What Does Volante Mean? Aston Martin's Names Deciphered
Naming a new car is no easy task. Pretty much all the letters in the alphabet and most cool words have been copy-written, and alphanumerics are pretty lame. There are names in other languages, but who knows what it means in the native tongue. Making up names can be cool, but you have to be careful. In all, it’s a thankless task, and one that we’d like to shed some light on. Given the importance of names and letters within this topic, let’s start with a commonly known brand that is the first in the alphabet to use real names- Aston Martin. (Alfa Romeo is ahead of Aston, but those are all just Italian translations. Plus this gives us a chance to post uber-sexy Aston Martin photos...) 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
Vanquish: (transitive verb) To overcome in battle : subdue completely / defeat in a conflict of conquest.
Volante: (adjective) moving with light rapidity —used as a direction in music (Term first known use was in Italy in 1854, derived from the Latin volant- , meaning to fly)
2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
Vantage: (noun) a position, condition, or place affording some advantage or a commanding view.
2014 Aston Martin Rapide
Rapide: (adjective, French) moving quickly, or having a fast rate.
Aston Martin Naming Conventions: DB9, DBS, etc...
Following WWII, the company had fallen on hard times. But in 1947, the company was purchased by David Brown Limited, a producer of tractors. Under the leadership of Sir David Brown, the company also bought Lagonda, in order to access the W. O. Bentley-designed 2.6-liter engine.
In 1950, Aston Matin debuted the DB2, followed by subsequent models that led to the iconic Aston Martin DB4- a car that stood to define British grand touring and luxury.
The Aston Martin name...
Aston Martin was formed in 1913. The name comes from the original alliance of Lionel Martin and Richard Bramford, to create Bamford & Martin, which sold cars made by singer. Martin raced cars at Aston Hill. It was apparent they had the skills to make their own cars. The name is a combination of the hill (and the larger Aston Clinton region) and Martin’s last name. The first car was a 1915 Aston-Martin Coal Scuttle.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1915 Aston Martin Coal Scuttle
Next week, we’ll tackle the names behind Bentley– another luxury automaker that skirts alphanumerics for far more regal naming conventions. But Bentley’s vehicle names are occasionally steeped in racing history.