Archive for Aston Martin

The List: 31 SUVs with Third-Row Seats

    2013_infiniti_jx35_prf_ns_82212_815.jpg offers a Live Advice service that allows you to chat online with specialists who can help you find answers to your most burning questions. You can access the service by clicking on the “Live Chat” link at the top right corner of the Edmunds main page. You can also reach our specialists via Twitter.

Our specialists are a pretty knowledgeable team of ladies and gents. Whether you’re a shopper looking for general buying advice or an enthusiast in search of data that’s considerably more arcane, you can rest assured that this crew will do their utmost to leave you informed and satisfied.

Dennis Rayfield is one of our Live Advice specialists, and he finds that one thing people are always asking about is third-row seating. 

In response to this, he decided to put together a list of SUVs available with this feature. Dennis’s list is included here, for all those in the market for an SUV with a little something extra in back.

Note that this list includes the Ford Flex. While the Flex isn’t technically an SUV, we thought it was worth including, since it’s often cross-shopped against some of the models included in this list.

1. Acura MDX




2. Audi Q7



3. Buick Enclave



4. Cadillac Escalade



5. Chevrolet Suburban



6. Chevrolet Tahoe



7. Chevrolet Traverse



8. Dodge Durango



9. Ford Expedition



10. Ford Explorer





11. Ford Flex



12. GMC Acadia



13. GMC Yukon



14. Honda Pilot



15. Hyundai Veracruz



16. Infiniti JX



17. Infiniti QX



18. Kia Sorento



19. Lexus GX 460



20. Lexus LX 570



21. Lincoln Navigator



22. Mazda CX-9



23. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class



24. Mitsubishi Outlander



25. Nissan Armada



26. Nissan Pathfinder



27. Subaru Tribeca



28. Toyota Highlander





29. Toyota Land Cruiser



30. Toyota Sequoia



31. Volvo XC90

















Riding in the 2013 Aston Martin Vanquish

It’s not just the cars that are getting frazzled. This is the Sierra Nevada, the Spanish mountain range near the beautiful Moorish city of Granada. We’re 8,000 feet above sea level and it’s touching 100 degrees. This is Europe’s equivalent of California’s Death Valley, and in the summer months it’s a hotbed of hot-weather testing.

In the parking lot near the summit, masochistic cyclists mix with all manner of secret prototypes. Even the giant trucks wear zebra paint to disguise their lines. There’s sport to be had in guessing what’s what. Apparently the new Porsche Macan was here yesterday, but it’s gone missing today.

Paul Thomas admits he’s part of a “traveling circus” of automotive engineers who chase the extremes. Winters are spent in Sweden dodging frostbite. Summers are spent giving sunstroke the slip here in Spain. As Aston Martin’s engineering manager, he’s the man responsible for signing off on new models before they head to production. We’ve been invited to ride shotgun in the 2013 Aston Martin Vanquish, the company’s upcoming flagship, to get a glimpse at what goes on before Thomas is satisfied enough to call it ready for production.

Aston’s New Star
The new Aston Martin Vanquish has already been unveiled at a celeb-filled party in London’s Covent Garden so it’s no longer required to don any disguise. Thomas admits it’s a relief: “There’s a danger that camouflaged cars lead you down a duff route,” he says. “It can affect the aerodynamics, the weight distribution and the refinement.”

Designed by an Englishman with a German name, Marek Reichman, the new Vanquish draws obvious inspiration from the Ian Callum-designed original. It’s instantly recognizable as an Aston but it’s still a steep change from the me-too Virage. Privately, Aston insiders admit the Virage was too conservative and that it was time to move on from yet another DB9clone.

Reichman’s work is a fusion of the original Vanquish, the DB9 and the One-77 hypercar. It’s certainly more complex — the uncharitable would say fussy — than Callum’s original, but it has undeniable impact. For the first time on a production Aston, the body’s also fashioned from carbon fiber, which reduces the mass by around 13 pounds and allows for a more intricate level of detail. “Some of the surfacing simply wouldn’t be possible with an aluminum body,” reckons Reichman.

Getting a Feel for It
Thomas prods the starter button and the 5.9-liter V12 up front answers with a provocative rasp. This is essentially the same engine featured in the original Vanquish but it’s evolved over the years and now produces 565 horsepower at 6,750 rpm and 457 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. All-alloy with independent quad variable camshaft timing and 48 valves, it powers the Vanquish from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 183 mph, according to Aston.

