Affordable Heroes – Great cars that don’t cost a fortune to buy
RICHARD GUNN The motoring world was a very wedgy place during the 1970s. In Britain though, two cars defined the chisel of cheese more than any others – the Aston Martin Lagonda and British Leyland Princess.
The Lagonda was intended to sell to oil sheiks. The Princess was – well, just not the car for Mr Average, as BL’s advertising went. But they shared some commonality of thinking – a dynamic and radical design intended to waft five occupants in smooth, effortless high-speed luxury. Of course, being an Aston, the Lagonda did things with considerably more power and expense. It was also packed with technology – some so futuristic that it wouldn’t actually function properly for years. The Princess, meanwhile, had a seatbelt warning light that flashed and clicked furiously at errant occupants.
Even though the unloved Lagonda is one of the bargains of the AM universe, it’s still an Aston. Thus values are ridiculously high. The Princess comes at a fraction of the cost and you can always stick a Sinclair ZX81 keyboard to the dash for extra realism. It won’t do anything, but the electrics in the Lagonda rarely did, either…