Piano Factory Exile: ’84 Aston Martin Lagonda

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Known for their abundantly complex driving systems and gauge clusters, Aston Martin Lagondas like this one are not for the faint of heart. Despite the proclamation that this Lagonda is in fantastic condition, it appears to be stored in a dusty warehouse with rust forming on the chrome headlight surrounds and the interior looking quite tired. Find it here on eBay with a $45,000 Buy-It-Now and an ownership history that supposedly includes a celebrity boxer.

The Lagonda is stored by a seller known as the Bill Kap Piano Company, “Ohio’s Largest Piano Showcase.” This strikes us as unusual right off the bat, as it wouldn’t seem like a piano company would be a natural fit for classic vehicle storage. But given the amount of space pianos need, maybe it’s a sensible side business for a piano storage company to get into. Regardless, this Aston doesn’t come across as a vehicle handled by a white-gloved specialists but rather a dusty used car stored with about as much care as if it were a tired Steinway & Sons.

The infamous CRT instrument panel is the bugaboo in the interior, and despite Aston’s attempt to create a novel driver entertainment panel, it mostly just infused the car’s many electrical faults with more costly repairs. While the interior presents OK, it’s not as nice as I’d expect for a Lagonda with just 18,000 miles. The seat leather appears dirty and the floormats look trashed, both surprising considering the body does look quite nice. Door panels also look dirty and the wood veneers in need of restoration.

The seller wasn’t generous with the photos (must be too many pianos in the way!), but this one does show off the car’s decent paint and nose section free of major damage. The multi-hole wheels are a nice period touch, and tires – which may be original – appear to have good tread depth. While we may never know the true identity of the “boxing legend” referenced as the previous owner, there’s a good chance he’s moved on from caring for this needy Aston if it’s currently taking up space in a piano storage warehouse.

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  1. Charles

    Be very careful. These are extemely complex automobiles with lots of electrical gremlins in the instruments and switchgear, and they are very hard cars to sell and do not command strong prices. If someone pays anywhere near $45K for this, I would be very surprised.
    It is hard to tell from the photos. Is it gold or silver?

  2. Dave Wright

    I like my Quatroporte better………

    • Larry Brantingham

      I like mine, too, but that engine is from a Khamsin or late Indy, isn’t it? It would be the only one with the Citroen hydraulic pump, overhung AC compressor and header tank.

  3. bcavileer

    Ugliest of the ugly. Sorry, but not one appealing line to the eye. I have seen shoe boxes look better.

    • Red'sResto

      Looks like someone put the front end in a vice. More appealing as a door stop.

  4. txchief

    I might consider it if they were offering me $45,000 to haul it away….

  5. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    A very unique car. I find them rather handsome and certainly representative of an era when rectangles ruled the design studios. I actually wrote a high school essay about the Lagonda when they were new. No desire to own one though!

  6. txchief

    I just puked a little in the back of my throat.

  7. sparkster

    Like a grand piano these cars are better left to sit in one place rather than being moved from place to place. Interesting automobile but so is art hanging on a wall

  8. Milt

    The tiny grill looks comical and out of place. The best view of this car is from the rear corner. Dash by Atari?

  9. Nova Scotian

    Over priced.

  10. Red'sResto

    This strikes a flat chord with me…

    • Red'sResto

      I guess the piano joke fell on deaf ears…

  11. Sirpike

    $4500.00 and break it !

  12. JGeezer

    What are the panels above the headlights? I first assumed pop-up lights, but I see the lights down below.

    • chrarles

      Could they be front air spoilers?

  13. sparkster

    Pop up headlights , series 3 had these (pictured) series 4 didn’t

  14. Dt 1

    Send it back to the Brits

  15. dr fine

    In 1985, I saw one of these junked at a mechanic’s lot and I thought it was absolutely beautiful. I figured I could drop in a Chevy V8 and really ride in style. I opened the driver’s door and found the interior panel missing and dozens of plastic aquarium looking tubes stuffed inside, most of them cut. I quickly lost interest.

  16. Mack

    Reminds me of my favorite line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “Run away! Run away!”

  17. Michael thomas

    about 35,000 over priced

  18. chad

    need the hairy chest, shirt open & gold chains to drive it…
    dentist, spinal surgeon, financial person, vet, musician, comedian, .
    don’t think a woman would drive it but may B

  19. jtnc

    A MUCH better example of the Lagonda sold at the 2017 Bonham’s Amelia Island auction for a figure around this asking price. It was in no. 2 condition: cherished, well-maintained cosmetically and mechanically, running and had all dash functions working properly. I think these are interesting and advanced cars though I wouldn’t want to rely on one for daily transportation.

  20. HeadMaster1

    Much like the Q-Porte, these cars have to be seen in person. They are EXOTIC from every angle. Square in pictures, but dam sexy in person. Long and lean, just the way bikini models used to be……

    • dr fine

      Very true! I also notice this with the 58-60 Lincoln and even the 61 Rambler Ambassador.

  21. Bruce Best

    I have seen a couple on the road in both Denver and San Francisco areas. They are truly dramatic when in motion. I am of very mixed views about the designs in general. The comments about the complexity of the dash is greatly understated. The instruments are a design nightmare. I think all of the tubes could be replaced by a few I pads and the right software for a whole lot less money as the tubes are quickly becoming irreplaceable technologies.

    The engine is not the problem with these cars. Basically they are very strong and well designed. The assembly is top notch as are the materials but care is critical and if badly treated by those with no knowledge or care you can easily eat up the NEW cost of one restoring one.

    Amazing if good, breathtaking on the move, Horror story if not maintained. I think a true price should be 20 to 25K max. Just a paint job will cost most of the difference between this price and the asking price.

  22. Alan

    Would James Bond have driven one of these? Would he hell, I love Astons, but this is the ugliest Aston ever made, and I am a Brit! Burn the thing, erase the mark from history!

  23. Edward Skakie

    The pic of the Left front pop up headlight seems to show a whole bunch of screwdriver/suchlike marks on the front opening, much the same as would happen were one to try to pry it open

  24. Randy

    As polarizing as this model is, it saved Aston from financial ruin. Sheiks lined up to buy them.

    Free is too expensive here. The engine is an underpowered version of the otherwise mighty Aston V8, but the real challenge is in the wiring and controls. This car was about 15 years at least ahead of its time in terms of attempted technology. The reliability just wasn’t there. The demonstrator broke down on the way to the launch. Not a great start.

    However, for those with bottomless pockets, cutting this car down to a two-door coupe really improves the lines. That second door doesn’t open all the way on this sedan, and is a bear to get in and out of. Worse than the Rapide, if that’s possible.

    the best one I ever saw had the entire electronics system removed, scrapped, and replaced with a 100% analog system. Ran like a champ!


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