In 1913 Lionel Martin linked his name with that of Aston Hill in Buckinghamshire – a then famous hill climb venue – and founded Aston Martin together with Robert Bamford.
Although the first Aston Martin was developed in 1915, production was delayed until after World War One. Thereafter, many famous Aston Martins cars were manufactured. Probably the most famous being the DB5, as driven by James Bond in Goldfinger and a number of other films.
The 50’s and 60‘s were glory years for Aston Martin with race success in the hands of Stirling Moss, Roy Salvadori, Caroll Shelby (of Cobra fame) and others. The marque struggled financially during the 70s and 80s, but the development of the DB7 in the 90s changed all that. It was hailed as one of the most beautiful cars of its generation and brought new prosperity to a famous old marque. A powerful part of the DB7’s appeal is that it was the car that saved the company. Now Aston Martins feature strongly in most GT racing series.
In the early 1990s Aston Martin’s engineering resources were limited, so it fell to TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing) to design and manufacture the new car. The prime movers behind the success of the DB7 were firstly, Walter Hayes, the Aston Martin chairman, who kick-started the project. Secondly, Tom Walkinshaw, who was responsible for the engineering development. TWR’s Ian Callum was the talented designer responsible for the stunningly evocative styling of the DB7. Many others also played a role in the car’s refinement, including the famous racing driver Jackie Stewart.
The DB7 has had many famous owners including David Beckham, Elton John, Geri Halliwell, and George Michael. But the most famous Aston owner is still James Bond, even if he is fictitious.