Saturday, 2 April 2016

Aston Martin Lagonda

The usual approach to Oulton Park whether coming from the north or south is via the A49, which runs between Ross-on-Wye and Bamber Bridge, just south of Preston. Just to the south of where the A49 crosses the A54 Chester to Buxton road there's a lane (on the right if travelling north) called Coach Road which leads to the Lodge entrance at the race track. This is a long, straight road of over a mile, and when I was going to the Aston Martin Owners Club's Autumn Historic Car Races meeting in September 1993 I noticed some way behind me that I was being followed by what I took to be an Aston Martin. At the end of Coach Road you do a sharp right turn to get to the entrance to the infield and paddock, and as the car behind me took this turn I noticed that it had 4 doors. When I saw the car later in the paddock I took this photograph.
The only identification I had put on the photograph was 'Lagonda', but whether I'd looked at the badge or assumed it was a Lagonda because of the 4 doors I don't know, I've only been able to find one photograph on the web resembling this car, but the subject of the photograph was what was described as an Aston Martin Shooting Brake alongside it (but appears to be also a Lagonda) - this car doesn't get a mention. In the Wikipedia article on the Aston Martin Virage, however, is this paragraph which I assume describes the car above:
Lagonda Virage Saloon
Another rare Works Service car is the Lagonda Saloon. Only a handful of these long-wheelbase four-door Virages were built as a special customer order, reviving Aston Martin's long-dormant second marque. Introduced in 1994, it was made by Aston Martin Works Service with a 12-inch (30 cm) chassis extension, although two were ordered with an 18-inch (460 mm) extension. The name refers to the four-door Aston Martin Lagonda. The Lagonda Virage cost about £250,000 and only eight or nine were made, with some being conversions of regular Virages.

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