Aston Martin is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The original company Bamford and Martin Ltd formed in 1913. From the original DB1 through to the current DB9, Aston Martin has long been considered the ultimate British sports car maker. Its products are sold the world over and are among the most desirable cars on the planet.
It’s as British as a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit, and will forever be associated with James Bond.
The carmaker has enjoyed success on both road and track, selling more than 50,000 cars in 100 years and gaining numerous class wins at the grueling Le Mans 24 Hours.
Aston’s ever expanding line-up now includes no fewer than six models, ranging from the tiny Cygnet city car through to the all-new, 565bhp Vanquish. It is also responsible for the ultra-rare, £1.15million One-77 supercar, which is capable of 220mph and 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS
The maker of exceptional high performance cars since 1913, Aston Martin is one of the world’s most iconic automotive brands. Independent in spirit and ownership, we remain resolute and true to the ethos of creating cars that embrace advanced engineering, yet exude understated elegance. 2013 marks a significant milestone for Aston Martin’s 100th Anniversary and the start of their second century.
To mark the Centenary year and to ensure consistency of interpretation, AM has developed a visual expression in the form of the Aston Martin Centenary Logo.
The dynamic shape derived from nature’s nautilus shell, is made up of 99 points with the red 100 marking the celebration year.
The design represents the Centenary of the company in the shape of commemorative points aligned in perfect proportion around the Aston Martin logo. It is a dynamic expression of forward motion – acknowledging the past, yet with a strong and positive path to the future.
The points are symbolic not just of 100 years, but as an expression of what makes the marque what it is today: the beautiful and iconic sports cars, the evolution of the brand and of course the many proud and dedicated people who have created it.
Aston Martin needed something impressive for their Centenary Celebrations. They looked around for a building which matched the exquisite design, expert craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology included in every one of their cars. A building to serve as the location for their Centenary spectacular, they found it in Dubai.
AN ICONIC building
Rising from the sea the Burj Al Arab hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Instantly recognisable and lauded for its design, the Burj Al Arab dominates the skyline of Dubai.
Over 1,000ft in the air sits the hotel’s helipad. Made famous in 2004 when Tiger Woods completed a practice round there, and further immortalised when it hosted an Agassi, Federer tennis match. It was decided to create a world’s first – take an Aston Martin to the Burj Al Arab helipad.
Months of planning was required to ensure a successful event. Finding the most skillful helicopter crew, preparing the location, practicing the meticulous level of accuracy to achieve a perfect placement.
The New Vanquish, the culmination of a century of technological and engineering progress was chosen to grace the helipad. With support from their new Dubai dealership, the UAE government and the British ambassador, the excitement was building. A date was set, 17th January 2013, just two days after the exact date marking 100 years of Aston Martin.
As the world’s media assembled at the base of the Burj Al Arab, the event was underway. Lifted from the ground at a nearby airstrip the helicopter moved towards the hotel. A breathtaking two minutes saw the helicopter hover over the helipad as a crew scrambled to secure the Vanquish. Suddenly it was done, the helicopter lifted into the sky and they had successfully placed a car on top of the Burj Al Arab.
Met by UAE dignitaries, the British Amabassador to UAE Dominic Jermey and Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bezm the Vanquish glistened in the Dubai sunlight. A fitting backdrop as Dr Bez announced the start of Aston Martin’s second century from the top of a global icon.
AM Models from the beginning
The first Aston – originally names the Coal Scuttle – was built in 1915. After the First World War, three more prototypes were built and this – A3 – is the oldest ever Aston still in existence.
Aston Martin DB5 (1964)
To many this is the original Aston Martin, but the firm had been making cars for 50 years before it came along. We have Goldfinger to thank for it becoming a 20 century design icon.
Aston Martin DBS (1967)
The original DBS was driven by George Lazenby in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but unlike Sean Connery’s DB5 it hardly got any gadgets at all. Poor George.
V12 Vantage (2005 onwards)
This is the perfect example of what happens when you stick a massive engine in a tiny sports car. Great fun, if you can keep it on the road. Just what an Aston should be.
Only 77 of these babies were made (and they were mainly sold to oil-rich sheikhs), but the One-77 is the most-powerful and luxurious Aston Martin ever made, which shouldn’t be a shock considering its price tag of £1.2m.
OK, it’s controversial and technically a Toyota IQ that Aston has wrapped in luxury leather, but the Cygnet marked a new direction for the company in city motoring when it launched in 2011. It’s bonkers really but great fun. Hasn’t sold as well as hoped.
Aston Martin DB9 (2013)
The latest DB9, launched in 2013, is seen by many as the best Aston Martin ever. It certainly looks pretty.
These days welding plays a minute part in the manufacturing of AM cars. However looking at some vintage images around Google, we can see that BOC welders and British Federal Spot welding machines were previously used by this prestigious company.
Ultrasonic welding is used as a stronger option to that of a conventional spot welder.
Bonded structures are so much lighter, the body panels are either aluminium or composites and these days are fixed by a tub of adhesives.
For those of you who would like to fullfil your dreams of owning one of these beautiful cars. AM has launched a special centenary edition! This edition has an additional 18 hours of paint work to the standard 50.