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SLIDER: Aston Martin Rapide

This exotic machine is very rarely seen in the wild.  It was found in Ludlow very recently.

The name of the car dates back to the mid- to late-1930s, when the most sporting of the Lagonda cars, the M45 Rapide and its successor the LG45 Rapide were produced.  With the takeover of Lagonda by David Brown in 1947 the Rapide name lay dormant until 1961 when it was given to a four-door grand tourer, based on the current Aston Martin DB4 but with De Dion rear suspension and a 4-litre version of the engine – a capacity increase from 3.7 litres that would then appear in the DB5.  Only 55 Rapides were made between 1961 and 1964.

Fast forward to 2010.  Concerned that the Lagonda name would not be recognised in Aston Martin’s principal markets, the company re-introduced a four-door Rapide version of the current Aston, but this time badged it as an Aston Martin.  The new Rapide was based on the DB9.  It was powered by a 5,935 cc V12 engine with a power output of 470 BHP and had a top speed of 188 mph.

In 2013 Aston Martin introduced the Rapide S, a face-lifted model with an increased power output of 550 BHP and a top speed of 190 mph.

Because the original owner of the Rapide in our Slider had the good taste to remove any crassly show-off badges from the rear of the car, and because the car has a personalised number plate, we do not know whether it is a Rapide or Rapide S.  Whichever version it may be, the old town of Ludlow was certainly enhanced on that recent summer’s day.

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