An angular, retrofuturistic, hulking saloon by Aston Martin.
The Aston Martin Lagonda was physically huge, incredibly expensive and all in all, utterly and fantastically weird.
Manufactured from 1974 all the way up to 1990, the Lagonda came in four different interactions in the form of Series 1 through 4, each weird in its own special way. Unlike other Aston Martins, the Lagonda was a 4-door full-size saloon and measuring in at around 5 metres long it was certainly earned its way into the ‘full-size saloon’ category.
It was large. Incredibly long, as wide as a Countach and 100kg short of a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. Powered by a Aston Martin 5.3 L V8 producing around 280 hp, it was reasonably fast for its size with an official 0-62mph time of just 6.2 seconds on the Series 1 with the Series 2 being much slower at around 8.8 seconds. It was not a finely-tuned sports car at the end of the day, but rather a luxurious saloon.
Not only was the Lagonda big, it was an odd shape with it having a low and streamlined-looking profile with a wedge-shaped roofline. The Lagonda was slim and slender with an odd pointed nose resembling the style of the time (70s and 80s) as also seen in cars such as the Stratos Zero and Lotus Esprit.
At the end of the pointed nose sat a total of ten headlights, four situated in the pop up lights and six in the lights on the body. This was eventually changed when the pop up lights were phased out, resulting in just six headlights in total. The pop up lights were attached to the bonnet, which wasn’t unusual for the period and also under the bonnet, one would find the odometer, which is also very strange to think about today.
To release the bonnet, one would have to press the catch release button, which instead of being a lever in the footwell, it was a button situated between the rear windo defrost button and the button for release one of the fuel caps. A very precarious place to have the bonnet release!
Speaking of fuel caps, there was one on each side and a button to unlock each, both left and right, feeding into a single fuel tank. Certainly not unheard of but not exactly the norm and having the fuel cap hinged from the top is also particularly strange.
Now, although it is rare for Aston Martin to make a 4-door saloon, the Lagonda was not actually branded as an Aston at all. All of the badges, like the one on the steering wheel, wheel caps, fuel caps and even the main front and rear badges, all said ‘Lagonda’ rather than ‘Aston Martin’, using similar wings. Lagonda was originally a separate company bought by Aston Martin and so the Lagonda was to be its own car, comparable to how the Mustang has minimal ‘Ford’ badging or how some Maybachs won’t have Mercedes badges.
With the Series 4 costing £87,500 in 1987, the Lagonda was priced very high and was one of the most expensive luxury saloons in the world, equating to around £250,000 today once inflation is accounted for. 645 were produced and the Lagonda successfully sold as well as achieved some much-needed publicity for Aston Martin.
Perhaps the most iconic part of the Lagonda was its interior. The Series 2 featured that single-spoke steering wheel and retrofuturistic ‘cockpit’ that we’re all too familiar with. Featuring the first all-digital driving display in a production car, one of the car’s main selling points was the screen displays which replaced the conventional dials. Nowadays, of course, almost all cars have screens inside with many of them opting for digital guage displays as well so it would seem the Lagonda was ahead of its time.
Let us know what you think of the brilliantly weird Lagonda in the comments.
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