Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
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A chronological day-by-day history of Aston Martin.
A modified Singer driven by Lionel Martin won its class at the Aston Clinton (England) Hillclimb, an event that led to the creation of the Aston Martin sports car.
Lionel Martin inspects his carShow Article
Engineer Gustaf Larson and SKF sales manager Assar Gabrielsson met by chance over a plate of crayfish, and after enjoying their meal agreed to start up production of 'The Swedish Car', ie Volvo. Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of the country's rough roads and cold temperatures. The first Volvo car rolled off the production line at the factory in Gothenburg in 1927. Only 280 cars were built that year. The first truck, the "Series 1", debuted in January 1928, as an immediate success and attracted attention outside the country. In 1930, Volvo sold 639 cars, and the export of trucks to Europe started soon after; the cars did not become well-known outside Sweden until after World War II. Pentaverken, who had manufactured engines for Volvo, was acquired in 1935, providing a secure supply of engines and entry into the marine engine market. The first bus, named B1, was launched in 1934, and aircraft engines were added to the growing range of products at the beginning of the 1940s. In 1963, Volvo opened the Volvo Halifax Assembly plant, the first assembly plant in the company's history outside of Sweden in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1999, the European Union blocked a merger with Scania AB. That same year, Volvo Group sold its car division Volvo Car Corporation to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion. The division was placed within Ford's Premier Automotive Group alongside Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Volvo engineering resources and components would be used in various Ford, Land Rover and Aston Martin products, with the second generation Land Rover Freelander designed on the same platform as the second generation Volvo S80. The Volvo T5 petrol engine was used in the Ford Focus ST and RS performance models, and Volvo's satellite navigation system was used on certain Aston Martin Vanquish, DB9 and V8 Vantage models. Ford sold the Volvo Car Corporation in 2010 to Geely Automobile of China for $1.8 billion. The move followed Ford's 2007 sale of Aston Martin, and 2008 sale of Jaguar Land Rover. Renault Véhicules Industriels (which included Mack Trucks, but not Renault's stake in Irisbus) was sold to Volvo during January 2001, and Volvo renamed it Renault Trucks in 2002. Renault became AB Volvo's biggest shareholder with a 19.9% stake (in shares and voting rights) as part of the deal. Renault increased its shareholding to 21.7% by 2010.
The last South Harting hill climb (now the B2141 road) event was held. The West Sussex (England) venue was one of the most important motor hill climbs in the country during the 1920s, with Frazer Nash, Aston Martin and Raymond Mays (Bugatti) participating. The event was founded by Earl Russell in 1905.
Count Louis Vorow Zborowski (29), of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame, died in wreck during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. On the death of his mother in 1911, 16-year old Louis instantly became the fourth richest under-21-year-old in the world, with cash of £11 million and real estate in the United States, including 7 acres (2.8 ha) of Manhattan and several blocks on Fifth Avenue, New York. Louis Zborowski raced for Aston Martin at Brooklands and in the 1923 French Grand Prix. He drove a Bugatti in the 1923 Indianapolis 500 and drove an American Miller 122 in the 1923 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He joined the Mercedes team in 1924. He is best remembered for the cars that he built. Zborowski designed and built four of his own racing cars in the stables at Higham Park, assisted by his engineer and co-driver Captain Clive Gallop, who was later racing engineer to the "Bentley Boys". The first car was powered by a 23,093 cc six-cylinder Maybach aero engine and called "Chitty Bang Bang". A second "Chitty Bang Bang" was powered by 18,8828 cc Benz aero engine. A third car was based on a Mercedes 28/95, but fitted with a 14,778 cc 6-cylinder Mercedes aero engine and was referred to as the White Mercedes. These cars achieved some success at Brooklands. The final car, also built at Higham Park with a huge 27-litre American Liberty aero engine, was called the "Higham Special". After Zborowskis death the "Higham Special" was purchased by J.G. Parry-Thomas to make attempts at breaking the land speed record. Designer/driver Thomas improved the car and christened her "Babs". In April 1926 J.G. Parry-Thomas successfully took the Land Speed Record at over 170 mph at Pendine Sands. Thomas' second attempt on the same location in 1927 turned out fatal. At over 100 mph a rear wheel collapsed, turning over the car and killing the driver.
Louis Zborowski in the driving seat of Chitty Bang Bang 1 at Brooklands.Show Article
Bamford & Martin Ltd manufacturers of the Aston Martin was forced into receivership.Show Article
The greatest-ever British Motor Show opened at Earls Court, with no less than 32 British car manufacturers exhibiting their wares. It was to be a motoring spectacle the like of which would never be witnessed again. Almost every British manufacturer’s stand included at least one brand new model. These included the Morris Minor from the Nuffield Organisation, the Morris Oxford/Wolseley 4/50 and Morris Six/Wolseley 6/80 ranges, a new Hillman Minx, Austin's A70 Hampshire, Vauxhall's Velox and Wyvern, the Singer SM1500 and the Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and 90. Perhaps the star of the show was the incredible fast and beautiful Jaguar XK120, priced at just £998 (£1,298 with tax). The name was based on top speed that made it the fastest production car in the world. To convince the sceptics who refused to believe what was being claimed for the XK120, Jaguar took over a closed section of dual carriageway at Jabbeke in Belgium where, in front of the assembled press, a standard XK120 proceeded to clock 126 mph. With the windscreen removed 133 mph was achieved. Orders came flooding in and Jaguar quickly realised that the couple of hundred originally intended could not possibly meet demand. The waiting lists were lengthened still further after the XK's racing debut at Silverstone in a Production Sports Car race. The factory loaned three cars to well known drivers, Peter Walker, Leslie Johnson and Prince Bira of Siam. Bira was unlucky enough to have a puncture, but the others finished first and second. Aston Martin presented their “2-litre Sports” at the London show. It attracted little attention and only 16 examples of this £2,331 car were built. The 2-Litre Sports produced from 1948 to 1950, was the first product of the company under new director, David Brown, and is retrospectively known as the DB1. The show also gave the everyday motorist the opportunity to first chance to see a real, live Standard Vanguard and Jowett Javelin, thus far almost exclusively reserved for export. There were the Bristol 401 sports saloons, and the US-influenced Austin A90 Atlantic.
