Aston Martin is immortal. It must be, because if it weren’t, it’d be dead by now. The disparity between the public and private lives of this most storied marque is worth a mini series by itself. Founded in 1913, it first went bust in 1925 later having delivered, wait for it, just 55 cars in those dozen years.
Since then it has been to the brink and back more times than anyone cares to count. It has attracted every kind of investor from Middle Eastern venture capitalists past Greek shipping tycoons to the English gentry whose titles were both real (Dorothea, Lady Charnwood) and assumed (Count Louis Zborowski). Many have had a crack at making Aston Martin as successful behind the scenes as it appears to be to the outside world. Few achieved more than radical weight savings on their wallets.
And yet we love Aston Martin and we love Aston Martins, in the main at least. Perhaps its charm lies in the fact it never tried to be the ultimate anything. Astons were never the fastest, most expensive, luxurious or comfortable cars. A great Aston is instead a car which, like its owner, simply doesn’t need to try that hard. It has elements of all of the above with more than its fair share of beauty too, but most of all an Aston should be cool, as cool indeed as the company wheels of the world’s least secret agent. That is where this brand’s value lies, and because cool cannot be quantified, it makes it a tricky thing to replicate.
The frustration lies in the sense that if only someone could sort out what’s going on backstage, the company could fly. And maybe with an influx of ex-Ferrari talent coming on stream that is what will now happen. Or maybe not: the only certain thing there has ever been about Aston Martin is that there’s no fool’s errand greater than trying to second guess the next chapter of the Aston Martin story. As ever, we await developments with interest.