's Great British Cars – Aston Martin Vanquish

Sat 10th Nov 2018

Great Britain, great cars. The UK motor industry is respected the world over, and though many of the vehicles are actually owned by foreign manufacturers, there can be no doubting of the fantastic heritage of the British motor.

To celebrate Britain’s famous history is launching a series looking back on some of the most famous vehicles the UK has ever seen.

Aston Martin Vanquish
Designed by Ian Callum and built at Newport Pagnell, the first generation Vanquish will perhaps be best remembered for being driven by Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond in the 2002 film Die Another Day.

Scotsman Callum, a graduate of the famed Royal College of Art, honed his trade at Ford before being moving from a huge corporation to form TWR Design, in a small shed near Kidlington.

“Some of my colleagues came to see me from Ford, and I’d walked away from this giant studio at Dunton, the corporation, all that stuff, into this little tin shed in Kidlington. They thought I was utterly mad. But I was as happy as could be, I was doing something I wanted to do.” Callum said of his move.

At TWR he was appointed Chief Designer and General Manager where he would make his name, and perhaps his fame by being part of the team that designed the Aston Martin DB7. His work on the Vanquish was chiefly to replace the dated Virage range, but borrowed many elements of the DB7 and was critically acclaimed when it was launched at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show. Many recognised that the Vanquish was heavily influenced by the Project Vantage Concept which had debuted at an American show in 1998.

The Super Grand Tourer saw its first generation run from 2001 to 2007, with an upgrade to the Vanquish S from 2004. The S model saw increased power output and slight restyling, and came with the knowledge that it was the fastest Aston Martin ever produced, with a top speed of 200mph.

When the company’s Newport Pagnell factory closed in July 2007, the production of the first generation came to an end, with a total of 1,086 units leaving the factory floor.

The Vanquish’s place in history is held high by car enthusiasts, but due to the Bond connection will also be remembered after claiming the Number Three spot in a list of the Best Film Cars Ever.

Years of manufacture: 2001-2007 
Price when new: £164,349
Price now: £80,000-£120,000
Engine: 5,935cc 12cyl petrol, 450bhp
Top speed: 200mph+