The Viscountess Downe
I first heard about Aston Martins when I was taken out by my then boyfriend John Dawnay in his DB2.
I soon found myself involved in his racing mainly doing the time keeping at many international races including Le Mans and the Nurburgring.
Our greatest racing triumph was becoming the first British car home at Le Mans in 1982 when we finished 7th overall (the drivers being Michael Salmon, Ray Mallock and Simon Phillips). John was subsequently invited to be President of the AMOC and after he died I was greatly honoured to be asked to follow in his footsteps.
We lived a busy life in both London and in Yorkshire after he inherited the title of Viscount Downe.
John soon found that a better way to travel was by helicopter and having bought one we both got our licences on the same day and used it frequently.
I myself became a Magistrate and later High Sheriff of North Yorkshire as well as Mayor of the Staple of England.
I have very much enjoyed the years I have spent with the club.
A member since 1969 but steeped in the AMOC life and the marque from birth, both parents having served the club, my father as registrar then Chairman. I can (just!) recall seeing DB4s being built in 1963 and I have met most of the owners of AML including Bertelli. My first Aston came in 1976, since then I have had numerous Astons covering all eras. The last was a GT4 that I raced at Le Mans, the current car is a 1932 International which I am rebuilding myself. My first concours entry was in 1975 with father’s Volante and some years later I rebuilt the Brabazon DB2, I was also a concours judge for many years. I have been racing Astons since 1978 and last year raced an Ulster in the Goodwood Revival. For years I have written extensively on Astons in magazines as well as four books on the subject.
The club and Astons have been a life long passions and the opportunity to help steer the club towards a growing, friendly and enjoyable future is a great honour.
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Professional Director and multiple Aston Owner, Racer and Petrol driven person.
Passionate advocate for Club friendship, respect and progress.
Having achieved a lifelong ambition of purchasing my first Aston Martin, a DB9 in 2017, I subsequently joined the Aston Martin Owners Club, Area 14 in July of that year.
From that point my passion for the marque has only grown. I was elected to Area 14 Rep in 2020, which has led me to organising many events for our members and gaining an understanding of what they wanted from the club.
Members are the backbone of any club, and I will listen with an open mind and do my utmost to ensure they get both value and pleasure from their membership.
I purchased my first Aston at about age 8 when I bought a toy DB2 while on holiday in the Isle of Wight. It took a while to my first full-sized car: a DB6 in 1985 subsequently sold in the ‘90s. Currently the owner of a DB9. Member of the AMOC since 1982.
I am a Chartered Accountant, hold an MSc from the London Business School and am a member of the UK Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.
Most of my career has been spent in the investment management sector with large and small businesses in Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer roles. My career commenced with the J P Morgan Chase Capital Markets Group working in London and New York, before joining International Financial Markets Trading, one of London’s early hedge funds in London. After spells with Citigroup Asset Management, Cambridge Place Group a credit-specialist hedge fund and First Avenue Partners Group, a global institutional capital placement business, I founded Global Investment Management Services to recycle my experience by offering consultancy services to small and medium sized financial services business.
My experience with large and small organisations enables me to build and manage efficient financial and control processes in small to medium-sized businesses.
I joined the Club in 1990 when I realised that I did not have to own an Aston Martin in order to be a Member. I have been a car enthusiast for as long as I can remember, and an Aston Martin enthusiast since watching the Persuaders on TV in the 1970’s and seeing a similar V8 in Windsor Great Park in the same period. I was very fortunate to be able to buy my DBS in 1995 having seen it advertised in the Sunday Times newspaper of all places. This was followed by a DB7 Volante in 2019.
After joining the Club my enthusiasm developed into a passion for all things related to the marque. The Club gave me the opportunity to attend race meetings and I quickly realised that the racing was more interesting and exciting when you know the competitors, and that the competitors welcomed spectators who showed an interest in their cars; many good and lasting friendships were formed in the paddock. From 1994 until 2007 I was the Area 10 Representative, and Publications Chairman from 2002 until 2021, two activities that significantly extended my network of friends within the Club.
I split my time between the UK and Czech Republic where business and family commitments keep me busy. In addition to the cars, I am a keen book collector and like many Aston Martin owners I am also a fan of James Bond.
Encouraging and supporting racing was a founding objective of the Club in 1935. Whilst times have undoubtedly changed in the 85 years since, be it entry level track days, speed events or full circuit racing, competition remains a core Member benefit.
