[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 founders of the companies over 100-years and still in business – P88 - Lionel Walker Birch Martin and Robert Bamford (United Kingdom): The duo founded Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc, British luxury super sports car manufacturer with 107 years of operation (1913)


(WorldKings.org) Lionel Walker Birch Martin (15 March 1878 – 21 October 1945) and Robert Bamford (16 June 1883 – 1942) were the two founders of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc, a British independent manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers.

Lionel Walker Birch Martin was born at Nansladron at St Ewe near St Austell in Cornwall, and was an only child. His father was Edward Martin (born in 1843), the owner of Martin Brothers China Clay Merchants in St Austell, who lived at Treverbyn, and who also owned the Lee Moor porcelain factory in Plympton. In 1891 he went to Eton College. In 1897 he went to Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was an enthusiast member of the Oxford University Bicycle Club, then joined the Bath Road Club. He graduated with a BA in 1902.



Through the Bath Road Club (BRC) he met Montague Napier, and in 1903 went into partnership with Napier to sell cars. In 1909 after not paying a fine, he was banned from driving for two years at Guildford. During his driving ban, he had become friends with another cyclist in the Bath Road Club, Robert Bamford.

Robert Bamford was born in Lamarsh in Essex, and was the eldest son of Rev Robert Bamford (1854–1898).



Bamford & Martin Ltd was founded at 16 Henniker Place in West Kensington (off Fulham Road – the A308) on 15 January 1913. The company’s name became Aston Martin in 1914, following one of Lionel Martin’s successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire. Within a year the first car to be named Aston Martin was created by Martin by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini.



But full production could not start because of the outbreak of World War 1. Martin joined the Navy and Bamford the Royal Army Service Corps. All machinery was sold to the Sopwith Aviation Company.

After the war, the company relocated to London in 1920. That same year Bamford left the company. In 1924 the company went bankrupt and was refinanced by new owners. The company failed again in 1925 and the factory closed in 1926 with Lionel Martin leaving.



In the mid-1920s the company would undergo many changes of ownership. It would be largely through the ownership of David Brown Ltd. of Huddersfield that Aston-Martin would become the company renowned during the 1950s, who bought Aston-Martin for £20,500 (£808,000 current value) in 1947.

According to en.wikipedia


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