End of an Era for Aston Martin - Andrew Noakes - Motoring Writer

Aston Martin today built the last of 50 'Ultimate Edition' Vanquish models, and car production at Newport Pagnell ended. Like other recent 'last of line' Astons, this one is on its way up the road to Gaydon for display at the Heritage Motor Centre.

Aston Martin intended to produce 40 Ultimate Edition cars, but demand was such that the production run was stretched to 50. All the cars are finished in a unique 'Ultimate Black' with semi-aniline leather interiors and dark chrome fittings. Mechanically they are the same as the Vanquish S, which means 520bhp and top speed of 200mph.


From now on, all Astons will be built at the company's purpose-built factory/ headquarters facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire.

It marks the end of nearly 50 years of Aston Martin production in Newport Pagnell. Aston owner David Brown bought what was then the Tickford coachbuilding works in the mid-50s, and transferred Aston production from Feltham, Middlesex in 1957.

But Aston Martin is not abandoning Newport Pagnell entirely. The successful Works Service operation, which services and restores Astons and carries out bespoke modifications and upgrades, will continue to be based in the Buckinghamshire town. Some of the site will be redeveloped, but Aston Martin says it will preserve some of the more historic buildings on the site, which date back to the turn of the century.

Aston Martin has not yet announced a direct replacement for the Vanquish. The DBS, as seen in Daniel Craig's hands in the Bond film Casino Royale is due to go on sale later this year, with a price tag expected to be around £160,000. Next comes the Rapide four-door, and there's also talk of a £350,000 supercar.

The end of production at Newport Pagnell might signal the end of an era for Aston Martin, but the new era could be even more exciting.

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