First there was Downton Abbey that made the world fall in love with aristocratic Brits, and later came The Crown. Since 2016, when Netflix released the first season of the series showcasing the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the world became obsessed with the British Royal Family. There are endless posts dedicated to Queen Elizabeth’s style evolution, articles about the dynamics inside the family, and even posts about the Queen’s “most special cars.” But there should be more focus on Prince Philip’s car collection, since he was a passionate driver who was very fond of beautiful vehicles. Moreover, his constant curiosity and fondness for engineering has pushed the automotive industry to innovate.
For instance, “a visit to a Canadian aircraft manufacturer early in his married life and a well-aimed inquiry about whether the cockpit construction techniques could be adapted for use in cars, helped inspire the use of Plexiglass Perspex rear panels for the back of the State limousines,” says Hagerty.
The Duke of Edinburgh also had an impressive car collection, which included an Alvis Series II Drophead, various Land Rover models, an MG, and even a fantastic 1954 custom-built Aston Martin Lagonda 3-liter Drophead Coupe, which came equipped with special features, such as an extra vanity mirror to allow Queen Elizabeth to check her hat and a radio-telephone from where the Duke made prank calls to his children and the Queen. Considering how many spectacular vehicles the Royal Family had, this is what made Prince Philip’s ’54 Aston Martin Lagonda so special.
These Were The Best Features Of The 1954 Aston Martin Lagonda
Without a doubt, this Aston Martin had many standout features, from the large vanity mirror built especially for the Queen to the on-board phone, which was an incredible technology for that decade. Additionally, Prince Philip’s 1954 Aston Martin Lagonda came with a floor-change gearbox and a power top – another modern feature. In light of modern technology, some built-in features and gadgets might not seem too impressive today, but they were groundbreaking for that period.
The Car Traveled Overseas With The Duke And Queen
Consider how humiliating it would be for Aston Martin if the press had photographed the Royal family waiting for a pickup on the side of the road because their car broke down. Aston Martin likely anticipated that this would be the largest blow to their reputation, so to prevent it, they would “dispatch staff” to the royal residences, sometimes on a weekly basis, to maintain the Duke’s convertible in top running condition. And to ensure that the car stayed in good shape, a top Aston Martin engineer was ready for the Royal couple in Australia when they started their tour of The Commonwealth. This has to be the definition of luxury service.
One of the most fascinating things about this car is that it traveled overseas with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. It seems like the Duke loved this vehicle so much that he wanted it on his trip to Melbourne in 1956, so his team freighted it on the Royal Yacht Britannia, after which it accompanied the Royal couple on their tour of The Commonwealth.
In essence, this 1954 Aston Martin Lagonda has experienced the globe more than most humans. Additionally, it traveled in greater style than the average person who has to endure terrible low-cost flights and the coach cabin. Apart from a fancy Royal tour, Prince Phillip used the Lagonda for school pickups and daily runs.
The Lagonda Got Auctioned For An Incredible Sum
Considering that the two-door four-seater was a testimony to some key events, it is not surprising that fans of the British Royal family really wanted to have it for their collection.
“This car is part of our history,” H & H Classics Ltd. Sales Manager Damian Jones said in announcing the sale to the press. “The accompanying paperwork beggars belief. There is an amusing story about Prince Phillip driving Her Majesty through London in this car and being held up by a policeman on point duty directing traffic. When the policeman saw who was in the Lagonda, he did a double take and swiftly waved them on,” Damian Jones continued.
In 2016, when H & H Classics Ltd. auctioned the Lagonda for a staggering $480,800 the car had only 50,000 miles on the odometer, according to Forbes. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt that the owners kept it in top condition. Did we also mention that it had a plush design? Everything about this Lagonda was distinctive, from the bespoke Edinburgh Green shade to the dove-gray leather upholstery, so it makes sense that it impressed contemporary automobile collectors. This Is Money says that Prince Phillip’s 1954 Lagonda is “the only one of the 20 MK1 Lagonda Drophead Coupes to be finished in this bespoke shade of Edinburgh Green with grey leather upholstery.”