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1989 Aston Martin Vantage Volante

Details

  • Year Built: 1989
  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Ext color: Burgundy
  • Int color: Cream with Pipe Burgundy

Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British Manufacturer of Luxury Sports Cars, Based in Gaydon, Warwickshire. The Company Name is Derived From The Name of One of the Company’s Founders, Lionel Martin, and From The Aston Hill Speed Hill-Climb Near Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire.

History

Aston Martin Was Founded in 1913 By Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The Two Had Joined Forces as Bamford & Martin The Previous Year to Sell Cars Made by Singer From Premises in Callow Street, London Where They Also Serviced GWK and Calthorpe Vehicles. Martin Raced Specials at Aston Hill Near Aston Clinton, and the Pair Decided to Make Their Own Vehicles. The First Car To Be Named Aston Martin Was Created by Martin by Fitting a Four-Cylinder Coventry-Simplex Engine to the Chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini.

They Acquired Premises at Henniker Place in Kensington and Produced Their First Car in March 1915. Production Could Not Start Because of the Outbreak of World War I, and Martin Joined the Admiralty and Bamford the Royal Army Service Corps. All Machinery Was Sold to the Sopwith Aviation Company.

Inter War Years

After The War The Company Was Re-Founded at Abingdon Road, Kensington and a New Car Designed to Carry The Aston-Martin Name. Bamford Left in 1920 and the Company Was Revitalized With Funding From Count Louis Zborowski. In 1922, Bamford & Martin Produced Cars to Compete in the French Grand Prix, and the Cars Set World Speed and Endurance Records at Brooklands. Three Works Team Cars With 16 valve Twin Cam Engines Were Built for Racing and Record Breaking: Chassis Number 1914, Later Developed as The Green Pea; Chassis Number 1915, The Razor Blade Record Car; and Chassis Number 1916, Later Developed as The Halford Special. Approximately 55 Cars Were Built For Sale in Two Configurations, Long Chassis and Short Chassis. The Company Went Bankrupt in 1924 and Was Bought By Lady Charnwood, Who Put Her Son John Benson On The Board. The Company Failed Again in 1925 and the Factory Closed in 1926, With Lionel Martin Leaving.

Later That Year, Bill Renwick, Augustus (Bert) Bertelli and a Number of Rich Investors, Including Lady Charnwood, Took Control of The Company and Renamed it Aston Martin Motors, and Moved it to the Former Whitehead Aircraft Limited Works in Feltham. Renwick and Bertelli Had Been in Partnership Some Years and Had Developed an Overhead Cam 4 Cylinder Engine, Using Renwick’s Patented Combustion Chamber Design, and Had Tested it in an Enfield Allday Chassis. It Was the Only ‘Renwick and Bertelli’ Motor Car Made. It Was Known as ‘Buzzbox’ and Survives to This Day.

They Had Planned to Sell This Engine to Motor Manufacturers, But Having Heard That The Aston Martin Car Was No Longer in Production They Realized That They Could Capitalize on the Reputation of The Aston Martin Name (What We Would Now Call The Brand) To Give Themselves a Head Start in the Production of a Completely New Car.

Between the Years 1926 and 1937 Bertelli Was The Technical Director of Aston Martin, and the Designer of All Subsequent Aston Martin Cars During This Period, These Being Known as The ‘Bertelli Cars’. They Included The 1½ Litre ‘T-Type’, The ‘International, The ‘Le Mans, The ‘MKII’ it’s Racing Derivative The ‘Ulster, and the 2 Liter 15/98 and it’s Racing Derivative The ‘Speed Model’.

Mostly Open Two-Seater Sports Cars and Mostly Bodied by Bert Bertelli’s Brother Enrico (Harry) a Small Number of Long Chassis Four-Seater Tourers, Drop-Heads and Saloons Were Also Produced.

Bertelli Was Very Keen to Race His Cars and He Was a Very Competent Driver. One of the Very Few Motor Manufacturers to Actually Sit In and Race The Cars He Designed and Built, The Competition No Doubt ‘Improved The Breed’ and The ‘LM’ Team Cars Were Very Successful in National and International Motor Racing Including at Le Mans and The Mille Miglia.

Financial Problems Reappeared in 1932 and The Company Was Rescued by L. Prideaux Brune Who Funded the Company For the Following Year Before Passing the Company on to Sir Arthur Sutherland. In 1936, the Company Decided to Concentrate On Road Cars. Car Production Had Always Been on a Small Scale and Until the Advent of World War II Halted Work Only About 700 Had Been Made. During the War Years Aircraft Components Were Produced.

In 1947, David Brown Limited Bought the Company Under The Leadership of Managing Director Sir David Brown—it’s “Post-War Savior”. David Brown Also Acquired Lagonda That Year, and Both Companies Shared Resources and Workshops. In 1955, David Brown Bought the Tickford Coach-Building Company and it’s Site at Tickford Street in Newport Pagnell, and That Was the Beginning of the Classic Series of Cars Bearing the Initials “DB”. In 1950, The Company Announced The DB2, Followed by The DB2/4 in 1953, the DB2/4 Mk11 in 1955, The DB Mark III in 1957 and The Italian-Styled 3.7 L DB4 in 1958. All the Cars Established a Good Racing Pedigree For the Firm, But The DB4 Was The Key to Establishing the Company’s Reputation, Which Was Cemented By The Famous DB5 in 1963. The Company Continued Developing The “Grand Touring” Style With The DB6 (1965–70), The DBS.

Despite The Cars’ Appreciation in Value, The Company Was Often Financially Troubled. In 1972, The Company Was Sold to Another Company Called; Company Developments Ltd., backed by a Birmingham-based consortium, and chaired by chartered accountant and company director William Willson, (MBE). The company was resold, following a further bankruptcy event, by the Receiver in 1975 to North American businessmen Peter Sprague and George Minden for £1.05 Million. A successful turn-around strategy led to the recruitment of 360 new employees and, by 1977, a trading profit of £750,000. The new owners pushed the company into modernising its line, producing the V8 Vantage in 1977, the convertible Volante in 1978, and the one-off William Towns-styled Bulldog in 1980. Towns also styled the futuristic new Lagonda saloon, based on the V8 model.

In 1980 Aston-Martin had plans, which did not materialize, to buy MG, which they would have utilized as a sister marque, probably building smaller sports cars. Ideas were plotted to design a new model and they revealed to the press their approach to an ‘updated’ ‘1981’ model MGB.

The company was badly hit by the economic contraction of the early 1980s as worldwide sales of Aston Martin shrank to three per week and chairman Alan Curtis together with fellow shareholders American Peter Sprague and Canadian George Minden came close to shutting down the production side of the business, to concentrate on service and restoration. At this point Curtis attended the 1980 Pace sponsored Stirling Moss benefit day at Brands Hatch, and met fellow Farnham resident Victor Gauntlett.

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