Rapide re­sponse for Lagondas

If As­tons are the think­ing man’s Fer­rari, are Lagondas the think­ing man’s As­ton?

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

Have you seen what DB As­tons are mak­ing? The re­lent­less rise of DB4S, 5s and 6s seems un­stop­pable, and after a short pause for breathe in the mid­dle of last year, val­ues look to be point­ing sky­ward again. DB6 MKIIS are head­ing for half a mil­lion quid and I’ve even heard of one bloke who’s so far poured a cool mil­lion into a DB4 restora­tion. The other day I sat next to a man at din­ner who’s bought a pro­ject DB6 MKI au­to­matic – need­ing ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing – for £160k, who is pre­pared to blow an­other £200k mak­ing it mint. Blimey, there’s some se­ri­ous loot be­ing thrown at these cars right now.

Yet the in­fin­itely rarer Tour­ing-styled four-door Rapide with its DB5 en­gine, Su­per­leg­gera con­struc­tion, de Dion rear end and dual cir­cuit servo-as­sisted discs is a huge bar­gain in com­par­i­son. As­ton bro­ker­age By­ron In­ter­na­tional has a well-re­stored ’63 auto for £150k and Dy­lan Miles has the ’61 pro­to­type, road test and mo­tor show car that was David Brown’s per­sonal trans­port for £245,000. As­ton author­ity Des­mond J Smail has one of the very last ’63 Rapi­des made, with £70k of restora­tion bills, for £185k.

Now, I know that the Rapide has al­ways been seen as the DB5’S square sis­ter, doesn’t have the same slip­pery lines, and that of the 55 cars made be­tween 1961 and 1964, most were au­to­mat­ics. But in terms of rar­ity, blood­line and col­lectabil­ity, surely they’re plat­inum-plated. Are we miss­ing some­thing here?

Roll up to any event in a Rapide and ev­ery eye will be yours while the usual DB As­tons will look, well, pre­dictable in com­par­i­son. Fa­mous Rapide first own­ers in­cluded the Guin­ness, Roth­schild and Cartier fam­i­lies and it was seen as ter­ri­bly ex­otic with an orig­i­nal list of £4950 – which was £700 more than the DB5 – and David Brown lost money on ev­ery sin­gle one. Of those 55 cars, 48 still sur­vive and they used to be stag­ger­ingly cheap. I re­mem­ber see­ing one in 2008 – a straight and run­ning ’63, but in need of re­comis­sion­ing – sell on­line for just £25k. By 2014 they’d dou­bled and Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions sold an­other ’63 at its Sa­lon Prive sale – this one was mint and lovely – for £96,000. There was a brief rally in val­ues in 2014/15 when prices hit £150k, but they’ve since stalled. If like me you’re scratch­ing your head at DB4, 5 and 6 val­ues, maybe its time to go and look at a Rapide?

‘Roll up to an event in a Rapide and the DB As­tons will look pre­dictable in com­par­i­son’

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