1962 ASTON MARTIN LAGONDA Rapide Sports Saloon

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1962 ASTON MARTIN LAGONDA Rapide Sports Saloon


“It has long been my ambition to produce a car which would be equally suitable to drive or to be driven in, great comfort, large luggage carrying capacity yet still be exhilarating to the owner driver and capable of effortless sustained high performance. There is such similarity between modern cars that one is fearful of the day when all will look, and be, alike.” - David Brown on the Lagonda Rapide.

Aston Martin revived the famous Lagonda name in 1961 with a luxurious four-door sports saloon – the Rapide – that took its appellation from one of the marque's most exalted models of the late 1930s. It has been David Brown's intention that the Rapide should be the 'most mechanically advanced car available', offering effortless acceleration to 130mph.

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 reconfigured 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 'gentlemen's club' 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 percent higher than that of the Aston Martin DB4, which itself was not exactly a cheap automobile.

The Vehicle

This motor car is being sold as part of an overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to the lower rate 5% import tax if the car is to remain in the UK & purchased by a private individual. The 5% is calculated on the final selling price. Cars less than 30 years old will pay 10% duty + VAT as well as VAT (a company buying the car will always have to pay VAT on the hammer price, as well as duty + VAT).

The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days then these fees are refundable.

Lastly, there will be a nominal administration fee of £350 for processing the NOVA application, and payable direct to the shipping company. A completed and processed NOVA will provide you formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in UK and thus allow you to register the vehicle with the DVLA

In common with the majority of cars in this collection, this vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section.

The car will require recommissioning prior to full road use and is sold ‘as seen’. We cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality.

It is available for view and inspection at our HQ near Abingdon and we will be delighted to show the car to you and/or your appointed engineer.

In common with most cars from the vendor’s collection it comes to us with little history and few service records, although it does have a copy of an old-style V5 document.

It also has an itemised record of work carried out between 1962 and 1967, plus two 1973 bills for parts.

Today, only 47 of the original 55 Lagonda Rapides are known to exist, with this being, we think, the 14th built.

This RHD auto car was delivered new to The London Rubber Company (perhaps better known by the name of its most famous brand, Durex) new on 9.11.62 and first registered on 20.12.62.

Its original engine, number 400/115, was replaced for unknown reasons with engine number 400/156 on 14.5.63.

Its chassis number is: LR/115/R.

Today, the odometer reads 59,956 miles.

We know that the car’s mileage was 45,497 in 1967 so, since then, this car has covered just 14,459 miles prior to entering the vendor’s static display collection in 2010 – the same year it attended the Schloss Bensberg Classics car show near Cologne.

We believe the car was living in Bavaria, Germany, in 2007.

On the Outside

This car’s elegant, understated lines are entirely of its era and bear the unmistakable design imprimatur of Touring.

It combines the understated class and Britishness of Cary Grant or David Niven with the all-Italian style and allure of Mastroianni and Ekberg in La Dolce Vita.

That’s quite a combination and makes it, in our opinion, a very handsome car indeed.

The car’s ‘Midnight Blue’ paintwork looks really very good viewed from any angle.

So, too, does the bodywork, which is impressively free of any significant dinks, dents, creases, ripples or folds.

The chrome is OK but there is some foxing and pitting here and there on the bumpers and door handles.

The wire wheels seem fine.

There is a little bubbling on the n/s/r wing next to the door and at the base of both o/s doors.

There are a few shallow dents in the rear bumper, which also has a missing reflector on the n/s.

The Lagonda badge at the rear has faded and lost some colour.

There is a crack at the base of the windscreen.

These issues aside, the car has no more than the entirely expected amount and distribution of minor paint chips, small scratches and scuffs that you might expect to find in a vehicle of this age.

On the Inside

The interior of the car appears to us to be largely original and authentic.

The leather upholstery, while still functional, supportive and comfortable, is showing some signs of age and wear in places. The base of the front passenger seat has a hole around the hinge on the seat’s folding mechanism.

There are also some small holes and cracks in the driver’s seat and on the rear bench seats.

The door cards have one or two scuffs and holes here and there and need to be shown some soap and water – as does the rest of the interior in general.

The padding at the top of the dashboard is coming away in places and the glove compartment does not fully close.

We can’t make any claims about the functionality of switches, knobs, levers, toggles, buttons, dials or other electrics as we haven’t started or driven the vehicle.

The front interior lights are missing their plastic covers and the metal vents fitted to the parcel shelf have some superficial rust on them.

The carpets and mats look reasonable, but the headlining is rather grubby and feels a little thin and crispy to the touch.

Lifting up the carpets in here reveals solid-looking floor pans.

The boot looks good and contains a spare wheel and some tools.


The engine and engine bay are clean, tidy and everything looks to be in its right and proper place.

The cars undersides look to have a decent amount of structural integrity although you will, of course, want to reach your own conclusion.

History Highlights

The car doesn’t come with a full service history or record of work done.

Currently, it has neither an MoT certificate nor a current V5.

It must be registered in the country of your choice and you will need to contact the appropriate vehicle licensing agency for instructions on how to do this.

Any paperwork shown in the gallery is a copy, and in no way constitutes any kind of licensing or registration certification.

What We Think

We haven’t tried to start or drive the car so our understanding of it is somewhat limited.

This stylish, classy and vanishingly rare car looks to us to be in very decent overall condition and in need of little more than cosmetic attention, provided, of course, that the engine and mechanicals prove amenable to recommissioning.

We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £50,000-£80,000, plus Bonhams bond payment and £350 NOVA fee.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 59966
  • Chassis Number: LR/115/R
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: Right-hand drive
  • Colour: Blue
  • Interior: Cream Leather
  • Estimated Price: £50,000 - £80,000
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