The History of the Register 1948 to 2011

In 1948 Ted Inman Hunter was the AMOC’s first Registrar. He had been recording ‘who owned what’ for many years. From 1948 extracts were published in the Club magazine.

The Register in booklet form came in 1950, edited by Geoff Smith, the second Registrar of Aston Martins owned by Club Members. The next Registrars, Tom Stewart, J. H. Thomas, W. Nicholson and C. E. Jackson, expanded and published the Registers yearly and by 1959 the record was large enough to use a hard cover.

As time went by, items of interest about individual vehicles were added and the cars that formed the Factory entries in competition gained their own section. A special part recording the cars’ registration numbers was also featured.

The next development came in 1959, during Malcolm Hardy’s tenure, when the Register became a four yearly publication. An innovation in 1963 was to add a brief history for each model as well as its technical specifications.

Brian Joscelyne expanded the histories during his time, handing over to Alan and Jane Archer 1967. They continued the development of the Register, now divided into two with the pre-1940 cars being looked after by Ian Rendall and then by Ray Stokes, Ted Inman Hunter and Tony Byles. Since 1986, Jim and Bruce Young have looked after this section.

The Master Register from which the published Register is derived is known as the ‘Green Books’, a series of loose-leaf folders now numbering 24. Originally the text for the published Register was created by endless ‘paste-ups’; gradually the text used word processing software.

In 1988, Alan and Jane Archer handed over to Neil Murray who continued with the established format up to 2000. Until then the Register was published in a single volume containing only the cars owned by a Member at the time of publication (and for a time only if it had been owned for four years) as well cars that had some historical interest. To celebrate the new century it was expanded into five volumes to include all the cars that had ever been known to the Club.

Since 2000, the task of producing the Register has been passed to the Aston Martin Heritage Trust which now undertakes the task on behalf of the Club.

It took the Company 90 years to make 20,000 cars (in 2003); in mid 2006 the 30,000th was produced and by 2010 slightly over 50,000 Aston Martins had been built. Now that space for many more cars was needed, a further change was required to allow a return to a more easily referenced single volume recording ‘who owns what’. In 2006, three books made up the 19th Edition of the ‘Register of Members Cars’. Removing the historical and technical information allowed more space in Book Three, the ‘who owns what’ record; the text was gathered into Book One which provided a comprehensive account of the Company and its products. Book Two was the record of Registration Numbers.

In 2008, Tim Cottingham agreed to take over as Registrar and had to put into practice the ideas he had formulated over the previous couple of years. By August, he had received the MS Word files of the 2000 and 2006 Registers. It was clear that a database capable of holding all the information, not just of members cars, but of all cars produced by AML, had to be created. The initial step involved ‘splicing’ together the information from 2000 and 2006 into individual spreadsheets which took Members around the world hundreds if not thousands of hours to achieve. Their names can be found in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section; their work has been critical to the development of this and future Registers. In addition to collecting all the available information about each car, the Registrar and his group have attempted to correct the errors within data collected by so many people over 60 years.

The present DB7 to the One-77 volume is not the complete Register; it is the part covering the most recent models from Aston Martin, the DB7 to the One-77. The decision was made by the Registrar despite the short time allocated by the Club as it covers the cars which have not before been recorded and it should appeal to the owners of these newer vehicles - many of whom have only recently joined the Club. It is planned to publish a new part annually, moving back in time with each volume. Every one will cover more cars than before and will leave fewer gaps as our knowledge improves. Long lost Aston Martins are constantly being discovered and can be included. The Green Books still hold much that has been previously unpublished and it will take time to go through every volume to extract the hidden secrets.

The previous Registrars would probably agree that much of our knowledge has come from the pages of magazines such as Autocar, Autosport, Lightcar & Cyclecar, Motor, Motorsport, and more recently, AutoExpress, CAR, Classic and Sportscar, Classic Cars, EVO, Fast Lane, Octane, and Top Gear Magazine, plus many others from the U.S.A. such as Motor Trend and Road & Track. The Club publications, AM Quarterly in the UK and Vantage Point from the U.S.A. East Section, and the Trust journal Aston have also contributed to the sum of knowledge. In addition, publications by Aston Martin Lagonda intended for customers and owners such as Works Torque, AM Confidential and most recently, AM Magazine hold a wealth of information. The Trust Archive, has a large document collection and almost all of the books on Aston Martin and this too has been most helpful.

