through the past 100 years and the beautiful Aston Martin story.

 

The Beginning of Aston Martin

The love of the beautiful has always been Aston Martin's guiding principle.

A Shared Moment In Time

Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford shared a love for the car because it provided them with the most exhilarating and memorable experiences. That passion drove them to hand build cars that were ever faster, more powerful, thrilling, comfortable – more beautiful – than the previous.

100 Years of Aston Martin - A Shared Moment In Time
100 Years of Aston Martin - Pure Driving Emotion
Pure Driving Emotion

They named Aston Martin after a motoring event in Buckinghamshire, England. It was a moment of pure driving emotion when Lionel Martin took on the Aston Clinton Hill Climb race in their latest creation and won.

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Lagonda

Bought by Aston Martin in 1947, Lagonda was founded by Wilbur Gunn who named his company after the Lagonda Creek river that ran through the town of Springfield, Ohio.

A History Or Innovation

Lagonda cars have always been innovative. For example, the 16/18hp model that won the Moscow to St Petersburg trial in 1910 included not only trailing arm rear suspension but a unique form of monocoque construction which proved to be decades ahead of the bulk of the world’s car manufacturers.

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Lagonda - A History Or Innovation
Lagonda - A Coverted Marque In Its Own Right
A Marque In Its Own Right

In its 1930s heyday Lagonda was capable of producing V12-powered limousines that were fit for royalty, and sports cars strong and quick enough to win Le Mans, which one duly did in 1935. Lagonda went on to become not only one of the most coveted car brands in the world, and one that was among the most versatile too. The electric future of Lagonda promises to stay true to its innovative roots.

David Brown (DB)

The English industrialist, David Brown took the helm between 1947 to 1972 and his impact cannot be understated.

A Dynamic Revolution

With a burst of dynamism, David Brown set about revolutionising and growing Aston Martin by purchasing the Lagonda marque and introducing a succession of motor cars that continue to set pulses racing today.

100 Years of Aston Martin - A Dynamic Revolution
100 Years of Aston Martin -The ‘DB' Nameplate
The ‘DB’ Nameplate

Launched in 1947, the Aston Martin DB2 was the first Aston Martin to carry the ‘DB’ nameplate. The DB2 was impressive as it took 2nd and 3rd in its class at Le Mans in 1951. The race-bred DB3 and DB3S were followed by the exquisite DB4, DBR1 and its high-performance sibling the DB4GT, before the now historic collaboration with Zagato produced the DB4GT Zagato.

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The Icons Of Luxury Motoring

Aston Martin DBR1 (1956 - 1959)

The origin of the modern Aston Martin legend. Although the company dates back to before the war, it was relatively obscure until the DBR1 won both Le Mans and the World Sports Car Championship. It beat off the mighty Ferrari, a remarkable achievement for a company with such tiny resources. The championship was finally won by a piece of the most amazing sportsmanship, unthinkable today. A factory Aston Martin DBR1 caught fire in the pits during the final race, meaning Aston Martin could no longer use their own pits for refuelling. A privately entered Aston Martin then withdrew from the race, enabling the official team to use the private team's pit and go on to victory.

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100 Years of Aston Martin - Aston Martin DBR1 (1956 - 1959)
100 Years of Aston Martin - Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato (1960)
Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato (1960)

The very first Zagato Aston Martin, started a near 50 year association between the two companies. It was shorter and 300 lb lighter than the standard car, thanks to its "superleggera" (superlight) aluminium bodywork. Only 20 of the extremely expensive DB4 GT's were made, but they turned into phenomenal investments - an original car is now worth over £1 million.

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Aston Martin DB5 (1963 - 1965)

The DB5 was the real star of Goldfinger, complete with its ejector seat - and proved such an icon that it has made cameo appearances in three other Bond films: Thunderball, GoldenEye, Casino Royale and more recent films. The DB5 is probably the most sought-after of the DB cars and is widely regarded as the most beautiful car ever made.

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100 Years of Aston Martin - Aston Martin DB5 (1963 - 1965)
100 Years of Aston Martin - Aston Martin DBS/V8 (1967 - 1989)
Aston Martin DBS/V8 (1967 - 1989)

This was the longest-lived Aston Martin of all time, lasting over 20 years and reborn in many ways with the new DBS Superleggera. The length of time that the original DBS was available is partly due to the fact that it really was an all-new design intended to be a quantum leap over the outgoing DB6. It featured new all-independent suspension and a brand-new 5.3 litre V8 - although the engine was ready later than the rest of the car, so early versions were only available with the 4.0 engine from the DB6. The longevity of the design was also partly down to what can only be described as an accident. The body jigs were six inches wider than originally intended, making the car enormously wide by the standards of the 1960s. Because cars got bigger over the 70s and 80s, the V8 actually still looked modern, while other 1960s designs started to look narrow and outdated.

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Aston Martin DB7 (1993 - 2003)

This is the car which heralded the triumphant re-emergence of Aston Martin after the difficulties of the 1989 - 1992 recession. The beautiful DB7 rapidly became the best-selling Aston Martin ever - indeed it sold more than every previous model combined. Buyers were seduced by both the looks and the fact that it was far easier to drive than any previous model. However, any thoughts that Aston Martins were going soft were dispelled by the arrival of the V12 DB7 Vantage with 420 bhp.

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100 Years of Aston Martin - Aston Martin DB7 (1993 - 2003)

Grange has over 60 years of automotive heritage. We are extremely proud to be an official dealer for the world-renowned Aston Martin Lagonda marque. See the latest range of the most luxurious cars in the world at our new Aston Martin dealerships today.

 

 


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