23 January, 2013

Sexy Centenarians & Super Polish Power

(wikipedia photo)

Petrolheads have probably by now gone weak at the knees at this piece of uber-torquey excellence, one of the finest engines ever to have graced the world and indeed perhaps the most famous to be designed by a Pole.

It was Tadek Marek who first created the Aston Martin alloy 6 cylinder engine for the DBR2 - a sumptuous sports racing car of 'swoopalicious' 1950's styling perfection. The engine was most famously used in the emphatically elegant grand touring series of DB4/DB5/DB6, the magnificent superleggera bodied Aston sports cars which of course became the favourite of legions of boys little and large when 007 drove one in Goldfinger and indeed in subsequent James Bond films too...

Marek's incredible engine designs demonstrated that the beauty of the iconic DB4/5/6 design wasn't just skin deep, it was firmly rooted within the magnificent engine which provided high performance and a magnificent sound! Marek's V8 engine was still in production in 1980 having been designed 12 years earlier.

Meanwhile, over at Aston Martin (remember there wasn't a Mr "Aston" the car got its name when Messr Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford teamed up in 1913 (yes, hold on, there is indeed an anniversary story coming...)...

...When Martin was a winner at the Aston Clinton hillclimb, his wife suggested appending the "Aston" name as it would place the marque at the top of the sales catalogues.

(So there you go, nothing new about search engine optimisation either, it's at least a century old).

Marek of course was not the only Pole to work with Aston Martin. the famous Count Louis Zbrowoski, the man who raced the real "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" helped revitalise the company post war in 1920 when Bamford left...

Now Aston Martin is celebrating its centenary and there will presumably be great celebrations and a plethora of limited editions and other methods to try to maximize the returns from a brand which has multiple owners, many sensational motor cars but has, at best, been patchily profitable during several bankruptcies and many owners!

On the other hand, the designs have frequently been sensational, inside and out. Iconic is a fair description, to put it mildly!

From all your fans at Vistula, Poland & doubtless throughout the world:

Happy Birthday Aston Martin - perhaps the sexiest centenarian on the road!

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