The Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, (third from left) formally handed over the site at St Athan to Aston Martin’s president and CEO, Andy Palmer in April 2017. Also attending were First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones (second left) and Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns (right)

It was fitting, perhaps, that the very first Aston Martin to turn a wheel through the hangars of St Athan was an Aston Martin Vulcan. Named for the mighty delta-winged jet, the Aston Martin Vulcan sits at the apex of the current Aston Martin line-up, a performer unlike any other. The South Wales site is now well on its way to being transformed into the company’s next-generation production facility, but at the start of the year before work began, Aston Martin had a very different use in mind. With the three former hangars offering up thousands of square metres of empty space, Aston Martin did the only decent thing and dedicated three days to driving at the limit through the empty halls. The end result is a film that sees a trio of accomplished drivers — Aston Martin Racing’s World Endurance Championship (WEC) drivers, Darren Turner and Nicki Thiim, along with Aston Martin Chief Engineer Matt Becker — putting a selection of the rarest metal through its paces. Some £65m-worth of Aston Martins, from the DBR1 through to the One-77 — and of course the Aston Martin Vulcan itself — had the space to themselves.

It was an unrivalled opportunity to experience the space at St Athan and see some highly prized cars

The rubber laid down on these thick concrete floors survived as a badge of honour for the spectacular weekend that followed. Just two days after the formal handover ceremony, Aston Martin threw open the gates of St Athan and welcomed not just the Aston Martin Owners Club (AMOC) for its Spring Concours event, but also the passionate enthusiasts from PistonHeads, who designated the venue as its official “Sunday Service”, as well as the new neighbours — and many future colleagues — from the surrounding towns and villages. There were more than 500 Aston Martins on display, including private cars and a strong contingent from the AMOC, plus Aston Martin’s own heritage fleet showcasing the ever-popular Bond cars. It was an unrivalled opportunity to experience the space and see some highly prized cars. Pride of place went to the DBX concept, a stunning preview of the model that will soon be driving off the new production line and spreading its wings around the world.


More than 500 Aston Martins were on display when St Athan threw open its doors to the public after the handover

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