• Francis
    29 January 2011 at 16:16 #48017

    I am a new member of this forum and would like to introduce myself. I live in Montreal, Canada and own an AML Lagonda V8 1983. I just sold an AML DB7 last summer because, it bored me…

    The Lagonda I will keep forever!

    For the last 15 years I have been looking to buy a Lagonda Rapide, from the 61 to 64 vintage. Every time I saw one, it had just sold!

    Does anyone have a lead that I could follow to finally get my hand on one of those beauties?


    5 February 2011 at 13:43 #48033

    Francis, there are maybe 5 or 6 Rapides in North America, including one found complete 2 years ago in a lock-up garage in Kissimmee FL, although one may have been converted to a DB4GT Zagato replica (!). You might enquire of Lance Evans at Steelwings (in PA) if he knows of any. Otherwise you might try an ad in the AMOC News Sheet. They do also come up at auction occasionally in the UK. Happy hunting

    6 February 2011 at 15:56 #48036


    I’m sorry that your became bored with your DB7 – my 7 Vantage is a constant joy for me (at least, when it’s working properly πŸ˜† ).

    I am very fortunate indeed to own a small number of both pre- and post-war Lagondas, although all of these are projects. One such car is a DB Rapide – we recently acquired it and, indeed, work begins on the full restoration this coming week! It is a manual example that also happens to be one of only two (if that) fitted with a DB4/5 grille (there are in fact 5 different versions of front end of which I am aware, if you count the Touring prototype design).

    As you probably know very well, only 55 cars were built. It took me 4 years to acquire my example, after a very kind person (and friend), who is also a member of both this forum and that of the AMOC, gave me a wonderful lead. It really can be a difficult quest, although things do fall out of the sky sometimes – you just need to read Christian’s story, as an example of how fortune does sometimes shine. IIRC, there are still about 4 cars that are still unaccounted for.

    If you are serious about buying a Rapide right now, you might try contacting this trader: http://www.romangarage.co.uk. I think that the car he was offering (though it’s not depicted on the website) has now been sold but it might be worth a call. Also, re a a search in North America, in addition to Steel Wings you might try also Kevin Kay Restorations in Redding, CA.

    In my opinion, these cars are wonderful – so beautiful, rare and interesting. I wish you all the very best with your hunt.


    6 February 2011 at 21:45 #48037

    Thanks a lot for your time and advice. I contacted Roy at Romane Garage this week. The car is in deed sold but the transaction is not yet fully completed.

    I will investigate the US leads you just provided me. I would prefer a LHD car. (and manual too!)

    This was my main complaint with my DB7… a slopy automatic tranny. For the rest, I was delighted with the package. My wife also enjoyed driving it.

    I only can keep 4 or 5 cars at one time, so I keep them on a rotation…I also had a 68 Morgan +4 that I fully restored last year. Sadly I also sold that one.

    Now with a 08 Range Rover, an 05 X-Type wagon, a 84 Lagonda V8 and a 69 E-Type Jaguar I am at the limit with one more. If I can get one Lagonda Rapide, I will keep it and will probably never sell it, just like my other Lagonda.


    7 February 2011 at 10:14 #48040

    The DB7 Vantage was available with a Tremec 6-speed manual box (the set being a cut unique to that car). In relative terms, they are rare because most chose the ZF 5 speed auto (both boxes being different from those offered for the DB7). IMHO, for a ‘modern’ Aston the DB7 Vantage in manual coupe form is wonderful combination for everyday / GT use. However, enough of all that – this is a Lagonda forum! πŸ˜€

    As David has indicated, there are a few ‘original’ NA cars. I assume (and he / someone will correct me if I am wrong) that all of these, together with those delivered new to continental Europe, are left hand drive. Frankly, it seems to me that conversion to LHD from RHD (though no doubt possible) would be a pointless exercise. However, conversion to either the DB 4-speed or ZF 5-speed seems to me to be a much more practical proposition that, in any event, has already been achieved re several cars.

    Good luck with it all.


    7 February 2011 at 15:24 #48041

    I first need to find a car to deal with all of this!


    8 February 2011 at 09:17 #48045

    As far as I know, there only were ever 3 manual LHD cars, one of which is known to have been scrapped. The other 2 are thought to survive, one in France and one which was for years (and is possibly still) in Switzerland. When new, only 3 cars, all auto, were sold into USA

    I am aware of only one car that has been converted from RHD to LHD, and I think it was done last year by Desmond Smail in UK. It won’t have been easy!

