AM: 1913 to 2013 and beyond
The signature British luxury auto brand, Aston Martin, is getting ready for something special: their 100th birthday.
The automobile brand that's almost synonymous with the quintessential (and fictional) British secret agent, will be commemorating their centenary on January 15, 2013 with a series of special events including the appearances of the oldest surviving Aston, the A3, as well as the new Aston Martin Vanquish at the original home of Aston Martin in Chelsea, UK. The company will also place a commemorative plaque there.
Back in January 15, 1913, two men -Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford- began a new automotive venture: Bamford & Martin. Later on, after successfully racing their first cars at the Aston Clinton Hillclimb, the company was renamed Aston Martin.
In Aston Martin's first 90 years the company built fewer than 15,000 cars. The open bodied two-seater sports specials of the pre-war years gave way to the David Brown era of the 1950s and beyond which saw the introduction of the legendary DB2/4, DB4, DB5, DB6 and DBS, before the V8 Vantage and Virage led Aston Martin to the DB7, original Vanquish and on into the modern era.
Since 2003, after Aston Martin moved to a new, purpose built home and overseen by CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, the company has produced 45,000 cars to critical and commercial acclaim.
Aston Martin's most notable models include the DB4 Zagato, V8 Vantage, as well as the now legendary DB5. The brand has also participated and succeded in many racing endeavors including endurance racing with racecars like the DBR9 and the Vantage N24.
Today, Aston Martin's model line up consists of the DB9, Vantage, Rapide, DBS, Virage and the new Vanquish. Unusually, Aston also markets the Cygnet 3-door hatchback; a rebadged version of the Toyota iQ.