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Aston Martin Owners Club History

'The Family' History

One of the oldest, most prestigious Owners Clubs in the world, AMOC was formed in 1935, endorsed by Aston Martin Lagonda it is the only officially recognised membership club for Aston Martin Owners and enthusiasts.

Today, we’re proud to say we have over 7000 members in 50 countries around the world, actively celebrating all things Aston Martin- past, present and future. It all began, however, on a much smaller scale in London just over 85 years ago...

The Club’s formation was the idea of the late Mortimer Morris-Goodall, or ‘Mort’ as he was known.

Driven by his enthusiasm for the marque following the purchase of a racing International and inspired by company owner and racing driver ‘Bert’ Bertelli, Mort felt that almost everyone who had the good fortune to own an Aston would feel the same and ‘how nice it would be to meet some of these people’.

Mort and Bert approached racing driver and motorsport journalist Sammy Davis, who was Sports Editor of Autocar at the time. Sammy agreed that a dedicated club for Aston Martin owners would be a good idea, and inserted a note in Autocar magazine on the 3th and 17th May 1935 calling a meeting.

The meeting was held a few days later on the 25th May at the Grafton Hotel, Tottenham Court Road, London. To their delight, around 20-30 people turned up, and the Club was officially formed and its committee was elected.

The committee included Lance Prideaux- Brune, Dick Anthony, Maurice Falkner, Harold Bevan, Miss Dorothy Bean and John Cadbury (of the chocolate company).

Racing driver Charles Jarrott was named President and Sammy Davis Vice-President. Leslie Keevil became Honorary Treasurer and Mort was Honorary Secretary.

The Club’s activities were mostly social, including an annual dinner- dance at the Park Lane Hotel, London, but World War II brought them to a close in 1939.

Moving Through The Gears

The Club was restarted at a meeting led by Richard Stallebrass at the Royal Automobile Club in London on 5th March 1948. Tragically Stallebrass was killed racing at Spa, in Belgium, just a few months later.

So Dudley Coram began a leading role in the newly reformed Club, with Eric Cutler as Chairman. Dudley became a pivotal piece in the Club’s history, serving in almost every capacity until his death in 1976.

Viscount Downe became President of the Club in 1980 and led its 60th anniversary Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1995. The celebrations began with a Grand Jubilee Ball at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

A special Diamond Jubilee Virage Volante made a fitting ‘display case’ for a million dollars worth of Cartier jewellery! During this special year Viscount Downe received the Club’s premier award for service, the Bertelli Trophy.

'The Family', as the Viscount Downe said in his toast to the Membership, ‘has continued to meet at the Club’s social and competitive events and stay in touch through its publications, AM Quarterly and the News Sheet which have carried reports of the many Club events around the world as have the publications that originate in other parts of the world’.

In May 1997 the Cairn Memorial, erected in memory of Aston Martin founder Lionel Martin, was unveiled by Lady Paula Brown (Sir David’s widow) and John Martin (Lionel Martin’s son) at the top of Aston Hill in Buckinghamshire. The Cairn was the inspiration of the Club’s then Chairman, Ian MacGregor, was designed by Member John Evans, and constructed on Forestry Commission land with support from the Club and Aston Martin Lagonda.

Accelerating Popularity

By the late 90s the Club found that it was outgrowing its headquarters in Sutton (county) and so a search for new premises began.

In 1998 the Club founded the Aston Martin Heritage Trust to provide a permanent home for its extensive and growing archive of vehicles and memorabilia. The Trust now operates independently as a charity under its own auspices, with the aim of inspiring and educating people in every aspect of the marque’s heritage.

In 1998 the Club purchased The Barn, a beautiful 600 year old grange barn near Drayton St Leonard in Oxfordshire. Renovation was completed in 2001 and the Club moved in the same year.

In 2002, Viscount Downe sadly passed away. However, the Membership’s sprits were lifted when Viscountess Diana Downe agreed to continue the work of her late husband and became the new President of the Club.

On an April day just a few months later, Viscountess Downe officially opened The Barn on behalf of Prince Michael of Kent, who was unable to attend the special event due to the death of the Queen Mother.

An Unforgettable Lap of Honour

In 2015 the Club celebrated its 80th anniversary with a series of high profile events- including the largest ever display of Aston Martins - at Kensington Palace in London, drawing tens of thousands of visitors.

Members gathered from all over the world to have their cars included in a unique display featuring 80 Aston Martins -one of every Aston Martin car model ever made- in the formation of a huge 1935 figure, to represent the year the Club was ever made. formed at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy.

A limited edition leather bound book commemorating the Club’s first 80 years was produced and given to every member who took part in the anniversary display.

In further celebration of AMOC’s 80th anniversary, a special lunch was held at the Grafton Hotel in London, in the exact room and on the exact date that Mort and his friends formed the club all those years ago.

An Exciting Road Lies Ahead

Although the pre-war archives have been lost, to this very day it is believed that the Club’s present aims enshrine the same principles as those drafted by Mort and friends in 1935; ‘promote the sport and pastime of motoring’, ‘develop interest in the Aston Martin car’ and ‘encourage social interaction between members’.

Our current activities are focused around a diverse range of events celebrating historic and modern eras of Aston Martin including:

  • Spectacular Concours events
  • An official racing series
  • Sprint and hill climb series
  • Track days
  • European and worldwide tours
  • International Black Tie Dinners
  • Trips to world famous events such as Classic Le Mans and Silverstone Classic
  • Other prestigious social events, regional events, and much more

The Club is thriving, with a worldwide Membership of over 7000 Members and is steadily expanding to embrace more countries, connecting owners and enthusiasts together in their joint passion for the power, beauty and soul of Aston Martin.

AMOC is the winner of two consecutive ‘Historic Motoring Awards Car Club of the Year’ accolades in 2012 and 2013. It also enjoys strong links to Aston Martin Lagonda, working in partnership on many activities and events.

Membership of the Aston Martin Owners Club is open to both owners and enthusiasts alike. If you’re passionate about all things Aston Martin, it’s where you belong. So why not join us?

For more details, and a rundown of the many benefits you’ll enjoy, please visit our Membership page here.