It’s been just over 100 years since the first creation from Aston Martin hit the roads, and in that time, they have repeatedly created some of the world’s finest, fastest and most powerful sports cars. Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin began a two-man operation in 1913, registered the first vehicle with the Aston Martin name in 1914, relocated to Kensington, England, by 1920, and began sweeping racetracks in 1922.
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Since they, the marque and its cars have appeared in countless movies, survived a war, became video game characters, acted as the only truly reliable assistant to James Bond, acquired a Royal Warrant and set the bar for beauty in design higher and higher. But out of the dozens of lineups they’ve produced, there are a few that stand out from the rest.
These are our selections for the Top 10 Aston Martins of all time.
If you can think of any Aston Martins that may have been forgotten, be sure to add it in the comments, and let us know why you feel it’s one of the best of the best.
(Editor’s Note: The images somehow came in incorrect on the upload process but that has since been fixed.)
Always ahead of the curve, Aston Martin introduced the DB2/4 in 1953, and produced it through 1957. Based on the DB2, the DB2/4 with an inline-six engine was available as either a drophead coupe or saloon, the latter of which was one of the first 2+2 hatchbacks created. It gained extra notoriety in 1963 with the release of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”
One of the most recognized Aston Martins of all time the DB5 has garnered decades of adoring fans from its role in 1964’s “Goldfinger.” The DB5 is the final evolution of the impressive DB4 line with a new ZF five-speed transmission, and the first Aston Martin to derive its power from a 4.0-liter all-aluminum engine as a standard feature. Capable of producing 282 bhp and reaching speeds of 145 mph, the DB5 was a powerful introduction to a new chapter of engineering for the marque.
Following the exit of the DB2/4, the DB4 was produced between 1958 and 1963, and borrowed heavily from Italian design and construction techniques. Monumental for the marque, it was the first model built at their new facilities in Buckinghamshire, England. With a 3.7-liter engine capable of producing 240 hp, drivers were enthralled to get behind the wheel and experience its 9.3 second 0-60 mph time, even trying to reach its top speed of 139.3 mph.
The Aston Martin One-77 isn’t just the stuff of legends; rather, it’s the result of them. Unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the fully carbon fiber monocoque chassis was propelled to speeds upwards of 220 mph in official tests by its 7.0-liter V12 engine, which is capable of creating 750 hp and 553 lb-ft. It’s garnered a bevy of design awards and has appeared in countless video games, including Gran Turismo 6, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and more. Only 77 examples were created, priced at £1,150,000.
V8 Vantage Le Mans
1999 was a year of celebration for Aston Martin, marking 40 years since their victory with the DBR1 in the 1959 Le Mans. As a result, they introduced the “ultimate Vantage” in the V8 Vantage Le mans. Only 40 examples of this model were produced, and each was capable of producing the highest power output of any production car at the time – 600 bhp and 600 lb-ft.
The DBR1 began life in 1956, after changes to the rules for sportscar racing meant that the vehicles no longer had to be based on road legal cars. With the ability to start from scratch, Aston Martin created the DBR1, which went on to win Aston Martin’s only outright victory at the 24 Hours of Les Mans in 1959 while Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori were behind the wheel.
V12 Vantage Zagato
Following up the immense design success of the One-77, the V12 Vantage Zagato racing concept was the next model from Aston Martin to win the “Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes” at the 2011 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy. After impressive interest from customers, they produced 150 examples of the line.
V12 Vantage S
After eight years of life for the Vantage lineup, it was time for a refresher. A sportier version was introduced in May of 2013: the V12 Vantage S. With 565 hp and 457 lb-ft from a 5.9-liter V12, this powerful example breathed fresh life into a new tradition.
After its introduction in 2002 at the Paris Motor Show, all 99 examples of the DB7 Zagato were sold out. A 6.0-liter V12 pumped through a six-speed manual transmission, giving this Zagato with a shortened chassis a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 186 mph.
The Rapide S is rapidly evolving, with new additions and revisions appearing in the lineup for 2013 and 2014. Though every model features an impressive V12 engine, the 2013 revisions cranked the power up to 550 bhp with a top speed of 190 mph. In 2014, the V12 began siphoning power through an eight-speed manual transmission, dropping the 0-60 mph time to 4.4 seconds. How can you not love a lineup as dynamic and adaptable as that?