The introduction from Salmons & Sons and Aston Martin

Salmons carriage works in the 1920s. The three-storey building still exists under a preservation order. It housed probably the earliest continuous vehicle assembly line in the UK.
Pic: Wiki Creative Commons lic.

Newport Pagnell is synonymous with transportation and it is justly fitting that this handbook celebrates the 200th anniversary of that remarkable heritage which began when Salmons & Sons started producing horseless carriages in the early 19th century and continued through bodying motor cars at the very start of the 20th century

Its proud association with Aston Martin didn’t start until the early 1950s when the David Brown Industries group looked for an in-house supplier of bodies for their cars.

With chassis built near Huddersfield, bodies at Newport Pagnell and assembly in Middlesex, they were soon looking to consolidate production on one site and Newport Pagnell gave the perfect opportunity.

The DB4 entered production in 1958 and a new era of car-making in the town began.

The next 40-odd years were very much a roller-coaster with highlights such as the DB5 (made famous by James Bond) matched by periods of despondency and redundancies.

However, Aston Martin struggled onward,  hand-crafting iconic cars with enthusiasm until 2007 when the last  – a fabulous Vanquish S Ultimate –  rolled off the production line.

Some undoubtedly thought Aston Martin at Newport Pagnell would never be the same again when production moved to Warwickshire and the factory was demolished to make way for a Tesco hyper-market leaving three heritage buildings in splendid isolation.

But Aston Martin at Newport Pagnell has survived in style. Now a thriving business providing sales, service and restoration of new and heritage cars, manufacturing also re-started in 2017 at the Works producing hyper-expensive, very rare and sought-after re-creations of classic models such as the DB4 and DB4GT Zagato. Re-creations of James Bond’s DB5 are planned next.

       Long may this continue in what many people consider to be the spiritual home of Aston Martin!

At the Heritage Trust we record everything the marque achieves in our comprehensive archives and much material is on display at the museum (go here for detail.

We see too,  just how proud Newport Pagnell is of its association with Aston Martin – so do contact us if you have anecdotes and artefacts that should properly be preserved for future generations.

Rob Smith, chairman
Aston Martin Heritage Trust

Aston Martin Heritage Trust


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