Most lovers would sooner bear in mind the pre-war Aston Martin Ulster, constructed some 4 a long time earlier than the Lagonda, that lived proper into the ‘90s. They’d sooner bear in mind the 1956 DBR1, the 1964 DB5, and the 1977 V8 Vantage than they might the 1974 Aston Martin Lagonda. To refresh your reminiscence, Lagonda was a full-size four-door luxurious sedan that Aston Martin constructed from 1974 till 1990. There have been 645 copies in complete.
Though to not be mistaken with the Wilbur Gunn-founded British automaker of the identical identify, Lagonda received named after the Lagonda marque after Aston Martin purchased the corporate that yr. Maybe, you don’t bear in mind the 1974 Lagonda as a result of it was the unique first-generation supplied as a lengthened Aston Martin V8. The Sequence 2 arrived in 1976, that includes a wholly redesigned wedge form physique building, finally forcing the short-lived 1974-1975 Lagonda to the deepest recesses of our collective reminiscences.
However the British marque by no means forgot, asserting in 2014 that it might revive what was in 2020 primarily the world’s costliest luxurious sedan – the Lagonda’s successor known as the Taraf, offered solely by invitation for the Center-East market.
Meet The 1974 – 1975 Aston Martin Lagonda Sequence 1
A messianic identify would’ve been extra apt for the four-door Lagonda sedan that refilled Aston Martin’s coffers at a time the British marque struggled with monetary strain within the Seventies. Wilbur Gunn derived the Lagonda identify from the Shawnee Indian identify now often called Buck Creek in his native Springfield, Ohio. Well-known for its two-door sports activities vehicles, the brand new four-door Lagonda was a right away hit, attracting a whole bunch of deposits from well-fixed clients that might afford the full-size luxurious sedan.
Lagondas had been hand-built and at all times among the many costliest luxurious sedans anyplace on the earth. The identical custom received replicated with the $1 million Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf launched about twenty years later. Within the ’70s, the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit, Silver Spur and the Bentley Mulsanne had been the one different manufacturing vehicles that matched the Lagonda’s premium value.
With simply 120 examples made, the Taraf inherited its style for exclusivity from the Sequence 1 Lagonda, with simply seven copies constructed between 1974 and 1975. It’s tougher to recollect a era with simply seven vehicles than the Sequence 2 with over 600 vehicles.
The British automotive designer William “Invoice” Cities designed the Sequence 2 from the bottom up. Cities’ design centered on creating an excessive evolution of the basic Seventies “folded paper” physique model at a time the wedge-shaped design was in vogue, as demonstrated by big-name contemporaries like Countach, DeLorean, and Esprit.
The Lagonda’s unconventional design strategy didn’t cease with the outside aesthetic. Right here is the first-ever manufacturing automotive to function a digital instrument panel to high off an inside adorned with high-end leather-based. It’s reported that the electronics alone price Aston Martin 4 occasions the funds of the entire automotive.
However, the Sequence 3 Lagonda used cathode ray tubes for the instrumentation, which was inferior to the LED show within the Sequence 1. It relied on a gas-guzzling four-cam carbureted V8 engine mated to the Chrysler three-speed TorqueFlite computerized transmission. The inefficiency of this engine impressed the marque’s swap to gas injection know-how with the Sequence 3.
The Sequence 3, not Sequence 1 Lagonda, earned a spot in Bloomberg Businessweek’s record of fifty ugliest vehicles of the final 50 years and Time journal’s 50 Worst Vehicles of All Time. The 1974-1975 Lagonda received propulsion from a 5.3-liter V8 mated to both a five-speed guide or computerized transmission to supply 280 horsepower, 301 lb-ft of torque, and a high velocity of 149 mph. This engine propelled it from relaxation to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. This was the primary of its identify to ever use the Lagonda identify for the reason that 1961 Lagonda Rapide.
The 1974 Aston Martin Lagonda: The Coolest Aston Martin You By no means Heard Of
It might appear that the Lagonda’s future was to get forgotten. The Lagonda identify lay mothballed for many years till Aston Martin resurrected it in 1974 to stay once more as a four-door model of the Aston Martin V8. There was an preliminary prototype in 1969 that by no means progressed past conveying the corporate’s then-chairman, David Brown.
The Lagonda mission stalled till Firm Developments bought Aston Martin in 1971. Thus, Lagonda finally debuted on the London Motor Present in October 1974, using on a wheelbase 12-inches longer than the two-door Aston Martin V8 whereas retaining the engine and operating gear. You can purchase the Lagonda for those who had $17,086.54 mendacity round (roughly $102,589 in at the moment’s cash), which was 24% costlier than the V8 it received based mostly on.
Aston Martin chairman William Wilson was first in line and owned the very first copy of the Lagonda. There was no rush, although. By 1976, solely seven examples received made, no due to the oil disaster that rubbished the concept of a $17,000 160-mph luxurious sedan. 5 of the seven 1974-1975 Lagondas despatched energy to the wheels through a five-speed A/T, whereas the remaining two featured a ZF five-speed guide gearbox.
We additionally know that not less than two of these seven (with chassis 12003 and 12005) acquired enhanced motivation, courtesy of R.S. Williams Ltd of Cobham, Surrey, within the type of a 7.0-liter model of the unique engine that generates 440 to 480 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque when operating on unleaded gas.
Thus, these ‘modified originals’ can have no worry of contemporary rivals at the moment. By the usual of the time, the reinterpreted “folded paper” design was super-cool, which helped justify the beneficiant price ticket. The Society of Motor Producers and Merchants awarded Lagonda a Gold Medal for the bodywork.
Sources: Lagonda Membership, Wikipedia, Supercars, JD Energy