100 Years Young: Aston Martin celebrates its centenary
Company Chairman David Richards joined Aston Martin’s CEO Dr Ulrich Bez at a London mews house where the company’s workshops were first located. Together with members of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, they unveiled a plaque celebrating exactly 100 years of one of the most famous luxury brands in the world.
On 15 January 1913, in Henniker Mews, Chelsea, Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin formed Bamford and Martin Ltd, to be known two years later as ‘Aston Martin’ after success at the Aston Clinton hillclimb.
Also present on a bitterly cold January day were two cars and a tricycle. Sitting next to ‘A3’, the world’s oldest known Aston, was a brand-new ‘Centenary Edition’ Vanquish. The car comes in a special ‘liquid silver’ paint finish and bespoke features include sterling silver badges and a One-77-inspired interior. It is limited to just 100 examples and will be joined by similar runs of DB9s, Cygnets, Vantages and Rapides.
Later that day, the Aston Martin Heritage Trust held the ‘Aston Martin Centenary Dinner’ in the Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane. Among the 500 guests were representatives of the company's Kuwaiti and Italian shareholders.
2013 will see a host of centenary events, including a week-long Aston Martin festival in the UK from 15 to 21 July.
And the tricycle? It was an Edwardian tricycle of the type raced by Lionel Martin, a precursor to the special racing bicycles carrying Aston Martin branding in more recent years. Perhaps.
Aston Martins in the Classic Driver Marketplace
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Aston Martin / Classic Driver