Aston Martin made so few of the outrageously styled Lagonda sedans it's hard to believe there still some unaccounted for. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Series II is claimed to have been found hiding in, of all places, a barn, but does that make its price farm fresh?
A fresh Chevy Caprice cop car is also a rare discovery, however the availability of used Pontiac G8s and the likewise arresting Dodge Charger seemed to make yesterday's 2011 9C1 a tough beat to walk. Still, it did eke out a narrow 51% Nice Price win, even with its seller's demand that the buyer be someone that by-law is required to help those in need. Commie pinkos.
There's a whole lot of debate going on these days about the 99% who need help, and the 1% who need help carrying all their money. That 1% obviously get to have a lot of cool stuff, and today's 1985 Aston Martin Lagonda is a reminder of why the rest of us can't have nice things.
The series I Lagonda was little more than a stretched version of Aston's V8 coupe, with an additional pair of doors appended and looking freakishly like a Mustang sedan. The series II, however, looked like no Lagonda - much less Aston Martin - that had gone before, appearing more like a ride for one of Thunderbirds are Go's wealthier puppets. Actually, it was the work not of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, but of the talented Brit, William Towns, seeking to out-ostentate Rolls Royce.
Introduced at the 1976 London Motor Show, with customer deliveries beginning a full two years later, the Series II Lagonda featured missile-like proportions, nearly a foot greater in width than in height. Power for the more than two-ton four seater comes from Aston Martin's hand-built 5.3-litre, 285-bhp 4-cam V8, topped with a quartet of Weber 42DCNF carbs. Transmission choices were limited to a single 3-speed automatic, but even with that anachronism, the car was scarily futuristic. That was a future you might wish Marty McFly might be able to alter as the under developed production car-first digital dashboard, and computer controls exemplified Aston Martin's budget constraints, and the Brits' inability to do anything involving moving electrons with any sort of reliability.
Still, the damn thing is to this day about the sexiest 4-door on the planet.
And this one is said to be a barn-find. I take issue with that as who in their right mind leaves a Lagonda in a barn? Tiffany's valet sure, but a barn? Think about it, who have barns? Farmers, right? And farmers don't give a chicken's ass about Lagondas. Alice Chalmers, yeah, Aston Martins, no way. Farmers also have farmers' daughters, that lust-inducing species of femininity found only in bawdy humor and not in real life, so there's that as well.
Also, the car is offered up in Marina California, a city that hugs the eastern-most edge of the Monterey Bay, and the only farms there are Bristol. Maybe it came from Salinas, a few miles inland and very heavily agricultural - and meaning the trunk may be full of artichokes - otherwise I call monkey spunk to the whole barn-find claim.
Also stretching credulity is the fact that while barns are typically pretty dark, creepy places, this Lagonda's dash and wood obviously shows the deleterious effects of significant time spent in the sun - including cracking clear coat and splits in the leather dash cap. On the other hand, backing up the barn life claim, the paint does look like, on more than one occasion, a cow has popped a squat on it. But the wheels - those over-sized, over-spoked wire wheels - don't look like they've been spending time in any barn, unless it's one owned by Coolio. The seller does say that the factory wheels are included in the deal.
The rest of the car looks to be in pretty good shape, considering. Remarkably for a luxo-barge the early Lagondas had fixed rear window glass. This one is late enough that the rears go down - at least in theory if my exerience with those Lucas rocker switches in anything to go on. Older cars also had touch-sensitive switches that were about as reliable as Italian train service. This one has row upon row of tiny rockers in their place, a running change that was likely well warranted. An aftermarket change on this car has been the replacement of the notoriously flaky CRT gauges with Dakota Digital units. It still looks like a ‘70s Radio Shack in there, but at least the Dakota gauges will make it look like they've paid their electric bill.
The seller says that the car runs strong and with only 56,000 miles on it doesn't show egregious rust or damage from use. Sure the paint's craptacular, and the seats are so dry sitting on them may cause them to crunch like a day-old used Kleenex, but there's nothing here to really dissuade an ardent admirer. As one of only 645 ever produced, it remains about as limited an edition as you are likely to find outside of a late night HSN Franklin Mint segment.
Of course there's the price, which is a non-barn burning $20,000. That gets you a pretty solid Lagonda that needs a good ten grand in paint and it rubs the lotion on its skin to make it presentable. Alternatively, you could just drive it as it molders, perhaps even adding to its patina of age and abuse to make it the world's most mind blow rat rod show attendee - possible now that Amy Winehouse is no longer with us - R.I.P..
So what's your take on this Barn find- if that's really what it is - Lagonda for $20,000? Is that a price that makes your hay loft? Or, is spending that much for this car like closing the barn door after the 285 horses have been let loose?
H/T to Foxtrotzed, who saw AsianMartin's Twitter post, and provided the hookup.
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