But not at this altitude. Some of the Aston’s horses have clearly gone missing but from the passenger seat it still feels deliciously rapid and the V12 sounds better than ever. The whine that made the Virage sound as if it had a supercharger has been eradicated, leaving a smooth, rich timbre. This Aston, like the new Ferrari F12, is proof that there’s life left in large-capacity, high-revving V12s.

Thomas has spent the last 15 years at Aston Martin and has honed his driving skills. He’s pushing the car harder than 99 percent of owners ever will, determined to fine-tune the last minutiae of steering and suspension control. Through a left-hand hairpin he throws it sideways, catching the drift with a swift dose of opposite lock. “On days like this, I really do feel like I’ve got the best job in the world,” he says. Given the perilous, death-inducing drops at the roadside, we’re grateful for both Thomas’ skill and the Vanquish’s mighty carbon-ceramic brakes.

A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory – Tea & Biscuits

Aston Martin Factory sign A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

If you’re fortunate enough to own an Aston Martin, you’d be remiss to visit Britain and not stop in for a tour of the iconic car maker’s factory. I don’t own an Aston Martin (some day…) but I did get invited by their press team to come take a look while I’m in the UK. After the two hour trip northwest of London, I arrive at the Aston Martin facility in Gaydon. Security is understandably tight, but as long as you’re on the guest list, you’re welcomed with open arms. And what a facility it is. Outside the building sits a beautiful yellow V8 Vantage that appears to be floating on water:

Note: This is an image-heavy article.

Aston Martin Factory floating Vantage 600x316 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Across the parking lot sits a polished chrome Vantage casually chilling on some rocks:

Aston Martin Factory chrome Vantage 600x398 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Once I stopped gawking at the cars on display and in the parking lot, I made my way into the building:

Aston Martin Factory building 600x406 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Inside the lobby sit a few cars including the controversial Cygnet, along with the reception desk, some lounge rooms, and some hanging art that look like giant Cheetos, for some reason:

Aston Martin Factory cars 600x312 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Aston Martin Factory Cygnet 600x376 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

After a bit of a wander, I meet up with Aston Martin exec Mark Gauntlett for a chat and enjoy some tea and biscuits, proper English style:

Aston Martin Factory tea and biscuits 600x388 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

As we walk to the main areas, we happen across a display of some classic Aston Martins with a history of the company laid out on the wall. Sorry for the bad pictures here but it’s difficult to get good shots in this area:

Aston Martin Factory history 8 600x367 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Aston Martin Factory history 1 600x239 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Aston Martin Factory history 3 600x257 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Aston Martin Factory history 6 600x219 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Aston Martin Factory history 7 600x367 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Moving on to the production floor, we aren’t allowed to take photos of anything, but Aston has supplied us with some of their own to make up for it. The factory is clean, un-cluttered, and very white. Each station does something different – no moving assembly line business here.

The first station we visit shows us a group of seamstresses stitching each leather interior panel together per each customer’s request, which includes overall interior color, seat and interior panel color, as well as stitching color and type. Again, these can be had standard or custom:

Aston Martin Factory Seamstress 600x338 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits


Most of the car is hand-built and assembled. For the Vantage and DB9 range, somewhere around 200 man-hours go into each car, with up to 50 hours of that going into the paint, depending on if you get a standard or special finish. With the One-77 & V12 Zagato, think more along the lines of 2,000 man-hours. Want your car to match your favorite tie? If you’re that pompous (and for the right price,) bring in your tie and the paint guys will match it or whatever color you’d like.

Every current Aston Martin (except the Rapide, which will start production in Gaydon this Summer,) is built in this plant, including the brand new Vanquish, and somewhere around 4,250 cars leave this place a year to get into the hands of their owners. Some of the owners come to the factory, similar to my visit, to see their cars built themselves, then drive it home from here.

While I was visiting, Aston Martin was working on building the special edition Dragon 88 series of cars unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show for the Chinese Year of the Dragon (and celebrating off-the-chart sales in China along with opening 11 more dealerships there just this year.) They do these special editions from time to time, some of which you really don’t hear much about. The Dragon 88 series is more of a styling package, and could be had on the DBS, Virage, or V8 Vantage S. Aston has created three special colors for the run: Amethyst Red, Volcano Red, and Champagne Gold, and depending on which exterior you choose, you get a different interior: Spicy Red, Deep Purple, or Red Chancellor – all with gold stitching and giant gold dragons embroidered on the headrests. They also get 24-carat gold Aston Martin “wing” badges and commemorative plates on the door sills. As you may have guess from the name, only 88 will be made and sold exclusively to China:

Aston Martin Dragon 88 Virage 600x335 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Aston Martin Dragon 88 Virage

Aston Martin Dragon 88 Virage interior 600x368 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Considering its rarity based on number and region, I feel privileged to have seen a few of them.

