The Aston Martin Lagonda was designed to be the very best of British; a flagship with performance and technology that put mid-1970s Rolls-Royce and Bentley to shame. It would be the car to save Aston Martin (a phrase that has been used time and again over the company’s century of struggles) and tycoons the world over would line up to buy one.
Well, that was the theory anyway. In practice the William Towns-designed wedge almost bankrupted the company. It cost a fortune to develop, with the advanced electronics reported to have cost four times as much as the rest of the car. Its LED dashboard, which was later replaced by a supposedly more reliable cathode ray tube display, was a nightmare. No less than 40 touch sensitive switches adorned the interior, all just waiting to go wrong.
The car’s 5.3-liter V-8 delivered 280 horsepower and with it came single-digit fuel economy. Perfect in the midst of an oil crisis. Oh, and the price was £50,000 (—that’s around $300,000 in today’s money) by the time deliveries finally began in 1979, three years after the car made its auto show debut. Aston Martin would press on though, building one car a week by 1980 and assembling, in total, fewer than 650 cars over ten years of production.
Historics Auctioneers in the U.K. has a 1989 Series 4 example for sale at its upcoming Ascot sale. The two-owner car was purchased in August 1989 and its original keeper stoically stood by the car for some 27 years. The second owner managed a further 11 years of custody before offering it up for auction. The car is finished in Winchester Blue with Parchment leather interior, walnut veneer, and even comes with the original matching luggage set. It has done just over 20,000 miles and is supplied with service history.
The car is estimated to fetch £95,000-£110,000 ($127,000- $147,000) when it goes under the hammer. Who will be bold enough to buy this British bulldog?