Aston Martin has three eras: its spectacular Pre-War sports/racing years, its 1950s and '60s DB revival, and its modern aluminum resurgence. Oh, and uh, that awkward period that nobody really talks about.

I'm talking about that weird 1970s through 1990s mishmash, where the company had little if any money. Ownership changed a few times before settling in with Ford in 1994 and starting its turn towards some kind of contemporary style. As that Vanquish/DB9/V8 Vantage bloom starts to fade, it's a fine time to take a look at the company's darkest era.

The thing is, much as the '70s through the early '90s was a parade of failures, some of those cars were truly remarkable. The Virage, pictured above, was something like a two-door Lagonda. Audi headlights, VW taillights, and a very particular feel of a brutish, conservative, meat pie Britishness.

The car evolved in all kinds of cash-strapped ways, including twin supercharging at one point.

But Aston was full of interesting misadventures in its awkward period, from a stab at Group C glory to the Lagonda, one of the best/worst cars ever made. Which one is your favorite?

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Photo Credit: Aston Martin