Crossing Finish Lines with Aston Martin
The beginnings of this car brand’s great heritage can be traced back to 1913 when it was put up by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin under the trade name Bamford & Martin Ltd.. What started as a company selling Singer cars later became one of the most iconic brands of luxury sports car. The first of all Aston Martin cars named Aston Martin was created when the business partners decided to design and enter their own vehicle at the Aston Hill race specials. Loading a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini chassis with a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine, the partners came up with their customized race car that is known as the first Aston Martin.
After a successful run on the race track using the Aston Martin, the partners acquired a location at Henniker Mews to serve as the production site for their cars. The production was derailed, however, when the World War I broke out. The partners enlisted with the Royal Army Service Corps after they sold their Henniker Mews properties to the Sopwid Aviation Company.
After the War
The two decided to relocate their company when they came back from war service. Kensington’s Abington Road was the location of their revived company. They designed a new car that still carried the brand Aston Martin. Another bump on the road was met by the company when Bamford decided to leave the company in 1920. In his place, Count Louis Zborowski invested in the company to fund production costs.
By the time 1922 rolled in, the company was already producing cars that were entered in the prestigious French Grand Prix. Their team of cars not only won the competition but also set the world record, particularly for endurance and speed at Brooklands. The cars produced for the race competition were all designed and built with nothing less than exceptional performance on the tracks in mind. Their cars were built to break records in the racing circuit. All race cars from Aston Martin were fitted with 16-valve twin cam engines. The cars included in this team were chassis 1914 (later remodeled as Green Pea), chassis 1915 (later known as the Razor Blade car), and chassis 1916 (later redesigned as Halford Special).
However, even though Bamford & Martin saw success in racing events, the company experienced financial difficulties and declared bankruptcy. It closed down until Lady Charnwood bought it in 1924. The company failed again in 1926 closed down with Lionel Martin leaving the company.
Later that year, a group of investors, including Lady Charnwood, took control of the company. It was then that Bamford & Martin was registered and renamed as Aston Martin Motors. They relocated in Feltham. Bill Renwick and Augustus Bertelli, two of the investors in the company, developed an overhead-cam four-cylinder engine. This model was the only Renwick and Bertelli car made and was called as the Buzzbox.
In 1926 to 1937, Renwick and Bertelli created and designed all new Aston Martin cars, then called as the Bertelli cars. The models included in the team of newly designed Aston Martin cars were T-type, Le Mans, International, MKII, the Ulster, 15/98 and Speed Model.
Change in Ownership
In 1947, the company was bought by a tractor manufacturing company, David Brown Limited. After acquiring the Lagonda, the classics of DB2 models saw the start of design and production, all of which saw success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The DB models were the DB2 (1950), DB2/4 (1953), DB2/4 Mkll (1955), DB Mark III (1957) and an Italian styled 3.7 L DB4 (1958).
By the 1970s, the company experienced financial troubles, and in 1972, was sold to Company Developments. In the same year, the Aston Martin V8 entered the production stage. By 1975, the company saw a change in ownership after it was acquired by Peter Sprague, George Minden and later, Alan Curtis.