If you're even a casual fan of Aston Martin, you're sure to have noticed the use of "DB" in the names of several of their models. But what exactly does DB mean? Rather than simply being two random letters, DB actually does stand for something. DB are the initials of David Brown, the man who bought Aston Martin in the 1940s. And, of course, he decided that some of the products should bear his name as proof of his ownership. In the past seven decades, a number of Aston Martin models have featured David Brown's initials, even if many owners and drivers don't stop to think what they might mean.
David Brown was an English businessman who bought Aston Martin in 1947, followed by his purchase of Lagonda in 1948. Before the Second World War, Aston Martin was a sports car company but didn't manufacture too many cars. They made 170 in 1937. But after Brown purchased the company, he took it much further and helped to turn it into what it is today. While he may no longer be here today, he has left an impressive legacy, although he sold the company in the 1970s and his remaining shares in the company three years before his death in 1993.
The first car to bear Brown's initials was the DB2 in 1950, although the 1948-50 2-Litre Sports model was retroactively named the DB1, despite not officially being a DB car. Since then, there have been twelve other DB models, although the latest is confusingly called the DB11, which came along in 2016. This is because along the way, there was a DB 2/4, and two cars called the DBS, as well as the DB7 Vantage. Some of the notable models include the DB5, which was featured in the James Bond film Goldfinger, making it and Aston Martin wildly popular and firmly embedded in popular culture.
David Brown sold Aston Martin in 1972, which meant that no new cars featured his initials for over twenty years. Eventually, however, in 1994, the DB7 came along. This model helped Aston Martin out when it was on shaky financial ground. The following DB7 Vantage was also a great success as an entry-level car that had several models available. As Aston Martin really began to pick up steam again and gain a new lease on life, the DB9 further added to its revival.
Another Aston Martin featured in a Bond film too; this time the 2007-2012 DBS featured in Daniel Craig's first Bond film, Casino Royale. There was even a special DB car, the DB10, made for Spectre, which was released in 2015. Only 10 of these were ever made, with just one sold to the public via auction. The 2016 DB11 is the true successor to the DB9.
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