Its been 100 years since Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford came together to create one of the worlds most iconic automobile. The name Aston Martin came later with the joining of Mr. Martin’s name with the Aston Clinton Hillclimb where Bamford had many a victory. While the Aston Martin we know today isn’t a “10 cent” vehicle, it is interesting that the Aston Clinton Hill Climb was essentially drag racing up hill – think Fast and the Furious located amidst the refined Buckinghamshire countryside.
Racing up hill seemed to act as a metaphor for the vehicle as, Martin and Bamford’s “special” car took the high road, and drove its way into our books, screens and into the record books, as James Bond’s other half for half a century.
The Aston Martin DB5 is akin to the brilliant grey steed, Silver, was to the Lone Ranger: his trusted companion. Both modes of transport were quite similar in a manner of speaking: an ejector seat and were apparently bullet proof, and most importantly they kept their driver safe to fight another day.
Although the DB5 has not been the sole mode of transport for Bond, there has been the Vantage, Vanquish and the DBS V12, the latter of which seemed to take a great beating in both Casino Royale and Quantom of Solace, non is as iconic as the 1963 DB5 (which has appeared in 7 Bond films spanning from 1964-2013).
I will admit that while watching SkyFall in the cinema I made a rather loud uncharacteristic yelp followed by an expletive, when the DB5 was blown up. Thankfully I was in Los Angeles and such external outbursts are common during a film.
The Aston Martin’s Bond association isn’t the only fetching attraction; what’s under its bonnet is just as captivating.
I drove my first Aston Martin a year ago , and will gladly admit that my love of Bond (spanning now two decades) more than shifted my desire to grab onto one of their leather steering wheels. It was however, not the sole reason of choosing it over the other cars at my disposal: an Audi R8, Maclaren , Bugotti , Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari, Porshe 911 (you get the picture). The experience was amazing, and the feeling while going 130km around a race track in a DBS V12 shall remain with me forever.
Part of me has wanted to drive this car because its part of my my heritage and that of the Aston Martin. It isn’t the fastest car our there, Jeremy Clarkson’s wet dream, nor Its not the top luxury or an exclusive vehicle unlike the Koenigsegg, and Spada’s of today. But its British and that’s what I am most proud of.
Here’s to a zippy 100 years, Aston Martin, and looking forward to what future you have to offer us.
Did You Know?
Aston Martin Through the Ages