Showing posts with label Aston Martin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aston Martin. Show all posts

Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin Lagonda 1970s British classic car

There was little doubt which car was the star of the '76 Earls Court Show. The Aston Martin Lagonda fired up a furore of excitement around its stand. 170 orders were placed, there and then. Aston - still reeling from recent travails - were on cloud nine. Then the problems set in! The Lagonda sported futuristic looks - designed by William Towns. His cutting edge styling included not just the exterior lines, but the cabin area, too. A digital dash - and touch-sensitive controls - seemed straight out of Star Trek. But, this was '70s Britain - not '90s Silicon Valley. Technical gremlins surfaced from the get-go. As a result, the Lagonda's launch was delayed three years. By the time it was finally released, its price tag had risen to £32,000. Aston thanked their lucky stars that it was still in demand!

In terms of traditional engineering, the Lagonda was fine. Its chassis was an updated version of a tried and tested set-up. Suspension, too, had been seen before. Following a few tweaks to sort an increase in weight, ride and handling were spot-on. Press reviews were upbeat. The Lagonda's engine, especially, was praised. Its 5.3-litre V8 - with quad-cam layout - made 340bhp. Top speed was 140mph. That was impressive - for a saloon car weighing nearly two tons. Transmission was 3-speed auto.

Ultimately, the Lagonda was all about leisure. Avant-garde though it was, it also harked back to a more luxurious past. On its launch, then - in '79 - Lord and Lady Tavistock were first in line. Air conditioning - and electric seats - came as standard. Coachbuilders Tickford turned out three stretched Lagondas - complete with colour TVs. But, for all of its state of the art buzz - and genteel pretensions - the Lagonda did not sell well. By the end of its run - in 1990 - a scant 645 cars had been built. It had signally failed to back up the hype - commercially-speaking, anyway. The high-tech teething troubles had not helped. In that regard, however, it paved the way for cars to come. At the time, though, Aston Martin's Lagonda bit off more of the future than it could comfortably chew!

Aston Martin DB5

Aston Martin DB5 1960s British classic sports car

The Aston Martin DB5 was a blue-blooded aristocrat. The member of society's upper tier with whom the car is most associated is, of course, James Bond. For, the DB5 played a starring rĂ´le in Goldfinger. Indeed, it was unthinkable that '007' would have driven anything else! And, when Bond was in the countryside - recuperating from the rigours of defending the Western world - he would have been seen in a 'shooting-brake' DB5. Just 12 of these rarefied estate cars were built. Now, that is exclusivity, Miss Moneypenny!

At the heart of the Aston's allure was its beautiful bodywork. Alloy panels came courtesy of Touring - the illustrious Italian design house. A network of minimalist tubing made up a skeletal frame. On that was laid the car's finely-chiselled outer skin. Flared-in headlights were a fashionable feature. They also helped the DB5's aerodynamics. A top speed of 140mph said it all. If you needed an extra 10mph on top of that, a tuned Vantage engine was always an option. The 4/5-speed ZF transmission was eminently tractable. Solid disc brakes were fitted all round.

So, the DB5 mixed cutting edge technology with sought-after styling. It added its own take to decades of impeccably-wrought Aston craftsmanship. It was as suave and sophisticated as cars get. It had 'licensed to kill' looks. And its 4-litre straight-6 engine had performance to match. 282bhp was on free-flowing tap … shaken, but not stirred, of course! 'DB' stood for David Brown. And his firm's reputation now soared to new heights. After all, the Aston Martin DB5 was James Bond's personal transport. And it does not come much classier than that!