The basic sequence of construction for the car is as follows: underframe construction, body-in-white (bond panels to underframe), paint preparation (panels hand finished), paint, final assembly (and while the latter two are in motion the trim for the car is being hand made in parallel), which we already covered. Have a look at some of the factory images below to see the construction of an Aston Martin:

Aston Martin Factory building process 600x399 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Frame construction

Aston Martin Factory body 600x399 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Body to Frame


Aston Martin Factory suspension 600x399 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Suspension assembly

Aston Martin engines 600x386 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Engines – Powertrain Assembly

Aston Martin factory quality check 600x399 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

Final quality check

And finally, after each quality check and a final inspection, the car is given its seal of approval:

Aston Martin final badge 600x324 A Private Tour of the Aston Martin Factory   Tea & Biscuits

An Aston Martin get its Wings

During my tour, I also had the luck of seeing not only the rare Dragon 88 cars, but the even rarer One-77. What a sight (but again, no pictures allowed, sorry.)

If you’re an Aston Martin customer, contact your dealer to arrange a factory visit. Unfortunately the facility isn’t open to the public, but you might be able to tag along if you know an owner.

Thanks again to Mark, Matt, and Lynne for arranging and facilitating my tour.

I’ve always been a fan of Aston Martin’s cars, and seeing first-hand the work and detail that goes into each one solidifies my feelings. So whataya say guys, maybe the keys next time?

If you’re an Aston Martin owner, did you take a factory tour when you bought your car? Manage to sneak in a different way? What did you think?

2012 Aston Martin Rapide Review


Beautifully designed; seductive styling; V12 power; agile handling.


Pricier; slower unlike rivals; tight rearseat.


2012 Aston Martin Rapide is a high performance ultraluxury four-door sports sedan that offers space for up to four passengers. The idea of a sleek four-door sportscar is nearly as attractive as the 2012 Rapide is itself. Designing and engineering the Rapide is moving from Austria to England. As for the vehicle, it gains an easier to operate, new navigation system for 2012. It is considered to be one of the most stylish 4-door sportscar of the world, which exists in a segment of its own – a striking evolution of the company’s unmistakable design language, accommodating four passengers in luxury, yet offering the supreme refinement and sensational sportscar performance that are synonymous with all Aston Martin models. Characterized by their timeless elegance and beauty, Aston Martins are quite famous for being the most beautiful vehicles in the world. True to form, the all new Rapide is a breathtakingly beautiful 4-door sportscar. Designed and engineered for maintaining purity of vision and proportion, and demonstrating supreme balance and elegance, it looks striking from every angle.

The Aston Martin Rapide is basically a high-performance 4-door sports sedan designed, developed and launched in the year 2010 by British luxury brand Aston Martin. It was originally showcased a concept vehicle in the year 2006 at North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Rapide name is a reference to Lagonda Rapide, a sedan designed by Lagonda, now part of the British automaker. It’s based on Aston Martin DB9 and the base price for Rapide is $199,950. The first vehicles were rolled out in 2010. The Rapide is built at a dedicated facility at the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria. Production started in 2010 and the factory plans to build 2000 annually. The concept car version featured LED light bars on the rear end and a full-length glass roof, two firsts for Aston Martin. The glass roof wasn’t carried through to production.

The Aston Martin Rapide is a spiritual successor to Aston Martin Lagonda, the automaker’s previous 4-door saloon that was discontinued in the year 1989 before the introduction of Rapide. For convenience and luxury, its standard features include bi-xenon headlamps, LED taillamps and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Walnut and leather trim are standard with metallic accents; Bluetooth; power front seats with cooling, heating and memory; USB and iPod connectivity and satellite radio (US version only). The Rapide comes standard with a 16 speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound system with two which rise from the dashboard on activation of system.

2012 Aston Martin RapideThe stylish 2012 Aston Martin Rapide is luxurious yet functional and offers space for up to four passengers fused with an engaging driving experience synonymous with all Aston Martin vehicles. As the brand’s first production 4-door sportscar, it summarizes core values of Beauty, Soul and Power; 4 ‘swan wing’ doors offer access to cosseting sports seats both rear and front bequeathing passengers with ample accommodation. A 301 litre luggage compartment affords generous space for belongings for all 4 passengers whether they be sports bags or indeed, sets of skis, creating an Aston Martin that can be enjoyed on any occasion, anywhere, anytime.

