Aston Martin Works Newport Pagnell going from strength to strength
The Newport Pagnell annual town meeting was held back in April. Paul Spires, Commercial Director of Aston Martin Works, spoke about current and future plans for the historic Aston Martin site in the town. Specifically, he discussed plans to “take back and restore” the three-storey building, Sunnyside, and the other additional buildings between. Unfortunately, many of them are over or approaching 200 years old, and it’s showing, never mind subsidence, so there are substantial costs involved in rescuing and restoring them.
This decision to do so was made back in 2014, with the full support of CEO Dr Andy Palmer, but the funding would come from a series of special edition Aston Martins that would be built at the Works, marrying the latest technology with traditional craftwork.
It began with the DB4 G.T. Continuation, first announced in December 2016. Production was limited to just 25 cars and the price tag was £1.5 million ($2 million) plus applicable local taxes. The new DB4’s were the first cars to be fully built at Newport since 2007, when manufacturing had moved to Gaydon in Warwickshire.
DB4 G.T. Continuation (track only)
Designed to look and feel like the original DB4 G.T., but with modern safety features.
Engine: DOHC straight six-cylinder 4,200cc, slightly larger than the 3,700cc original, but in the style of the Tadek Marek original (two spark plugs per cylinder).
Power: 345bhp at 6000rpm.
Torque: 350 lb-ft.
Top speed: 155 mph.
0–60mph: 5.5 seconds.
Front engine, rear-wheel drive, with a 4-speed gearbox.
Two-seat only, with left- and right-hand steering configurations.
Estimated build time was between 2,500 and 3,000 hours.
Mr Spires also revealed that, to cope with the additional planned work, ten new apprentices — many hailing from local families who have panel beating and trim skills in their blood — will have been taken on by the end of September 2018. Additionally, the number of staff at the AM Works has increased some 80%, with profits also increasing by 700%. The funds raised by the sale of the DB4 G.T. Continuations were planned to be used to acquire the three-storey building, in which the next special edition will be built.
While the status of ownership for the three-storey building is unknown, the new Continuation model has just been announced (20 August 2018): a 28-limited run of ‘Goldfinger’ DB5 Continuations.
Much like the DB4 G.T. Continuations, these will use a similar production process. The DB5 Continuations will include some of the ‘spy’ features famous from the films (although not all of them will work, if they’re added, for obvious Health and Safety and legal reasons). The cars — all in Silver Birch paint — are planned to cost around £2.75 million (~$3.5 million) plus taxes, with 25 for sale to those able to afford them. Another three will be made: one will be retained by Aston Martin, one will be made for Eon Productions (makers of the Bond movies), and the final model will be auctioned for charity.
The DB5 Continuation will be closely modelled on the original but, like the DB4, there will be minor modern improvements for reliability and safety. Again, the cars will be track only as they fail modern emission standards. Multiple award-winning Chris Corbould OBE, special effects supervisor veteran on the Bond films since GoldenEye (1995), will help develop the ‘Bond’ modifications. As DB5s have appeared in many of the recent Bond movies, Chris Corbould knows the original car well.
So far, only rotating number plates have been confirmed, but more gadgets are promised. The first completed car is expected to be ready for delivery in 2020.
Goldfinger DB5 Continuation (track only)
Designed to look and feel like the original DB5, but with modern safety features.
Specs are currently unknown, but will likely be similar to the original DB5, which used a DOHC straight six-cylinder 3995cc engine.
Obviously this post will be updated as more information becomes available!
Newport Pagnell Annual Town Meeting, 21 April 2018.