GT History: How Aston Martin went from bankruptcy to the big time


So, the name’s Broadbent … Jimmy Broadbent. More famous for another James, not me unfortunately,
Aston Martin’s been around in pop culture for as long as I can remember and is one of the founding, I guess, stones, of British car engineering. So, back in 1913, Aston Martin wasn’t Aston
Martin … it was Bamford and Martin, Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin. The first car ever built by Bamford and Martin
wasn’t really luxurious, it was called the Coal Skuttle, and competed in a hillclimb event against
a Bugatti, who were very fast at the time, And actually ended up beating it! So, the name of that hillclimb was the Aston Hillclimb but when Bamford left the company just after the First World War, they took
the name from that hillclimb and became Aston Martin. Now, although Aston Martin is this big, lovely luxurious
brand it is today, it’s not always been that way. All the way back in 1926, Aston Martin actually went bankrupt and that’s not the first time that’s happened over the course of its history. But in 1928, things started to look up. Aston Martin competed for the first time at Le Mans, which of course is now a staple for them, and only five years later, they had their
first class victory, which of course meant more sales, more money, more Aston Martin’s. After that, the company went into producing road cars, producing around 700 or so, before this little annoying event called World War
Two happened and production was halted. But fast-forward to 1947 and David Brown took command of the company, which you might know the DB initials, a very famous DB series holds his name. So, in 1959, Aston Martin of course returned to them on this time, with the Aston Martin DBR1, one of the most famous cars ever to grace the asphalt at the French circuit. And they won their class, won overall with Roy Salvadori and a little known driver called Carroll Shelby. And then we get to the 60s, of course one
of the golden ages for sports cars. The Ferraris, Porches, Jaguars, all sorts
coming out of new and pretty cars but of course, Aston Martin went one better, bringing out
probably one of the most beautiful cars of all time, the DB4 GT Zagato. For the next few years, Aston Martin released a whole host of now notorious car models, the Zagonda, The DB5, DB6, DBS, which is a V8 and the Bond car, and the V8 Vantage. But in 1987, Ford came along and thought ‘Oh, I fancy that’ and they bought Aston Martin and reinstated David Brown, who then went on to produce one of the most, I think the best selling Aston Martin’s in history, the Aston Martin DB7. And the DB7 of course, appearing in the first Gran Turismo game, in that very annoying Championship where it’s very fast and you can’t really beat it. But that’s how I know it from, just don’t
like it for that reason. Despite a sale in 2006 to a consortium of
people, including David Richards, Aston Martin has consistently produced some of the most beautiful and class leading cars that we, well, still remain today. And in 2013, they celebrated 100 years of
Aston Martin and of course, the upside to that is you can drive some of the best cars in their history in GT Sport. So in the game, we’ve got a few Aston Martin’s to choose from, the Aston Martin Vulcan, the DB11, the DB3S, the Aston Martin One -77, the V12 Vantage GT3, the V8 Vantage S, and the Vantage Group 4 car. But I think we can agree that their greatest achievement was winning the World Tour event at Paris.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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