Tuesday, June 30, 2009

News : Aston Martin

Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, Aston Martin began as a joint project between the two men under the name, Bamford & Martin

The first Aston Martin was a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini. Later cars would set world endurance and speed records. After both men left the company, it was purchased by investors who renamed it Aston Martin Motors.

The first Aston Martins to bear the now famous "DB" moniker started in 1955 under owner David Brown Limited whose DB4 and DB5 would solidify the automaker's reputation as a serious racing company. Later, owners Peter Sprague and George Minden would create the first V8 Vantage and Volante in the late 1970s. Ford Motor Company purchased shares in the company in 1987 from then owners Peter Livanos Victor Gauntlett. Later the American automaker assumes full ownership in 1993.

Aston Martin was one of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, joining Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo. Note that Lincoln had been part of the group as well, but was pulled out in 2002 as part of the automaker's plans to separate its domestic and import lines. Under Ford's leadership, Aston Martin modernized further its plants, drastically increased its sales, and introduced truly new models like the DB7, V12 Vantage, and V12 Vanquish. The automaker also returned to racing in 2005 with its new division, Aston Martin Racing.

In 2007, in an effort to control it costs, Ford sold Aston Martin to a consortium headed by David Richards of Prodrive. The new owners have approved the production of the Rapide concept which first debuted at the North American International Auto Show in 2006.

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