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