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Factory & Facilities

2016-08-23 09:09:12 (1 let, 1 měsíců)

The Aston Martin Company has had quite a few homes over the years. There are also a small number of other facilities that have been associated with certain aspects of the company other than direct production. Below are a list of factories and their role in the history of the marque. I must emphasise, that the current facilities are not generally open to the public, although on rare occasions, there can be open days for members of the Aston Martin Owners Club. The photographs on these pages have been taken with permission during open days and official visits.


Henniker Mews – (1913 – 1920)

Callow Street,

off The Fulham Road,

South Kensington,

London

The former London depot of Hesse and Savory in Henniker Mews, Callow Street, became occupied by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in late 1912. On the 15th January 1913, their partnership became incorporated as ‘Bamford and Martin Ltd’ and construction began on their first unique automobile. This car, known as ‘Coal Scuttle’ – the first ever Aston-Martin (note the hyphen) was registered for the road in early 1915. Not long after the First World War had begun, the small factory closed and both the bosses and workers joined in with the War effort.

The photographs here were taken exactly 100 years after the company of Bamford and Martin began. The event was the ceremonial unveiling of a plaque by AMHT Chairman, Roger Carey and AML Chairman, David Richards.


Victoria Road – (1926 – 1947)

Feltham,

Middlesex

After Aston Martin was rescued by William Renwick and ‘Bert’ Bertelli, the company moved into new premises. The new factory in Victoria Road, Feltham had previously been an aeroplane factory during World War One. It was here that the company managed to build around 600 cars before production stopped shortly before the start of WW2 when war work took priority. After minor damage caused during the Blitz in 1940, the factory survived well enough for the prototype ‘Atom’ to be built. But in 1944, more significant damage was caused by a flying bomb. The next door factory was occupied a company of coachbuilders owned by Bert Bertelli’s brother, Enrico (known as Harry to his English friends).

The photograph shows production of the Mark II during 1935 at the Feltham factory. This photograph is used with kind permission and assistance of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust.


Hanworth Park – (1947 – 1964)

Feltham,

Middlesex

Shortly after David Brown took ownership of Aston Martin in 1947, he also purchased the business and assets of the nearby situated Lagonda company, but not the Staines factory. As the Victoria Road factory had sustained considerable wartime damage, David Brown needed to relocate both concerns – and leased some hangers on the airfield site of Hanworth Park, Feltham (just a half a mile away from Victoria Road). This became the immediate post war home for both Aston Martin and Lagonda so the cars from the 2 litre sports through to the DB Mark III known as the Feltham cars, even though many were not actually built there

As David Brown had purchased the Tickford Works at Newport Pagnell in the 1950’s and relocated AML there for DB4 production, Feltham was very much diminished. It remained the centre for service, engineering development and racing but, eventually closed in the mid 1960’s with the demise of the competitions department.


Tickford Works – (1955 – 2007)

Tickford Street,

Newport Pagnell,

Buckinghamshire

The Buckinghamshire town of Newport Pagnell has had a coachbuilding company since the early 1800’s with the firm of Salmons and Son occupying the Tickford Works on Tickford Street close to the site of the medieval Tickford Abbey. Although for many years, Salmons had concentrated on coaches and open horse-drawn carriages, the arrival of the motor car in the early 1900’s made the company turn to car bodies. The particular body style of the company became known as ‘Tickford’ in the 1920’s. When the company changed hands in 1942, so the company changed it’s name to Tickford too.

By December 1954, the firm of Tickford and with it, the Newport Pagnell factory was purchased by the David Brown Corporation. Very shortly after, the last examples of the DB2/4 were coachbuilt at Tickfords – and ‘Tickford’ badges started to appear on the cars.

From the introduction of the DB4 in 1958, the entire Aston Martin company began effectively relocating to the Newport Pagnell factory. The factory is situated on both side of Tickford Street, the main road leading South East from the town and out to the M1 Motorway. As well as office, engineering and production facilities, the site is also home to Works Service, a unique factory run servicing, repair and restoration workshop.


Wykham Mill – (1993 – 2003)

Bloxham,

Near Banbury

By the early 1990’s, Aston Martin needed a new production facility in order to build the higher volume DB7 as there was no way enough space to build such a car at Newport Pagnell. And such a facility became available within the Ford family of factories when the special TWR JaguarSport factory at Bloxham became vacant following the ending of Jaguar XJ220 production in the early 1990’s. Production started in July 1994 with the i6 and continued until the closure of the factory and the end of V12 DB7 production in early 2004. The DB7 bodies were built at Motor Panels (now Mayflower) in Coventry, then they were taken to Rolls Royce in Crewe for painting. Then in 1998, a bespoke paint plant was installed at Bloxham itself. The 6 cylinder engines were built at the nearby TWR factory and V12’s by Cosworth Technology. 7091 DB7’s were built at Bloxham over nine and a half years of production. During 1994, a mere 30 DB7’s were built, but this jumped to over 700 in 1995. The facility was designed to build just 15 cars per week, but during V12 production peaked at 33 per week with a mean of just above 1000 per year. Bloxham was never very easy to get to see – strictly customers only and a rare open day. The photographs below were taken at the 1995 open day when early examples of the i6 DB7 coupe were being built.


Aston Martin Gaydon – (2003 – date)

Banbury Road,

Gaydon,

Warwickshire

In September 2003, AML moved into it’s first ever purpose built factory in it’s 90 year history. Situated on the former RAF V-bomber airfield at Gaydon, Warwickshire, the new factory is part of a much bigger site also occupied by Jaguar, Land Rover and the British Motor Heritage Centre. Gaydon represents a massive investment in the marque with ample space to manufacture upto 7500 cars a year. Series production of the DB9 coupe begun in January 2004, with the Volante following in January 2005. The AMV8 Vantage begin series production in the middle of 2005. DB9 Production Photo graphs and Information Most of these pictures were taken on September 2003 during a open day for members of the Aston Martin Owners Club. I must add that the factory is not open to the public with the exception of customers. I have also visited the factory in October 2004, but was not permitted to take any photographs of the production line at that time.


Aston Martin Engine Plant (AMEP) – (2004 – date)

Niehl Engine Plant,

Cologne,

Germany

From the start of October 2004, production of engines for Aston Martin was brought back in house following the opening of AM’s first dedicated engine plant. Based in a separate and AM branded building within the much larger Ford Niehl Engine Plant, Cologne, Germany, the 12,500 square metre facility has the capacity to produce upto 5000 engines a year (both V8 and V12) by 100 especially trained personnel. Like with the old V8, assembly of each unit will be entrusted to a single technician from a pool of 30. But unlike the previous Marek V8, the V12 can be assembled in a shade under 20 hours. By bringing engine production back to within the company, the promise is that AM will be able to produce small runs of higher performance variants; a tantalising prospect. Photograph courtesy of Aston Martin



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