British Motor Show 1948Show Article
(25-26th): The first Le Mans 24 hours was held following the end of World War II. Even though the war had ended four years prior, major reconstruction throughout France meant that the return of the race was of secondary concern, and thus was not run until after France had established itself again. Luigi Chinetti won the race in the first Ferrari barchetta by driving 23.5 hours. This race also saw the death of French driver Pierre Marechal when his Aston Martin DB2 was involved in an accident at Arnage late in the race.
Le Mans - 1949Show Article
The Aston Martin DB3/1 made its racing with debut at the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Dunrod, Ireland, but the car driven by Lance Macklin had to retire due to bearing failure.
Aston Martin DB3/1Show Article
Racing into the dark took place for the first time at Goodwood with the News of the World International Nine Hour Sports Car Race – which started at 3.00pm and finished at midnight. Modifications were made to the circuits infrastructure by fitting floodlights to illuminate the grandstands and pits, the kerbs were given a coat of luminous paint and a beer tent was laid on, although due to post-war licensing laws it had to stop serving grog before the race ended! Sponsorship and plenty of pre-event publicity was provided by ‘The News of The World’ newspaper inclusive of £2,500 in prize money which represented a powerful incentive for the ‘local’ works teams and privateers to enter in force. Jaguar and Aston Martin entered three car teams of C-types and DB3’s in the field of 32 cars. Aston Martin caused a stir as the one of their cars burst into flames whilst being refuelled. Despite this the Aston of Peter Collins and Pat Griffith went onto win at 71.09 mph.
The first Arnolt Aston Martin, based on the DB4/2, was completed by Carrozzeria Bertone. Aston Martin stopped production after only 3 cars had been produced
Arnolt Aston MartinShow Article
Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Porsche and Lotus all entered the Sebring 12 Hour World Sports Car Championship race. Also on hand was an official team of 4.4 liter Corvettes. Moss' Aston Martin fell out early, the Mike Hawthorn/Desmond Titterington Jaguar led 6 hours before retiring with brake failure, and Carlos Menditeguy crashed. Juan Fangio and Eugenio Castellotti won in a brakeless Ferrari. 1955 Indy 500 winner Bob Sweikert impressed by taking third in a private Jaguar he co-drove with Jack Ensley.
1956 Sebring 12 Hours Grand PrixShow Article
Stirling Moss teamed with local hero Carlos Menditeguy in a 3.0 litre Maserati to win the Argentine 1000 Kilometers World Sports Car race. The race was a battle between Ferrari and Maserati teams since the Jaguar and Aston Martin teams did not enter the event. The 4.9 liter Ferrari Bolidos of Peter Collins/Luigi Musso and Juan Fangio/Eugenio Castellotti led, but both chewed up their rear axles, forcing retirement.Show Article
The Ferrari of Peter Collins and Phil Hill won the Sebring 12 Hour World Sports Car Championship race. The Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar and Aston Martin teams returned to WSC competition, and the Aston Martin of Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks led for 4 hours before falling off the pace.
Start of 1958 Sebring 12 Hour RaceShow Article
George Constantine, drove an Aston Martin DBR2 to victory in the first USAC sanctioned sports car race, at Limerock, Connecticut, US.Show Article
Stirling Moss, driving an Aston Martin DBR2, won the Governor's Trophy race at Nassau in the Bahamas.
Aston Martin DBR2Show Article
Jaguar’s E-Type sports car was presented to the world's press at the restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva by Sir William Lyons. Surrounded by up to 200 members of the press, the car caused a sensation, and so did the price. At £2097 for the roadster and £2196 for the fixed head coupe, it was considerably cheaper than similar performing cars from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Chevrolet, and was on a par with much slower cars from Porsche and AC. In fact, the E-types was initially sold at a cheaper price than the outgoing XK150.The powertrain, which was carried over from the XK150S, was a 3781 cc XK engine mated to a four-speed Moss transmission, without overdrive. Jaguar claimed the E-type engine produced 265bhp (SAE) at 5500 rpm, but this was – to say the least – an exaggeration. The cast iron cylinder block was actually manufactured by Leyland Motors in Lancashire, a task it had performed since 1948, predating its involvement in the management of Jaguar. The aluminium cylinder head came from two sources, West Yorkshire Foundries of York and William Mills of Wednesbury, Staffordshire. The XK engine was fed by triple 2in SU HD8 SU carburettors. The body employed a central monocoque made of steel, a year before the monocoque chassis made its appearance in Formula One racing. The Bob Knight designed independent rear suspension, and the careful use of rubber, helped suppress noise and vibration. Initially, the car was available in two forms, the roadster – styled by Malcolm Sayer – and the fixed head coupe (FHC), featuring an opening rear hatchback, which also had some input from Sir William Lyons and Bob Blake. The E-type was the only Jaguar car produced during Lyons’ active involvement in the running of the company, not wholly styled by the boss himself. Enzo Ferrari called it; “The most beautiful car ever made!”
Ray Barfield drove his Aston Martin DB3S to win in the 6-hour 'Le Mans' race, winning from Bob MacDowall in a TR3A and Vic Johnson in an Austin Healey. Barfield set a race record distance of 187 laps, about 385 miles. David McKay drove a Renault Dauphine Gordini in the race and was highly critical of the event. Strangely, this didn't prevent him coming out of retirement for a one-off appearance four years later.Show Article
The Jaguar Mark X saloon was unveiled at the London Motor Show, Britain’s biggest car so far with unitary body construction. Like the E-type, it was remarkable value for money at £2,256 undercutting its nearest rival, the similarly specified Lagonda Rapide by more than half. A convertible version of the Aston Martin DB4 was also presented for the first time.
