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Rapide
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  Lagonda Rapide
 

  Article Image gallery (13) LR/110/L Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1961 - 1964
Numbers built:55
Price new:£4,950
Designed by:Touring
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 06, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLate in 1961, Aston Martin Lagonda ltd. revealed the Lagonda Rapide. Very much a pet-project of company owner David Brown, the Rapide was the first all-new Lagonda since the 2.6 Litre of 1947, which evolved into the 3 Litre and remained in production until 1958. For all intents and purposes a four-door version of Aston Martin's DB4, the Rapide was intended as the more luxurious alternative to the Grand Tourer's offered by Lagonda's sister company.

Carried over from the DB4 was the steel platform chassis, which was lengthened by 16 inches (41 cm) to accommodate the rear passengers. A further change was the addition of a DeDion in place of the DB4's live rear axle, continuing the Lagonda tradition of fully independent suspension. The four-litre engine was based on the slightly smaller DB4 straight six. It was tuned slightly milder for a smoother ride and mated to a three-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

To clothe the Rapide, Aston Martin Lagonda turned to Italian specialists Touring. The design featured a distinct nose with an upright radiator and twin headlights. The rear-end sported vertical tail-lights, which were the only exterior cue that the Rapide was related to the Aston Martin DB4. In good Touring tradition, the body was built using the Superleggera principle of a lightweight aluminium panels mounted on steel frame. As a result, the large Rapide weighed only 1,715 kg.

Built to order, the Lagonda Rapide was priced at staggering GBP 4,950, which was Rolls-Royce and Bentley territory. As a result and despite universal praise, there was only a very small demand for the luxurious four-door machine. Production ceased in 1964, when just 55 examples were built. While Lagonda was revived as an Aston Martin type name, the Rapide remained as the last separate Lagonda until very recently.

Of the 55 Rapides built, an estimated 49 are believed to have survived.

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  Article Image gallery (13) LR/110/L Specifications