“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Never Affordable, Aston Martin is no longer a Ford.

Prestige car maker, Aston Martin has been returned to British ownership after US giant, Ford agreed to sell in a £479 million deal. ITV

The manufacturer, which famously produces the car-of-choice for super spy, James Bond has been sold to a consortium led by UK motor racing boss Dave Richards.

Mr Richards, 54, who is head of automotive engineering group Prodrive, described the deal as "an incredible opportunity", adding that Aston Martin was "one of the world's most iconic brands".

He will become non-executive chairman and a board member of a company that will later this year bring out the DBS model, the car driven by the latest James Bond - Daniel Craig - in the 007 movie Casino Royale.

Dating back to 1914, Aston Martin has been wholly owned by Ford since 1994. The company will stay at its 1,800-workforce headquarters at Gaydon where an extra 200 jobs are expected to be created within three years.

The new staff will work on the four-seater Rapide which was shown in concept form last year and which is due to be launched in 2010.

In the 1990s, Aston Martin was producing as few as 46 cars a year. But under the leadership of Ulrich Bez annual production has soared to 7,000.

Mr Bez is to remain as chief executive. He said today: "This new partnership is a tremendously exciting opportunity for Aston Martin.

"We have a deal and we have a good deal. We are all grateful to Ford Motor Company who have enabled us to grow and flourish to the level we are now."


  1. Can't say the same about the one Studebaker I owned.

  2. Bobal,
    Some of those Studie Pickups hung around my home town almost as long as contemporaneous Chevys.

  3. This hybrid vehicle is not really safe or reliable setup with the two seat option.

  4. DR , he must of pulled 6 G's on the guy!

  5. Israeli Officials Praise Saudi Peace Initiative

    Officials spoke of “positive” elements in the Saudi proposal, which was dismissed when it was offered in 2002.

  6. These fellows make an excellent case against collective health care.

    When I was young and unnsured, I took part in such activities as these. But why should we, as a society, be forced to subsidize such stupidity.

  7. There you go, doug.

    Reconciliation, the new byword for accommodation.

    The idea of a War so distressful, that even with the most technologicaly advanced forces in the world, Israel and US cannot win the War, militarily.

  8. Beauty, what beauty?

    Looks like a mashed can of english peas to me.


    I had a red 1963 Triumph TR-4 back in the days of my yute.

    Great car, except for the SU carbs and the Lucas gages and distributor and points.

    And another minor annoyance, the exhaust manifold that had a habit of splitting. I once had to clamp and wire some vice grips in such a fashion to tighten up a leak sufficient to get me home.

    And of course, the clunky and cumbersome throttle linkage had a habit of coming disjointed, susceptible to 4-wheel drift torque forces.

    And I was lucky to get 12-15k miles on the front pads, but I guess the twisty roads west of Austin had something to do with that (as well as a dip in soph gpa).

    And the muffler and resonator both rusted out faster than you could say true grit.

    All in all, somewhat understated British craftsmanship.

    But I could downshift three gears (4-3-2-1) through the short throw synchro box in less than a second. A minor miracle that the transmission held together until I sold to the next guy.


    Guess I was too busy tourin' to do rodeo. That and not knowing which is better, cow patties over easy or sunny side up. It's been so long since I went to a rodeo, I didn't know they had basketball rock music until the video.

  9. d'Rat

    The US military is the world’s 4th largest consumer of oil. That is just obscene. Not to mention that also makes the US military extremely vulnerable.

  10. Sam, it does not get any better than that!

  11. I've never been one for fancy cars, but if I'd ever want one, an Aston Martin would fit the bill very nicely.

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