Cars for sale - Aston Martin
Aston Martin history 1913 - 2000
Bamford & Martin
The Aston Martin Lagonda limited emerged from the firm Bamford & Martin which was founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in 1913. The firm was a sales agency for Singer cars. Sportsman Lionel Martin competed in hill climbs with his cars. One of these sporting venues was Aston Hill. In 1915 Bamford & Martin presented their first car which they named Aston Martin. The car was based on a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini chassis fitted with a four cylinder Coventry Climax engine. The 1st World War intervened and both men joined the military forces. After the war the Bamford & Martin frim was revived.
As Bamford left in 1920 racing driver and millionaire Count Louis Zborowski was found to take an interest in Lionels Martins firm. With Zborowski’s funding a 16 valve OHC engine was constructed and the make became an active participant in Grand Prix races and breaking speed records at Brooklands. After Zborowski’s fatal accident, driving a Mercedes in the Monza GP in October 1924, the Bamford & Martin firm went into receivership.
The works was taken over by Bill Renwick and Bert Bertelli backed by a group of investors, from then the firm was named Aston Martin. The firm failed again in 1926. Lionel Martin left and Bertelli stayed on under new ownership. The cars from this period are called the ‘Bertelli’ Aston Martins Financial problems came and went but new owners/investors were found time and time again.
After the second world war Aston Martin was purchased by David Brown. The take-over purchase by David brought a reversal for the British 'marque', which appeals to everyone’s imagination nowadays. The first DB "David Brown" Aston Martin was the DB1 which was presented in the year 1948.
Aston Martin DB1 / DB6
The 1948 Aston Martin DB1 featured a rather dismal four-cylinder engine. The DB2 from 1950 brought the magic on which the brand was to build. The engines were designed by W.O. Bentley, who was working for Lagonda, another enterprise of Browns’. The enormous six-cylinder in-line engines had two overhead camshafts, and were provided with two, and later three SU carburettors. The engine of the DB2 and its successor DB2/4 had a capacity of 2580 and 2922 cc respectively; the engine in the DB5 and the DB6 models that followed already had a cylinder capacity of 3995 cc and a standard 282 horsepower. The latter models had special ‘Vantage’ versions with a capacity of 314 and 325 hp.
The DB5 made Aston Martin instantly world-famous as James Bond’s car. Everyone who saw the Bond films will remember the DB5 with the movable bullet-proof shield, the extending knock-offs that sawed the bad guy’s car in two, but especially the sound that sent shivers of excitement up your spine.
The Aston Martin DB6 was the last classic six cylinder Aston. The DB6 was also available as 2+2 cabriolet, named 'Volante'. The top of the line model was again the 'Vantage' with 325 bhp engine.
Aston Martin DBS / V8
Un the year 1969 the DB6 was succeeded by the more Italian styled DBS. The DBS featured a magnificent and brand new designed 5.3 Litre V8 engine. This V8 engine was constructed by the Polish engineer Tadek Marek. Earlier, in the 1950'ies and 1960'ies Marek developed Aston Martin racing engines. The V8 engine was of such an excellent design that is has been used in Aston Martin models until the year 2000! Between the years 1969 and 1973 all V8's were equipped with Bosch petrol injection. From the V8 series 3 twin choke Weber carburettors were fitted.
The Aston Martin V8 was built until the year 1989 in several model series. We distinguish the following models (numbers built): DBS V8 1969-1972 (402 cars), V8 series 2 1972-1973 (288 cars), V8 series 3 1973-1978 (967 cars), V8 series 4 "Oscar India" specification 1978-1985 (352 cars), V8 series 5 1986-1989 (405 cars).
The Ford years: Virage / Vantage / V8 coupe / DB7
In the year 1988 Aston Martin was taken over by Ford Motor Company. As soon as 1989 the old V8 was succeeded by the Aston Martin Virage. The Virage was accompanied by the top-of-the-line Vantage in 1993. The Vantage was powered by a 550 bhp V8 engine giving the car a top speed of 320 km/h! In 1998 the most potent Vantage was presented: the V600 with 600 bhp on tap!
In 1994 the modern Aston Martin DB7 was introduced. The DB 7 was technically developed in cooperation with Jaguar who introduced the XK8 as a result of the fruitful gathering. The six cylinder DB7 was built in a new factory in Bloxham. The DB7 given a position under the fully hand built Vantage which remained the top model. In the year 1996 the Virage was discontinued. To replace the Virage Aston Martin introduced a detuned Vantage: the Aston Martin V8 coupe. In the V8 coupe the V8 engine delivered 349 bhp giving the car a top speed of 242 km/u. The Aston Martin V8 coupe was delivered with automatic 4-speed transmission only, a fantastic and relaxing GT!
Just like the classic Astons the younger versions are also very rare and exclusive. From 1989 until 1995 Aston Martin built 365 Virages. From 1993 until 2000 Aston Martin built 280 Vantage models. From 1996 until 1999 only 101 Aston Martin V8 coupe cars were built. As you see the Virage, Vantage and especially the V8 coupe are really scarce cars. The Aston Martin DB7 would become the best sold Aston until that day, from 1994 until 2004 7000 DB7's left the factory in Bloxham! The DB7 was succeeded by the Aston Martin DB9.
© Marc Vorgers