One hundred years ago this year, Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, too ambitious young car salesmen from London, decided that they wanted to build a car of their own, and went about dropping a four-cylinder engine into a 1908 Isotta Fraschini coupe. These were the humble beginnings of what would eventually be one of the most well-regarded and legendary nameplates on Earth – Aston Martin.
Although the first Aston Martin coupe was little more than a stock car that Lionel Martin would race around Aston Hill in England, the brand would take on a lot more finesse over the next 100 years. These cars would win races all over Europe and stateside, even becoming the signature ride of choice for the worlds most famous super-spy, James Bond.
To celebrate the company’s centennial, the storied Brands Hatch raceway in the United Kingdom will be hosting the largest ever racing event devoted exclusively to Aston Martins. Races will take place at both the Indy and Grand Prix circuits this July that feature models from nearly every decade that the marquee has been in production.
The event will essentially be split into two different shows representing the two major eras in the company’s history. Cars from the brand’s inception to the mid-1960s will compete during one leg of the event, including period-correct models from other brands like Bentley and Lagonda. Then, races will take place representing the David Brown era – the man deemed Aston Martin’s “post war saviour” – to the present, when the company built many of its most iconic models.
Of course, a tribute to Aston Martin wouldn’t be complete without a display devoted to the company’s relationship with 007, so those in attendance can expect to see such classics as the 1964 DB5 Bond rode in the hit film “Goldfinger.”
Do you plan on hopping across the pond to pay tribute to Aston Martin this year? Share your favorite Aston Martin memories below:
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