Thursday, November 18, 2010

Does This Look Like an Aston Martin?

Of course not, silly, it's a tractor. But are you aware of the connection between this tractor and Aston Martin?

The tractor was built by David Brown Ltd - at one time one of the largest equipment manufacturers in Europe. With roots back to the middle of the 19th century, David Brown, Ltd  was a respected maker of machine cut gears and gear drive systems.In fact, David Brown Ltd was a critical supplier of maritime propulsion drive systems during World War I.

After the war, David Brown Ltd joined forces with Harry Ferguson (of Ferguson tractor fame) to build a line of tractors with more advanced features such as cast aluminum casings in place of cast iron. Early David Brown tractors were powered by Coventry Climax engines until the firm finalized an engine design of their own. David Brown also built a line of tracked vehicles and aircraft tugs.

In 1947, Sir David Brown (grandson of the founder) spotted an ad in the Times of London  for the sale of a "high class motor business". Intrigued, Brown paid the princely sum of £20,500 and became the owner of Aston Martin. He later acquired the Lagonda marque and the coachbuilding firm of Tickford. 

This purchase began the rise of the storied DB line of Astons. Now, be careful if someone offers you a DB4 at a knockdown price - it may be a tractor.  

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