Lagonda Vignale by Ghia
Lagonda Vignale by Ghia

Lagonda Vignale by Ghia

Ghia Design of Turin

(1993)

It's very difficult to know into which section of the website to put the unique Lagonda Vignale. It doesn't have a direct link to a previous model, and at first glance anyway, it doesn't appear to lead anywhere either! But this is not correct. Although the concept never made production, the engine intended for the car eventually made it's way into the DB7 V12 Vantage and the V12 Vanquish, and many of the proposed innovations form the basis for the VH architecture. So you're now confused, I had better explain.

Lagonda Vignale by Ghia

The Lagonda Vignale was commissioned by AML (already fully owned by Ford at the time) from Ghia Design (also part of the Ford family) to be shown at the 1993 Geneva Salon. The exterior design was by Moray Callum – an interesting co-incidence as the Geneva Salon 1993 was the first appearance of the DB7, the work of Moray’s brother, Ian. This somewhat large car was built on a Lincoln Town Car chassis with Lincoln independent front and solid self levelling rear suspension and was powered by a 4.6 litre V8 producing 190bhp and  260 lb/ft of torque. The reality of the concept is that physically, it had no recognisable AML parts at all. But, had this fabulous car made production (and many thought that it would), the chassis would have become an extruded aluminium affair, the suspension was to be fully independent and the engine would have been a 6.0 litre V12. Whilst these features never made it into a production Vignale – they are exactly the same as found in the the Lagonda Taraf more than 20 years later.

The Vignale name relates to the Italian coachbuilding firm of Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale which was acquired by Ford in 1973 along with the Carrozzeria Ghia from de Tomaso..

I still to this day don’t know why this incredible automobile didn’t make production. It’s retro yet radical styling looks as fresh today as it did way back in 1993.

Certainly two Vignales were built by Ghia. The blue car shown below, was sold at the famous auction of Ford prototypes in Dearborn in June 2002 for what was considered the  massive sum of $403,500 (including buyers premium), many times above the estimate of $60,000 to $120,000. I believe the other car whilst a running vehicle, was not fully engineered and it was subsequently destroyed.

All photographs on this page are copyright Aston Martin Lagonda