Aston Martin revived a famous Lagonda name in 1961 with a luxurious four-door sports saloon that took its appellation from one of the marque's most exalted models of the late 1930s: the Rapide. This new car was very much David Brown's personal project. The Rapide's sales brochure, which, unusually, was signed by him personally, stated: 'It has long been my ambition to build a car which would be equally suitable to drive or be driven in...'
Chassis number '129' was completed in 1963 and sold via Brooklands of Bond Street (Eton Garages) on the 21st of that month. Accompanying build details show that the car was finished in Aegean Blue with White Gold interior trim and equipped with a Bray block heater, Motorola radio and 'limited show finish' to the engine compartment. First owned by a Mr W E Dinsdale of Shilsons Ltd, Lewiston Mills, Brimscombe, Gloucestershire, the car was delivered to Mr Dinsdale with his own personal registration number 'D 35'. This number was removed in 1980 when the current registration '4718 DG' was assigned. The DVLA has been unable to confirm any further details; nor have the AMOC or Lagonda Owners Club, of which organisations the owner is a member.
The current owner purchased the Lagonda in January 2011. The accompanying Swansea V5C document states that there have been three owners since 1980 prior to the vendor. It would appear that the previous owner transferred ownership from one of his businesses, a conclusion supported by invoices and a registration document on file. So, possibly, the car may have had only 3-4 owners including the vendor.
During previous owner's stewardship a comprehensive restoration was carried out between 1987 and 1993. Works included a complete engine and gearbox rebuild by well-known racing Aston Martin specialist Mr Chris Conoley. The car was stripped by Holley Enterprises, who removed the paint and undertook bodywork repairs; re-sprayed the body and re-chromed all brightwork; rewired the electrics with a new engine bay harness; fitted windscreens and a Webasto sunroof; repaired and re-covered the seats; and fitted new carpets, headlining and heater blowers. Holley Enterprises also repaired the brakes, fitted new master cylinders and reassembled the car. Additional work carried out by Roman Garage between 2009 and 2011 included fitting a new fuel pump, rebuilding the brakes (new servos, new callipers, etc), new exhaust, new fuel tank sender, new filters and changing the electrics to negative earth. All the supporting paperwork and some photographs are on file.
Since the vendor's acquisition in 2011, the car has benefited from a purpose built replacement automatic gearbox complete with oil cooler (fitted by Graham Whitehouse) together with a CD/radio, new mirrors, new exhaust manifold and heat shields, new tachometer, new water pump, etc. In addition, the car has been regularly serviced to full factory specification by Aston Engineering of Derby. Works carried out by the latter include a complete rebuild of the front suspension; stripping and overhauling the rear dampers; refurbishing all five wheels; fitting new tubeless all-steel radial tyres; fitting a new factory steering wheel; removing the old steering column and fitting power steering; installing an alternator, twin electric fans and electric ignition; and repairing the electric windows.
The windscreen rubbers and chromed trim strips have been renewed; the radiator re-cored and all hoses replaced; the carburettors stripped and serviced; fuel pipes replaced; new SU fuel pumps fitted; and the body and inner wheel arches under-sealed. All woodwork has been stripped and renovated, and the dashboard top and lower trays reupholstered in leather. Stainless Exhaust Specialist Limited have just built and fitted a complete new exhaust system. All the supporting paperwork and related photographs are to be found in the history files.
'4718 DG' also comes with a substantial quantity of valuable spare parts and a comprehensive 'touring kit' of mainly service spares together with a jack, Thor mallet and a Lagonda umbrella. Operating/maintenance literature includes a DB5 workshop manual and instruction book; Lagonda Rapide maintenance instruction manual and data sheet; list of oils, fluids and greases used; Solex carburettor manual; Glenn's Solex tuning guide; and a Kenwood radio/CD manual. Accompanying documentation consists of that referred to above plus AML build and service sheets, Heritage Certificate (2 parts), Swansea V5C and a quantity of expired MoTs and tax discs. Fastidiously maintained with no expense spared, '4718 DG' benefits from a recent 5,000-mile service carried out by Aston Engineering and is taxed and MoT'd to January 2014.