Run by Martin Buckley
Owned since #2004
Total mileage 90,647
Miles since May report two
Latest costs £2000+
Colour Dubonnet Rosso
Engine size 3,995 cc
Chassis No. LR153/R
Engine No. 400/153
RAPIDE REBUILD NEARS CLIMAX
The Lagonda restoration is now coming down to its final details. As reported last time, the electric windows have long been an issue and the two rear Piper motors had packed up altogether. Jonathan Wills at Cotswold Classic Car Restorations sent them off to a company that specialises in electric motors and had the windings and wiring renewed as well as the wiring to the relays sorted.
These are now fitted back into the doors and raise and lower the glass at terrifying speed - you wouldn’t want to get your fingers or any other extremities caught.
The chrome switches - which I believe are unique to the Rapide - have all been stripped and rebuilt and Jon has tidied, refurbished and blacked out all of the fittings and mechanisms inside the doors.
He even replaced the chrome conduits that take the wiring inside the doors: you can buy them new from Aston Martin for about £100 each, including ‘ #Aston-Martin
Tax’. Irritatingly, these fittings - modified slightly at each end - are quite obviously domestic shower hose available for a few pounds from Homebase! To make matters worse, two were even slightly rusty.
I have a recurring fantasy about finding out where all the bits for this car were purloined from - #Ford
Consul over riders, Imp rear lights, #Karmann #Ghia
numberplate light et al - and starting a collection and then making my own #DB5
in kit form. I wonder how long it will be before somebody actually has a serious go at something like that.
A new cable for the heater control has been fitted and the dashboard, with refinished wood veneer, is also almost in place. The steering wheel is being rubbed down for revarnishing. We are getting to the stage of firing up the engine, but two familiar problems have delayed that: the electronic ignition 1 had fitted two years ago has died and the double-headed SU fuel pump that lives under the Solex carbs is temperamental. As a result, Jon has wisely replaced it with an electronic type from Burlen Fuel Systems, thus doing away with the points inside. A replacement ignition system is on the way.
Jobs that still need addressing include the brakes (which had nearly failed last time the Lagonda was in use), plus the wheeltrims and hubcaps. My personal view is that the centrelocks look so good that it is a shame to cover them up. Better to refinish the wheels in silver, which seems to be what most Rapide owners have done.
Richard Stevens has decided that the Lagonda will be sold when it is finished - it is due to cross the block at Brightwells before you read this - which is a shame but I realise that I have probably had more fun out of it than anyone. Besides, now it’s so beautiful I would be afraid to use it or leave it anywhere - the days of taking the Rapide to my local Wait- rose on a shopping trip are over.
Cotswold Classic Car Restorations: cccrestorations. co. uk