The 2012 Aston Martin Rapide is a superlative sporting vehicle integrating elegance, innovation and heritage and is an expression of the pure emotion and passion which underpins the Aston Martin brand. Hand built to the highest standards, the legendary Rapide redefines the sporting grand tourer. An Aston Martin is engineered to sharpen the senses, extracting every grain of texture from the road surface, while offering unrivalled driver involvement and feedback. Yet when situations preclude spirited driving, an Aston Martin adopts a relaxing, restrained character, its massive reserves of power and torque combining with the uniquely cosseting interior to envelop both driver and passengers in the Aston Martin experience.

From every angle, the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide presents a harmonious composition with an intrinsic implication of ability. Aston Martin’s design team works with raw clay models as well as advanced computer modeling, and it is through the feel of real material and physical surfaces that the company’s unique sculptural design language is honed and developed. Aston Martin set out to create the world’s most beautiful four-door sports car. The result was the Rapide Concept, revealed to the world at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006. That vision has been translated faithfully into the production Rapide. Created by a team headed by Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman, the Rapide has been designed to look breathtakingly beautiful from every angle, displaying a purity of proportion and balance that is characteristic of the marque. It is a pure piece of Aston Martin design.

The Rapide bears a strong family resemblance to its two-door siblings, all of them sharing a taut muscularity and a finessed surface language. Despite its larger size, the Rapide’s length and height have been carefully increased to ensure the fundamental proportions are unaltered, and the silhouette remains instantly recognizable as an Aston Martin. As befits its sports touring capabilities, the Rapide can be seen as a lithe, long-distance runner or a powerful, thoroughbred race horse, its sleek silhouette implying endurance, stamina and speed.

2012 Aston Martin RapideThe Aston Martin Rapide is a milestone model for Aston Martin, bringing the company’s values to a whole new audience. A superlative sporting coupe incorporating heritage, elegance and innovation, the Rapide is a versatile machine which expresses the pure emotion and passion underpinning the Aston Martin marque, while continuing its design and engineering DNA. A highly bespoke four-door sports car constructed to exacting standards, the Rapide redefines the sporting grand tourer. Proof that the most enjoyable way of getting between two points isn’t always a straight line, every journey in an Aston Martin is an occasion. The Aston Martin Rapide continues the company’s tradition of emotionally engaging design: it is a uniquely personal sports car that brings together cutting-edge modernity and traditional skills, as well as customizing that technology and craftsmanship to the customer’s precise requirements, the Rapide like every Aston Martin is also reliable, ergonomically practical and efficient.

Aston Martin is situated in Gaydon, Warwickshire in England, and this is where the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide will be conscientiously designed and engineered together with DB9 sport coupe with which it shares much of its structure and an engine. Beginning as a concept vehicle just a few years ago, it has quickly become a halo car for the revolutionary automaker. Using an extruded aluminum, cutting edge chassis bonded to aluminum and composite skin, the thoroughly contemporary Rapide is designed to exacting norms. Endowing a four-passenger sedan with sensations and talents of a sportscar has been a lofty mission many automobile manufacturers have attempted but few have accomplished.

As a grand touring machine, the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide is equally capable of comfortably putting down hundreds of miles in a sitting with all the amenities and comforts expected in this segment. A navigation system, an adjustable suspension and a high-end sound system are only the tip of the iceberg. Some concessions to interior space were made, nonetheless, in the name of its immediately recognizable exterior shape. Though rivals like the Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG or Jaguar XJ Supersport sacrifice practicality in favor of performance and style, the Rapide’s rear passenger accommodations and limited outward visibility go even further. While rear leg and head room are simply sufficient, the large tunnel consisting a carbon fiber driveshaft leaves the hip and foot room of both back bucket seats very limited.

On the whole, we are pretty smitten with the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide’s exacting craftsmanship, unique nexus of old-world style, comfort, agility and modern manufacturing techniques.

Variants, Body Types and Features

The 2012 Aston Martin Rapide is a four-passenger four-door sedan with a hatchback style trunk. Standard features include driver adjustable adaptive dampers, 20-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlamps, a limited-slip differential, front and rear automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, heated front and rear seats, power front seats with memory functions, an auto dimming rearview mirror, a full leather interior, a new Garmin based navigation system, a Bang & Olufsen 15-speaker surround sound system with an iPod/USB audio interface, a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack and Bluetooth.

