Updated: Mar 9
The Aston Martin International was built in 1928 by Bill Renwick and Augustus (Bert) Bertelli, who had bought the company in 1925, after one of its many financial failings.
The founders of Aston Martin company, Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford were car dealers selling Singer automobiles, but started their own company in Kensington, West London, in 1913. They gave the name Aston Martin to this fledgling company after Aston Hills in Buckinghamshire, where Lionel Martin enjoyed racing his specials. Production was interrupted by WWI, but after the war they got back into producing cars, although Bamford left after just a couple of years.
Lionel Martin limped on with the company for a further two years until eventually being bailed out by Count Louis Zborowski, and by 1922 they were producing cars to compete in the French Grand Prix. But Aston Martin went bankrupt in 1924, was bought by Lady Charnwood who put her son in charge, but it failed again one year later, by which time Lionel Martin had had enough and left the company.
In 1926, Renwick and Bertelli took control of the business. Bertelli, and Anglo-Italian car designer, racing driver, mechanic and businessman, and from 1926 to 1937 a number of successful sports cars were built, including the International, Le Mans and Ulster. However, it was not long before financial problems reappeared, and they were once again rescued, this time by ship owner Sir Arthur Sutherland, and now concentrated on producing commercially safer road cars.
Even then, in 1947 Aston Martin needed rescuing once again, this time by tractor manufacturer David Brown. His series of DB marques became famous with the DB5 in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, and Aston Martin’s fortunes once again recovered until the next time.
The company stumbled on into the twenty-first century, and is now owned by a consortium, possibly headed by Mercedes.