This is the best car to invest in now
How many times a year do you look at some exotic car for sale, carrying some unimaginably high price, and think ‘I remember a time when these cost x’ where x equals a price you could afford? It happens to me almost daily. Today it was the price of Ferrari 550 Maranellos. Nice right-hand-drive cars with manual gearboxes now cost around £120,000. Yet it seems like the blink of an eye since they were £30,000.
So what cars will people be looking back on in five years’ time and cursing they’d not had the presence of mind to buy then? Were it me, I’d be taking a long hard look at an Aston Martin Lagonda.
No, I’ve not gone mad, at least I don’t think so. I am as aware as anyone of the Lagonda’s manifest failings and limitations. I only drove one once and not very far because although it didn’t actually break down, it was one of those cars that felt like it might at any minute, and I didn’t fancy being stranded.
But even that not particularly nice example was nicer to drive than I had expected. It wasn’t especially fast, but nor was its performance a disgrace. It handled far better than I’d expected (because I’d expected it to fall over at the first sign of corner) and it sounded wonderful. The only thing I really didn’t like was the three speed automatic gearbox. I enjoyed it more than I had expected, and that was a very long time ago.
Now the world is a different place, one into which I feel those extraordinary Bill Towns lines fit more naturally with every passing year. When it was new it was utterly shocking, when it had been out of production for a while it looked like a rather sad cartoon kind of car. But now I think its post-modern lines have found their time. I hate poseurs and posing, but even I must admit I’d be interested to gauge the reaction of passers-by when driving one through a ritzy part of town today.
But none of this is why I think one would make a smart buy. First I should say that even now they’re not cheap – around £75,000 is realistic – but if you buy a late one without all the insane electronics, I still think it will look after your money very nicely.
Why? First, because it’s an Aston Martin, second because is in ever-more image-obsessed world, what people want more than anything are cars that turn heads. They don’t even need to be attractive, and you only have to look at the latest crop of full-sized luxury SUVs to know it. Third, Lagondas are rare. I believe only 645 were made, so how many survive today? After so many years of being unloved and being expensive to maintain and repair, I bet hundreds deteriorated beyond the point of economic salvage.
But most compelling is the fact that three years from now, Lagonda will be once more be one of the most talked about marques of them all. As you will probably know, it will be relaunched as the world’s first all-electric luxury car brand, and if the Lagonda Vision Concept is any guide (and, believe me, it is), the 21st century Lagondas are going to be among the most visually arresting cars ever offered for sale to the public. And by then if people realise just how few original Lagondas are left I think those few survivors could become very popular indeed.
I could, of course, be entirely wrong about this and I’d not suggest anyone part with a lot of money on the strength of this column alone. But if you were already leaning in that direction, I would understand why entirely. The time for the Lagonda to come in out of the cold has come.
Words by Andrew Frankel, images courtesy of RM Sotheby's.