Landmark year for British motoring with Mini and Aston Martin milestones

Two major motoring milestones will be reached in 2013. One hundred years of car-making at Cowley in Oxford will be marked by the Mini company and its parent firm BMW. And Aston Martin will also be celebrating a 100th anniversary, having been founded in January 1913.

The focal point of the celebrations at Cowley - now known as the Oxford plant - will be on March 28, which is 100 years to the day when the first Bullnose Morris Oxford rolled off the production line.

Now the home of the Mini, the Oxford plant boasted workforces as big as 26,000 in the 1950s and 1960s.

Famous brands produced at Oxford have included the Austin Healey, the Wolseley, the Riley, the Austin, the Rover and the original Mini.




Since 2000, two million of the new-wave Minis have been made at Oxford.

As part of the commemorative exhibition at the plant, the Mini company is keen to hear from any ex-employees and their families who would like to share photos and memories from Cowley/Oxford over the last 100 years.

Aston Martin will be staging a number of events at its plant at Gaydon, Warwickshire - and elsewhere - to mark its centenary.

The Aston Martin DB5 - Bond's finest


The January 15 centenary date for the company will be marked by the appearance of the oldest surviving Aston Martin - an A3 - at the company's original home in Chelsea, south-west London.

The A3 will appear alongside the company's new Vanquish model and a commemorative plaque will be unveiled.

From July 15-21 there will be a week-long centenary celebration festival at Gaydon. Then on July 21 there will be a major event in London featuring up to 1,000 Aston Martins.




The Aston Martin has long been the car of choice for James Bond, and one features in the new 007 movie Skyfall.

A James Bond-themed drive around England and Wales taking in some Bond film locations will be part of the centenary events.

Aston Martin was founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. They called their company Bamford & Martin which later became Aston Martin, acknowledging Bamford's success at the Aston Clinton Hillclimb in Buckinghamshire, where he had successfully raced their very first cars.
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