2012 Aston Martin Rapide interiorBesides or replacing the above, the Rapide Luxe gains standard ventilated front and rear seats, different wheels, glass switchgear, a secondary glass-trimmed key fob, a 6-piece custom-fit luggage set which matches the interior leather, special paint and leather colors and a rear seat entertainment system. Other than the switchgear, all of Luxe features are offered on the standard Rapide.

The rearview camera is also optional. As you would expect, there is a rather large selection of colors to choose from, plus you can request any paint code Aston Martin or any other manufacturer has ever used. There are also numerous interior leather hues and trim types available. Our favorite option: We know of no other automaker that provides a wristwatch transponder which replaces the remote key fob. Certainly, Aston Martin teamed with Swiss Jaeger-LeCoultre for this pricey James Bond inspired accessory.

2012 Aston Martin Rapide interior

WTF: A Ford Mustang With an Aston Martin Engine?

Mustang with Aston Martin engine

Mustang with Aston Martin engine

There is a 2005 Ford Mustang out there with a dirty little secret:  it has an Aston Martin engine!  Yes, lurking beneath the hood of this American muscle car is a beating British heart in the form of a Ford built 6.0-liter V12 from a 2001 Aston Martin Vanquish.  This is a bizarre exotic car indeed!


Mustang with Aston Martin engine

The Mustang is equipped with an Aston Martin engine…yet appears klunky and cheaply thrown-together to me

Call it a bastardized hunk of metal, or an example of sheer automotive brilliance.  This Muston, or Astang, was originally built for SEMA in 2006, and includes all oversized wheels and custom touches that you would expect from such a creation. 

Mustang with Aston Martin engine

Mustang with Aston Martin engine…I dub thee–Asstang

It also has a name (though I like the ones I made up above), ‘Vanquish’d’, which is sort of clever when compared to some custom car names out there.  What is more surprising, however, is the $79,900 asking price.

Alfa Plays Up the Romeo: The 8C Competizione Heart-Throb

Italy is known for producing iconic exotic carsbut could the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione be the most beautiful? Alfa has a solid reputation for playing Romeo…and by that I mean melting hearts with the metal eye-candy they unleash.

Alfa Romeo 8C

Following a few decades of wedge-shaped Ferraris and Lamborghinis, the 8C Competizione was a definite curve ball!

At a time when other luxury carmakers were touting sharp lines and increasingly aggressive appearances, Alfa chose to defy convention with the 8C. The curvaceous and smooth silhouette of this car captured attention, even with Lamborghini’s Miura acting as a template for what a high-performance auto should be.

Alfa Romeo 8C

The 8C Competizione is exceptionally stunning, even for an Alfa Romeo!

The design is clearly sixties retro, with the grille and cloverleaf on the fender serving as signature decade slices. Aside from a few subtle distinctions, the 8C does not seem to mimic any specific predecessor or model—it is quite unique and that makes it fascinating.

Alfa Romeo 8C

The amazing 8C

While the name includes the word “Competizione”, which does mean competition, this was never a racing car. It was named for the 1948 6C 2500 Competizione, an enduring symbol of Alfa Romeo’s strong motorsports heritage.

Alfa Romeo 8C

A vision in red…Ferrari has much to fear!

Aston Martin V12 Zagato: There Can Be Just 101

Aston Martin has been diligently marketing the hot new V12 Zagato, and recently revealed that they will make just 101 examples of the sports car. Initially, there were to be 150 units made by the UK carmaker, but it seems that sales failed to skyrocket as hoped.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

Which will fare better, the V12 Vantage or the V12 Zagato (Pictured above).

When it comes to luxury car sales, it is certainly unwise to draw early conclusions, so the Zagato could certainly sell all units. Aston is using a common sales technique, creating an amazing car, and then adding impact by making it exclusive. People always want something that just a handful of others can get!

