My Car Quest

June 20, 2024

The Aston Martin Grille

by Mike Gulett –

One of the first things we notice when we see a car is the front grille. That is except for electric vehicles because they do not need or usually have front grilles.

But on internal combustion engine cars we notice the grille and depending on the car it may be a signature that lets us know who the maker is. The British like distinctive grilles (Rolls Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin come to mind) unlike other car companies like Ferrari with a boring oval shape and Porsche with no grille to speak of on the 911 (maybe because it is air cooled).

Other car makers usually do not have a consistent style or a distinctive front grille design and that is a pity. I know there are a few car makers that do have distinctive grille designs that I am not mentioning here but you must admit the Aston Martin style is unique and has been around for a very long time.

The only other car that has a similar grille shape is the Ford Focus because the designer Ian Callum went from Aston Martin to Ford, fortunately he did not implement the Aston grille exactly but it is close.

Since 1948 the Aston Martin grille lets everyone know who the maker is. The Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports was the first to wear this design style as seen below.

Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports

Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports

If you study the grille on the DB2 below you can imagine how this shape evolved over the years to what we see on modern Aston Martins today.

Aston Martin DB2

Aston Martin DB2-photo by Mike Gulett

The evolution continues on the DB2/4 Mk III below.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk III

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk III-photo by Mike Gulett

The DB4, DB5 and DB6 used grille designs that to me look nearly identical.

1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT

1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT

Aston DB5 and Sean Connery

Sean Connery and Aston Martin DB5 – Copyright Everett Collection / Everett Collection

Aston Martin DB6

Aston Martin DB6-photo by Mike Gulett

Even when other design houses like Zagato did an Aston Martin design like Peter Read’s DB4 GT Zagato below they stayed within the tradition.

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato-photo by Mike Gulett

In the 1970s the grille shape became more subtle but the basic shape was still there as shown in Buddy Pepp’s V8 below (look closely).

Aston Martin V8

1977 Aston Martin V8 – photo by Buddy Pepp

With the DB7 the designers (Ian Callum and Keith Helfet) introduced the modern shape that would stay with Aston Martin for years to come as can be seen on Rebecca Fuller’s DB7 below.

Aston Martin DB7 Factory

2001 Aston Martin DB7-photo by Mike Gulett

Aston Martin DB7 Zagato

Aston Martin DB7 Zagato-photo by Mike Gulett

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage-photo by Mike Gulett

I think our Aston Martin V12 Vanquish S has the classic Aston Martin grille design.

Aston Martin V12 Vanquish S

2005 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish S-photo by Mike Gulett

The DB12 grille is much larger, maybe too large?.

Aston Martin DB12

2024 Aston Martin DB12

Aston Martin loved their grille design so much that they added a “lipstick” paint feature on some race cars and street cars like this one below.

Aston Martin, Iso Grifo and Ferrari 365 GTC/4

Aston Martin “Lipstick” – the authors Iso Grifo is on the right-photo by Mike Gulett

More details than you may want to know about Aston Martin grilles can be found here.

Let us know what you think about grille styles in the Comments.

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The Aston Martin Grille
Article Name
The Aston Martin Grille
Since 1948 the Aston Martin grille design has let everyone know who the maker is.

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