The last Project Car Hell, written by everyone’s favorite saucy minx, Murilee Martin, featured two vehicles that were victims of flooding from Super Storm Sandy. Normally, most of us would look at the two PCH cars, evaluate which one is less expensive, less of an overall horror, easier to repair, and pick the other. But this PCH was unlike any other… these cars, they were different.
The first car was an Aston Martin Lagonda Series 4. This was the very last of the Lagondas, with approximately one hundred made. Aston Martin gave this model a facelift, which is most evident in the more rounded body work and lack of pop-up headlights. Other upgrades consisted of chrome trim being color-coded to the rest of the car. Not a car one would see every day, now or in the past decades.
The second car was a Russian Volga GAZ-21. Produced from 1956 until 1970, it was styled after big American sedans and intended for government use. Some models featured such unmentionables as a V8 engine and automatic transmission! While probably relatively common around the Red Square in the height of Communism, it is now rarely seen anywhere. So, what in the hell is doing in on Long Island?
In a week where I was deprived of sleep and overworked, I went about picking my poison and almost missed the fact that these were so rare. I also missed the fact that both of them hailed from around the New York City area. Then I recalled that in 2011 I saw a similar Volga at the Greenwich Concours. Then I recalled that I saw a similar Aston Martin at the 2012 Greenwich Concours. That’s weird…
…Wait a minute…
…Could those be the same cars?
1989 Aston Martin Lagonda
The above are the pictures of the Aston Martin that Murilee pulled off the IAA insurance website listing (go here if the listing disappears). Note the color appears to be off, note the body style, the wheels, and the interior as compared to below. Sadly, this is the same car.
While at the Greenwich Concours I spent some time looking over the car. It was really magnificent, and I wasn’t the only one who felt that way; friend of Hooniverse and Jalopnik contributor, Raphael Orlove had this to say about the Aston:
“I talked to that Lagonda owner for a bit – it was his third! It was actually the very last Lagonda brought into the US, an ’89 car. I don’t know what was more opulent, the blood red carpets, the stocked bar in the back, or the fitted purple leather luggage in the trunk. He really loves that car.”
1962 Volga GAZ-21
Like the Aston Martin, the below Volga was also found on the IAA Insurance company auction site (go here if the listing disappears). Judging by the color, the wheels, and the interior, that is definitely the same car as seen on the 2011 Greenwich Concours.
I remember that car making a big impression on me at the show, mostly because it wasn’t 100% original. No, it was much better than the original. There was no way in hell that a paint of this quality or interior filled with such rich fabrics ever left a Russian factory, neither now nor in the past.
Here is a sad observation I made: both cars were registered in the state of New York, and both are being sold by the Geico Insurance company from the Long Island town of Woodbury. Due to the fact that both are contestants of a prestigious concours event just a year apart, leads me to believe that both cars may have been owned by the same person, or persons.
Let’s hope that these cars were the biggest loses from the storm for their previous owner. Cars, like houses, can be replaced while life cannot. Though super rare, both of these vehicles can still be found or imported into the United States.
With regards to both of these cars; it looks like both of them were submerged in several feet of salt water. To save them one would need to remove EVERYTHING from them, and repair or replace. The best bet would be a rat-rod of some kind or a motorcycle-powered Lemons racer which would pay homage to these two breathtaking automobiles.