Aston Martin's Newport Pagnell factory closes as the last-ever Vanquish leaves the line
19 July 2007

The last Aston Martin Vanquish rolled off the line at Newport Pagnell today (19 July), ending 49 years of Aston production at the site.To a cheer from a crowd of around 150 workers, former workers and owners, employee Kenny Clarke drove the black Vanquish S – chassis number 502593 and the last of 50 Ultimate Edition cars – into the soon-to-be-demolished factory.Newport Pagnell is the sixth of Aston’s homes, but that with which it is most closely associated. Production of the DB4 started in Newport Pagnell in 1958, though carriages have been built on the site since the 1820s.Over 30 different varieties of Aston have been built at the factory, and around 13,000 cars in total, 2578 of them Vanquishes.The Vanquish is one of the last truly hand-crafted cars, each taking 350 man-hours to create. “A little part of each of us will live on in the cars,” said Kingsley Riding-Felce, director of Works Service, “an Aston Martin never dies.”And while the factory site is being sold and turned into a housing development, it’s not the end of the link between Aston and Newport Pagnell; the Works Service department will stay in the town on its existing site opposite the factory. Many of the workers from the factory have transferred to Works Service, or to Aston’s new home at Gaydon, where the DB9 and V8 are made.Aston has no plans directly to replace the Vanquish in the near future, though it will be introducing a new flagship, the DB9-based DBS. That car, previewed in the latest James Bond film, will be at the Pebble Beach concours event in California in August, and launches in the last two weeks of October.“The DBS will be quicker than the DB9 and Vanquish S,” said David King, head of product communications. “It will be emphatically our fastest car ever.”

Rory Lumsdon

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