Lamley Daily: Evel Knievel’s Chevy-powered Aston Martin Lagonda

Model: Johnny Lightning 1983 Lagonda

Release: JL Collection Release 2

Ebay link: Johnny Lightning Lagonda

Why I am featuring it: I can’t claim to be an expert on Johnny Lightning so please correct me in the comments if I get anything wrong. In fact, this Aston Martin Lagonda represents 50% of my entire JL collection. The other is a disappointing Datsun 280ZX from the Classic Gold series that I picked up out of curiosity – incidentally the last model I bought from a Toys R Us in the US.

2020-04-27 20.31.17But the Lagonda is one of my favourite cars of all time and I’m not aware of another model of it in 1:64 size. I didn’t even know about the JL version until I stumbled upon it in the Daytona Flea Market last year. It’s a bit of an oddity, with a modified look that includes side pipes and a rear wing, because the original version was issued as the only car in a 1998, four-model set of Evel Knievel’s vehicles. Knievel owned a Lagonda that had had its original 5.3-liter Aston V8 swapped for an 8.2-liter, big-block Chevy. It sold for a ridiculously cheap US$29k at auction in 2013!

Even with the modifications, I think the JL casting really captures the angular look of designer William Towns’ incredible Aston, especially from the side. This red edition from the JL Collection dates from around 2001 – its only other use outside of the Knievel set, to the best of my knowledge – but the brand has done some other nice Aston castings. I used to have the Goldfinger DB5 and the ’87 Vantage is great, too, so you can build a small collection around the Lagonda.

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Graham Heeps

2 thoughts on “Lamley Daily: Evel Knievel’s Chevy-powered Aston Martin Lagonda

  1. I also have an Evel Knievel Lagonda but mine is black, I also have 2 bikes and the jump rocket, all still carded.

    1. Nice! The black is the original issue. I’d love one of those rocket bikes, only ever seen one in a picture. Thanks for reading!

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