Jaguar Mark XShow Article
Reginald Harold Haslam Parnell (52), Formula One driver and team manager from England died. Parnell successfully raced a private Maserati 4CLT/48 and an E-Type ERA which led to an invitation to drive for the Alfa Romeo team in the very first World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950, finishing third and later winning the Silverstone International Trophy in 1951, he was also a test driver for BRM and their V16 project. He later became the team manager for Aston Martin and oversaw the famous 1-2 at Le Mans in 1959 when Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby led home Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frere. Parnell then led the team into F1 but at the end of 1960 the programme was abandoned. 1962 saw the formation of the Reg Parnell Racing Team taking Lola into Grand Prix racing. He died at the age of just 53 due to a thrombosis after a routine appendix operation.
Reg ParnellShow Article
The James Bond movie "Goldfinger," which featured the suave British super-spy driving an Aston Martin Silver Birch DB5 sports car, was premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, with general release in the United Kingdom the following day. Aston Martins would go on to appear in a number of other Bond films. Aston Martin's roots date back to 1913, when Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin formed a company in London to sell Singer cars. The following year, the men changed the name of their business to Aston Martin (in honor of Lionel Martin's successful performances at hill climb races at Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire, England) and eventually began producing their own high-quality sports cars. By the 1920's, Aston Martin cars were racing in international competitions, including the French Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1947, British industrialist David Brown bought Aston Martin and the next year launched the DB1. In 1959, an Aston Martin DBR1 took first place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the company also won the World Sports Car Championship that year.
James Bond's Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5Show Article
For the first time since 1948, this year saw an increase in the normal daily admission charge to the London Motor Show at Earls Court, which was raised from 5 shillings to 7 shillings and 6 pence. Cars introduced at the show included: the Aston Martin DBS, Triumph Herald 13/60, NSU Ro 80 and Simca 1100. A Jensen convertible (based on an Austin 1100 Countryman) was also shown, but never made it to series production.
NSU Ro 80Show Article
The wee Scot, Jim Clark OBE (32), from Kilmany, Fife - one of the greatest grand prix racers of all time, died in a tragic accident during a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim, Germany. Clark, widely regarded as the most naturally gifted Formula One racer of all time, competed his entire career on behalf of Colin Chapman's Team Lotus. He won two World Championships, in 1963 and in 1965. Clark's 1965 season is undoubtedly the sport's greatest individual achievement. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. In 2009, The Times placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest-ever Formula One drivers. His first Drivers' World Championship came driving the Lotus 25 in 1963, winning seven out of the ten races and Lotus its first Constructors' World Championship. Clark's record of seven wins in a season would not be equalled until 1984 when Frenchman Alain Prost won seven races for McLaren. The record would not be broken until Brazilian Ayrton Senna won eight races in the 1988 season, also for McLaren (ironically, Senna's team mate that year was Prost who again equalled the old record by winning 7 races). However, Clark's record is favourable compared to Prost and Senna's as the 1963 championship only consisted of 10 rounds (giving Clark a 70% success rate), while 1984 and 1988 were run over 16 rounds giving Prost a success rate of 43.75% and Senna a 50% winning ratio. In 1963 he also competed in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, and he finished in second position behind Parnelli Jones and won Rookie of the Year honours. The 1963 Indy 500 result remains controversial. Before the race United States Auto Club (USAC) officials had told the drivers that they would black flag any car that was seen to be leaking oil onto the track. Late in the race, Jones' front-engined roadster developed a crack in the oil tank and began to leak oil. With the track surface already being slippery this resulted in a number of cars spinning and led to popular driver Eddie Sachs crashing into the outside wall. USAC officials were set to black flag Jones after the Sachs crash until his car owner J. C. Agajanian ran down pit lane and somehow convinced them that the oil leak was below the level of a known crack and would not leak any further. Colin Chapman later accused USAC officials of being biased because Clark and Lotus were a British team with a rear-engine car. Many, including journalist and author Brock Yates, believed that had it been an American driver and car in second place instead of Clark in the British built Lotus, officials would have black flagged Jones. Despite this neither Lotus or their engine supplier Ford protested the result, reasoning that winning as a result of a disqualification when Jones had led for 167 of the races 200 laps (Clark led for 28 laps) and had set the lap record speed of 151.541 mp/h on lap 114, would not be well received by the public. In 1964 Clark came within just a few laps of retaining his World Championship crown, but just as in 1962, an oil leak from the engine robbed him of the title, this time conceding to John Surtees. Tyre failure damaging the Lotus' suspension put paid to that year's attempt at the Indianapolis 500. He made amends and won the Championship again in 1965 and also the Indianapolis 500 in the Lotus 38. Jim Clark in the Lotus pit at the German GP 1964. He had to miss the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in order to compete at Indianapolis, but made history by driving the first mid-engined car to win at the fabled "Brickyard," as well as becoming the only driver to date (2014) to win both the Indy 500 and the F1 title in the same year. Other drivers, including Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jacques Villeneuve have also won both crowns, but not in the same year. At the same time, Clark was competing in the Australasia based Tasman series, run for older F1 cars, and was series champion in 1965, 1967 and 1968 driving for Lotus. He won fourteen races in all, a record for the series. This included winning the 1968 Australian Grand Prix at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne where he defeated the Ferrari 246T of Chris Amon by just 0.1 seconds after 55 laps of the 3.1 km (1.92 mi) circuit, the closest finish in the history of the