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Aston Endures

Mon, 25 Feb 2013

Aston Martin is unabashed in the claim: It's the coolest luxury car brand in the world. It says so openly. And really, who can argue? Carroll Shelby drove one at Le Mans. James Bond drives one on the silver screen. That's serious evidence. But it's more than image—lots of British cars have starred in competition and pop culture. Aston has history. It has confidence and it means performance. It was founded with racing intent in 1913 and has grown to become one of the global definitions of luxury. The magical names of its sporting machines resonate through the years: DB5, DB9, Vanquish, Vantage, One-77. It's often alliterative and always alluring.

Enthusiasts yearn for the raw V8 and V12 power, but Aston has always exuded elegance in a singular fashion. The previous 100 years have not been smooth—the company launched on the eve of the First World War—and ownership, finances and economics of the times have always been concerns. But Aston has changed, evolved and endured. Less than 15,000 Aston Martins were made in the first 90 years. Three times that many have been produced in the last 10. Do the math. One of the glitziest brands in the world wants to stay relevant. That means realism, focus and, of course, a bit of glamour. Is it really the coolest brand in the world? It's not so much a question as it is a definitive mantra for making automobiles. No one else has completely embraced that like Aston Martin.

By Greg Migliore