Aston Martin Made famous by James Bond, Aston Martin cars are the epitome of luxury, performance, and British style. The origins of this storied sports car company go back nearly 100 years to Buckinghamshire, England.
In beginning of the 20th century, early car enthusiasts raced each other three-quarters of a mile up a hill. It may not seem impressive today, but back then getting a car quickly up 80 meters was quite a feat. The hill was called Aston Hill and when Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford won with the car they built themselves, the name Aston Martin for their fledgling car business was born.
During the war years, Aston Martin, like other manufacturers, suffered. Yet, they survived. In 1947, the company was purchased by David Brown, who lent his initials to the names of all the models. In the late ‘50s, the DB4 succeeded time and again in the racing world, the DB5 found prominent placement in James Bond movies driven by Sean Connery, and Aston Martin was experiencing its heyday. By the 1970s, the company was failing and just barely staying afloat. Through the ‘80s, it changed ownership several times and in 1994, it was purchased in its entirety by the Ford Motor Company.
While the Ford-made Aston Martins were disappointing to die-hard fans, with toned down styling and performance, the famous name was once again profitable. Currently, the brand is owned by a handful of different international investment houses, and Ford still retains a small percentage of it. In its current incarnation, Aston Martin is poised to relive the success of the 1950s. With a return to the James Bond franchise as well as several victories at Le Mans, the storied sports cars are experiencing a major come back. These classic cars, however, are not for everyone. They are pricey, but the dedication that the company has put towards quality and performance over the years has given it a loyal, if comparably small, following.
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