Sold for £51,750 inc. premium
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Aston Martin revived 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..."
Beneath the Rapide's Superleggera aluminium coachwork (by Touring of Milan, the carrozzeria responsible for the Aston Martin DB4 sports car) was a lengthened (by 16") DB4 platform-type chassis re-engineered to accept De Dion rear suspension, the adoption of which allowed rear compartment space to be maximised. Powered by a 4.0-litre (236bhp) version of the Aston Martin DB4's twin-cam 'six' that would later power the DB5, the Rapide certainly lived up to its name with brisk acceleration and a 130mph-plus top speed. Dual circuit, servo assisted disc brakes restrained this excellent performance while fittings to the traditional interior included electric windows, picnic tables to the rear, filler cap remote opener and a radio as standard. The Rapide's price when new was £5,000, some 25% higher than that of the Aston Martin DB4, which itself was not exactly a cheap automobile. A mere 55 units, almost all of which were equipped with Borg Warner three-speed automatic transmission, were built before production ceased in 1964.
Chassis number '135' was completed in August 1963 and sold via Brooklands of Bond Street to first owners Howard Fairbairn & Partners of Knightsbridge, London. Accompanying build details show that the car was finished in Goodwood Green with fawn interior trim and equipped with a Motorola radio and armrests to the inside of both front seats. The Rapide has had several different UK and overseas registrations since. In 1988 ownership passed to one Andrew van Nimwegen of Norfolk, while the AMOC Register (published 2000) records the owner at that time as L Cesteleyn in Belgium. The current owner purchased the Lagonda from K Den Haan in Belgium on 31st January 2008 (copy bill of sale on file, as well as old Belgian registration). Kept in storage since acquisition, the car will require re-commissioning before further use and thus is sold strictly as viewed.
Please note that if this vehicle is to remain in the UK, it will be subject to Import VAT at the reduced rate of 5% on the hammer price. It will also require a NOVA (Notification of Vehicle Arrival) and an additional fee of £350 (plus VAT) will be charged on the Invoice to prepare the NOVA. This vehicle will not be available for immediate collection after the sale and will only be released on completion of customs clearance. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.