Established more than a century ago out of a small London workshop by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, the Aston Martin name has since become synonymous with style and luxury. This is thanks, in no small part, to the Aston Martin DB5 – widely acclaimed as the most beautiful car in the world. First produced in 1963, the DB5’s reputation was cemented a year later when it was chosen as James Bond’s vehicle of choice in the classic 007 film Goldfinger. It was the start of a long relationship, with the DB5 appearing in both Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies in the 1990s, and the DBS showing up in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
As well as cinema, Aston Martin has a long racing pedigree, competing in the French Grand Prix in 1922. It entered its first Le Mans 24-hour race in 1928, going on to sweep the podium places in its class with the 1.5l model five years later. Further accolades followed in the 1950s when the DBR1 team secured the 1959 World Sportscar Championship by winning races such as the Nürburgring 1000 kilometre race. Aston Martin returned to the track in 2005 with the launch of the DBR9, winning the GT1 Class just two years later at Le Mans.
In 1998 the company was presented with the Queen’s Award for Export, recognising the contribution of the firm to the UK economy.