Australian Grand Prix. The 1968 Tasman Series and Australian Grand Prix would prove to be his last major wins before his untimely death. He is remembered for his ability to drive and win in all types of cars and series, including a Lotus-Cortina, with which he won the 1964 British Touring Car Championship; IndyCar; Rallying, where he took part in the 1966 RAC Rally of Great Britain in a Lotus Cortina; and sports cars. He competed in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1959, 1960 and 1961, finishing second in class in 1959 driving a Lotus Elite, and finishing third overall in 1960, driving an Aston Martin DBR1. He took part in a NASCAR event, driving a 7-litre Holman Moody Ford at the American 500 at the banked speedway at Rockingham on 29 October 1967. He was also able to master difficult Lotus sportscar prototypes such as the Lotus 30 and 40. Clark had an uncanny ability to adapt to whichever car he was driving. Whilst other drivers would struggle to find a good car setup, Clark would usually set competitive lap times with whatever setup was provided and ask for the car to be left as it was. He apparently had difficulty understanding why other drivers were not as quick as himself. When Clark died, fellow driver Chris Amon was quoted as saying, "If it could happen to him, what chance do the rest of us have? I think we all felt that. It seemed like we'd lost our leader."Jim Clark is buried in the village of Chirnside in Berwickshire. A memorial stone can be found at the Hockenheimring circuit, moved from the site of his crash to a location closer to the current track, and a life-size statue of him in racing overalls stands by the bridge over a small stream in the village of his birth, Kilmany in Fife. A small museum, which is known as The Jim Clark Room, can be found in Duns. The Jim Clark Trophy was introduced in the 1987 Formula One season for drivers of cars with naturally aspirated engines but was discontinued after turbo-charged engines were restricted in 1988 and dropped for 1989. The Jim Clark Memorial Award is an annual award given by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers to Scots who have contributed significantly to transport and motor sport. The Jim Clark Rally is an annual event held in Berwickshire. Clark was an inaugural inductee into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. The FIA decreed from 1966, new 3-litre engine regulations would come into force. Lotus were less competitive. Starting with a 2-litre Coventry-Climax engine in the Lotus 33, Clark did not score points until the British Grand Prix and a third place at the following Dutch Grand Prix. From the Italian Grand Prix onwards Lotus used the highly complex BRM H16 engine in the Lotus 43 car, with which Clark won the United States Grand Prix. He also picked up another second place at the Indianapolis 500, this time behind Graham Hill.
Jim ClarkShow Article
The Audi 100 was shown to the press at the Ingolstadt City Theatre, Germany. Its name originally denoting a power output of 100 PS (74 kW), the Audi 100 was the company's largest car since the revival of the Audi brand by Volkswagen in 1965. The C1 platform spawned several variants: the Audi 100 two- and four-door saloons, and the Audi 100 Coupé S, a fastback coupé, which bore a resemblance to the Aston Martin DBS released a year earlier, especially at the rear end, including details such as the louvres behind the rear side windows and the shape of the rear light clusters. Audi followed up the introduction of the four-door saloon in November 1968 with a two-door saloon in October 1969 and the 100 Coupé S in autumn 1970. The cars' 1.8 litre four-cylinder engines originally came in base 100 (80 PS or 59 kW or 79 hp), 100 S (90 PS or 66 kW or 89 hp), and 100 LS (100 PS or 74 kW or 99 hp) versions, while the Coupé was driven by a bored-out 1.9 litre developing 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp). From April 1970 the 100 LS could be ordered with a three-speed automatic transmission sourced from Volkswagen. The Audi 100 included a rough engine note that was described as unlikely to discourage buyers whose first car had been a Volkswagen and who aspired to drive a diesel powered (pre-turbo) Mercedes-Benz. The Ingolstadt production line was at full capacity, but supply fell short of demand that during the summer of 1970 an additional production line for Audi 100s was set up in Volkswagen's own Wolfsburg plant, which made it the first water-cooled car to be produced in Germany's (and by some criteria the world's) largest car plant. Starting with the 1972 model year, the 80 and 90 PS versions were replaced by a new regular-petrol-variant of the 1.8 litre engine developing 85 PS (84 hp/63 kW); at the same time, the 100 GL was introduced featuring the 1.9 liter engine formerly used only in the Coupé S. In March 1971 the 500,000th Audi was produced. By now the Audi 100 had become the most commercially successful model in the company's history. In 1976 the two millionth Audi was built, of which the 100 represented 800,000 cars. In September 1973 (for the 1974 model year) the 100 received a minor facelift with a somewhat smaller squared-off grille, with correspondingly more angular front fenders, and with reshuffled taillight lens patterns. The rear torsion bar was replaced by coil springs. For model year 1975 the base 100 was re-christened the 100 L and received a 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine (coming out of the Audi 80). A four-wheel drive prototype of the Audi 100 C1 was built in 1976, long before the appearance of the quattro. In South Africa, where the 100 was also assembled, the 100 was available as the L, LS, GL, and S Coupé. Local production began towards the end of 1972; by October 1976 33,000 units had been built in South Africa. The GL received a vinyl roof and "GL" lettering on the C-pillar. The LS was dropped for 1976, but returned for 1977 along with the new GLS saloon. The Coupé was discontinued. The LS and GLS were special versions of the L and GL, with silver paintjobs, automatic transmissions, and special red interiors. L and LS have a 1760 cc engine with 75 kW (102 PS; 101 hp) DIN, while the GL and GLS have the larger 1871 cc engine producing 84 kW (114 PS; 113 hp). In the United States the Audi 100 appeared in 1970 in LS guise, with a 115 hp (86 kW) SAE 1.8 liter engine and with either two or four doors.For 1972 the engine was enlarged to 1.9 litres, but the SAE net claimed power was down to 91 hp (68 kW). A base and a GL model were added, as was an automatic transmission. For 1974 the lineup was again restricted to the 100 LS, while the larger safety bumpers were now fitted. Power increased to 95 hp (71 kW) for 1975, by changing to fuel injection. Standard equipment was improved accompanied by an increase in prices. In August 1977 the new Audi 5000 replaced the 100, although another 537 leftover cars were sold in 1978. The Coupé was not available in the United States.
Audi 100 brochure - 1969Show Article
Sir David Brown opened a Aston Martin Lagonda North America Inc. showroom in New York.
Sir David BrownShow Article
Cars introduced at the opening of the London Motor Show included the Aston Martin Lagonda (long wheel-base, four-door version of the Aston Martin V8), Lotus Esprit (Worldwide launch), Lotus Eclat (2+2) (Worldwide launch), Panther De Ville (Worldwide launch - one of the most expensive cars being displayed at the time) and the Toyota 1100. The Citroën CX had been launched a few weeks earlier at the Paris Motor Show and was scheduled for inclusion in the 1974 London show. However. It was withdrawn at the eleventh hour, possibly because the manufacturers found themselves unable to schedule right hand drive production of the car till well into 1975. The model nevertheless went on to win first place with motoring journalists voting for the European Car of the Year a few months later.
Panther De VilleShow Article
The Aston Martin Volante, the marque's first 8-cylinder convertible,made its long awaited appearance, almost nine years after the launch of the DBS V8.
Aston Martin Volante convertibleShow Article
Majority interest in Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd was acquired by Pace Petroleum and CH Industries, with Victor Gauntlett and Tim Hearley named as Joint Chairmen.Show Article
Graham Whitehead (58), British racing driver, who participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, scoring no championship points, died. He finished second at 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans only weeks before the accident on the Tour de France in which his brother Peter was killed. Graham escaped serious injury and later raced again with an Aston Martin and Ferrari 250GT before stopping at the end.
Graham WhiteheadShow Article
Nimrod Racing Automobiles (NRA) was officially launched at Goodwood, England, with James Hunt and Sterling Moss performing demonstration runs in their Aston Martin powered cars. Three cars. NRA/C2s were built for competition in 1982, with two being run by the works team while the third was sold to Dawnay Racing, a team owned by the then AMOC president Viscount Downe. The cars were capable of running both in the World Endurance Championship's Group C specification and IMSA GT's GTP specification. Combining a production-based V8 engine from the V8 and V8 Vantage models, the engine was refined by Aston Martin Tickford to handle the increased output. Eric Broadley designed the chassis while his employer Lola Cars International built the tubs. Ray Mallock would later evolve the NRA/C2's design into a B-spec model for the 1983 season. Debuting at the 1000 km of Silverstone, Nimrod entered one of their own cars alongside the Dawnay Racing privateer entry. Nimrod faced mechanical troubles and did not finish, although Viscount Downe had a sixth-place finish. Problems continued for Nimrod Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where their race was ended early with an accident. Nimrod's only success for the season came at the 1000km Spa, where one of their two cars finished, taking eleventh place. The combined results of Nimrod and Viscount Downe earned Aston Martin third in the constructors championship that year. For 1982, with the evolved NRA/C2, Nimrod Racing would turn to the IMSA GT Championship in North America due to EMKA Racing taking over Aston Martin's factory-backed efforts in Europe with their own car. Nimrod suffered throughout the season, earning their only success as the 12 Hours of Sebring with a fifth-place finish, third in the GTP class. The team would struggle to finish races for the rest of the season before financial trouble eventually forced them to return to Europe. Following their disappointing return to Europe, Nimrod Racing Automobiles closed due to continued financial troubles, ending the short life of the project. A new chassis had been under development at the time, known as NRA/C3, yet was never completed before the team was dissolved. Privateers continued to use Nimrod's NRA/C2 until the middle of 1984, when both privateers running the chassis folded.
A privateer NRA/C2Show Article
Nimrod Racing Automobiles was disbanded. The partnership was founded in 1981 between racing driver and car dealer Robin Hamilton and chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda, Victor Gauntlett. The project was intended to build sports prototypes for the World Endurance Championship and IMSA GT Championship using Aston Martin V8 engines. Although Aston Martin did not own the project, they offered their support for the chance to see success for their name in motorsports without the heavy cost of running their own team. Nimrod built three NRA/C2s for competition in 1982, with two being run by the works team while the third was sold to Dawnay Racing, a team owned by the then AMOC president Viscount Downe. The cars were capable of running both in the World Endurance Championship's Group C specification and IMSA GT's GTP specification. Combining a production-based V8 engine from the V8 and V8 Vantage models, the engine was refined by Aston Martin Tickford to handle the increased output. Eric Broadley designed the chassis while his employer Lola Cars International built the tubs. Ray Mallock would later evolve the NRA/C2's design into a B-spec model for the 1983 season. Debuting at the 1000 km of Silverstone, Nimrod entered one of their own cars alongside the Dawnay Racing privateer entry. Nimrod faced mechanical troubles and did not finish, although Viscount Downe had a sixth-place finish. Problems continued for Nimrod Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where their race was ended early with an accident. Nimrod's only success for the season came at the 1000km Spa, where one of their two cars finished, taking eleventh place. The combined results of Nimrod and Viscount Downe earned Aston Martin third in the constructors championship that year. For 1982, with the evolved NRA/C2, Nimrod Racing turned to the IMSA GT Championship in North America due to EMKA Racing taking over Aston Martin's factory-backed efforts in Europe with their own car. Nimrod suffered throughout the season, earning their only success as the 12 Hours of Sebring with a fifth-place finish, third in the GTP class. The team would struggle to finish races for the rest of the season before financial trouble eventually forced them to return to Europe. Following their disappointing return to Europe, Nimrod Racing Automobiles closed due to continued financial troubles, ending the short life of the project. A new chassis had been under development at the time, known as NRA/C3, yet was never completed before the team was dissolved. Privateers continued to use Nimrod's NRA/C2 until the middle of 1984, when both privateers running the chassis folded.Show Article
Italian coachbuilders Terrazzano di Rho completed the first £87,000 Aston Martin Zagota supercar. Only 50 were produced. It was powered by a super-tuned version of the V8 Vantage engine, producing 450 hp. Apart from its startling top speed in excess of 200 mph, the Aston Martin was capable of reaching the magic 60 mph from standstill in under 5 seconds while still in first gear!
