By Rod Ward
The stories of Aston Martin and Lagonda were linked inextricably after both marques were taken over by David Brown, but each had an illustrious career before then. Both stories are told separately here, as well as the combined story since 1947. The great days of Lagonda were in the 1920s when they made fine fast tourers, reminiscent of scaled-down Bentleys, and in the 1930s when they built powerful and handsome cars. Aston Martin was ‘one of the greatest of all sports cars’, to quote William Boddy and today it is one of the most respected car marques in the world. Like many other British motor manufacturers between the wars, Aston Martin never made a profit, but unlike others, it was never allowed to die. Aston Martin had an irresistible attraction for investors, who stepped in to bail it out with unswerving blind optimism. Stability only came with ownership by David Brown, whose DB initials marked out the best British sports cars of their day. More changes of ownership since the 1970s sometimes threatened the survival of the marque, but the 21st century has seen a fresh start for Aston Martin, and the revival of Lagonda.