Lot 240 - 1936 12958 3 Litre Continental Open Tourer
|Odometer reading||5,250 miles|
|Estimate||£55,000 - £65,000|
|Result||Sold - £64,960|
The Lagonda company was founded in 1906 in Staines, Middlesex by an American, Wilbur Gunn, who had named the company after a river near to his birthplace in Springfield, Ohio. Mr Gunn had originally built motorcycles in the garden of his house in Staines with reasonable success, including a win in the 1905 London-Edinburgh trial. In 1907 he launched his first car, the 20-hp, 6-cylinder Torpedo, which he used to win the Moscow-St. Petersburg trial of 1910. This success produced a healthy order for exports to Russia which continued until 1914. The first of the company's sports models was launched in 1925 as the 14/60 with a twin-cam 1954cc, four cylinder engine and hemispherical combustion chambers. The car was designed by Arthur Davidson who had come from Lea-Francis. A higher output engine followed in 1927 with the 2 litre Speed Model which was available supercharged in 1930. Very powerful brakes set a new tradition which the company was never to abandon.
A 'semi-sports' model of the 14/60 led in 1927 to a new, much more sporting design, the Speed Model, using a revised version of the 2 litre engine in a lighter sports four-seater open body. Offering Bentley looks and performance for half the price, it was an instant success and transformed the company's image to the one we recognise today. A top speed of 80mph was guaranteed and was achievable, given a suitable road.
In 1926 the company had introduced a six-cylinder car, the 16/65, which used a longer wheelbase chassis very similar to the 14/60, but fitted with a push-rod engine of 2.4 litres and had very few parts in common with the smaller one. It was tuned very conservatively to propel stately saloons and limousines. Performance was indistinguishable from the 14/60.
The final car of the 1920's was the 3-litre using a 2931-cc 6-cylinder engine. This continued until 1933 when the engine grew to 3181cc and when coupled with some attractive, preferably open, coachwork, proved a winning combination leading to some success in, for example, the Monte Carlo Rally in the early thirties.
Originally built as a "Silent Travel" pillarless saloon, Type ZMBS ST34, in 1934, records show that the Lagonda on offer today was acquired by a Philip Dennis Fernandes Ferreira and used regularly between his homes in Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
In 1962, the engine was overhauled by Boneham & Turner of Mansfield and shortly after, the current T4 body was fitted, reputedly from a 2 litre T4 Continental that was in the process of being stripped for competition. It had a new radiator, new SU carburettors and re-built wheels It was also re-trimmed while still incorporating the original saloon seating making for an extremely comfortable touring experience as the owner and his wife can confirm. This configuration is reportedly unique and appears to embody many of the finer characteristics that have been utilised by Lagonda over the years.
The present owner has covered over 25,000 miles in the past five years, including several long distance tours with the Lagonda Club , without missing a beat
The comprehensive history file details extensive correspondence between the owners over the years as well as all works undertaken, the details of which are lengthy and extend to many pages.
The question is what does one want a classic car for? If it is to polish relentlessly and tow to car shows then this is possibly not the car for you - although the basis for a potential winner is certainly all there. If the answer is bags of elegance and character, fully sorted mechanics and the kind of go anywhere reliability normally associated with more modern cars, then look no further.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.