Aston Martin Make Overview
Aston Martin Questions
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Older Aston Martin Models
|Aston Martin DB4||Aston Martin DB5||Aston Martin DB6|
|Aston Martin DB7||Aston Martin DBS||Aston Martin Lagonda|
|Aston Martin Rapide||Aston Martin V12 Vanquish||Aston Martin V12 Vantage|
|Aston Martin Vanquish||Aston Martin Virage|
Aston Martin History
Martin. Aston Martin. There's no doubt that the British automaker's greatest claim to fame (in the modern era, at least) is its association with the greatest fictional spy of all time, James Bond. But Aston Martin was around long before 007 started his literary and cinematic career. The automaker's roots are steeped in the sports-car racing tradition, and reach back to 1914, when Lincoln Martin and Robert Bamford founded Aston Martin to build "distinctive" and "individual" cars, according to the automaker. (The "Aston" part of the Aston Martin name was derived from the Aston Hill Climb, a competition the automakers entered in 1914.)
Aston Martin's first competition car appeared in 1921, and the following year the automaker made its first international appearance at the French Grand Prix. In 1928, Aston Martin continued to expand its auto-racing enterprise by entering cars in the Le Mans 24-hour race. In 1949, Aston Martin entered two prototypes of the DB2 in Le Mans, and in 1954 the DB2/4 Mark II officially went into production with its distinctive front grille that would mark Aston Martins to this day.
The DB4 went into production in 1958, and in 1963 the DB5, which became the James Bond car, went into production. The following year, the DB5 made its historic appearance in the film Goldfinger, with the British spy behind the wheel of a wildly tricked out car. The DB6 appeared in 1965, and the DBS V8 in 1969.
Jumping ahead, the V8 Vantage, which is still in production today, made its appearance in 1977. After changing hands several times from the 1950s through the 1980s, Ford bought a 75 percent stake in Aston Martin in 1987. Today, Ford owns 100 percent of the company.
A revamped V8 Vantage appeared in 1993, and in 1994 the DB7 appeared, followed in 1997 by the DB7 Volante roadster.
Moving into the 21st century, Aston Martin introduced the V12 Vanquish in 2001, and in 2002 unveiled the limited-edition DB7 Zagato, continuing a 15-year relationship with Italian coachbuilder Zagato.
Thanks to a cash infusion from Ford, Aston Martin built its first dedicated plant at Gaydon in the United Kingdom, and opened the plant's doors in 2003. The DB9, introduced in 2004, is produced at Gaydon, as is the V12 Vanquish S, which appeared the same year.
In 2005, an all-new V8 Vantage went into production as a 2006 model, and in 2007 Aston Martin introduced a convertible model, the V8 Vantage Roadster, which features a three-layer fabric top that retracts in just 18 seconds and, under the hood, a 380-horsepower, 4.3-liter V8 engine built in a special plant in Cologne, Germany.