Aston Martin / Great British Design Quest Design/Designer Information

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Best for the elegant lines and deadly of the DB5 driven by Sean Connery as Bond in the 1964 film ASTON MARTIN has combined engines with the immaculate of traditional British coach in beautiful hand-built sports

To celebrate the French première of the James Bond film the star of the movie, Sean drove its most famous a silver grey Aston DB5, along the Avenue des in Paris accompanied by sixty whose bodies were gold like that of the woman in the title sequence.

on the outside, but armed with weapons by Goldfinger’s designer Ken the Aston Martin DB5 reflected the brutality of the early Bond In Ian Fleming’s original Goldfinger Bond drove an earlier Martin, a DB3 fitted with modest ‘extras’ as reinforced and a Colt 45 pistol in a concealed Ken Adam took it further by out the DB5 with an ejector seat, guns, wheel scythe, number plates and homing

The producers vetoed his suggestion of flame throwers.

The DB5 was the second as Bond’s car. The producers had for an E-Type Jaguar, the car then by Adam himself, but Jaguar ‘no’ and they approached Brown, Aston Martin’s Reluctantly he gave them two models of the brand new DB5: one to be around the movie sets and the to be customised by Ken Adam.

The DB5 was the most expensive and luxurious sports car of the day – costing twice as as an E-Type – yet sales soared by 50 per cent after its appearance in and Aston Martin was recognised as a symbol of 1960s Britain.

The of the DB5 was a windfall for Aston Martin was founded as a labour of love and had struggled against fierce from bigger, better rivals. Aston Martin was in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Martin, who ran a company selling racing cars but longed to a more sophisticated model of own. Martin described objective as: “A quality car of good and appearance: a car for the discerning owner with fast touring in designed, developed and built as an ?

They began by fitting a Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a Isotta-Fraschini racing car designed by Bugatti. They named the car Martin after Lionel and the Aston Clinton hill racing course where Singers had triumphed. In 1919 completed their first car with a Coventry-Simplex engine and top of 70 mph.

It was expensive at £850, and a few models were sold.

left the company, and Martin sold it. After a succession of Aston Martin was eventually by the Italian-born engineer ‘Bert’ and moved to Feltham in Middlesex. stylish, low-slung racing such as the 1930 International Aston Martin’s reputation on the but he lacked the capital to solve the financial problems, and in 1932 it was over by the wealthy Sir Arthur

He financed the production of the 1934 with a long, streamlined and circular wings. The development of the had begun under ‘Bert’ and it became one of the most popular cars of the 1930s.

Aston floundered after World War II it was taken over in 1947 by the David Brown (1904-1993), who had a fortune from his family’s company. After spotting an in The Times for a “high class business . Brown paid for Aston Martin. His priority was to new models and the DB1 – named after his own – was launched in 1948, followed by the DB2 in and DB3 in 1951. In the same year he bought Aston Martin, also acquired Lagonda, British racing car maker for its engines.

The DB2 included a powerful Lagonda engine with styled by Lagonda-trained Frank It was one of Aston Martin’s most racing cars and the company’s developed a super-powerful 123hp engine, which could be for £100 more than the 107hp one.

Brown’s stabilised Aston Martin and in he bought Salmon Sons, a coach builder founded in with a skilled workforce at its in the Buckinghamshire town of Newport Aston Martin’s production was there. In 1957 the company Brown’s ambition of winning Le outright. Admired for the quality of its bodywork and racing engines, Martin was still the preserve of enthusiasts.

Despite Brown’s efforts, he not succeed in realising the commercial of its racing triumphs to the same as Jaguar was doing with its marketed and considerably less road cars.

