As an automaker best known for its voluptuous, curvy coupes, the Aston Martin Lagonda is a knife-edged enigma. The
origami aggression of its exterior, its tech-laden interior, along with the sheer scale of the thing (over 17' long)
must've made it look like an aluminum-skinned spaceship when it hit the show scene in 1976. Launched with a 5.3-liter
Weber-carb'd V8 (and clunky Chrysler three-speed automatic), the performance didn't completely deliver on the Lagonda's
avant-garde visuals, though it was allegedly capable of 140 mph. Naturally, the Lagonda's habitually troublesome
electronics and quality-control issues didn't stop at least one Autoblog staffer from falling in love with its
shape collection of angles.
(click through to the jump for an interior shot, more details, and the link!)
It would seem that the author wasn't alone, either, as legendary stuntman Evel Knievel (best known for jumping his motorcycle over all and sundry) had a 1984 example heavily customized. Brooming the underwhelming factory drivetrain, Knievel had a 502 big-block Chevrolet V8 shoehorned into the engine bay, along with an R-700 tranny and chromed side-exit exhausts. Knievel then had the exterior redone in 'Dark Blood Maroon' and reworked the interior in cream leather with matching maroon accents, sourcing many of the bits from Rolls Royce. The result appears to be a car that rectifies the major shortcomings of the original Lagonda (relative lack of power, glitch-prone interior electrics, etc.). Of course, the reliability issue remains an open question, and Chevrolet driveline or no, we can't imagine this thing being an inexpensive proposition to sort-out if its in a bad way.
Not that it's cheap to begin with. The asking price for Evel's is a stout $149,999. But hey, the Lagonda is arguably the Godfather of ICE (In-Car-Entertainment), having had color televisions as options (front and rear, thank you) as early as 1983, and a CRT-equipped multi-lingual talking dashboard by 1984. We're still waiting for P. Diddy to cotton on and use one in his next video.
Pricy though it may be, with the storied daredevil Knievel putting the car for sale on account of his recent stroke and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis diagnosis, perhaps the buyer will have a chance to help a legend out-- and that's got to be worth something.
Check out the full listing here.
(Top tip, Robert!)