Rare 1963 Aston Martin built with a view to be “equally suitable to drive or be driven in” to be auctioned with an estimate £377,000 higher than its 2006 £23,000 selling price
Long before luxury carmakers such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley embarked on attempting to replicate the success of the Range Rover, Aston Martin produced a four-door sports saloon that fulfilled David Brown’s ambition to “build a car which would be equally suitable to drive or be driven in”. One example of a total of just 55 made, a 1963 Aston Martin Lagonda Rapide 4.2-litre sports saloon, is to be auctioned in London on the 6th December.
Sitting on a re-engineered and lengthened DB4 platform-type chassis, the automatic car features aluminium coachwork by Touring of Milan and a “clubby” interior with picnic tables, electric windows and even a remote filler cap opener. It was priced at £5,000 – some 25% higher than the price of a standard Aston Martin DB4 (and the equivalent of £95,500 or $145,000 or €136,000 today) – and first owned by a director of the coachbuilders Hooper & Co.
After passing through the hands of various owners, the vehicle was purchased “in generally good condition” by Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. at auction in 2006 for just £23,000 (the equivalent of £31,00 or $47,000 or €44,000 today). It was then subjected to a £260,000 ($394,000 or €371,000) “last nut and bolt” renovation and converted from a 4.0-litre to a 4.2-litre engine capacity.
Auctioneers Bonhams describe this spectacular saloon as being the “best example of its type currently available” and have set an estimate of £350,000 to £400,000 ($530,000 to $606,000 or €500,000 to €570,000).
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It seems to have a manual gear knob and a clutch pedal so maybe it has been misdescribed as an automatic or maybe this was changed from automatic when they upgraded the engine. That aside, they have changed the colour as well (for the worse) as the engine and so it is no longer original. I doubt that it will sell very well as a result, originality is everything with cars like these.
I agree with Charles Mitford Cust that it looked much better attired in a midnight blue coat (pre restoration) Ice blue (if that is the colour, post restoration) somewhat demeans it – a well aged brandy against a glass of Proseco.
Just the word ‘Lagonda’ is enough to make me want it but it would go straight to the paint shop. I’d like a gear lever and lots of hard manual changing to do too – shake up the rear passengers a bit, well spotted Mr M C!