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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Lawrence Stroll (born Lawrence Strulovitch)

Montreal born “archetypal billionaire,” “fashion mogul” and “Ferrari fanatic” Lawrence Stroll arranged £536 million of funding to save Aston Martin, much of which came from his own very, very deep coffers, in early 2020. Without him, the firm that has manufactured James Bond’s favourite motorcar since 1913 would likely have gone bust for the eighth time after a disastrous flotation “that left the city shaken, not stirred” in 2019. According to Bloomberg, he’s famous for “[taking] over a brand that’s either niche, or in trouble, or both, and beef it up for half a dozen years. Then exit with a tidy profit,” but given his personal interest in both vintage and F1 cars (he led the consortium that bought the Force India F1 team in 2018) this “petrolhead” may allow passion to rule profit for once. Father of two Stroll is based in Geneva and has homes in London, New York, Quebec and on Mustique. He counts Michael Douglas and Sarah, Duchess of York amongst his friends and once remarked of people complaining about his cars and helicopters: “I can appreciate that some people are opposed to noise. And I can understand their desire for tranquillity, in which case they should not move in next to racetracks, airports or ski hills.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. There’s an old adage; How do you make a small fortune out of owning Aston Martin? Answer: Start with a big fortune! Aston Martin has a long history of financial ups and downs, and Larry will not be the last ‘petrolhead’ to bail the venerable marque out of ruin. Larry, a true car enthusiast, has achieved the pinnacle of classic car ownership – not just owning a collection of these fine a cars, but now he own the company that makes them. He is now to Aston Martin, what Enzo was to Ferrari. But an anecdotal story of one of his predecessors could demonstrate how Larry’s fortunes will fare. In the late 1940’s David Brown (later Sir David Brown) an English entrepreneur and car enthusiast bought Aston Martin determined to turn it around. He invested in the design and production of the infamous ‘DB’ series, achieving wins on the race track (Aston Martin won the prestigious Le Mans 24 hour race in 1959 with the DBR1) and of course world wide recognition on the silver screen as the supplier of James Bond’s personal transport – the gadget laden DB5. Such was the success of the Bond association, that Sir David ramped up production of the DB5’s successor, the DB6 to meet the demand he anticipated. However, Aston Martins were expensive, and in the late 1960’s the Aston Martin factory had a line of unsold DB6s. Rumor has it that Sir David was having a drink at the RAC Club in Pall Mall, when one of his friends said “I would love to buy one of those DB6s, but I couldn’t bear the though of you making a profit out of me.” Perhaps it was said in jest, but Sir David, decided to call his friend’s bluff and said, “You select the accountant and I will open up the books and allow him to calculate the cost price of my car, and that will be the price you pay.” They shook hand on the deal. A month or so later, the accountant reported on the cost price – it was Stg. 1,000 more than the sales price! Take note Larry.

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