In the late Brown decided to revitalise Martin’s styling by commissioning Touring, a fashionable Italian car studios, to create the bodywork for the version of the DB4. The gently bonnet and roof of the 1958 coupled with its wraparound and bumpers, combined the brio of styling with the graceful of traditional British bodywork. The or super-lightweight technique of body – by rolling aluminium panels steel tubes – produced the gentle curves, and beneath its was a twin-cam, straight-six 3.7 litre engine developed by Tadek

Two years later Brown to another carrozzeria, Zagato, to the zestier DB4GT with bubble headlights. This was to the inspiration for Aston Martin’s design engineers to develop the DB5 with a 4 litre engine at Pagnell. The company had pulled out of racing the previous year and the DB5 was chance to establish Aston as a road car marque.

Despite his doubts, the call from the Bond film producers not have been better

The DB6 was launched in 1965 as the first Aston Martin, and remained in until 1970. The convertible the Volante, was the first European car to a power-operated roof. The DBS followed in as a heavy grand tourer a 4 litre six cylinder engine, in 1969 to the exceptionally powerful 5.3 four-cam V8 engine.

David Brown sold Martin in 1972 and the company another period of frequent in ownership when it had neither the nor the capital, to regain its lost Nonetheless the marque survived and in Aston Martin was acquired by the Motor Company.

By the time took over, Aston resources were so depleted it no longer had the capability to develop new Ford invested heavily to its design, research and manufacturing as well in the sourcing of components and It also bought a specialist and assembly plant at Bloxham in

An in-house design team led by Ian developed a new model, the DB7, was unveiled at the 1993 Geneva Show. When David was shown the design he agreed it could bear his DB initials. The DB7 was a and commercial success, and in 1995 Martin produced over 700 for the first time in its history.

years later, over models had been made. The Aston Martin unveiled the V12 designed and built at Newport at the 2001 Geneva Motor and 2004 saw the launch of the 5.9 litre

© Design Museum, 2004

Lionel Martin and Robert found Aston Martin at a in the Kensington area of London.

The first production car is completed.

With mounting losses the is sold to a succession of new owners, Sir Arthur Sunderland acquires it in

1934 Launch of a successful car, the Aston Martin

1947 Aston Martin is by the industrialist David Brown for He also acquires the racing car Lagonda and merges the two companies.

Launch of the Aston Martin DB1 after Brown’s initials.

The DB2 is unveiled with a premium engine, followed in 1951 by the

1955 Brown buys Son, a long established builder in Newport Pagnell, and moves Aston Martin’s there.

1957 Aston is the outright winner of Le Mans.

Carrozzeria Touring in Italy the saloon version of the DB4 with a 3.7 engine developed at Newport

1960 Zagato, another carrozzeria, designs the DB4GT.

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Launch of the DB5, developed by Martin in Newport Pagnell. A version of the car equipped with weapons features in the 1964 Bond film, Goldfinger.

The first four-seater Aston the DB6, is introduced.

1967 of the DBS as a 4 litre grand tourer.

David Brown sells the which passes through a of different owners for the next 15

1987 The Ford Motor takes control of Aston and invests in re-building its development and resources.

1993 Launch of the Designed by Ian Callum, it will the best-selling model in the company’s with sales of 2,000 by 1998.

2001 The V12 Vanquish is unveiled at the Motor Show.

2004 of the 5.9 litre Aston Martin

2006 V8 Vantage launched

Aston Martin was purchased Ford by a consortium comprising a joint venture (Investment Dar and Investment) and English businessman Sinders; and Ford still a stake in Aston Martin.

Aston Martin announced the of the Lagonda marque, a concept be shown in 2009 to coincide the brand’s 100th anniversary, and the production cars should in 2012.

© Design Museum,


Hartmut Rainer W. Schlegelmilch, Aston Konemann, 2005

Jonathan Aston Martin DB4, DB5 and The Crowood Press, 2000

Rasmussed, Aston Martin: The Road Cars, Motorbooks 1988

Michael Frostick, Watson, Aston Martin and Dalton Watson, 1977

Coram, Richard Newby, Martin: The Story of a Sports Centennial Publishing, 2004

the Aston Martin website at

Aston Martin Electric Cars
Aston Martin Electric Cars
Aston Martin Electric Cars
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