Gauntlett bought a 12.5% stake in Aston Martin for £500,000 via Pace Petroleum in 1980, with Tim Hearley of CH Industrials taking a similar share. Pace and CHI took over as joint 50/50 owners at the beginning of 1981, with Gauntlett as executive chairman. Gauntlett also led the sales team, and after some development and publicity when it became the world's fastest 4-seater production car, was able to sell the Aston Martin Lagonda in Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar.
In 1982, Aston Martin was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment by the Prince of Wales. The company holds the warrant to this day.
Understanding that it would take some time to develop new Aston Martin products, they created an engineering service subsidiary to develop automotive products for other companies. It was decided to use the name of the coachbuilding company Tickford which Aston Martin had owned since 1955, the name being already associated with quality cars in the public perception. Products included a Tickford Austin Metro, a Tickford Ford Capri and even Tickford train interiors, particularly on the Jaguar XJS. Pace continued sponsoring racing events, and now sponsored all Aston Martin Owners Club events, taking a T
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