Aston Hill

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Sir,
Almost every account written of the origin of the name Aston Martin (originally with a hyphen) links Lionel Martin with the “Aston Clinton Hill-Climb”, where he is attributed with many successes on one of his 10hp Singers. In your piece A Family’s Cars (Motor Sport, December 1987), there are two references to “Aston Clinton”. Every contemporary reference I have seen, until at least 1922, makes it clear that this popular venue was known as “Aston Hill”. This is true, for example, of the only two meetings at which Lionel Martin took part, the Cyclecar Club’s on April 4, 1914, and the Herts County Automobile and Aero Club’s on May 16, 1914.

Aston Hill, clearly identified on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map, is only about one mile from Aston Clinton, so that it is not altogether surprising that with the passage of time, the name of the hill-climb has slipped a notch. The ample precedents for the slip include Martin’s own story of the origin of the name (Motor Sport, November 1944)!

Alan Archer, AMOC Historian, Chigwell, Essex

I have seen the double name used for the Herts AC’s first hill-climb near Tring in 1904 — perhaps to avoid confusion, since events had been held at an Aston Hill, off the Oxford road, in 1899-1902. WB