Aston Martin Lagonda
The Lagonda marque has a long and storied history – from winning Le Mans to building superb production cars designed by W.O. Bentley himself. The company became part of David Brown’s Aston Martin empire beginning in 1947, a company with an equally interesting history. Ultimately, Brown’s empire would fall, and when liquidation came in 1975, American Peter Sprague and Canadian George Minden bought the company for $1,050,000, enlisting British tycoons Alan Curtis and Denis Flather in their venture. The group paid a visit to British Industry Secretary Anthony Wedgewood Benn to ask for a loan. Their request was turned down flat. “The greatest spur we had,” Sprague and Minden said when interviewed a year later when their new car was unveiled at Earls Court, “was Tony Benn’s inference . . . that we had nothing worth saving. That made us determined to prove, as quickly as possible, just how wrong he was.” The Aston Martin Lagonda was, without question, the star of the show.
The Lagonda’s engine and chassis bowed to Aston Martin tradition, but the rest was pure sex appeal. There was nothing else like it in a luxury sedan. It was just an inch shorter than the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL, yet it was over 5 inches lower. Industrial designer William Towns (who styled the Aston Martin DBS in the mid-sixties) was responsible for the sensuous and futuristic wedge shape while Chief Engineer Mike Loasby is credited with its electrically-selected three-speed automatic transmission, pop-up quad halogen headlamps, and the dashboard with digital read-out instruments.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
280 hp, 5,340 cc (326.3 cu. in.) DOHC V8 engine, independent front suspension with transverse unequal length wishbones, ball jointed swivel pins, coil springs with telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bar, De Dion rear axle located by trailing arms and transversely by Watt’s linkage, self-leveling coil spring and shock absorber units, front and rear ventilated disc brakes with servo assist. Wheelbase: 114.8".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel