By on July 3, 2019

Sometimes, motorcars of high specification end up off-limits to some markets due to issues relatively outside the manufacturer’s control: funding, distribution, or perhaps regulation. Aston Marton took a different approach with the Lagonda Taraf, and intentionally limited their super sedan to just one market.

Maybe that was for the best.

The Lagonda name conjures up images of one very specific sedan, but that wasn’t always the case. Lagonda was founded in England in 1906 by an American named Wilbur Gunn, who’d decided he didn’t want to be an opera singer any longer. Gunn drew the Lagonda name from the Shawnee settlement which eventually became the location of his hometown — Springfield, Ohio.

Between 1906 and 1940, Lagonda built expensive cars at their singular factory. The company fell on hard times and was sold to a new investor in 1935, but continued to slowly produce new cars in between wars. No cars were built between 1940 and 1948, and the company changed hands again in 1947. Aston Martin took over, and immediately folded Lagonda in as a subsidiary.

After building less than 800 cars between 1948 and 1958, the company went dormant. Aston Martin brought it back in 1961, with a limited run of 55 Rapide sedans. Another dormant period was followed by a revival, this time of the Aston Martin Lagonda everyone remembers. It’s the one designed in the Seventies with a ruler, and then filled with incredibly complex and reliable flammable electrics. Rare Rides covered that relatively common sedan in past. The last rectangular sedan was produced in 1989.

For Lagonda’s 100th birthday in 2009, Aston Martin proclaimed there’d be a new Lagonda, as its parent sought to branch out to the luxury sedan market space. Six years later, production began. The new Taraf did not wear the Aston Martin badge at all, as its official manufacturer was Lagonda. The name, Taraf, was selected to appeal to the car’s target market in the Middle East. Meaning “ultimate luxury” in Arabic, the Taraf would be sold only to the super rich in the region.

Power was supplied by a German-built and Ford-assembled 6-liter V12 borrowed from the Vanquish, which generated 533 horsepower and a hefty 465 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic routed power only to the rear wheels. The considerable 212-inch length of the Taraf rode on the same platform as Aston Martin’s DB9 and Rapide. Zero to 60 arrived in 4.4 seconds, and the Taraf traveled on to a top speed of 195.

The interior received most of its materials and switches from existing Aston Martin cars, and could be perceived as a bit dated these three years later. The few select buyers could choose from various leather and wood interior accouterments. Production lasted from 2015 to 2016, with just 120 examples made. The asking price for each one was $1,000,000. Then Lagonda went dormant once more.

Todays Taraf is surprisingly located in California, where its importation was likely under the Show or Display regulation for limited-production vehicles. With 293 miles on the clock and a sweet Garmin navigation system in the dash, the asking price is on request.

[Images: seller]

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14 Comments on “Rare Rides: Aston Martin’s Incredibly Rare 2017 Lagonda Taraf...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    OMG, what a beautiful car and has always been near the top of my “Worlds Most Beautiful Cars” list, swoon :)

    Great find, Corey

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    One of the few sedans today where I could say I like its appearance–but I still wouldn’t buy a sedan to save my life. Steal one, maybe–but not buy it.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I guess if you have to ask the price…you probably can’t afford it!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I consider the AM Rapide to be the best looking of the “four-door coupes”, but this thing is stunningly beautiful. The downsides are the insanely complex center stack, and the rarity.

    Good luck selling this thing; it can’t be registered here, so it’s only fit for export, or a museum, and, imagine trying to get this thing repaired after you’ve been rear-ended by someone staring at their iPhone.

    As the late, great Tom Hnatiw (RIP) would say, “So now you have to ask yourself – do you need a car like the Lagonda Taraf? No. But do you *want* a car like the Lagonda Taraf?”

    Also, thanks for the information about the history of the name Lagonda. I’ve always assumed it was some Italian word.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    The Shawnee (maybe; they were a tribe of conquerors and usurpers and pushed out other older tribes) called the local Mad River tributary stream Lagonda. When the Gringo conquerors and usurpers showed up and pushed out the Shawnee this tributary was given it’s properly Gringo-ized name: Buck Creek. Also, one will not find a Lagonda such as the subject of this article on Lagonda Avenue in Springfield (where International Harvester built trucks for many, many years) unless it is up on blocks without wheels – on fire – with all the window broken out…

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I irrationally love all Astons, even the previous Lagonda. This one however is indeed extra special.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Beautiful car, but that GPS is a fail.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    That was nice of AM to put a Genesis G90 concept car into limited production :p

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      You do have a point, but I still see a lot of Avalon toward the rear of that G90 that I don’t see on the Lagonda. Designing a million dollar car that doesn’t look like any other car must be challenging, but AM succeeds


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