The Aston Martin saga, 100 years of charming tumult Posted in La Presse, February 23, 2013, Alain Raymond A true “soap” that the story of Aston Martin punctuated with dozens of sales, resales and near bankruptcies. But the famous brand of Gaydon, in England, survives these upheavals and emerges in the 21st century with a tenacity that could be compared to that of the family that has reigned over Britain for a few centuries.
Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford join forces in 1912 to sell Singer cars. A big racing enthusiast, Martin often participates in hill races at Aston Hill and persuades his partner to create their own car based on the 1908 Isotta-Fraschini powered by a Coventry-Simplex engine. They call it Aston Martin. Interrupted by the First World War, Aston Martin’s activities resume only at the end of the conflict. The first change of ownership occurred in 1920 from Bamford replaced by Count Louis Zborowski – and his bank account. It was also at this time that the brand started racing at the Grand Prix de France. At the end of the year, the company changed owners again, which did not prevent it from closing in 1926 with the departure of Lionel Martin. I’m sorry for the adventures that follow to tell you that Aston Martin comes back to life and even manages to stand out in competition. But other financial problems lead to the cessation of operations until the beginning of the Second World War.
David Brown, the savior In 1947, the salute arrived with Sir David Brown who gave his DB initials to a series today mythical that are DB2 (1950), DB2 / 4 (1953), DB2 / 4 MkII (1955), DB MkIII (1957) and the divine DB4 (1958), with a 3.7 liter engine, dressed in an attractive Italian aluminum dress by Zagato, which marks the beginning of a long association between Aston and the Italian designer. It is with the DB4 that Aston Martin affirms its sporting character and is measured with the best cars of the time. At the DB4 succeeds the famous DB5, an authentic “grand tourism” made famous by a certain Bond … James Bond. Note that the DBs born between 1954 and 1965 are driven by the superb all-aluminum 6 cylinder inline signed Tadek Marek (1908-1982), an engineer of Polish origin established in England in 1940. It is this engine that propels the Roy Salvadori’s DBR1 and Carroll Shelby on the podium at the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours