In 1961, Aston Martin brought back the renowned Lagonda name with a lavish four-door sports saloon, drawing inspiration from the esteemed Rapide model of the late 1930s. Spearheaded by David Brown, the Rapide was a personal project that embodied his vision for a car equally suitable for driving or being chauffeured.
Underneath the Superleggera aluminum coachwork crafted by Touring of Milan, the Rapide featured a lengthened DB4 platform-type chassis, extended by 16 inches. This chassis was ingeniously re-engineered to accommodate De Dion rear suspension, optimizing rear compartment space. Propelled by a 4.0-liter (236bhp) iteration of the Aston Martin DB4’s twin-cam ‘six,’ destined to later power the DB5, the Rapide lived up to its name with impressive acceleration and a top speed exceeding 130mph.
Ensuring control over its outstanding performance were dual circuit, servo-assisted disc brakes. The interior, designed with tradition in mind, boasted electric windows, rear picnic tables, a remote opener for the filler cap, and a standard radio. The Rapide’s initial price tag of £5,000 was 25% higher than that of the already premium Aston Martin DB4. Production of this opulent vehicle ceased in 1964 after the assembly of a limited run of 55 units, most of which featured Borg Warner three-speed automatic transmission.