Aston Martin

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Aston Martin

1913: Bamford and Martin Ltd. was founded. The name Aston Martin was coined next year, after the Aston Hill climb.

1947: Aston Martin was bought by David Brown Ltd, hence 'DB'. That year, Brown also bought Lagonda, and formed Aston Martin Lagonda. The Lagonda range continued for a decade or so and then the name was used intermittently for larger cars made by the company.

1950: Aston Martin DB2.

1956-1959: Racing, four DBR1 built.
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1957 DBR1

1957: Aston Martin DB3. James Bond 007 drove one of these, from the car pool, in the novel Goldfinger; it morphed into a DB5 in the movie. Bond was a staunch Bentley owner in Fleming's books.

1958: Aston Martin DB4.

1959: The DBR1 won at the Nurburgring, Le Mans & the RAC Tourist Trophy, and took the world sportscar championship.

A 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT by Zagato, chassis #DB4GT/0186/R, engine #370/0186/GT, sold for us$14,000,000 at RM Sotheby's 'Driven by Disruption' auction, New York, on 10 Dec. 2015.

1963: Aston Martin DB5, new £4,175, £4,490 convertible. Aston Martin is said to have built 1021 DB5s to 1965.

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1964 DB5
1964: Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery as James Bond 007, featured an Aston Martin DB5 with certain "extras" -- rotating number plates, rear bullet-proof screen, instant oil-slick and smoke screen (for pursuers), machine guns, extendable Boadicea-style tyre slashers, and a passenger-side ejector seat to get rid of unwanted guests. The then new Ford Mustang also featured in the movie. The DB5 had another outing in the 2012 Bond (Daniel Craig) movie Skyfall. Note that the "real" James Bond of Ian Fleming's books drove the firm's DB3 in the novel but bought a Bentley for himself.

1965-1970: DB6.

1969: DBS V8.

1974, December: Receivers were appointed; the company was rescued in 1975 and production resumed in 1976 [Geo00].

1977: V8 Vantage.

1978-1989: Production of the grandiose, wedge-shaped Lagonda with the 5.3-litre V8.

1987: Ford bought 75% of Aston Martin (and eventually took control).

1990: Virage.

1993: V8 Vantage.

1994: Ford bought 100% of Aston Martin.

1994-1999: The DB7 started production with a 3228cc straight-6 super-charged engine, also shared with Jaguar, thanks to common-owner Ford.

1999: DB7 Vantage, squeezed in a 5935cc V12, 6-speed manual or 5-speed auto..

2000 October: The 6.0 litre V12 Aston Martin Vanquish was released.
Specifications: loa 4665mm, width 1923mm, height 1318mm, wheelbase 2690mm, weight 1820kg.
Engine 5935cc, 60° V12, petrol (95RON) 4-valves/cyl, cr 10.5:1,
power 336kW (450bhp) at 6500rpm, torque 556Nm at 5000rpm,
gearbox 6-speed manual/ electronic, limited slip diff' and traction control,
suspension independent by double wishbones & coil springs front & rear, fuel-tank 80L.
2001: Aston Martin Vanquish V12, ~$400,000.
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2001 Vanquish V12
5.9-litre V12, 343kW (450hp), 542Nm, aluminium and carbon fibre bonded monocoque, weight 1835kg, tyres 255/40 ZR 19 (front), 285/40 ZR 19 (rear).
(2007: £182,000, 2,500+ made, end of the Vanquish's run, and closure of the Newport Pagnell production line.)

DB8, there is no Aston Martin DB8: When the DB9 was made, Aston Martin "wanted to illustrate what a massive evolution the car [was]" - AM.

2003 Frankfurt Motor Show: The first outing of the DB9, the first Aston Martin developed at the new Gaydon factory, 5.9-litre V12, 335kW, 570Nm, 1710kg, trans-axle gearbox-diff'.
2004: DB9 in production. (And as of 2010, from £122,445 DB9 Coupe, & £131,445 DB9 Volante (convertible).)

2005: V8 Vantage production.

2006: Bond, James Bond, was back in an Aston Martin - a DBS - in the movie Casino Royale. (A classic DB5 got a bit part too, ditto a Range Rover used for some very bad parking, and even a Ford Mondeo hire car!)

2007 March: Ford, having fallen on hard times, sold most of Aston Martin to a consortium of investors for £475 million.

2007: DBS in production, on sale late 2007,
loa 4721mm, wheelbase 2740mm, width 1905mm (body), height 1280mm, weight 1695kg - 1740kg (auto),
engine 60° V12, 5,935cc, c.r. 10.9:1, petrol, DOHC, 4-valves/cyl., 380kW (510bhp) @6,500rpm, 570Nm (420lb-ft) @5,750rpm,
trans-axle gearbox/diff, 6-speed manual or 6-speed ZF automatic, rear wheel drive,
191mph, 0-60mph in 4.2sec, auto fuel consumption 11.7mpg (urban), 26.8mpg (country), 18.2mpg (combined), CO2 370gm/km,
price: manual £162,500, auto £165,500 [2008].
James Bond 007 drove another DBS in the movie Quantum of Solace (2008).
 
2009 March 5: A 6-litre, 380kW, V12 Vantage was shown at the 78th Geneva Motor Show, for sale from the 3rd quarter of 2009 alongside the existing DBS, DB9, and V8 Vantage range. Based on the V8 Vantage, the V12 has a 6-litre V12 engine, 510bhp (380kW/517PS), 570 Nm (420-lb-ft), top speed 190mph (305km/h), and 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 4.2 seconds. The concept was first shown at Aston Martin design in Dec 2007.
And ...
2009 March 5: Aston-Martin One-77 prototype (£1.2million) also at the Geneva Motor Show.
 
2009, September 17-27, Frankfurt Motor Show: The 4-seat, 4-door, Aston Martin Rapide was shown, 6-litre V12, 19mpg (355 gm CO2/km). Deliveries to customers, for £140K, from May 2010. The Rapide was built for Aston Martin by Magna Steyr in Austria from late 2009, production moving to Gaydon in mid 2012.
 
2011 March, Geneva: Aston Martin revived the Virage name with a DB9-based 2+2, 6-litre V12, £150K.
2012 September 18: Aston Martin announced a make-over of the DB9, from £132K, and the Virage was dropped.
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© 1994 . . . now,  L. Allison, www.allisons.org/ll/
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