Visitors at Aston Martin Works admiring some of the Aston Martins in the Bonhams auction
The Bonhams auction at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell set a new world auction record for an Aston Martin in the marque’s centenary year, with the unique 1960 DB4GT “Jet” Coupe selling for £3,249,500. The 14th annual sale of Aston Martin and Lagonda motor cars realised its highest ever total of £10 million. The multiple-award-winning Jet was the star, attracting intense interest from bidders in the room and on the telephones, with bidding escalating at increments of £100,000 at a time. Meanwhile a trio of barn finds—a DB4, a DB5 and a DB6—each of which had been hidden from view, languishing in a barn or garage for more than three decades, achieved a combined total of £609,300.
The four Rapide S models that took part in the drive from Gaydon to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s headquarters in Switzerland
To mark the 180th anniversary of Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin’s centenary, the two partners organised the “Anniversary Follow the Drive” in April, a journey through their shared history and heritage. Darren Turner, official Works driver for Aston Martin Racing, headed the field of four Rapide S models from Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Swiss base in Vallée de Joux. He was accompanied by friends and devotees of the two brands, who enjoyed the privilege of driving the latest models by the British manufacturer and of wearing the recent watch models from the Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin line.
After crossing the Channel, the tour stopped off in Paris in front of the Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique on the Place Vendôme. Aficionados of fine mechanics then hit the road en route to the Vallée de Joux, the cradle of fine watchmaking, where Jaeger-LeCoultre has been based since 1833.
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable (pictured here with with CEO Dr Ulrich Bez) toured Aston Martin’s factory in Gaydon in February, following a £1.6 million investment as part of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund initiative. “Aston Martin is an iconic British brand, so it should be made in the UK,” said Cable. “As we celebrate Aston Martin’s 100th anniversary, it’s encouraging to see the company investing in new technologies and creating valuable British jobs.”
As part of Aston Martin’s employee volunteering initiative, Dr Ulrich Bez, along with Aston Martin Project Engineer Balraj Singh Choda, visited William Morris Sixth Form in London (below) to talk with pupils about working in the automotive industry. “Visits like these demonstrate Aston Martin’s strong commitment to supporting young people,” said Dr Bez. “We provide a useful link between schools and industry that helps to develop creativity and support future leaders.”
After its global unveiling in January 2013 and subsequent public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the Rapide S was presented to the global media over the course of 10 days in March in Girona, Spain. One hundred members of the world’s media were able to experience the Rapide S in a dynamic driving environment. In addition, senior Aston Martin figures, including CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, Director of Design Marek Reichman and Director of Product Development Ian Minards, attended to explore the many design and technical features of the Rapide S.
A group of Chinese journalists were part of the 100 members of the media from around the world who attended the Rapide S launch in Girona in March
“The Rapide S blends Aston traditional craftsmanship with luxury and a sporting panache”
“It’s brilliant to drive, thanks to engine and chassis changes that have lifted its performance to another level”
“The new Rapide S goes straight for the car’s core characteristics, upping the power, dynamism and sporting ability”
“The car’s beauty is undeniable, and as seductive as it appears in photos or when parked... sensuous, sinuous and imposing”
Aimed at both owners and enthusiasts, a week of open-house activities at Gaydon, including events and tours in and around Aston Martin’s Warwickshire home, design masterclasses, “Dine on the Line” experiences and an exhibition portraying each of the 10 decades of the company.
A joint celebration with the Aston Martin Owners Club, Aston Martin Lagonda, the Aston Martin Heritage Trust and, of course, customers, dealers and friends of the marque in Kensington Gardens, featuring car displays and the largest gathering of Aston Martins in the company’s history. To find out more information about the event, please contact the Aston Martin Concierge on +44 (0)203 086 8208 or visit www.astonmartin.com/events
Ahead of the Nürburgring 24 Hours a cavalcade of more than 100 Aston Martin sports cars took to the infamous road circuit for a celebratory parade lap.
The Bonhams auction at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell set a new world auction record for an Aston Martin in the marque’s centenary year.
Lionel Richie, the chart-topping American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actor, was a guest of Aston Martin during the Julius Baer Beach Polo Cup in Dubai.
The new Vanquish was the star attraction at the 10th edition of The Luxury Review, held in New York in April.
Aston Martin Racing’s 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) programme got off to a flying start in April with a double victory in the GT class at the Six Hours of Silverstone.