24 June 2016

1985 Aston Martin Lagonda

AML fr 3 4

Why We Like It

The razor-edged Bill Towns-designed 1970s Lagonda saloon looks unexpectedly acceptable these days, and with the price of most Astons beyond the financial orbit of most of us, these less expensive beasts are looking more appealing. Not only does this Lagonda benefit from £36,000-worth of recent mechanical work, says its seller, but its cathode-ray-tube instruments function in all their glowing glory. 

What Is It?

Still a startling car even if you’re familiar with it, the Aston Martin Lagonda amazed back in 1976 with its low-roofed length, pioneering digital instruments and the fact that it was an Aston with four doors (though not the first). Beneath the aluminium panels were mechanicals more familiar, this effectively being a long-wheelbase reskin of Aston’s 5.3 litre 280bhp V8 coupe.

This particular example is a 1985 Series 2, which among other changes featured cathode-ray-tube instruments rather than the original digital LED array (imporved reliability was the aim, but if anything they became worse) and does without the touchpad controls of the original – undoubtedly good news from the maintenance angle.

A Generous Slice of ‘80s Wedge 

The Cannock black of this example presents this Lagonda in more subtle style, and the multiple exterior images, several close-up, suggest paintwork in good condition despite black’s habit of highlighting blemishes. The paintwork seems to bear out its low 42,000 mile tally, as does the apparently limited wear to the pale leather seats. The car comes from what the seller describes as their own private collection.

Big Spend on Mechanicals

The Lagonda’s seller says that £36,000 has recently been spent on its mechanicals, the result of which is that this car ‘is a real pleasure to drive.’ Even by Aston Martin repair and maintenance standards £36,000 is a big sum, which should hopefully mean no major (for an Aston) bills in the near future. No details of previous maintenance are provided, but the seller’s apparent fastidiousness with his cars suggests that there should be an extensive service history with it.

Straight Bodywork

Several close-up shots of this Lagonda’s bodywork indicate few troubles, but like every Newport Pagnell-built Aston, this car will need careful inspection of body and inner structure to confirm an absence of corrosion. Repairs to these steel and aluminium cars are expensive.

Slender Lights, Fat 5mph Bumper

The slimline theme of the Lagonda’s look continues is continued into its taillights, but even designer Bill Towns couldn’t hide the fat 5mph self-repair bumpers, which look unblemished and promisingly crack and crinkle-free on this example. The chrome trim strips appear unmarked, too.

Still-Fresh Magnolias

Magnolia leather trim looks cleanly plush when new, but can soon look tired. But despite its age and the impressive expanse of hide, this Lagonda cabin looks relatively intact, with few creases even to the driver’s seat. The owner does not indicate whether the leather has been restored, but it’s clearly been well cared for.

Carb-fuelled V8

This Lagonda’s engine bay has a pleasingly honest look to it – it’s clean, but by no means immaculate and has not been over-detailed. There’s light tarnishing to the air conditioning compressor, to the one cam cover that’s visible and the oil filler cap, all of which suggests a car that’s been used, as its 42,000 miles suggest, but well-maintained.

Why You’ll Like It

Lagondas in the healthy condition that this one appears to be in are rare. The substantial investment said to have been made in this car ought to contain the bills for a few years, making this one of the more affordable, if eccentric, routes into Aston Martin ownership. You can find it here on eBay for £59,995.

Vehicle Vitals

Years made:

1976-1990

Make and model:

Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2

Year:

1985

Mot:

Yes

Engine:

V8, 5340cc

Power:

280bhp

Torque:

360 lbs ft

Fuel:

Petrol

Transmission:

Automatic

0 - 60mph:

8.8sec

Top speed:

143mph

How many left:

22 Licensed, 60 SORN

On sale at:

eBay

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