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100 years of Aston Martin

Launched in 1963, no one could have predicted the impact the DB5 would have on 1960s style or on popular culture. The first Aston with a 4-litre engine and five-speed gearbox, it faced still competition for sales from another, equally beautiful car at the time, the Jaguar E-Type. The DB5 sold for £4175, meaning that despite being twice as expensive as the Jag, Aston Martin actually lost upwards of £1000 on each model sold. Photo:AFP
1/10Launched in 1963, no one could have predicted the impact the DB5 would have on 1960s style or on popular culture. The first Aston with a 4-litre engine and five-speed gearbox, it faced still competition for sales from another, equally beautiful car at the time, the Jaguar E-Type. The DB5 sold for £4175, meaning that despite being twice as expensive as the Jag, Aston Martin actually lost upwards of £1000 on each model sold. Photo:AFP
Debuting at the New York Motor Show, the DB2 was a victim of its own success and Aston Martin was not able to build enough cars to meet the demand. This demand heightened thanks to its success at Le Mans and in all 411 examples were built over its three-year lifespan. It was followed by the DB2/4 in 1953, the DB2/4 MkII in 1955, the DB Mark III in 1957 and the Italian-styled 3.7 L DB4 in 1958. Photo:AFP
2/10Debuting at the New York Motor Show, the DB2 was a victim of its own success and Aston Martin was not able to build enough cars to meet the demand. This demand heightened thanks to its success at Le Mans and in all 411 examples were built over its three-year lifespan. It was followed by the DB2/4 in 1953, the DB2/4 MkII in 1955, the DB Mark III in 1957 and the Italian-styled 3.7 L DB4 in 1958. Photo:AFP
From the sublime to the frankly ridiculous. The Cygnet is a Toyota IQ city car dressed up to look like an Aston Martin and is a serious attempt by the company to meet more stringent environmental standards in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Photo:AFP
3/10From the sublime to the frankly ridiculous. The Cygnet is a Toyota IQ city car dressed up to look like an Aston Martin and is a serious attempt by the company to meet more stringent environmental standards in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Photo:AFP
The DBS was a departure in terms of styling from the DB4, DB5 and DB6 that had gone before it. Its development wasn't helped by the fact that Touring of Milan, the design house charged with its creation, went bankrupt. It struggled to attract admirers until it was fitted with a V8 engine in 1970, though it did appear in two James Bond films. Photo:AFP
4/10The DBS was a departure in terms of styling from the DB4, DB5 and DB6 that had gone before it. Its development wasn't helped by the fact that Touring of Milan, the design house charged with its creation, went bankrupt. It struggled to attract admirers until it was fitted with a V8 engine in 1970, though it did appear in two James Bond films. Photo:AFP
A perfect example of Aston's more idiosyncratic side, the Lagonda was the most technologically advanced car of its time and was maybe not the best choice of car to build immediately after going bankrupt..It had two TVs and used solid state digital displays instead of dials in the dashboard. It was also incredibly fast for a luxury sedan and very quickly attracted orders from the Middle East. However the car was so complex that the company struggled to produce one a week and it took until 1979 to deliver the first finished example. Each car required 2,200 man hours to construct and only 645 were ever produced. Photo:AFP
5/10A perfect example of Aston's more idiosyncratic side, the Lagonda was the most technologically advanced car of its time and was maybe not the best choice of car to build immediately after going bankrupt..It had two TVs and used solid state digital displays instead of dials in the dashboard. It was also incredibly fast for a luxury sedan and very quickly attracted orders from the Middle East. However the car was so complex that the company struggled to produce one a week and it took until 1979 to deliver the first finished example. Each car required 2,200 man hours to construct and only 645 were ever produced. Photo:AFP
Based on the existing V8 sedan, Aston Martin took a very comfortable car and made it very fast. So fast that the V8 Vantage is regarded as the UK's first ever supercar and was head and shoulders above the equally desirable Ferrari Daytona in terms of performance -- 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 170mph. Over the years Aston continued to tinker with its 5.3-litre V8 to increase power and performance until its retirement 12 years later. Photo:AFP
6/10Based on the existing V8 sedan, Aston Martin took a very comfortable car and made it very fast. So fast that the V8 Vantage is regarded as the UK's first ever supercar and was head and shoulders above the equally desirable Ferrari Daytona in terms of performance -- 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 170mph. Over the years Aston continued to tinker with its 5.3-litre V8 to increase power and performance until its retirement 12 years later. Photo:AFP
Boasting a 5.3-litre and eventually a 6.3-litre V8 engine and electrically operated mohair roof, the Volante was the first Aston to feature anti-lock brakes. Although praised for its modern styling, many believe that the Virage and the convertible Volante version reflect the company's lowest point. However, their style and proportions provided the foundation for future models and derivatives right up to 2000, by which point the cars were delivering over 550 horsepower. Photo:AFP
7/10Boasting a 5.3-litre and eventually a 6.3-litre V8 engine and electrically operated mohair roof, the Volante was the first Aston to feature anti-lock brakes. Although praised for its modern styling, many believe that the Virage and the convertible Volante version reflect the company's lowest point. However, their style and proportions provided the foundation for future models and derivatives right up to 2000, by which point the cars were delivering over 550 horsepower. Photo:AFP
Despite being less powerful than the still in production Virage models and despite being built on a 25-year-old Jaguar XJS chassis with switch gear and door handles from the Ford parts bin, the DB7 firmly reestablished Aston Martin following its takeover by Ford. The first Aston to hit the 2000 sales mark, the original V8 engine was soon replaced by a V12 and the styling became progressively more masculine throughout its five-year lifespan. Photo:AFP
8/10Despite being less powerful than the still in production Virage models and despite being built on a 25-year-old Jaguar XJS chassis with switch gear and door handles from the Ford parts bin, the DB7 firmly reestablished Aston Martin following its takeover by Ford. The first Aston to hit the 2000 sales mark, the original V8 engine was soon replaced by a V12 and the styling became progressively more masculine throughout its five-year lifespan. Photo:AFP
Conceived as a hardcore racing version of the incredibly beautiful DB9, the DBS and convertible DBS Volante were more than adequate replacements for the outgoing Vanquish as flagship models. The most powerful Aston ever built, both versions boasted a six-speed manual transmission, a 5.9-litre V12 engine capable of 190mph and a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds. The hardtop version was also James Bond's car of choice in 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum of Solace.' Photo:AFP
9/10Conceived as a hardcore racing version of the incredibly beautiful DB9, the DBS and convertible DBS Volante were more than adequate replacements for the outgoing Vanquish as flagship models. The most powerful Aston ever built, both versions boasted a six-speed manual transmission, a 5.9-litre V12 engine capable of 190mph and a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds. The hardtop version was also James Bond's car of choice in 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum of Solace.' Photo:AFP
Conceived as a hypercar and a platform for promoting the company's technological prowess, the One-77 has a carbon fibre monocoque covered in handcrafted aluminium panels. It also pumps out 750 horesopower and is capable of travelling at more than 220MPH, making it one of the fastest, and most exclusive cars in the world -- only 77 will ever be made and each one costs £1.2 million (US $1.9 million). Photo:AFP
10/10Conceived as a hypercar and a platform for promoting the company's technological prowess, the One-77 has a carbon fibre monocoque covered in handcrafted aluminium panels. It also pumps out 750 horesopower and is capable of travelling at more than 220MPH, making it one of the fastest, and most exclusive cars in the world -- only 77 will ever be made and each one costs £1.2 million (US $1.9 million). Photo:AFP
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