1963 Lagonda Rapide 1961-1964

LHD

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1963
  • Car type 
    Saloon
  • Chassis number 
    LR128/L
  • Engine number 
    400/128
  • Lot number 
    334
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Interior colour 
    White
  • Interior type 
    Leather
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Green
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

French title
Chassis n° LR128/L
Engine n° 400/128

- Matching numbers
- Refined finish, high performance
- Just 55 examples built
- Aston Martin performance in a four-seater body
- One of 6 left hand drive manual Lagonda Rapide examples built

Unveiled in 1961, the Lagonda Rapide was the personal project of David Brown, head of Aston Martin. Built to the highest standards of quality, finish and performance, it rivalled Rolls-Royce and Bentley and was also sportier. Based on the extended platform of an Aston Martin DB4, it was given the same six-cylinder engine in a 4-litre version. When fitted with three carburettors, its power output exceeded 260 bhp. The coachwork was built using the Touring Superleggera technique. A highly exclusive model, with only 55 examples built, each one was built to special order and so slightly different. It is very rare for such a car such to come on the market, with just under 50 surviving examples known to exist.

A rare model, the Lagonda Rapide on offer is even more exceptional, being a lefthand drive, manual example. Although recorded with an " R " on the original factory build sheet, Aston Martin Service has agreed this was probably an error by the factory as the stamped chassis numbers and manufacturers plaques are recorded " L ", and it was initially registered 128L in Italy. The car was in this lefthand drive configuration from new, and we have learnt from Aston Martin Service that of the 55 examples built, just five were LHD, as well as one other car that was converted shortly after leaving the factory. According to the Lagonda Rapide Register, one of these was destroyed in an accident and another was dismantled, reducing the number to just four examples !
This car has other interesting original features : it was fitted with air conditioning and a Motorola 818 radio with the inscription " Lagonda ", making it a genuine rarity ! This equipment is mentioned on the Aston Martin factory build sheet, which also specifies its exterior colour as " Goodwood Green " and the upholstery as " fawn ". This colour scheme has never been changed.
The first owner of this rare automobile, as confirmed by a copy of the Italian Automobile Club registration document was a wealthy Englishman living in Tivoli, not far from Rome, by the name of Charles Antony Scarisbrick. He kept the car until the start of the 1980s, when it was acquired by M. Singer, a French Aston Martin collector. During the mid-1990s, the car sold to its second French owner who had it repainted and later also refurbished the upholstery. This owner sold the car in March 2012 and it was acquired by the current owner in 2013.
A copy of the Aston Martin maintenance manual shows that the car returned to the factory several times in the years following its purchase for servicing work. The invoices in the file indicate work carried out more recently on the brakes, clutch and the fitting of a stainless steel exhaust. The previous owner had the engine overhauled and the cylinder head gasket replaced by the Lamy workshop, who also fitted three SU carburettors to enhance the performance of the original engine.
Today, this car is presented in its elegant, dark green livery. The styling, both inside and out, with four Carello lights at the front, is a perfect blend of sportiness and sophistication. The centre of the three-spoke steering wheel displays the initials " DB " for David Brown, and the round instruments, including a speedometer graduated in kilometres, provide the driver with all the information needed. The varnished wooden dashboard adds a touch of luxury, perfectly in keeping with the re-upholstered light beige upholstery. Certain features, such as the delightful wooden tables for the rear passengers remind us of this car's elevated status. One look under the bonnet reveals the magnificent straight six Aston Martin engine, with twin overhead camshafts and the three SU carburettors, and it is clear that hidden under its velvet coat, this Lagonda has the constitution of a sports car, confirmed by the wonderful sound of its engine. Here is an extremely rare opportunity to buy an original left hand drive manual version, delivered new to Rome, and profit from a combination of luxury, refinement and performance that is almost unbeatable.