It is quite common to hear of a new UK lottery winner telling the press that he or she will be buying a new car with their winnings. Obviously the jackpot total will determine the car any UK lottery winner will choose, many just say ‘a new car,’ but it doesn’t stop those of us yet to match all the numbers from dreaming what we would choose.
One marque we might consider is celebrating 100 years of existence this year and, frankly, one of their models is on my dream list.
In 1913 Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin formed Bamford and Martin Limited, originally to sell Singer cars in London. Martin raced cars at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire and Bamford and Martin decided to start making a limited number of their own cars.
The first car was a development of a 1908 Isotta-Franschini car but with a Coventry-Simplex engine. This model combined Lionel’s name and that of his favourite racetrack – Aston Martin.
The first production facilities were created on Abingdon Road, Kensington, London and began work in March 1915. Sadly the First World War intervened and both Bamford and Martin went off to fight.
Fortunately both men survived the war and restarted production at Abingdon Road. The years between the wars were difficult with ownership of the company changing hands several times but there was always an involvement in racing. In 1926, both Bamford and Martin had now left the company and production moved to a former aircraft works in Feltham, Middlesex.
The Second World War ensured production moved to aircraft components but, in 1947, tractor manufacturer David Brown Limited under the chairmanship of David Brown bought Aston Martin and resumed car production. It was he who leant his initials (DB) to subsequent models of cars right up to the present DB9.
Racing success continued, more (now highly collectable) models were produced and in 1963 the famous DB5, with its connection to James Bond, began production.
In the intervening years, like so many car companies, Aston Martin has had financial problems and several owners: including Ford between 1987 and 2007.
Aston Martin has always survived as it attracts people like a UK lottery winner with its classic designs and charisma. While many may buy Ferraris and Lamborghinis to make a statement, others, such as a UK lottery winner, buy an Aston Martin to show a certain restrained sophistication.
Cleverly the company has recently resumed an interest in motor racing, essential to keep a sporting heritage, particularly in GT racing. Sadly, however, he was at the wheel of an Aston Martin when Allan Simonsen died at the Le Mans 24-hour race earlier this year. But the Aston Martin image has been helped not only by the connection with James Bond but the use of Prince Charles’ DB6 as a going-away car at the Royal Wedding in 2011.
If you are a UK lottery winner and want one of these gorgeous cars, you have a choice between the Vantage, DB9, rare Zagato, a four-door Rapide or the beautifully designed recent addition, the Vanquish. Each still looks wonderful and that noise is spine tingling! Every drive is an event.
Don’t think either that a UK lottery winner would be forgotten by the company if he or she buys one of the cars. It is said the design of each individual car is held at the purpose-built factory at Gaydon in Warwickshire and, should the car need restoring, it can be done so to the original specifications. Aston Martin also have a dedicated servicing division.
So, if I should become a UK lottery winner, I will certainly be looking to add one of these cars to my garage!
Find out more about this remarkable marque at their website.