1950s and 60s
That year saw the DB Mk III, one of the first production cars to feature disc brakes - a direct development of the company's racing experience. The company's racing programme reached a peak with the phenomenal success of the DBR1/300, which won the World Sports Car Championship in 1959.
During the late 1950s, four Works DBR1s won six World Championship races and set five lap records. The DB4, which represented a major leap forward in design, was introduced in 1958. Styled by Touring of Milan, it was equipped with a 3.7 litre aluminium alloy engine designed by Aston Martin.The rapidly rising cost of racing began to take its toll and by the end of 1963 it was decided to withdraw from motorsport and concentrate on refining the production cars.
It was a bold but enlightened decision - and heralded a new era for Aston Martin as the company's production and reputation stepped up a gear. In October 1963, the legendary 4 litre DB5 was introduced. Production was doubled to meet world demand. The car owed some of its global esteem to a starring role in the James Bond films 'Goldfinger' and 'Thunderball' - where its 'factory fitted options' included machine guns, a passenger ejector seat, hydraulic over-rider rams and equipment for projecting oil, nails and smoke.
The DB6 appeared in 1965 and remained in production until 1970. Its convertible equivalent, the Volante, was the first European car with a power-operated hood.
It was followed by the DBS in 1967, the biggest advance in Grand Touring styling and design since the DB4. Completely designed at Newport Pagnell, it came with a 4.0 litre engine and later evolved into the DBSV8. In 1972 Aston Martin Lagonda entered another new era - in which ownership was to change several times.First it was acquired by Company Developments, a Birmingham-based group of businessmen, with Sir David Brown retaining a seat on the board and becoming President.