Aston Martin's 100 Years of Excellence Details:
- Events started on Jan. 15, 2013, Aston's 100-year anniversary, when company started
- Global public debut of CC100 Speedster Concept at Nurburgring 24 Hours in Germany
- Centenary Sale held by Bonhams where Bertone Jet DB4GT set world record price of $5,309,553; highest price ever paid at auction for an Aston
- 2013 Monterey Car Week honored Aston
For us, the words "Aston Martin" conjure thoughts of both powerful, stunning machines and the super-spy James Bond. The luxury sports car brand, however, is first and foremost an automaker of the highest caliber, capable of breathtaking feats of craftsmanship and engineering.
Over 2013, Aston Martin celebrated its centenary in a big way, hosting events, rallies and special commemorations around the globe, all in honor of the British automaker.
Summarizing the highlights, Aston Martin Global Brand Communications Director, Janette Green, said: "Condensing 100 years of achievement into 12 months of celebration brought many planning and logistical challenges as we organized a multitude of events and activities around the globe. However, as the centenary year draws to a close, everyone associated with the brand can reflect proudly on the fun, commitment and passion displayed by Aston Martin staff, owners and enthusiasts worldwide." The list of events - which began in January and ran through November of last year - is truly impressive, as Aston Martin recapped for us recently.
January 15h was the date of the automaker's 100th year and when the celebrations started in earnest. Festivities began in London's Henniker Mews outside the premises in Chelsea, where a ceremony was held. This is where Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford decided to found the company we know today, and a plaque now hangs to commemorate this.
Only a few days later, celebrations moved to Dubai, where the Vanquish became the first car to be airlifted onto the helipad of the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel.
Events moved to Switzerland, where the Centenary Edition sports cars made their debut at the Geneva International Motor Show. This model is limited to 100 examples and includes the Vantage, DB9, Rapide S and Vanquish. Each features details to honor 100 years of the brand.
Just before the 24-hour race was a grouping of more than 100 Astons that took to the famous circuit for a celebratory parade lap led by the CC100 Concept. The group was comprised of cars throughout the decades piloted by VIP drivers and enthusiast owners. Four notable cars that participated included the DB5 used in the latest James Bond film Skyfall, the 1959 Nurburgring 1000km-winning DBR1 piloted by its original driver Sir Stirling Moss, a One-77, and a Centenary Edition Vanquish sporting a plate stating "100 YRS."
Celebrations also occurred at the home of the automaker with the Centenary Sale held by Bonhams, where a Bertone Jet DB4GT set a world record price of $5,309,553, the highest price ever paid at auction for an Aston Martin.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans showed a strong Aston Martin field for the endurance race.
The Friday prior to the race, Aston Club owners from around the world joined at the Hotel de France in Le Chartre-sur-le-Loir. A parade lap was held the day of the race where a selection of rare and historic Aston sports cars took to the track.
A Centenary Festival took place on the Brands Hatch GP circuit that brought cars ranging from the DB4 Lightweight to the DBR9 and even the latest Vantage GT3.
The brand also took part in a weekend at the Silverstone Classic, known as "the world's biggest classic motor racing festival."
The Goodwood Festival of Speed saw the CC100 Speedster Concept complete some demonstration laps while the WEC Vantage GTE, piloted by AMR Works driver Darren Turner and Bruno Senna.
The public celebration in Kensington Palace Gardens, London showcased rare and historic cars that when exhibited valued at around $1.5 billion. Every Aston road car was present including the A3 (the oldest surviving car) to the most current models. Seven movie cars from Bond films were also displayed including the DB5 from Skyfall.
Aston owners from across Europe participated in a 1,000-mile rally travelling through seven countries in five days, including Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France, then finally arriving in London. A Centenary week of activities also took place at the brand's global headquarters in Gaydon, including factory visits, design master classes and exhibitions.
Photos by: Toni Avery
Celebrations headed to the US for the 2013 Monterey Car Week where Aston Martin was one of the honored marques. The CC100 made its North American debut alongside the V12 Vantage S and the Vanquish Volante.
China had its own celebrations that included a rally from the Pudong, Shanghai's Aston showroom, to Hong Kong. The rally took place over nine days and through nine cities finishing at the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong.
Back to Europe, Aston displayed the CC100 Speedster Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show while in Britain the Project 212 car was driven to victory in the Goodwood Revival's blue riband event.
Lord Mayor's Show featured Aston Martin, where no fewer than six of the British sports cars made their way through city streets including the Vanquish dressed in livery of the British Government's "Great" campaign. The centenary artist-in-residence, James Hart Dyke, presented and captured the spirit of the centenary celebrations with his work created over the year. These works were previewed in W-One, the exclusive Aston Martin brand center in London's Mayfair.