<p>I pull a white <a href="http://topics.bloomberg.com/aston-martin/" data="" type="" tooltip="" title="" target="_blank">Aston Martin</a> Vantage S roadster out of a Manhattan garage and the rumble of the V-8 reverberates, vibrant and animalistic, down the crowded street.</p><p>I get less than a block before a woman leans out of her SUV and asks, “Is it a six speed?” I tell her it is. She sighs expressively. “Good. A car like that should have a stick shift.”</p><p>Two more conversations ensue before I can escape to the highway. People like Aston Martins.</p><p>This year marks the brand’s 100th anniversary. It began life in 1913 as Bamford & Martin Ltd., and has endured a steady turnover of owners, including an <a href="http://topics.bloomberg.com/oil-company/" data="" type="" tooltip="" title="" target="_blank">oil company</a>, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/F:US" data="" type="" tooltip="" title="Get Quote" target="_blank">Ford Motor Co. (F)</a> and a group of Kuwait-based investors.</p><p><em>Left, Aston Martin's Vantage V-8 Is a Dream for Innocents.</em></p> Source: Photograph by Aston Martin via Bloomberg
A Ferrari that competed in the 1953 Le Mans 24-hour race and another that John Lennon bought just after passing his driving test are coming up for auction as prices rise for classic models by the Italian maker.
Daimler AG, the German manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz luxury autos, is in early talks with Aston Martin on supply and technical-cooperation agreements as the U.K. sports-car maker seeks to reduce spending on developing models.
Detroit’s boom-and-bust history was built on a dependence on big, fuel-thirsty vehicles. Now, with freshly stocked showrooms of new cars and more-efficient trucks, U.S. automakers are gaining ground on their Asian competitors with the best lineup in a generation.