    Best wishes

    8 February 2011 at 23:45 #48050

    With so few cars made, I will take what ever come around… I would probably not change the tranny and I would never convert it from RHD to LHD or vice-versa. About 15 years ago when I started looking for one the LHD manual car from France was on sale in the south. They were asking so much that I discarted it as a potential car for me I have $100 000 in my mind, at the time but I may recall wrong. Anyways it was step! I also contacted a guy in South Africa but he had just sold his… for about 10 000 pounds at the time.

    Two years ago one came up on e-bay in Florida and I just mist it. $35 000.- with a trunk load of parts…

    Some guy in indonesia now is using the pictures of that Florida car as a lure to scam some one… It’s offered at a rediculous price on the net and you need to call in. no e-mail contact…Buyer beware!

    On occasion they pop up on classicdriver.com but everytime I spot one… it just sold. Yet the prices are never too high.

    I have had a painting made of the New York Stock Ecchange a few years back and the painter asked me to provide him with pictures of cars that I would like him to incorporate in his art.

    Well take a look:


    Is it in my skin or what?


    9 February 2011 at 11:07 #48051

    Super stuff – and the black one is on wires too!

    Essentially, so far as I can see, the cars all fall into one of three categories (perhaps all classics do so): (1) projects; (2) good drivers; and (3) very good cars. IIRC, only category (1) and (2) cars have come onto the open market in recent times.

    In the main, the category (2) cars have popped up at auction. They seem to make now circa ?70-80k. Such category (3) cars that have changed hands in recent years (so far as I am aware) have done so privately, and for (of course) undisclosed sums, between collectors. A good example would be the so-called Cartier car. This was bought in 2008 by someone I know for (I imagine) several hundred thousand pounds. But, it will be in perfect or near perfect concours condition (naturally).

    The market for these cars is necessarily tiny. The value of category (1) and (2) cars has, until very recently, been low (even very low). Now, just like the DB Aston market, my impression is that many (if not almost all) remaining DB Lagondas (at least the 3 litres and the Rapides) are now being bought by those prepared to spend significant amounts of money on their complete restoration. In other words, it seems to me that the Lagonda market now is mimicking the Aston market of the last decade or so, for first the 4, 5 & 6s and then (latterly) the 2, 2/4, MkIII, and Ss.

    In terms of the Rapides, when you are dealing with only 55 cars manufactured I imagine that in 10 or 15 years time they will all be in the hands of collectors and driver-enthusiasts, all will be in very good condition or better, and all will be very expensive.

    However, right now, it is clear that if you are very lucky indeed, you can still pick up a car in the ?5-35k bracket. Just be aware that ?100k+ worth of work will be required to bring the car up to where it should be.


    9 February 2011 at 12:54 #48052

    And the South Africa car is now in Sweden, with a distinguished concours-winning history from its time in UK. The Cartier car is as far as I know still in Europe. Changing the auto transmission for a more modern 4-speed transforms the driveability of the cars, well worth considering in my view

    9 February 2011 at 12:57 #48053

    Perhaps Francis you might try to find the Irish car…

    9 February 2011 at 13:35 #48054

    Re the Cartier car, ‘he’ certainly had it (still), he told me, last year. Although an avid collector, the gentleman in question has been known to change his mind radically overnight about many things. πŸ˜‰ So, it is certainly very far from inconceivable (in my view) that he might sell it on a whim. But, Francis, be warned – it will be mega-bucks if he parts with it. And, we wouldn’t necessarily get to hear about it if the thing was for sale.

    The Irish car is out there (somewhere) but I’m not sure where I’d begin any search. Over to you, David.

    10 February 2011 at 07:57 #48055

    I’d start in County Wexford, it was sage green with a white gold interior when new, RHD auto, registered CZB678

    10 February 2011 at 11:40 #48056

    Thanks for this clear explanation of the state of the market. I am willing to spend that type of money if I can find a car to restore. Actually, I do my own restorations, so it doesn’t run me that much.


    10 February 2011 at 11:43 #48057

    The Irish car, can you tell me more about it? is is a project or a runner?

    You mention this car, do you have information that it is available?


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