V12 Vantage car

The V12 Vantage is coming out in convertible form–but perhaps not in the U.S.  (Pictured above)

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato was the result of an internal competition of Aston’s own designers, not Zagato. The model boasts a handcrafted aluminum chassis with Zagato trademarks. Under the hood is a 6.0-liter V12 engine and it snags many qualities from V12 Vantage sibling.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

A red carpet welcome for the smoldering red Zagato

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

Prestige meets power

Aston Martin V12 Zagato



Aston Martin is the top worldwide choice for luxury motoring

At the start of the year, the Warwickshire-based car manufacturer announced that it was opening a new showroom in Shanghai, China and a dealership in Luxembourg. These developments were to satisfy rising international demand for Aston Martins. Aston Martin Hire is now in the spotlight for people who want to experience the joys of driving Aston Martins for a set amount of time. The appeal of renting an Aston Martin lies in its ability to reinvent its classic heritage with modern technology features. Cars such as the V8 Roadster, the Virage Volante and the V8 Vantage prove Aston Martin’s position as a supercar manufacturer ideal for all types of car hire:

The Aston Martin V8 Roadster is a car that is proving popular across the world. Motorists based in the UK can enjoy its energetic performance during Aston Martin Rental. This supercar accelerates from 0 – 60 mph in an astonishing 4.7 seconds. This feat is complemented by a top speed of 180 mph. These fast credentials are chiselled by a V8 engine whose power has to be experienced to be believed. Nationwide delivery for the V8 Roadster is available to start an energy-filled car hire experience.

Independent Exotic Car Repair in Houston for Aston Martins

Aston Martin is a brand known around the world.  The British car manufacturer is known for its luxury sports cars, especially since they are the choice vehicle for fictional character James Bond.  Aston Martin exotic luxury cars are considered to be a pinnacle of luxury car standards.  Like many other exotic cars, Aston Martins can require special exotic car repair when a component breaks or the Aston Martin requires service.  Finding an Aston Martin service facility in Houston that can adequately handle your Aston Martin service and Aston Martin repair jobs should not be a hassle if the correct questions are asked.

Typically, given the low number of exotic cars on the road, exotic car repair shops are typically only placed as a part of the dealership that sells the car.  This is one of the easiest ways for exotic car repair shops to be tied to enough business to be profitable.  There are some independent exotic car repair shops that typically handle a variety of exotic cars and have the expertise to handle nearly any repair.  Independent Aston Martin repair shops have mechanics and technicians who have undergone training and are certified by Aston Martin to handle repairs or other service on Aston Martin cars.

Aston Martin service shops can typically handle any type of service on Aston Martins and many other more labor intensive repairs.  Exotic cars, such as Aston Martins, require special care when being services, since many of the fluids or routine maintenance still needs specialized training and equipment to handle the service.  Mechanics and technicians certified for Aston Martin repair understand Aston Martins and the components and features inside.  Typically many exotic car repairs can be addressed with preventative maintenance, and trained Aston Martin service technicians know what to look for in the Aston Martins that arrive at the exotic car repair shop for service or repair.

Independent exotic car repair shops also have other advantages over dealerships when handling Aston Martin service.  Many times, the service and repair work handled by an independent exotic car repair shop will be less expensive than having the same Aston Martin service handled by a dealership exotic car repair shop.  Independent Aston Martin repair facilities can usually substitute off-brand parts replacements and the labor costs are reduced when compared with Aston Martin repair facilities tied to an Aston Martin dealership.  Independent exotic car repair shops also are typically more flexible when handling Aston Martin repairs.  These advantages are passed onto Aston Martin owners through reduced service costs.

The History of Aston Martin

The Aston Martin is the English alternative to the Bugati and Ferrari.  The company was founded in 1913 by mechanical engineer Robert Bamford and wealthy Lionel Martin.  The two had met in 1905 as members of a cycling club and progressed during the Edwardian era to classic trials and hill climbs using the Singer sports car.

Bamford thought he could improve the car, and soon began to build cars which took the Aston Martin name (from Martin’s exploits at the Aston Clinton hill climb in Buckinghamshire).

However, the partnership was not to last and Martin bought out Bamford in 1922.  Soon the company being asked for replicas, but being English, they didn’t like to make a profit from their friends and the firm nearly went bust in 1925.  It was saved by Lord Charnwood and Hon. John Benson, who appointed Italian born Augustus Cesari Bertelli as Managing Director.

The many wealthy and often aristocratic customers would breeze into the works greeting him with “I say, Bertie, old chum….”

The company built the Ulster between 1934 and 1935 which had an in line 4 cylinder 1495cc, single overhead camshaft which featured an advanced dry sump engine.  It produced 80bhp at 5250rpm, had a top speed of 100mph, and named after the Ulster TT road race.  The Ulster was the best performing of the pre war Astons.

Following the war, many manufacturers were suffering financial difficulties.  David Brown (famous for tractors) acquired Aston Martin in 1947 for £20,500, and in 1948, purchased Lagonda for £52,000.