The Green Books have now been superseded by an electronic database which contains a huge amount of unpublished information and drives this online Aston Martin register. From this database the printed Register volumes are created, starting with the DB7 to One-77 volume of 2011. Members now have online access to this valuable of information; this benefit is exclusive to AMOC Members and in a way that has been impossible with printed Registers. Members will also be able to assist the Registrar by amending, updating and correcting the data in the on-line Register.

Acknowledgements and Thanks

In this Register we have taken the old V8 Register and filled in the gaps so that we at least have an entry for every single car: all 5016 production V8s of various types, a few racing cars, prototypes and specials. It is therefore only right firstly to acknowledge fully the efforts of the previous Registrars who gave us with previous Registers such a firm foundation to work on. They have ensured that future Members, enthusiasts and owners can have access to and enjoy the knowledge that they have so thoroughly recorded.

The late Roger Stowers at Aston Martin kept previous Registrars fully informed, yet despite his passing his influence continues to this day. Members have shared much information; when asked the source, Roger’s name was often mentioned.

The factory has been extremely supportive of our efforts at the highest level and we must especially thank Kingsley Riding-Felce, director at AML and also of Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell for many years. Also thanks to Chris d'E.Vallancey from AM Heritage at Wolverton Mill who has always been happy to discuss any issues that we have had.

We must acknowledge the trust and support given by the Trustees of the AMHT, members of the Committee of Management of the AMOC and the members of the Register sub-committee chaired by Richard Loveys and Roger Carey. We very much hope that this, the second of the new format of Registers, has exceeded the objectives set. We have continually campaigned for a Register with every car listed - we hope that we have convinced everyone that it was well worth the effort.

We should also like to thank to the staff of the Club and Trust at the Barn, especially Anne Wright, Marc Aylott, Carol Bradley, Terry Farebrother and Donna Bannister

Our grateful thanks go to Rob Smith of Victor Consulting who has the contract to produce and maintain the database. Being both a long-standing Member and Aston Martin owner really means that Rob understands the needs of all parties.

The following members and friends (in alphabetical order) have also spent many hours to create the initial spreadsheets:

Neil Aldritt, Jim Campbell, Hendrik Delameilleure, David Hampton, Tony Hoskinson, Roger Ivett, John Lavendoski, Graham Love, Tim Ludbrook, Gordon Maclean, Iain Muir, Peter Mulholland, Tim Parnell, Neil Phillips, Steve Pickering, Kean Rogers, Michael Southwell, Rob Smith, the late Roy Smith and Phil Williams.

In addition, we would like to thank those who have willingly contributed their specialist expertise to this volume. These have been William Presland (DBS V8), Jonathan Clark & Roger Ivett (wedge Lagonda), Nicholas Mee & Neal Garrad (Nicholas Mee, London), Richard Williams and Neil Thompson (RS Williams), Roger Bennington (Stratton Motor Company), Tom Papadopoulos and Scott Rumbold (Autosport Designs), John Browning and Mark Donoghue (AMOC Concours), John Purser, Jeroen Ammerlaan (Virage 6.3), Rikki Cann, Tim Butcher (V8 race cars), Roger Thornton-Brown and Mike Smith. Also thanks to the AMOC sections overseas, especially Chet Floyd, AMOC West Registrar, Tom Gibb and Nick Candee, AMOC East, Jan ten Cate in the Netherlands, Yasuhiko Shimazaki in Japan, Harri Asunta in Finland and Massimo Meli in Italy.

We are grateful to all the members who have supplied information about their own cars or other cars they have seen either at first hand or on the internet. The list of names is vast and we apologise if we have not especially singled you out for individual thanks.

Our very special thanks go to Kean Rogers who was our special consultant as he has a truly encyclopedic knowledge of the V8 cars.

Finally, huge thanks to our respective wives, Wendy and Nikki, who have both put up with the hours we have had to spent on telephones and computers.

Tim Cottingham and Chris Bolton
May 2014

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