The Lagonda Rapide was the brainchild of David Brown, head of Aston Martin until 1972. He was extremely fond of the Lagonda marque. His goal was to have AML manufacture a luxury and sporting vehicle that was comfortable to ride and contained a large amount of cargo space. Here is a look at the car’s history and description of this rare classic.
After three years away, the Lagonda marque was brought back during 1961 to 1964. It was Aston Martin’s high performance four-door sedan. It was similar to the DB4 but was longer and contained a de Dion rear axle. These features heightened area in the back. The Rapide had a four liter engine with twin Solex carburetors, and most included an automatic three-speed Borg-Warner gearbox. This produced 236 bhp and could reach top speeds of 130 mph.
Lagonda Rapide Style
The overall styling of the Rapide had influence from the DB4 with a front that resembled the Ford Edsel. However, there was also a hint of Bugatti with its horseshoe grille. Due to the weight and expense, the car was only made to order. It was considered competition to high-end Rolls Royce and Bentley brands. Over its three year life, only 55 cars were built. Despite the £4,950 price tag, the company is believed to have lost over £1,000 on each car produced.
After the Rapide stopped production in 1964, AML waited a decade to introduce another four-door vehicle. This car was also produced in limited quantities. By this time, the company was experiencing great upheaval. David Brown stepped down, and the company was sold. Surprisingly, 49 Rapides are said to still exist in original form. The draw and attraction to these vehicles is the fact that no two are exactly the same.
Since 1990, a small number of Lagondas were manufactured. Many enthusiasts hope that the line will revisit the prototypes of the past and contemplate developing an updated and improved model. Overall, the Rapide was a very interesting build by Aston Martin that managed to perform well.