Aston Martin ZagotaShow Article
Dennis Poore a British entrepreneur, financier and sometime racing driver, died in Kensington, London aged 70. He used his personal wealth to bankroll the founding, in 1950, of the motor racing journal Autosport. He was briefly involved in the Connaught team and raced two Grands Prix for the team, his best result being a 4th place finish at the 1952 British GP. He later raced successfully in the Aston Martin sports car team, sold off the propeller business and tried in vain to save Britain’s motorcycle industry by buying Associated Motorcycles, the company which owned Norton, AJS and Matchless, also acquiring Villiers, Triumph and BSA. With the motorbike business having failed, Manganese Bronze developed a car component division, which Dennis ran until his death.
Dennis PooreShow Article
Jaguar XJ220 made its public debut as a concept car at the Birmingham Motor Show, England. JaguarSport created a purpose built factory at Bloxham, near Oxford for a limited production run of 350 cars. It went into production in 1990, costing £350,000 and becoming the world's fastest production car with a top speed of 220 mph. The first new Aston Martin for 18 years, the Virage was also revealed. Other vehicles introduced at the show included the MG Maestro Turbo and Middlebridge Scimitar.
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The Lamborghini Diablo VT, 4WD, was introduced to the press and the public during the Geneva Motor Show. Also introduced at the show was the Aston Martin DB7, powered by a 335 horsepower supercharged 3.2 litre in-line six cylinder engine, while the latest Vantage model of the DB7 was powered by Aston Martin's first ever 12 cylinder engine a 6.0 litre 420 horsepower V12 unit. Both models took full advantage of modern materials and technology and reflected the classic lines of previous DB models.
Lambourghini Diablo VT -1993Show Article
At the 1996 Geneva Motor Show the Lamborghini Diablo SV (Sport Veloce) was presented, a simplified and more sporty version of the Diablo, inspired by the legendary Miura SV. With an engine power of 525 bhp, reduced weight and a shorter final drive ratio the car reaches 100 km/h in less than 4 seconds. VW presented the new Beetle, Citroen launched the Saxo with all seven Saxo models, - VTS, SX, VSX, VTL and VTR on show and the Car of the Show accolade went to Jaguar Cars fastest production car ever - the ultra high performance, supercharged version of the XK8 - the first generation of a new XK series. The XK8 was available in coupé or convertible body styles and with the new 4.0-litre Jaguar AJ-V8 engine. In 1998 the XKR was introduced with a supercharged version of the engine. In 2003 the engines were replaced by the 4.2-litre AJ34 engines in both the normally aspirated and supercharged versions. The first-generation XK series shares its Jaguar XJS-derived platform with the Aston Martin DB7, both cars tracing their history back to an abandoned Jaguar development study in the mid-1980s known as XJ41/XJ42, which had been mooted to be known as the F-Type.
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Chevrolet unveiled the 1997 Corvette, dubbed the "C5", powered by a new small block V-8 engine, the LS1, with 345 hp and 10:1 compression ratio. A major change from its predecessor the C4, the C5 featured a hydroformed box frame, a design that offered an improved structural platform, especially for a convertible body style. To improve handling, the transmission was relocated to form an integrated, rear-mounted transaxle assembly. Connected to the all-new LS1 engine via a torque tube, the engine/transmission arrangement enabled a 50-50% front-rear weight distribution. The LS1 engine initially produced 345 hp (257 kW), subsequently increased in 2001 to 350 hp (261 kW). The 4L60-E automatic transmission carried over from previous models, but the manual was replaced by a Borg-Warner T-56 6-speed capable of a 175 mph (282 km/h) top speed. Relative to the C4, the new platform and structural design substantially reduced squeaks and rattles. In the inaugural model year (1997), only the fastback coupé (more like a hatchback coupé) was offered, with the convertible – the first to offer a trunk since 1962. In 1999, a third body style, the hardtop (also referred to as the "fixed-roof coupé" or "FRC"), was added to the lineup. This body style, as its name suggests, featured a fixed top (no removable targa top panel as with the fastback coupé) with a roofline shape and trunk space similar to that of the convertible, as well as a distinctive notchback-style rear window. Aside from cosmetic differences (new wheel styles, paint colors, pace car/commemorative editions in 1998, 2003, and 2004, etc.), horsepower boosts, and new offerings for optional equipment, there were few fundamental changes from one model year to the next within the production run of the C5. One of the more popular "high-tech" options introduced in the Corvette line was a head-up display or HUD, while another innovation was the Active Handling System (first available as an option in 1998, then standard on all models in 2001). The C5 was also the first Corvette to incorporate a drive-by-wire throttle; and variable-effort steering, whereby the assist level of the power steering is varied according to vehicle speed (more at lower speeds, less at higher speeds). Also notable, though rarely discussed, the C5 generation was the first model to adopt the parallel or 'tandem' windshield wiper configuration, abandoning the opposed configuration that was used on every previous Corvette model since the first in 1953. In contrast to the reputation of high-performance vehicles for poor fuel economy, the C5 achieves comparatively high EPA ratings of 18 mpg‑US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg‑imp) / 25 mpg‑US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg‑imp) mpg (city/highway) with the automatic transmission and 19 mpg‑US (12 L/100 km; 23 mpg‑imp) / 28 mpg‑US (8.4 L/100 km; 34 mpg‑imp) with the manual transmission, allowing it to avoid the "gas guzzler" tax that is levied against most other vehicles in the Corvette's class. A number of factors are responsible for this: the relatively light weight of the C5 (a curb weight under 3,300 lb (1,500 kg); Chevrolet went so far as to