British sports car maker Aston Martin launches its year of centenary celebrations today with a return to its roots in London
The luxury brand is marking the official anniversary of its founding 100 years ago today with a ceremony in Chelsea’s Henniker Mews – the original home of the company that went on to become Aston Martin, founded on 15 January 1913. Joining with the Aston Martin Heritage Trust to unveil a commemorative plaque at Henniker Mews, the sports car maker is lining up a special centenary edition of its new ultimate GT – the Vanquish – alongside the oldest Aston Martin in existence, A3. Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez 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."
Aston Martin Chairman, David Richards 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, our partners, our customers and Aston Martin enthusiasts around the world."
Today’s event in London marks the start of a year-long celebration of all things Aston Martin, with events taking place worldwide over the next 12 months. In the UK, a week-long Aston Martin festival will take place from 15 July to 21 July. Designed to appeal to owners and enthusiasts of the brand, the Centenary Week will include ‘open house’ activities at Aston Martin’s exclusive Gaydon headquarters, including factory-based events and driving tours and will culminate in a 1,000-guest ‘birthday party’ on Saturday 20 July and a spectacular Centenary gathering in central London on Sunday 21 July.
This highlight of the centenary celebrations will be held in partnership with the Aston Martin Heritage Trust and the Aston Martin Owners Club will feature 100 of the brand’s most iconic cars in a multi-million pound timeline display. The event will also see one of the largest gatherings of Aston Martins in the 100-year history of the great British marque. In addition, appearances at iconic events throughout 2013 including Nürburgring 24-Hours, Silverstone Classic, Villa D’Este, Le Mans 24-Hours and Pebble Beach will ensure that the celebration is truly global.
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."It’s appropriate that we mark the first 100 years of the company in this way and, with exceptional new cars like our ultimate GT – the Vanquish – timeless new DB9 and super-exclusive V12 Zagato, we clearly have a vibrant and exciting future ahead."
Today’s London event recalls the day 100 years ago when founders Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford saw their new automotive venture incorporated as ‘Bamford and Martin Ltd’. Production of the very first Aston Martin car, known as 'Coal Scuttle' commenced soon after. The ‘Aston’ element was inspired by Lionel Martin’s passion for hill climb competitions, in particular the Aston Clinton hill climb in Buckinghamshire.
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