Aston Martin began its centenary celebrations with the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the building in london where the original company, Bamford and Martin, was founded
The oldest Aston Martin in existence, the A3, goes head-to-head with the new special centenary edition of the Vanquish
The commemorative plaque which was unveiled in Henniker Mews, Chelsea
Aston Martin launched its year of centenary celebrations in London on 15 January, 100 years to the day when the company that became Aston Martin was founded. Joining the Aston Martin Heritage Trust to unveil a commemorative plaque at Chelsea’s Henniker Mews, the original home of the company, the brand lined up a special centenary edition of its latest model, the Vanquish, alongside the oldest Aston Martin in existence, an A3 prototype from 1921.
Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO, said: “I am proud to be celebrating 100 years of heritage and the best of British craftsmanship. Aston Martin is known around the world for our leading design combined with advanced technology. Ours is the coolest luxury car brand on the planet and I am looking forward to our second century of building the world’s most desirable sports cars.”
Speaking at the unveiling, Roger Carey, Chairman of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, said: “It’s fitting, I think, that we have both the newest and oldest Aston Martins in existence here at Henniker Mews, where this remarkable story began 100 years ago. This is where the workshops were first located and the Aston Martin Heritage Trust felt it was important to record the centenary by creating and displaying a plaque commemorating the start of such an iconic car business."
David Richards, Aston Martin Chairman, said: “It’s great to be back at the place where it all started. The Aston Martin story reaches a significant milestone in 2013 with our unique heritage and fiercely independent tradition inspiring exciting chapters yet to come. We look forward to sharing this milestone with our team, partners, customers and Aston Martin enthusiasts around the world.” The event marked the start of a year-long celebration, with events taking place worldwide over the next 12 months. Dr Bez explained: “Aston Martin remains one of the most exclusive and sought-after brands in the world, so it’s right that our centenary celebrations take place around the globe this year.“
Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez and Sir Stirling Moss at the Walter Hayes memorial lecture
The event in London marked the day when Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford saw their new automotive venture incorporated as “Bamford and Martin Ltd”. Production of the very first Aston Martin, known as the “Coal Scuttle”, began soon after. The “Aston” element was inspired by Lionel Martin’s passion for hill-climbing, in particular the Aston Clinton hill-climb in Buckinghamshire.
That evening, the Aston Martin Heritage Trust hosted a centenary dinner for friends and family of the marque, which included members of the Bamford and Martin families, His Highness Sheikh Nasser from Kuwait and Sir Stirling and Lady Susie Moss. More than 500 guests heard the Walter Hayes memorial lecture, which featured actor Sir John Standing playing the role of Lionel Martin, telling the story of his early days and his experience of making the first Aston Martin.
The Centenary Logo, which is being used to mark 100 years of Aston Martin throughout 2013, was unveiled for the first time, last September, on the car of CEO Dr Ulrich Bez as he raced at the Nürburgring. Partnering his friend Josef “Pepi” Strobl, winner of 20 podiums and five World Cup downhill and Super-G races as part of the Austrian ski team, and Wolfgang Schuhbauer, Director of the Aston Martin Nürburgring Test Centre, the trio took third in the highly competitive SP10 class for lightly modified GT4 cars.
This stunning new logo, which was designed by Director of Design Marek Reichman’s team at Aston Martin, will be a consistent feature of the celebrations over the course of this year. “The race offered us a very appropriate opportunity to present the new centenary logo on my race car,” says Dr Bez. “The Nürburgring has played an important role in our first 100 years and it will continue to do so in the next, starting with our exciting plans for the 24-hour race in 2013.”
NÜRBURGRING 24-HR RACE 17-20 May
Aston Martin will once more compete in the famous race with a spectacular line-up of cars as well as a pre-race demonstration featuring some of the most iconic models in its history.
BONHAMS AUCTION 18 May
The famous Bonhams Aston Martin sale, a must for auto enthusiasts and collectors alike, will be held at the Aston Martin Works Service in Newport Pagnell.
LE MANS 22 June
A parade of 100 Aston Martin road cars around the famous La Sarthe circuit in front of 250,000 expectant race fans.
AMOC CENTENARY RACE 6-7 July
Brands Hatch hosts the Aston Martin Owners Club Centenary race meeting. In addition to racing, there will be demonstration laps of Aston Martin race cars covering all eras and members will have an opportunity to join a parade lap on track.
CENTENARY DRIVES July/August
Offering enthusiasts the chance to enjoy exclusive hotels, fine dining and their cars amid spectacular scenery. European events have been timed to finish or coincide with the Centenary Concours event on 21 July.
CENTENARY WEEK 15-21 July
Aimed at both owners and enthusiasts, a week of open-house activities at Gaydon will include events and tours in and around Aston Martinís Warwickshire home, design masterclasses, “Dine on the Line” experiences and an exhibition portraying each of the 10 decades of the company.
CENTENARY CONCOURS 21 July
A joint celebration with the Aston Martin Owners Club, the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, Aston Martin Lagonda and, of course, customers, dealers and friends of the marque. The event, in Kensington Gardens in London, with the kind permission of The Royal Parks, will feature car displays and the largest gathering of Aston Martins in the company’s history.
SILVERSTONE CLASSIC 27-28 July
This weekend promises an exceptional line-up of classic car displays and parades and an amazing array of interactive family entertainment. A highlight will be the 100-car parade lap of the British Grand Prix circuit on the Saturday.
For more details on all the Centenary events, visit www.astonmartin.com/100
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