Supercar Histories: Aston Martin

Aston Martin is one of the classiest supercar brands around today, with the name synonymous with style, class and prestige.

They don’t go in for the gaudy, bright colours of Lamborghini and Ferrari, but aren’t as understated as a Bentley or a Rolls Royce; coupling supercar style with an air of grace.

A Difficult Start

Aston Martin was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford under the name Bamford & Martin with the intention of making a vehicle that Martin could race at Aston Hill, which he had been doing previously. The first car to carry the Aston Martin name was a modified Isotta-Fraschini chassis to which Martin fitted a four-cylinder engine.

The pair acquired premises in Kensington where they produced the car in March 1915, but they were interrupted by the first world war where both Martin and Bamforth served.

In 1920 Bamford left the company, but it was saved when Count Louis Zebrowski – a feted racing driver and engineer – invested in the company and in 1922 Bamford & Martin began producing cars to compete in the French Grand Prix with their machines going on to set world speed and endurance records.

Despite this the company went bankrupt in 1924 and was bought by Lady Charnwood, but despite this backing the company failed again in 1925 which caused Lionel Martin to leave.

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Supercar News Roundup

Monthly roundup of the biggest stories int he world of supercars.

British Car Makers Fly The Flag

At Last week’s Geneva Motor Show Honda’s hottest hatch was unveiled. The honda Civic Type-R – billed as the ‘people’s supercar’ – can go out to 170mph and more importantly, it’s built in Britain. Swindon to be precise.

Honda Civic Type-R - Geneva Motor Show

Honda Civic Type R

The Civic Type-R only costs £30,000 which makes it a monster at a bargain price. The car will be exported to the US for the first time along with Japan and is a wonderful showcase of the capabilities of British car manufacturing.

Trump’s Old Ferrari Goes to Auction

It’s not often a Ferrari F430 goes to auction, especially one that belongs to the President of the United States.

Hire a Ferrai F430 at PB Supercars

Ferrari F430

The Ferrari was bought in 2007 and is registered to Trump Tower in New York City. Somebody was really keen to have this collector’s piece, as the hammer fell on £250,000. That’s about £80,000 more than it would cost to get a brand new one.

Hire a Ferrari at PB Supercars.

Bugatti Branch Out Into Superboats

Italian super behemoths Bugatti have decided that supercars aren’t enough for them, and have created a superboat to tempt millionaires everywhere.

Bugatti Superboat

Bugatti Niniette 66

The Bugatto Niniette 66 has a top speed of 44 knots (~50mph) and is made with carbon fibre and marble with leather interior. The 66ft boat boasts a Jacuzzi on the top deck – itself modelled to look like Bugatti’s Chiron supercar – a fire pit, champagne bar and a double bed in the sleeping quarters.

The First Supercars

Today’s supercars are known to be flashy, eye-catching speed machines that cost a fortune both to own and to run – but what are the supercar’s humble beginnings?

Here are our 5 favourite supercar origin stories to fill out the history of these machines.

If you want something a little more modern, see all of our supercars for hire online.

Blitzen Benz

One of the first cars that we could apply the ‘supercar’ moniker to would be the Blitzen Benz.

blitzen-benz

Made in 1909 had a 21.5litre four cylinder engine and was built to obtain the land speed record. Which it did with aplomb, creating a new record of 142mph which the Blitzen held until 1919.

Lamborghini Miura

A classic forerunner to the kind of styles we saw in the 60s, but one of the best supercars of that era.

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Built in 1966 the Miura had cutting-edge technology with a mid-engine layout and side-mounted V12, giving it 350bhp. It cost a fortune, was unbelievably fast and never went racing, meaning it meets most criteria for a modern supercar. Also ticking the box of making its owner look very wealthy whenever they rolled into town.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL

We have to mention this in the list purely because of the gullwings that were on the 1954 model.

1955_mercedes-benz_300sl_gullwing_coupe_34

The car delivered 200 bhp from its 3L straight six and it was a prominent feature on the racing circuit along with Mercedes’ mechanical direct fuel injection – a feature which it developed to great success in WW2.

Bugatti 57SC

We can’t’ have a list of early supercars without mentioning Bugatti. Although now famed for their Veyron monster, the manufacturer was a powerhouse of sports car creation since the 1920s.