omit the spare tire as a weight-saving measure, relying upon run-flat tires instead); the C5's low drag coefficient; and the vehicle's tendency to upshift into the higher gears as soon as possible. The manual transmission's Computer-Aided Gear Shifting results in an obligatory shift from 1st gear directly into 4th gear under certain driving conditions; the system can be deactivated through the use of an aftermarket device. Suspension choices for the base model C5 were limited to the standard suspension (RPO FE1), with options for either the autocross-inspired FE3 Sport Suspension (included with the Z51 Performance & Handling Package and standard on the 1999–2000 FRC); or the F45 Selective Ride Control Suspension, which permitted "on-the-fly" driver selection of different ride characteristics (sport or touring). Late in the production run (starting with the 2003 model year), the F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control Suspension replaced the F45 as the third suspension choice. The racing-inspired FE4 suspension used for the Z06 is stiffer again than any offered on the base model C5, and is unique to that model with no optional suspensions offered. The C5's suspension consisted of independent unequal-length double wishbones with transverse fiberglass mono-leaf springs and optional magnetorheological dampers. The C5 is capable of matching or besting the 0–60 mph acceleration times of some of the world's premier sports cars, including the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, and the Ferrari 355. A composite of published performance numbers for the base-model coupé and convertible gives a 0–60 mph time of around 4.5 seconds, and a standing quarter-mile time of around 13.3 seconds at 108 mph (both times for a vehicle equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission).
Chevrolet Corvette C5 ConvertibleShow Article
The 4000th Aston Martin DB7 was produced – the most successful model ever to be produced by the marque. The Galloway Green Vantage Coupe moved total DB7 production ahead of the combined total achievement of the DB4, DB5 (James Bond) and DB6 models.
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Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell was banned from driving for six weeks and fined £400 for speeding in her Aston Martin DB7. Geri had been snapped on a speed camera doing 60mph in a 30mph zone.
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Thieves broke into George Michael’s London home and stole over £100,000 ($170,000) worth of paintings, jewellery and designer clothes and drove off in his £80,000 ($136,000) Aston Martin DB7. They also caused £200,000 ($340,000) worth of damage to his home.Show Article
Volkswagen unveiled the striking new £22,000 Golf R32, the fastest production Golf ever built, to a crowd of waiting journalists at the NEC Motor Show. With a 3.2-litre engine developing a whopping 240 bhp, the Golf has an impressive top speed of 153 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in a breathtaking 6.6 seconds. Rover Group unveiled the MG X80, whilst the DB7 GT, was the most powerful Aston Martin ever made. The stunning Bentley Continental GT won the Institute of Vehicle Engineers Motor Show Design ‘Car of the Show'. It beat the Jaguar XJ and Volvo XC90 to scoop the top award and also took the 'Best Luxury Car' award beating off close competition - again from the new Jaguar model.
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World premier of the elegant 165 mph Aston Martin DB9 Volante at the 2004 Detroit Motor Show. The DB9 Volante was the convertible version of the DB9 coupe. The chassis, though stiffer, used the same base VH platform. To protect occupants from rollovers, the Volante had strengthened windshield pillars and two pop-up hoops behind the rear seats. The hoops could not be disabled and broke the car's rear window if deployed. In an effort to improve the Volante's ride while cruising, Aston Martin softened the springs and lightened the anti-roll bars in the Volante, leading to a gentler suspension. The retractable roof of the Volante was made of folding fabric and took 17 seconds to be put up or down. The Volante weighed 59 kilograms (130 pounds) more than the coupe. The coupe and Volante both shared the same semi-automatic and automatic gearboxes and engine. The car was limited to 266 km/h (165 mph) to retain the integrity of the roof. Like the coupe, the original Volante had 569 N·m (420 lbf·ft) of torque at 5,000 rpm and a maximum power of 456 PS (450 hp) at 6,000 rpm. The 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) was slowed to 4.9 seconds due to the additional weight. The DB( Volante was the sixth new car from the company in less than two and a half years.
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The Paris Mondial de l’Automobile (Paris Motor Show) opened its doors to the press and featured a wealth of new concept and production cars. There were a number of major releases from Ford, BMW and Mercedes and, naturally, the French makers Peugeot, Citroën and Renault featured strongly as well. World debuts included the Alfa 147, Aston Martin DBR9, Audi A4, BMW 1 Series, BMW M5, Citroën C4, Ferrari F430, Ford Focus, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Sportage, Mazda 5, Mercedes A-Class, Mitsubishi Colt CZ3, Opel Astra GTC, Peugeot 1007, Porsche Boxster, Renault Mégane Trophy, Škoda Octavia Estate, Suzuki Swift and Toyota Prius GT.
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35% of Britons voted the Aston Martin DB9 as MSN UK’s Car of the Year for 2005, making it the most craved car in Britain. The online poll saw the DB9 take poll position with 4645 votes, a staggering 3,000 votes ahead of the new Ferrari F430, which came in second place. In third place was the new Volkswagen Golf with 667 votes.
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James Bond’s legendary Aston Martin DB5 was auctioned for more than £1 million. The classic Bond car, which featured in Thunderball and Goldfinger, sold for £1,171,796 in Phoenix, Arizona. The car had last been sold in 1970 for £5,000. A tuxedoed auctioneer drove the DB5 onto a dimmed stage before demonstrating the car’s gadgets, including bullet shield, tyre slashers, oil-slick ejector and Browning machine guns.
