"To be iconic is not always to be universally loved. Indeed, many icons, of the four-wheeled variety and otherwise, are divisive. The Aston Martin Lagonda firmly fits the bill. Reviled and admired in equal measure, the Lagonda attains its status "
Aston Martin Lagonda
Is it an Aston?
Stephen Archer talks to us about the Aston Martin Lagonda 1976-1990
The wedge Lagonda has always divided opinion for its outlandish, elongated looks and for, well, being not very Aston like.
So, let’s just call it a Lagonda, after all the words Aston Martin were not on the badge from 1984. We should view this model for what it was: an advanced, ambitious and attention grabbing car which was so successful that the company considered stopping V8 Aston production to focus on the just the Lagonda. The model saved Aston Martin. But it should also be viewed in the context of the period and the design fashions of the 1970s: Saturday Night fever, punk and a fashion for wedge designs in cars. Of its ilk, the Lagonda has stood up well.
The model developed through three series. The first iteration had the initially troublesome LED dash and touch switches. The next type moved from Webers to fuel injection and a change to a simpler cathode ray tube dash. On the final type announced in 1987 the pop up headlights were dropped and a quite pleasing change made to the body with William Towns’ original sharp edges being smoothed all round.
The final car was very well refined and was a fine grand touring saloon with comfort and style. There were also handful of Tickford models with enhanced features such as additional wheelbase creating more room for rear passengers.
Time will be kind to this car and not just through the fashion for ‘retro’. It is a very good car and was an immense achievement for Aston Martin to announce just a year after being rescued from bankruptcy. When the last car was delivered in 1990 after twelve years in production it was the 643rd . Perhaps 100 of these remain in the UK so this is a rare car.
It is also rare for its innovation and deserves and strong following as a symbol of defiant individuality.
Photos: Dan Barnett
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