640px-paris_-_retromobile_2012_-_bugatti_type_57sc_atlantic_-_1936_-_002

Famed for building ridiculously fast cars – something they’ve carried into the 21st century – the 1938 57SC was no different; putting out 200bhp with a 3.3L v8 matched with a touchy, temperamental chassis making it one of the greatest cars of its day.

Auburn Boattail Speedster

One of the original American supercars which wasn’t built for speed or comfort; the Speedster was built for showmanship and appearances alone.

640px-1929_auburn_8-120_boattail_speedster_svl2

With a signature boattail and a huge flashy chrome grill, the 1935-37 models were perfect status symbols for those wanting to cruise around town flashing the cash. They’d still beat most cars in a straight drag race, but they had no racing pedigree to speak of and were better fared parked outside the best restaurant in town than tearing around a race circuit.

Where are supercars made?

With supercar manufacturer McLaren announcing a deal to open a £50million chassis factory in Sheffield last week, we’ve gotten to thinking: where are supercars actually built?

We know Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s are Italian and Mercedes and Audi are German, but do they actually come from there?

Ferrari Hire at PB Supercars

Ferrari’s are all built in the same factory

In Ferrari’s case, yes they do. Ferrari makes all of their supercars in Maranello, Italy. Less than 7,000 cars are built there each year which adds to the prestige of owning one, and all of the parts created and used for them are manufactured in the same place. You can hire a Ferrari 458 from us to experience this prestige for yourself.

Lamborgini is also made in Italy, in fact, a mere stone’s throw away from the Ferrari factory in Maranello. Talk about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Lambo’s are made in Sant’Agata Bolognese, although the brand is now owned by Volkswagon via Audi.

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Winter Supercars: Stay Cool on the Ice

Supercars are more associated with long drives in summer, top or windows down as you drive along beautiful roads enjoying the sound of the engine.

But just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some supercar fun. Here are a few supercars that you can have some fun in when winter descends.

Audi R8 V10

The R8 takes advantage of Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system, giving you confidence when there’s snow on the ground or conditions are a little icy.

Audi R8 V10

Audi R8 V10

The wide tyres give plenty of grip and the dual-clutch transmission, along with the Quattro, makes this a reliable supercar that you can have a lot of fun with throughout all seasons of the year.

Bentley Continental GT

Of course a Bently will be in a list of reliable supercars – and the Continental GT is the perfect candidate for winter driving.

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT

Built like a tank with plenty of space inside to make yourself and several friends comfortable ion any journey, the Continental GT boasts an advanced four-wheel drive system and 21inch wheels which will provide you with a stable, speedy ride in the most inclement of weathers.

Ferrari FF

We know, right? A Ferrari? On a winter supercar list? Bear with us. The FF – shorthand for ‘Ferrari Four’ is Ferrari’s first foray into the world of four-wheel drive – or ‘All Wheel Drive (AWD).

Ferrari FF

Ferrari FF

It’s not on all the time, the FF is rear wheel drive until slippage is detected, then the front wheels kick in giving you the best of both worlds. It’s nippy too, kicking out 660hp which will eat up the snowiest of dual carriageways.

Luckily you can hire a Bentley, Audi or Ferrari from PB Supercars to get your fix if you don’t have one of these.

Europe’s Ultimate Driving Roads

Supercars are not supposed to be displayed in a garage and never used, although sadly this is what happens to many of them.

Supercars are meant to be driven on open roads where they can be enjoyed by their owners, set free on the tarmac to blow your mind with every corner.

With this in mind, we have found 5 European driving roads to test your Supercar’s skills on. Some of them are a bit of a trip but we think they’re all worthwhile.

Old Military Road: Scottish Highlands

Old Military Road Scotland, Supercar Heaven

Old Military Road, Scotland

This mountain pass in the Cairngorms National Park takes you through traditional Scottish scenery which has been made famous from popular culture, such as 007’s Skyfall. 

The A96 takes you through valleys and over mountain passes, through woodland and alongside barren, mountaintop landscapes. Traffic is almost always low as there are several more direct routes around the Cairngorms, making this the perfect road to use for a supercar thrashing.

