What do you do when you have fair amounts of car racing talent, ample passion for automobiles and your enthusiasm, if converted into electricity, could power a small town? You start your own car production and sales business, of course. That is exactly how the Aston Martin brand was started, proudly born into a garage, much like grunge music. Lionel Matin and Robert Bamford garnered levels of success similar to Kurt Cobain's Nirvana. However, Martin and Bamford's version of Nirvana was engineered form scrap through a partnership that would ultimately lead to a kick in the luxury auto-market's groin.
Aston Martin was founded in 1913, soon after Martin emerged victorious out of the famed Aston Hill race. The duo produced their first car 2 years later by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to a 1908 Isotta-Fraschinni chassis. However, their plans of starting production were abruptly shattered by the First World War outbreak when both of the car-makers joined the army.
Still, Aston Martin would prevail as soon as the War was over, with the company being refunded to resume its activity. However, not much time went by before Bamford left Aston Martin in 1920. Luckily enough, a wealthy investor saw the true potential of the brand and poured heavy funds into its rejuvenation. Count Louis Zborowski investment turned almost overnight into a delicious technological improvement reward topped with racing track winnings whipped cream.
In 1922, Aston Martin produced vehicles to compete in the French Grand Prix. Besides gaining fame by appearing at some of the most popular races of that time, the cars also collected acclaim by setting new speed and endurance records at Brooklands. The three types of chassis that were used at the time became known as the winning trio with chassis number 1915 at the top and supporting numbers 1914 and 1916 at the sides.
However, the tidal wave of fame that has propelled Aston Martin to new heights broke against the solid wall of a 1924 bankruptcy. Still, it survived, having been purchased by Lady Charnwood who gave her son John Benson an important administrative role. It would ultimately prove that her son could not face the challenges of such a position and the company failed again only one year later. By 1926, the doors had slammed shut, with Lionel Martin stepping into the shoes of his former business partner, Robert Bamford.
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