By Angus Frazer
This story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
From the timeless to the technologically fantastic, we have selected the very best in automobile innovation. Highlighting the classic cars that created a legend, alongside the latest offerings on the road that will turn heads, our rundown of top cars is sure to inspire those in the market for a new ride.
Aston Martin celebrated its centenary four years ago. The company, originally known as Bamford Martin Ltd, was founded by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin in Henniker Mews, London in 1913. A year later the name Aston Martin was adopted following Lionel’s success at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire. During the 1950s, numerous motorsport victories—often with Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel—helped cement Aston Martin’s reputation. Today, Aston Martin benefits from a technical partnership with German company Mercedes-AMG and produces five high-performance models, including the four-door Rapide S, at its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire. astonmartin.com
The moment that really seared Aston Martin into the psyche of the public was when secret agent James Bond, 007, got behind the wheel of a Silver Birch DB5 in the 1964 movie Goldfinger. The combination of the suave Sean Connery and the sleek, 282hp, six-cylinder 4.0-liter coupe was an irresistible one. Also offered as a convertible, 1,059 DB5 models were built between 1963 and 1965. Today, Bond continues to be seen in the very latest Aston Martin models, but he drove the DB5 again in 2012’s Skyfall and it’s a sure bet we haven’t seen the last of this iconic car.
The latest Aston Martin to carry the initials of Sir David Brown — the man who poured 25 years of his life and much of his personal fortune into saving the company—is the DB11. It’s the company’s first completely new model in over a decade, and at the touch of a button drivers can change the car’s character, choosing from GT, Sport and Sport Plus modes. Critics have already hailed the car as one of the finest GT cars for sale, boding well for the slew of new models Aston Martin is set launch in the coming years.
THE DB11 IN NUMBERS
Engine 5.2-liter biturbo V12
0-62mph 3.9 seconds
Maximum speed 200mph