Col de la Bonnette: French Alps

Col de la Bonnette, driver's paradise

Col de la Bonnette, French Alps

You can’t have a list of great driving roads without mentioning the Alps, and the Col de la Bonnette is the big one.

The Bonnette is the highest road is Europe topping out at 2807m. As if that’s not impressive enough the route to the top is miles and miles of long, sweeping roads with stunning panoramas and vistas that wouldn’t look out of place on any screensaver in the land.

The road is also in an excellent condition due to the mountain regularly being used by the Tour de France. With that in mind it’s a good idea to check the calendar before you go as if you go on the day of Le Tour you won’t get anywhere near the mountain.

Stelvio Pass: North West Italy

Stelvio Pass, famous switchbacks

Stelvio Pass, Italy

Stelvio was voted the best driving road in the world by Top Gear in 2008 which does mean it has a high volume of tourist traffic but this can usually be avoided if you avoid the main tourist season.

Ensure to check the weather before venturing out onto the pass as it is often closed with snow preventing you reaching the top of the pass.

Amalfi Coast: Italy

Amalfi Coast, driving in Hollywood

Amalfi Coast, Italy

The SS163 is nestled in the ‘ankle’ of Italy just below Naples and offers the kind of scenery that is straight out of Hollywood.

The road tightly hugs the mountainside as it follows the curves and geography of the coast; with steep mountains on one side and the sparkling blue ocean on the other side.

The road is popular with tourists and locals but it’s a great chance to enjoy your supercar in a stunning setting with some beautiful weather. Perfect for taking holiday photos.

Furka Pass: Swiss Alps

Furka Pass, supercar's dream

Furka Pass, Switzerland

There are two sides to every story and the Alps are no different, with hundreds of amazing roads on the Swiss/Austrian side of the range as well as the French side.

The Furka Pass is our pick of these roads and not just because it was the scene of THAT car chase In James Bond’s Goldfinger. The pass has everything you would want in a driving road: tight switchbacks, long sweeping corners, stunning landscapes, rock faces and steep drops to let you experience the ultimate sensation in mountain driving.

Don’t have a supercar? You can rent a supercar from PB Supercars at great prices today.

Christmas Gift Voucher Offer

CHRISTMAS GIFT OFFER 50% OFF HIRE VOUCHERS

We are currently running a very special Christmas deal offering 50% off all single weekday (mon-fri) car hire vouchers, ideal for presents, staff bonuses or to treat yourself!  Single day voucher offers start from £210 a day inc vat for a Bentley GT to £300 a day for a Ferrari.  The offer is open until Monday 19th December so be quick to ensure you benefit from this great deal.  Vouchers are valid for use from December 19th 2016 to April 12th 2017.

Simply buy the voucher as a Christmas treat for yourself, or as present for a loved one/friend or employee and then call up to book the day in when you want, or if it’s a gift the receiver can simply call to book the day they require- Usual hire conditions apply (need to be over 25, held licence for 5 years and £5k damage deposit which can be reduced to £1.5 k if preferred by paying the waiver fee of £300 on the day).  All vouchers have full spec and pictures of the car on them so ideal for presents!

Only available for Single day weekday hires ( 19th December 2016-12th April 2017) on any:

Monday 3pm to Tuesday 1pm

Tuesday 2pm to Wednesday 12pm

Wednesday 1pm to Thursday 11am

Thursday 12pm to Friday 10am

(Excludes December 23rd 2016 to Jan 2nd 2017)

 

Cars available on the offer:

Bentley GT Coupe Auto in Black £210 Pictures

Audi R8 Sypder V10 Auto in White £250 Pictures

Ferrari F430 Sypder Auto in Black £300 Pictures

 *Price inc vat and 100 miles

*Excess miles at £1 per mile in the Bentley/R8 and £2 in the Ferrari.

*Deposit/Excess is £5k which can be reduced to £1.5 k if preferred by paying the waiver fee of £300 on the day

*Offer open until Monday 19th December 2016

*Full payment for the hire voucher must be made a time of purchase

*Vouchers valid from 19/12/16-12/4/17 weekdays only as above.

*Collection only from Canary Wharf, London.

Call 0207 241 6854 or email to book.