Lot 168 - 1935 Lagonda M45 Rapide
|Estimate||£165,000 - £185,000|
|Result||Sold - £175,000|
The Lagonda car company was founded in 1906 in Staines, Middlesex by the American Wilbur Gunn (1859-1920), who named it after a river near his home town of Springfield, Ohio. Gunn had started out building motorcycles in the garden of his house in Staines with some success including winning the 1905 London to Edinburgh Trial. In 1907, he launched his first car and in 1910 won the Moscow to St Petersburg Trial driving a 16/18bhp model. Having established its reputation, Lagonda concentrated mainly on the production of light cars before reverting to sporting and luxury models in the mid-1920s with the introduction of the 14/60. This four-cylinder, two-litre model was joined in 1929 by the first Lagonda six-cylinder engine, the three-litre, but by the mid-1930s, the Meadows-engined cars were seen as the way forward. Introduced at the 1933 Olympia Show and based on the preceding ZM three-litre model, the M45 deployed Meadows' 4.5-litre, twin-plug six-cylinder to good effect with saloons being capable of reaching 90mph and tourers even hitting 'the ton' under favourable conditions! 'A short run on one of the first of the 4.5-litre Lagonda models, with an open four-seater body, left a vivid impression not only of brilliant acceleration and sheer performance, but of a car delightfully silent and easy running in a way that can be achieved to its fullest extent only by a big-engined machine working well inside its limits,' reported The Autocar in 1933. A team of three specially prepared short-chassis cars (effectively the soon-to-be-announced M45 Rapide) prepared by Lagonda main agents, Fox & Nicholls, performed creditably at the 1934 RAC Tourist Trophy at Ards and the following year, one of these TT cars driven by John Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes won the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance classic outright. Endowed with such an impeccable pedigree, the Lagonda 4.5-litre quickly established itself as a favourite among the wealthy sporting motorists of its day - World Land Speed Record holder, Sir Malcolm Campbell was one of many high-profile M45 owners - and over 70 years on, this model and the M45R Rapide in particular, remains a much sought after classic.
The car offered here has been owned by two avid car collectors since 1963. The previous owner kept this T7 bodied M45 Rapide with two other Lagondas in his collection and used them regularly. He had actually started to restore this particular car in the late 1990s but unfortunately passed away before the final items could be completed. The current owner was a close family friend who had helped with the disposal of the vehicle collection. Consequently, that left this car which he purchased in 2002. He then completed the restoration which included completely rebuilding the engine and renewing the leather interior. In recent years, he has used it on the Irish Jubilee Rally and has taken it to the Le Mans Classic with both trips trouble free other a couple of punctures. The reliability of this car is such that, when it was consigned, the owner was planning to drive the car to Brooklands from South Wales. This M45 Rapide, with the original T7 touring body, is finished in blue with dark blue leather interior, black hood and side screens. It is supplied with a V5C registration document, a valid MoT test certificate and a file with continuous history going back to 1952. In the history file there is an invoice for an engine overhaul, completed in 1962 at the cost of a small flat. Lagonda cars have always upheld a reputation for effortless fast touring and the pride of ownership which fine detail work and distinguished coachbuilding can give. The 4.5-litre model retains these characteristics but scores considerably over its forebears by its high power-to-weight ratio. This Lagonda M45 Rapide is an exciting, ready-to-go, very well sorted driver with astonishing power and equally capable handling.
Next lotLot 169 - 1967 Lancia Flavia Coupé
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.