Aston Martin recently opened the Heritage Showroom at its Newport Pagnell base, following a two-year refurbishment of the Olympia building. For the first time heritage cars will be sold directly from Aston Martin, allowing customers to draw on the knowledge of the Works team and its experience handling sales, ongoing service and restoration.
The Heritage Showroom is housed within the restored Olympia building – itself also now 100 years old – which has been central to the Aston Martin story since its move to Newport Pagnell in 1957. Together with the modern car showroom, which opened just over a year ago, the Heritage Showroom offers customers the experience of being able to compare cars from every era of Aston Martin’s 100 years at Aston Martin Works.
Following a total refurbishment, the Olympia Building now provides a proper environment for the display of heritage Aston Martins up to and including the DB7, and a discreet setting for customers to meet with the sales team. It also offers a ‘club-like’ space for launches, special events, seminars and conferences.
The building, once an aeroplane hangar, became known as Olympia due to its similarity to the Olympia building in London. It has fulfilled many functions over the years, including use as a machine shop, trim shop and as a service department. It was later used as the panel shop and home to craftsmen restoring the bodywork of Aston Martin classics. It is the first Heritage Showroom ever opened by Aston Martin, and has been decorated in a period style, complete with displays of memorabilia from the factory heritage collection.
Kingsley Riding-Felce, Managing Director, Aston Martin Works said, “The first phase of redevelopment concluded with the opening of our new car showroom and state-of-the-art workshop facilities last spring. The project has encompassed the refurbishment of the heritage workshop, paint shop, panel shop and trim shop. The completion of the Olympia Building marks the end of the redevelopment and it provides a beautiful and fitting home for our Heritage sales department. Aston Martin Works can now provide its customers with an exceptional service, spanning the most modern super cars to cherished heritage models; from sales, to ongoing service, maintenance and repairs, to full restoration.”
Aston Martin at Newport Pagnell
Aston Martin production was moved to Newport Pagnell in 1957 but the town was already familiar with the marque, as the Tickford coachbuilding company made the bodies for the DB2/4 Mk 2 model. David Brown, then owner of Aston Martin, acquired Tickford in 1955 and two years later consolidated production there and made Newport Pagnell the headquarters of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.
Aston Martin models from the DB4 through to the original Vanquish were made in Newport Pagnell. Production continued there until July 2007, when all production transferred to the brand’s global headquarters in Gaydon.
Aston Martin Works historic headquarters has long been a magnet for Aston Martin enthusiasts and it has a loyal clientele comprising owners of Aston Martin models old and new. Open days, including the annual Bonhams Aston Martin auction, demonstrate the expertise and craftsmanship available and encourage a friendly, ‘family’ atmosphere for the marque’s admirers.