The company name is derived from the Aston Clinton hill climb and one of the company's founders, Lionel Martin.
The company went in and out of business a few times between World War I and World War II. Lionel Martin left the company in 1926. The company was sold from one person to another many times until 1947, when David Brown bought it. David Brown also bought Lagonda, and used Lagonda engines in his cars. Aston Martin cars built when David Brown owned the company had the letters "DB" in the name. An Aston Martin won the 24-hour race at Le Mans in 1959.
David Brown sold the company again. The company was having trouble staying open in the 1970s. Victor Gauntlett bought part of the company and kept it going with help from buyers of other parts of the company. In 1991 the Ford Motor Company bought Aston Martin and started making DB cars again. Ford owned Aston Martin until 2007 when they sold it to Investment Dar and Adeem Investments.