By Guy Jenner
It is an important balance for our business to be forward looking, innovative and to strive to evolve. At the same time, we have this wonderful history that we adore and want to honour accordingly.
We have been around a long time, having been founded in 1938. Starting life as a general car dealer, GP team and race car constructor, we became an Aston Martin dealer in 1951. We were awarded the franchise because George Abecassis, one of our founders, won his class in Le Mans, 1950 in an Aston Martin DB2. Funnily enough, we were later awarded the Jaguar franchise for helping them win Le Mans due to our expertise in engine tuning!
Based close to the Feltham factory in Middlesex, we were well placed to keep up to date with the latest Aston Martin advancements. George continued to be a Works race driver and ended up meeting the daughter of David Brown at a race meeting. A relationship ensued and they later went on to marry. It would seem that our relationship with Aston Martin was destined to continue.
George was also instrumental in helping Aston Martin win the World Sports Car Championship in 1959. George had employed a young man to race for HWM by the name of Stirling Moss. Moss was an incredible young talent that was helping HWM punch well above its weight in European GP during the early 1950’s.George suggested to Aston Martin that they should try out Moss which led to him joining the Works team. The rest, as they say, is history.
In 1958, Aston Martin’s Global Sales Manager agreed to join HWM from his position at Feltham. The opportunity had arisen from a tragedy. George’s business partner, and brilliant engineer, John Heath had died in the Mille Miglia Road Race in 1956. John was a huge loss to the business and George had struggled to find a way forward. Thankfully, he met Mike Harting. A bright, gifted young man who shared George’s high standards and love of life. Mike later took control of the whole business when George retired and continued to work at HWM from ‘58 until he sadly passed away in March 2021.Mike is a huge part of why HWM still exists today as a characterful, passionate, family business. It is the only privately, family owned Aston Martin dealership in the UK network.
So it is fair to say that we have been selling and servicing Aston Martin cars relentlessly since then. The new models are really important to us but we do very much enjoy looking after heritage and classic Aston Martin’s.
Our heritage technicians love the mix of cars that we see from early DB’s to X-Pack Vantage. We also provide a discount for heritage cars to help preserve them and keep them on the road.
One other aspect to HWM that has developed over the years is our parts business. We are the world’s largest supplier of Aston Martin parts and are well known for carrying significant stock and thus being able to delivery quickly. We are a modern and one of the few Heritage parts suppliers. This is particularly useful for cars that visit our workshop as we can ensure a faster completion time with such a ready supply of spares.
We also like to sell the odd heritage Aston Martin. Again, the mix of cars is always fascinating. HWM has always been one of those dealerships you can visit and almost be certain that you will find something interesting and exotic on site. We are anything but boring!
In fact, it is quite something that we have survived as an Aston Martin business over the decades. There were years when the entire global production for AML were fewer cars than HWM would now sell in a year. Volumes are still low compared to most luxury car manufacturers but it feels with significant recent investment and a very strong leadership team, Aston Martin are well placed to create the next chapter of its rich history.