British luxury sports car maker Aston Martin will celebrate 100 years of operation with a series of international and UK-based events throughout 2013.
The official January 15 anniversary celebrations will centre around Henniker Mews in Chelsea – the original home of Aston Martin – where a commemorative plaque will be unveiled alongside the oldest surviving Aston Martin – A3 – and the new Vanquish.
The historic occasion will also include an appearance by actor Sir John Standing as Lionel Martin, telling the story of his early days and his experience of making the first Aston Martin in Lionel Martin’s own words.
The highlight of the anniversary year celebrations will be a week-long Aston Martin festival from July 15 to 21 that will include a display of the 100 most iconic cars and up to 1000 Aston Martins forming the world’s largest gathering in the marque’s 100-year history.
There will also be a number of centenary drives including a James Bond-themed route around the UK taking in a number of Bond film locations and a rally through six European countries in six days. In the US, participants in the Pebble Beach centenary drive programme will visit some of California’s most scenic locations before ending up at the famous Concours d’Elegance.
To mark this centenary occasion, Aston Martin has created a special logo depicting a spiraling design from that of the nautilus shell. Ninety-nine points arranged in a helix spiral out from the Aston Martin logo and culminate in a red ‘100’, in a design said to express forward motion while also acknowledging the historical past.
Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford formed Bamford & Martin on January 15 1913, which later became Aston Martin in recognition of Bamford’s success at the Aston Clinton Hillclimb in Buckinghamshire.
Aston Martin became an exclusive British automotive brand representing beautiful design, high-performance and fine craftsmanship, yet the company built fewer than 15,000 cars in its first 90 years of operation.
The open-top two-seater sports cars of the pre-war years gave way to the legendary David Brown era from the 1950s, which saw the introduction of a number of classic Astons including the DB2/4, DB4, DB5 and DB6 prior to the V8 Vantage and Virage that led to the DB7 and original Vanquish.
January 2013 also marks 10 years at Aston Martin’s current Gaydon headquarters, in Warwickshire. Under CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin has produced 45,000 cars.
These days, Aston Martin is focused on an international marketplace and currently exports up to 75 per cent of its annual production to 146 dealerships in 41 countries.