Aston martin is one of the oldest car brands still in existence. And among the most noble. British flair blows through the interior here. The vehicles are tailored to the english aristocracy. Even if they now come from china and the arab world. Nevertheless: aston martin, that is history on the road.
Lionel martin, one of the founders, was the scion of a rich family. Money played no role and so he became enthusiastic about motor sports and from then on thought of nothing else. The best proof of this is that on the eve of the first world war (on 15. January 1913) he founded his first company – bramford martin ltd. Together with his partner, robert bramford, he wanted to sell singer automobiles. Race victories were to be a sales stimulus.
And indeed, he scored a few points at the hill climb in aston clinton, which was the final eureka moment for his own car brand and naming. There was a first prototype in 1915. In 1920, the car was fully developed and a small series followed. Count lou zborowski helped lionel martin financially and won a few races and set some records for aston martin. But zborowski died in an accident in monza and the company went bankrupt.
Lord charnwood took over and only a few years later there were good results in prestigious races like the mille miglia and the 24 hours of le mans. As early as 1935 the brand took third place overall at the sarthe. In the meantime, sir arthur sutherland took the reins as the main shareholder, as the brand had once again slid to the brink of ruin as a result of the great depression.
Black figures and distinctive cars
So a keen businessman, an earl, a lord and a sir are the foundations of aston martin. What followed, in fast forward: david brown, a bit of formula one, james bond, ford and then the descent with almost phoenix-like resurrection. The brand is in the black and building distinguishable cars (hasn’t always been that way in years past). In 2017, the aston martin vantage V8 GTE also took the class win at le mans.
Euphoric, aston martin built a soapbox that is purely visually based on the winning vantage. That is of course cool. But for what? For the red bull soapbox race of all things. A soulless marketing spectacle so far removed from any british charm that lionel martin, count zborowski, lord charnwood and sir sutherland are already waiting in car heaven with long wrenches to clip the freshly awarded wings of those in charge.