David Brown (1904-1993) was the legendary tractor manufacturer and post-war rescuer of Aston Martin, who bought the company in 1947, and helped create some of its best-remembered cars by donating his initials to them, then sold up in the '70s when Aston struck financial trouble.
However, another car-making David Brown has sprung to notice. Also an entrepreneurial Yorkshireman, this new DB's business is also based on the launch a luxurious new GT car – which looks a lot like a classic Aston Martin.
But this time there's no formal connection to the century-old Gaydon-based sports car maker. This Brown is the man behind the super-exclusive Speedback GT, priced at over £500,000. It uses the contemporary underpinnings from one of Jaguar's finest cars but its shape and details recall the most iconic features of the Aston Martin DB5, all realised in a modern package.
Despite the uncanny similarity of his background and business career to Aston Martin's venerable Sir David Brown (the later DB is a patriotic British entrepreneur; his interests run to retailing, brewing, interior design, retailing and his background is in manufacturing large, off-highway vehicles), the new Brown never set out to take advantage of any perceived Aston connection.
He's an outgoing, wisecracking sort of bloke, but you can see the suggestion irritates him, though he acknowledges that a company called David Brown Automotive has more instant gravitas today than a Trevor Smith Automotive would do. That much he knows he owes DB Mk1.