Aston Martin Supercar Logo

Classy, debonair and definitively British, Aston Martin is forever associated with James Bond and the beautiful DB series of cars from the 1950s and 60.

But its long and troubled history dates way back to 1913, when Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford teamed up to sell cars made by Singer from premises in London.

Martin raced specials at Aston Hill, and the pair decided to make their own vehicles – the first Aston Martin was made by fitting a Coventry-Simplex engine to a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini chassis.

World War One interrupted their plans, and the company was reformed afterwards thanks

to investment from Count Louis Zborowski, with racing success followed by the release of 55 cars for sale.

Bankruptcies and changes of ownership dogged the company between the wars, with production shifting to aircraft components during World War Two.

The saviour was David Brown, like Ferruccio Lamborghini a tractor manufacturer, who bought the company in 1947 along with Lagonda.

The glorious DB-badged cars that followed set the tone for a golden era of beautiful, quick, luxury GTs, interrupted by Ford’s involvement and a more brutal focus before design shifted back to a sleeker look for the DB7 that continues today.

Aston Martin DB6

Aesthetically, the DB5 - perhaps James Bond's most iconic set of wheels - was a hard act to follow, and the DB6's fashionable Kammback tail did not sit well with Aston's more conservative customers.

But it did serve a practical purpose, with its built-in lip spoiler improving on the DB5's less-than-perfect stability at high speed and giving the new car a more sporting appearance.
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Aston Martin DBS

The DBS was a major departure for Aston Martin, with seductive classic British curves jettisoned for a more transatlantic, muscular look not dissimilar to a Mustang or Britain's Jensen Interceptor.

That it was produced alongside the traditional DB6 for three years in the late 1960s gave buyers a choice - stick with the past or twist into the Seventies with this bold new look.
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Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The V8 Vantage was dubbed Britain's first supercar when it was launched in 1977; the 150mph DB6 and Jaguar E-type clearly weren't fast enough to qualify-

Sharing the same basic shape as the DBS introduced in the late 60s and the later V8, the real differences were under the bonnet and, for a time, the V8 Vantage was the world's fastest accelerating production car - one tenth of a second quicker than the Ferrari Daytona.
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Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550

No car of the 1990s could propel its occupants with such speed and in such opulent comfort as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550.

A rebodied Virage - only the roof and doors were carried over - the V550 name denoted the colossal power that saw one of Newport Pagnell's last hand-built cars surge to 186mph, passing 60mph in just 4.6 seconds.
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Aston Martin Vanquish S

The fastest Aston made at the time, the last car to be built at Newport Pagnell, and the car that marked the modern rebirth of the brand - the Vanquish is assured of its place in history.

An all-new successor to the ageing Virage range, the Vanquish, designed by Ian Callum, was introduced in 2001 at the Geneva Motor Show and was more of a super-fast Grand Tourer than an out-and-out sports car. It was also stunningly beautiful.
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Aston Martin Vanquish V12

If the Ferrari F12 and Lamborghini Aventador have the exotic wow factor, what of Britain's modern supercar challenger, the new gen Vanquish V12?

Well, it's slower, less powerful, cheaper, and less showy...but, it's also classy, utterly beautiful, easy to live with, and isn't 201mph and 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds plenty fast enough?
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