Aston Martin Lagonda – Luxury Cars of the 20th Century
Debuting at the 1976 London Motor Show, the Aston Martin Lagonda was the companies attempt to quell financial pressures after passing through several owners during the early 70’s. The Lagonda ultimately succeeded, despite only 645 being produced over 11 years. Featuring a radical body designed by William Towns, the ‘folded paper’ wedge design garnered the Lagonda a marmite reputation; you either love it or hate it. Despite the Lagonda’s somewhat negative sartorial provenance, it must be admired as an amazing example of radical design, as should William Towns. Few cars are as long, low, wide or sleek as the Lagonda, let alone conventional executive saloons. A recoil to the decade’s design benchmark, the Lagonda stands as a drastically important piece of modernist design.
The key to the Lagonda’s luxury were its pioneering series of automotive electronics. The Lagonda featured touch controls, electronic engine management, an LED dashboard, early Series II cars even featured steering wheel controls; the cost of the electronics alone totalling at four times the budget for the entire car. These space age electronics combined with traditional coachbuilding techniques resulted in an effortlessly capable luxury automobile.