Aston Martin will celebrate its centenary in 2013 with a year-long calendar of events. The British sports car company will mark its first 100 years with a series of UK and international celebrations that aim to highlight the success of the brand worldwide.
15 January 15, 2013 marks the official incorporation of the company 100 years ago and to commemorate the historic occasion the oldest surviving Aston Martin – A3 – and a new Vanquish will take their places at a photo call at Henniker Mews in Chelsea – the original home of Aston Martin – where a commemorative plaque will be unveiled.
In the evening of 15 January the Aston Martin Heritage Trust Walter Hayes Memorial Lecture will take place in central London with A3 and Vanquish again guest starring alongside actor Sir John Standing as Lionel Martin, telling the story of his early days and his experience of making the first Aston Martin in Lionel Martin’s own words.
The centrepiece of the celebrations will be a week-long festival of all things Aston Martin which is set to take place from 15 July to 21 July, 2013. Designed to appeal to owners and enthusiasts of the brand, the Centenary Week will include open house activities at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters, including factory-based events and driving tours.
The week will culminate in a 1,000-guest ‘birthday party’ on Saturday 20 July and a Centenary Concours event in central London on Sunday 21 July.
This highlight of the centenary celebrations will be held in central London in partnership with the Aston Martin Heritage Trust and the Aston Martin Owners Club. It will feature the 100 most iconic cars in a Concours display and up to 1,000 Aston Martins forming the largest gathering in the 100-year history of the great British marque.
A number of centenary drives will also be held to coincide with the birthday party and the Concours event. These will include a James Bond-themed route around England and Wales taking in a number of the Bond film locations, a drive through the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and a rally through six European countries in six days. In America, the Pebble Beach centenary drive programme offers an opportunity to visit some of California’s most scenic regions before spending the weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
To mark its first century in business, Aston Martin has created a special centenary logo: a dynamic spiralling design derived from the nautilus shell, one of the most perfectly proportioned and mathematically precise objects found in nature. Ninety nine points arranged in a helix spiral out from the Aston Martin logo and culminate in a red ‘100’ to mark the celebration year. The logo has been designed to express forward motion while also acknowledging the importance of the past.
On 15 January 1913, Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded a new automotive venture.
They called their company Bamford & Martin which later became Aston Martin, acknowledging Robert Bamford’s success at the Aston Clinton Hillclimb in Buckinghamshire, where he had successfully raced their first cars.
Bamford and Martin began their business in Chelsea’s Henniker Mews in London, becoming known as providers of sporting machines to racers and enthusiasts.
In Aston Martin’s first 90 years the company built fewer than 15,000 cars. The open bodied two-seater sports specials of the pre-war years gave way to the David Brown era of the 1950s and beyond which saw the introduction of the DB2/4, DB4, DB5, DB6 and DBS, before the V8 Vantage and Virage led Aston Martin to the DB7, original Vanquish and on into the modern era.
A second celebration sees Aston Martin mark its first decade at Gaydon, in Warwickshire, moving in to its purpose-built premises on 3 January 2003. Since that date Aston Martin, overseen by CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, has produced 45,000 cars to critical and commercial acclaim.
The original DB9 and Vantage were joined by the Rapide, DBS, Virage and now the new DB9 and Vanquish – Aston Martin’s latest flagship sports car.
Aston Martin is, too, no longer focused on the domestic market but an international player, exporting 75% of its annual production around the world to 146 dealerships in 41 countries.