The Lagonda Rapide was a bespoke hand built car made by Aston Martin Lagonda, it cost a cool 25% more than the standard DB4 or DB5. In late 1963, David Brown decided that the AML design team should take a fresh look at the Rapide and incorporate some of the idea’s being used on the DB5.
The car they chose to use as the basis for the prototype was LR105, which was first made as a a standard Rapide in 1961. To the left is a photo of 105 in its first guise with the standard Rapide front end. This particular car was originally displayed at the 1961 Motor-Show car held in Londons Earls Court, through its redesign it became the Mk 2 prototype.
The design brief called for a signicant change to the design of the front grille, the effect was to significantly alter the unique look of the car. There were no other external body work changes.
The automatic gearbox was moved from steering column mounted to be placed in the same position as the manual gearbox, which became the stanFard on all later Aston Martins.
The De Dion rear axle was changed for a solid beam rear axle. The original engine which ran on Solex carburettors was removed and replaced with a higher performance DB6 unit with three SU carburettors. There was no doubt a significant change to the performane of the car with this later setup.
The project was cancelled in early 1964, around the time that LR155 was finished. .
It is likely that with the run away success of the DB5, thanks in part to the James Bond connection, AML were fully stretched to deliver just over 1000 of these DB5’s during a 2 year period.
The unprofitable Lagonda Rapide was finally cancelled, as were the orders for a further 25 cars.