This high‐profile automobile manufacturer has been recognized by cinema audiences throughout the world as the producer of the Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond in the 1965 film Goldfinger, with a further link between Aston Martin and Bond in the film Living Daylights (1987). The company's British origins lay in the early 20th century when the first car was built by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as a competitor to Bugatti. After the end of the First World War the company was refinanced and taken over by Lionel Martin and a series of racing cars competed in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. The name ‘Aston’ was added to ‘Martin’ as the cars had great success in the Aston Clinton Hill Climb races. After the Second World War the company emerged as a high‐profile manufacturer of sports cars, following the 1947 takeover of the company by David Brown (DB), who also took over the Lagonda Company, another British manufacturer of high‐performance cars. A DB series of Aston Martin sports cars was initiated in the 1950s with the 2.6‐litre Aston Martin DB2, continuing until 1965 with the DB6. The Aston Martin company was sold in 1972, followed by a number of further changes of ownership, culminating in its complete takeover by Ford in 1994. Celebrated later models included the Virage sports car (1988) and the DB7 Vantage (1992).
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.