Earlier this week, British luxury automaker Aston Martin officially celebrated its 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, it revealed plans to produce exclusive Centenary Edition versions of each of its model lines: the V8 Vantage, DB9, Rapide and the Aston Martin Vanquish, pictured here. The exterior of these cars will be highlighted by a unique graduated paint finish that takes up to 68 hours to complete - about 50 more than the average Aston requires. This custom graduated look is applied to each panel by hand using a special mini-jet spray gun in a process that is meticulously built by adding special "tinters" to create the darker inner color.

Aston Martin CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez, played a key role in the creation of the paint treatment, tasking Design Director Marek Reichman and his team with the development of a suitably exclusive and desirable specification. In commenting on that formidable task, Reichman noted: "The team has looked closely at the individual contour lines of each of the cars to determine not only the right colors and shades, but also to create a template by which the paint changes from dark to light and where the graduated effect sits." Other distinguishing exterior embellishments on this elite cadre of vehicles include solid sterling-silver Aston Martin wings badges with tailored "trans flux" enamel inlays and a special Aston Martin hallmark.

That same kind of hundred-year luxury is found inside the cabin of these special Centenary Edition Aston Martin models, all of which will be hand built at the automaker's global headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Gaydon, in Warwickshire. Deep Soft black leather - previously featuring only in Aston's One-77 ultra-car - is used throughout the passenger compartment, set off with silver contrast stitching and a silver-thread recreation of the Aston Martin wings embroidered in the head restraints. Each vehicle also will feature solid sterling-silver sill plaques, individually numbered with an Aston Martin hallmark.

Finally, every Centenary Edition model will come with a unique presentation box that contains exclusive extras including two glass keys and two custom key pouches made from leather that matches the car's interior trim, solid silver cufflinks featuring the Aston Martin script, a solid silver Rollerball pen, premium Bang & Olufsen headphones and a silver polishing cloth - "to help owners ensure the silver centenary wings badges and sill plaques on their car keep their luster."

The 2013 Aston Martin Centenary Edition models can be ordered from any of Aston Martins 146 dealers in 46 countries. In finest British tradition, prices are "obtainable on application."


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