Back in the 1980s, Aston Martin was hanging on by a thread. The spectacular Bulldog supercar had been canned, and all efforts shifted to making as much money with as little cost as possible. Beyond mere revamps of existing product, Aston Martin took on a ton of special projects for very important customers for a few quick cash injections. This isn’t exactly one of those cars. What you’re looking at here is the missing link between the gorgeous Lagonda space wedge sedan and the fearsome Virage, and it’s going up for auction.
However, remove the curved-box late-’80s styling, and the Virage and Lagonda share more than you’d think. They’re both front-engined rear-wheel-drive bruisers powered by boisterous 5.3-liter V8s and the Virage was an evolution of the Lagonda chassis. I’m talking a de Dion tube rear end with a Watts Linkage, double-wishbone front suspension, all pulled together to cut costs because Aston Martin wasn’t making much money. The Virage was developed before Ford bought the small automaker, so it was strung together on the cheap. This chopped Lagonda is proof of concept.
So how did DP2034 make it out of the factory? Well, astonmartins.com reports that after development was finished, this prototype was sent “over the road to Works Service where it was comprehensively rebuilt, fully finished, painted and trimmed and sold to a UK collector.” Aston Martin was happy to indulge customer requests from one-off wagons to weird specs, so it seems entirely likely for the firm to have adopted an “everything must go” attitude.
As it stands today, this Virage prototype is immaculately and extensively finished with all the toys you could’ve possibly wanted in the late-’80s. After all, when was the last time you saw a coupe with a drinks cabinet? From the walnut dashboard to the vivid blue carpets, this short-wheelbase Lagonda means business through and through, to the point where you wonder: Why didn’t Aston mass-produce this?
Since this is an auction, we don’t know exactly where the hammer will drop on this shortened Lagonda, but it certainly won’t go cheap. Bonhams is estimating a sale price of £250,000 to £350,000, which converts out to between $318,700 and $446,180. That’s well-equipped new Aston Martin money, but as good as the DB12 seems, is it this cool? Sure, this thing doesn’t have a digital dashboard or the latest Michelin tires, but the DB12 doesn’t have a drinks cabinet. Game on, I reckon.
(Photo credits: Bonhams)
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