Lot 384 - 1933 Lagonda Three Litre, T7 Open Tourer
|Sold - £105,000
In 1926, the Lagonda directors made an abrupt move upmarket from producing a range of utilitarian light cars. They introduced a beautifully made twin high-camshaft two-litre car. These elegant machines had a most sporting chassis with factory-produced coachwork of the very highest quality as demonstrated by the exceptionally large numbers of cars still wearing their original bodies. The four-cylinder models were joined by a six-cylinder version with a magnificent pushrod o.h.v. engine in a lengthened chassis that was developed into the outstanding three-litre model. A descendant of the vintage 16/65, it was a far more flexible, not to say powerful companion to the better known two litre model. To take a more commodious touring and saloon coachwork, it came with high and low chassis options and by the 1930's, it had grown into a large handsome touring car, with a 10ft 9in wheelbase and a choice of fabric or fully panelled painted bodies. They were also characterised by their sleekly rounded radiators and P100 headlamps. The six-cylinder, 2,931cc overhead valve engine was designed by Arthur Davidson, the designer of the classic twin-cam two-litre unit, offering around 80bhp in its original form, the capacity was increased to 3,181cc in 1931, doing this produced an engine that was immensely robust and smooth.
The earliest known history of this car was when it was acquired in 1966 in a bedraggled condition. The new owner undertook a six year, chassis-up, nut and bolt rebuild. He was an electrical engineer and made an excellent job of the chassis, rewiring and most of the mechanics. He subsequently sold it after his personal circumstances changed. It then passed to Paradise Garage who, in 1987, sold it to a Lagonda Club member who used it very little. It was then sold on in 1990 to a collector who took it to Dublin where it was again stored with little use until Peter Byrne, a dealer, sold it to the vendor in 2004.
It is reported that Arnold Davey, the Lagonda club registrar, had noted that the car numbers were not matching as the chassis number related to a 1933 saloon. During subsequent discussions it has been agreed that, apart from the revised dashboard and carburettors which were fitted in the 1960 rebuild, the car is genuine with an original T7 body but had a replacement chassis in the 1950's. AUL 728 showed signs of little use since the rebuild and it is believed had only completed 1,700 miles, as shown at the time on the odometer. A lot of minor issues surfaced when the new vendor took charge and it was reported to drive badly. These problems were immediately addressed however, en route to his first Lagonda Club meeting, the big-end failed and the car had to be trailered home. The block was then sent to Gosnays Engineering in Romford where skilled and reliable engineers carried out a full rebuild, including the addition of a new fast road cam and followers, new white metal bearings, new pistons and rings etc. Whilst stripped, all other matters were attended to, including rebuilding the cylinder head (and new springs, guides and valves), relining the clutch with a new driving plate and relining and correcting the geometry on the brakes. It was also fitted with a new stainless steel exhaust system, rebuild of the carburettors and the radiator was also re-cored. The gearbox, back axle and chassis were good and required no attention, so once re-assembled and the engine re-fitted, an 800 mile trip to Le Mans and back took place for the Lagonda 75th anniversary tour and the journey was completed without issue.
Since then, this most elegant of sporting tourers has been continually improved. During the ten years of ownership by the current vendor, she has comfortably completed trips to the Isle of Man, Angouleme in France, North Yorkshire, Cornwall and many other shorter trips totalling some 8,000 miles without fault. Forming part of a small collection of other Lagondas and pre-war motorcars, the attention to detail and old-fashioned engineering know-how has enabled the vendor keep this car in excellent working order and, most importantly, to a condition where they can be pressed into service at any time of the night or day. Furthermore, the interior was re-trimmed with the seats re-upholstered and re-covered. Two years ago, the car was sent to David Wall who cut out all of the bad bodywork from the original rebuild, attended to any other matters that arose, stripping and re-painting the car to the superb condition you see it in today. The all-weather gear is in good order throughout with the full tonneau and hood bag replaced during the re-trim. The chassis and body frame are solid and require no attention. With enormous character, timeless styling and dependable mechanical integrity, this magnificent example has one more ace up its sleeve, reliability. Without reliability, vintage cars are just hard work. And it is reliability that AUL 728 has in spades...
Previous lotLot 383 - 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.