As Competition Director my aim is to revitalise the competition element with little or no financial support and exposure to the Club. 2021 saw an exciting and innovative new collaboration with AMOC Racing and BRSCC organising and promoting events. This new approach simultaneously provided us with previously unprecedented promotional and marketing opportunities whilst removing the heavy financial exposure of underwriting a racing programme. The Committee of Management are supportive of this strategic plan. Competition and Social Committee are committed to jointly promoting racing and social events as a joint Member benefit. I would ask that Members support the Competition and Social programme planned.
I was warmly welcomed to the AMOC by Chuck and Joyce Nixon at 1973 Mount Equinox Hillclimb, Vermont, an AMOC/VSCCA event, driving my DB5 1,000 miles East. Early in Aston ownership I met the great Rex. J. Woodgate, president, AML, Inc. who kept Chevy engines from being stuffed into American Astons. I ran that DB5 for 17 years, 60,000 miles, two complete refinishings, and many events. It was followed by a DB4GT, a DB2 DHC, a pair of DB2 coupes, a DB5 project, a DB4 race car, an early wedge Lagonda…
My first race, Road America, was with my DB5, followed by 80+ events. I had fun, and never crashed (though Bambi hit me in Turn 7 at Bridgehampton in 1993). My marriage has survived three Aston engine rebuilds.
I initiated our Lime Rock Silent Auction; 15 events to date have put dollars into our treasury.
I’ve written a few score Aston articles over the years, and…
“Aston Martin in America – Operating Adaptations for the Colonies”, 180 pages of service tips, 99 articles of which I wrote 1/3, Vintage Motorpress, 1983
“The Aston Martin DB4GT” joined by Stephen Archer as co-author, 544 pages. Palawan, 2016.
As master of ceremonies, I conducted our awards dinners as quickly, painlessly as possible, and have spoken on Aston Martin history in Boston, Toronto, San Francisco, Elkhart Lake, and Sarasota. I’ve been blessed by a few awards.
Quoting Dr Welch: “I came for the cars. I stayed for the people.”
Member since 1980, Area Representative Western Australia since 1989.
A stunning car seen racing “Around the Houses” in 1963 happened to be the ex-Stirling Moss1956 Le Mans DB3S-9. That pedigree embedded the marque “Aston Martin” on my teenage brain.
I was involved in organising three Australian National Meetings. The 2018 event enticing 25 Astons to drive across Australia and attracting notable visitors from the UK and Portugal.
Frequently attending AMOC International Dinners and Events I have twice received a Chairman’s award and have won the Horace Wilmshurst award.
Managing a small yet international business with clients worldwide affords me opportunities to attend events and meet Members in the UK and worldwide.
Originally trained as an Engineer I have been a successful business owner for 40 years, including turning around distressed companies.
My first Aston (DB2) was purchased in1979 with good fortune enabling a progressive collection of 10 Astons from a1930 International to 2005 Vanquish with models in between including a DB4, an AM V8 Vantage and a Town’s Lagonda. Many needed the tender hand of restoration, which is my weekend therapy.
WA Area has been promoted and has progressed to the stage where most are Family Members – hence a gender balance promoting a healthy mixture of social and car events.
I am very willing and able to promote and support the objectives of the AMOC and work for the interests of Members in the Rest of the World region.
I joined AMOC Section Holland at the time I bought my first Aston Martin, a DB7 Vantage Manual, in early 2015. Since then, I have been an active participant in the Section's events and enjoyed the good company and camaraderie of its Members.
In 2019, I joined Section Holland's 25-year celebrations organising committee and was actively involved in organising the 5-day Going Dutch tour and the first Benelux AM Concours, where we were fortunate to welcome AMOC Members from many countries.
During the Covid epidemic, I decided to participate in the 2021 AMOC Virtual Concours and to my surprise, came out on top in the Bloxham class with a 2003 DB7 GTA.
Early in 2022, I was chosen as Chair of Section Holland and currently I have two Astons in my garage: a 2006 Vanquish S and a 2011 V12 Vantage, which I enjoy driving every now and then, especially in good company at AMOC events of course.
My (Austrian) wife and I have lived and worked in 7 countries, but we settled down in The Netherlands in 2006 to allow for a stable school and university environment for our three kids. They are all at university now.
My professional background is banking. I quit executive work in 2013 and since then I have moved over to the non-executive side of the business. Currently, I am a non-executive director in banks in Germany, Greece and The Netherlands.