James Bond’s legendary Aston Martin DB5Show Article
Aston Martin and Nokia launched the limited edition Nokia 8800 Aston Martin Edition mobile phone. Featuring a discrete laser-etched 'Aston Martin' logo on the stainless steel casing, it came loaded with a selection of exclusive Aston Martin content, including a short documentary film, a screensaver based on the famous crystal starter button found in all Aston Martin models, and ring tones that sampled the roar of the Vantage's (380 hp) V8 engine.Show Article
Three Aston Martin DBSs, which weren’t even yet on sale at the time, were smashed up in one afternoon by the film crew of Casino Royale, the twenty-first Bond film. Fitted with pistons to flip them onto their roofs, the three £165,000 V12 cars were being filmed at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. A source from the production crew said: ‘In the style of 007, our stunt driver walked away without a scratch.’
Aston Martin unveiled one of the most eagerly anticipated convertibles of the year, the V8 Vantage Roadster at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car gained 200 pounds over the coupé, but Aston Martin claimed the car would have the same performance as the coupé. To compensate for the loss of the roof a new, super-stiff cross-member was added to the frame. The soft top can be raised or lowered electronically in 18 seconds and can be operated in speeds up to 30 mph (50 km/h). It had the same 4.3-litre V8 from the hard top version producing 380 bhp (283 kW; 385 PS) at 7000 rpm, 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) at 5000 rpm & a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h). It would accelerate from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 4.8 seconds. The 2009 Vantage Roadster features swan wing doors, a leather and alcantara interior and a zinc alloy center console. It also has a crystal-capped key fob.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage RoadsterShow Article
A consortium led by Prodrive chairman David Richards purchased Aston Martin for £475m (US$848m). The group included American investment banker John Singers and two Kuwaiti companies namely Investment Dar and Adeem Investment; Prodrive had no financial involvement in the deal. Ford kept a stake in Aston Martin valued at £40 million (US$70 million).Show Article
The Ford Motor Company sold Aston Martin to a consortium comprised of David Richards, John Sinders, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co. for £479 million.Show Article
Lord Drayson and Jonny Cocker drove their Aston Martin DBRS9 to victory during the British GT championship race at Snetterton England – the first time a car fuelled by ethanol had won a race in the series. The Aston Martin DBRS9 was based on the Aston Martin DB9 road car but with several modifications to make it suitable for racing. While it retains the DB9’s six litre V12 engine, the fuelling system had been modified and the ECU recalibrated for the bio-ethanol fuel. The drive train and general suspension configuration was also retained from the road car, but the DBRS9 had racing springs and dampers, as well as a sequential racing gearbox and composite bodywork to help reduce the weight.
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Driving a 2005 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupé, Britons Richard Meredith and Phil Colley completed the entire length of the newly completed Asian Highway – 10,000 miles from Tokyo to London. The 49-day epic journey through 18 countries raised awareness and much-needed funds for children’s-road-safety campaigns in developing countries.
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The late George Harrison’s legendary Aston Martin DB5 was sold at auction for an impressive $464,736, exceeding its original sales estimate of between $250,000 - $300,000 U.S.
John Anthony Ambrose (73), British rally driver who, as co-driver, twice won the RAC Rally, in 1956 and 1965, died in Newbury, Berkshire, UK. After leaving Oxford, Ambrose joined the Royal Air Force but continued to drive in rallies. In 1956, he won the RAC Rally with Lyndon Sims in an Aston Martin DB2. He joined the BMC rally team in 1960, with further successes following. These included victory on the Tulip (Holland, Belgium and eastern France) in 1961 (class victory) and 1964 (outright victory). He also co-drove with Rauno Aaltonen in an Austin-Healey 3000 to win the Spa-Sofia-Liege event in 1964, an event lasting four days and nights with no scheduled sleep time. Aaltonen later recalled how Ambrose had driven 77 miles (124 km) at night in just 52 minutes, reaching speeds of 150 miles (241 km) per hour over cobblestone roads whilst Aaltonen slept in the car. Ambrose also co-drove with Aaltonen as Aaltonen took the 1965 European Rally Championship title, including victory at the RAC Rally. The 1965 RAC Rally victory was the first time that a Mini had won the event. Ambrose left the BMC team in 1966 to spend more time with his family and his business. His last rally was the 1966 RAC Rally, with Simo Lampinen, although an accident meant that they had to stop. After giving up racing, Ambrose helped with the organisation for the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon and the 1970 London-Mexico Rally. Businesses that he was involved with included a family-run decorating firm and a pub in Wales.
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The Sierra Blue 1964 Aston Martin DB5 first owned by Sir Paul McCartney was sold at auction for £344,400. Ordered shortly after the band completed the filming of A Hard Day’s Night, the DB5 was fitted with a Motorola radio and a Philips Auto-Mignon record player.
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Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer unveiled the stunning new Lagonda super saloon – the latest in a proud line of saloons revered worldwide as ‘the finest of fast cars’.The return of Lagonda followed in the wake of other headline-grabbing projects such as the One-77 hypercar, V12 Zagato and the 2013 CC100 Speedster Concept – then seen as the ultimate Q by Aston Martin car – which started out simply as a centenary celebration design concept and, as a result of exceptional demand, later turned into two customer commissions. Based on the brand’s existing flexible VH architecture, the new car drew its inspiration from the highly sought-after William Towns-designed Lagonda of 1976 and featured many of the same cutting edge engineering techniques seen in modern Aston Martin sports cars such as the use of carbon fibre in the body panels.
Lagonda 'super saloon'Show Article
One of the ten DB10 models produced by Aston Martin for the James Bond film Spectre was sold for £2,434,500 at a charity auction.