Lot 188 - 1936 Lagonda LG45 Fox & Nicholl Le Mans Team Car Replica (4½ litre)

Lot 188 - 1936 Lagonda LG45 Fox & Nicholl Le Mans Team Car Replica (4½ litre)

Lot 188 - 1936 Lagonda LG45 Fox & Nicholl Le Mans Team Car Replica (4½ litre)

Lot Number 188
Registration FPK 696
Chassis Number 12273
Engine Number 12215
Odometer reading 53,153 miles
Result Sold - £105,000
  • An extremely well put together vintage road/racing car
  • Well known within VSCC circle and extremely desirable
  • Complete with comprehensive paperwork and history as well as spare parts and extras
  • The previous owner overtook Stanley Mann on the outside, in the wet at Silverstone in his 8-litre Bentley. One can only image the look on his face!

The car of choice in the early 1930s, with money no object, was probably the Bentley built by Rolls-Royce. However, this was, at least, double the price of a Lagonda which had far more attractive open touring coachwork. Especially if it carried the powerful 4½-litre Meadows engine, tried and tested in the Invicta. Even Sir Malcolm Campbell had one, pale blue naturally. Unfortunately, poor sales forced them into receivership in June 1933 although two years later, as luck would have it, a Lagonda won Le Mans securing their reputation within the motorsport arena. As we all know, success on the track usually meant good sales from the high-street showrooms. The reinvigorated Lagonda company was then sold in 1935 to a consortium led by Alan Good with Dick Watney as Managing Director and W.O. Bentley as Technical Director. Refinanced and restructured, the new company wanted to capitalise on the victory at La Sarthe. The straight six, 4½-litre Meadows unit was re-engineered by Lagonda’s Technical Director (W. O. himself) who had the incentive and finance required to translate that engine into the LG45 model with performance and reliability improvements.

Deliveries commenced in the spring of 1936 with the new big Lagonda more refined; gaining synchromesh gears, flexible engine mounts and centralised chassis lubrication amongst many other improvements. Endowed with such a pedigree, the 4½-litre Lagonda quickly established itself as a favourite among the wealthy sporting motorists of its day. The power was transmitted through a four-speed gearbox with synchromesh on second, third and top. By 1936, Harry Westlake had been employed to improve the cylinder head which lead to the ‘Sanction 3’ (simply translated as improvement) engine with twin spark plugs and twin Scintilla Vertex magnetos producing circa. 130bhp. 

FPK 696 is probably one of the best developed LG45s around. A product of the Northern Lagonda Factory (a phrase coined by Denis Jenkinson to describe Alan Brown and David Hine in Lancashire). David Hine is chairman of the Lagonda Club and is one of the most knowledgeable authorities on Lagondas and a superb engineer to boot. In 1995, he built this LG45 for his son, Nick, essentially to race. Alan Brown designed and made the body along the lines of a Fox & Nicholl’s team car but with more of a Rapide boot and light-weight construction. David developed the ‘Sanction 3’ engine over a number of years to give 170bhp at the wheels (around 200bhp at the flywheel). Combined with its massive Rapide brakes, this turned out to be a very competitive car, certainly quicker than a 4½-litre Bentley, although designed as a racer, the current owner has primarily used it as fast-road car. With gearing of 3.33:1 providing a cruising speed of 80mph at under 3,000rpm, it made the last European trip of some 2,000 miles faultlessly.

Indeed the previous owner was known to have overtaken the legendary Stanley Mann on the outside, in the wet at Silverstone in his 8-litre Bentley. One can only image the look on his face!

The owner has undertaken general oil,  greasing and mechanical servicing as well as having had the magnetos rebuilt in 2023. The FIA papers are through to 2027. There is also a VSCC buff logbook giving the any new owner access to events such as the Le Mans Classic, Miglia Mille , Goodwood and the Vernasca Silver Flag to name but a few. 

In terms of mechanical specification, there are extensive details to note that can all be viewed in the history folder that accompanies the car. If reading this in the Historic catalogue, you may like to refer to the online version for a more in-depth analysis;

Chassis

Standard LG45 length 10'9". One more cross-member added to locate the front of the Alvis gearbox.

Springs

Lowered front & rear springs.

Front Axle

New stub axles fitted. Standard Bishop Cam steering, very light and positive.

Rear Axle

Rapide ratio CWP 3.33: 1. Radius arms fitted to avoid axle twist (racing starts) New half-shafts fitted.

LG45 axle casing very heavy and caused pendulum effect so lighter three-litre axle casing used with same, full strength, internals.

Brakes

Standard Girling type with Rapide finned brake drums for extra cooling. Air vents to front backplates.

Shock absorbers

Lever arm to rear. Heavy duty Luvax lever arm to front plus Andre friction type for racing only.

Wheels

Wheels have been re-spoked with thicker shoulder spokes. 600-19 Dunlop Racing tyres and tubes.

Petrol tank and pumps

Twin SU pumps with reserve supply valve. Change over valves for reserve supply are under the chassis.

Cooling system

M45-style radiator with modern core. Electric cooling fan for traffic activated by dashboard switch.

Oil cooler fitted for distance racing.

Engine

Original LG45 ‘Sanction 3’ engine with original cylinder head, block and crankcase but replacement sump casting. Cylinder head valve seats and guides unleaded conversion. Crankshaft is a modern ‘one-piece’ designed with new steel conrods and pistons.

Camshaft is high-lift type from Derek Green at Cedar Classics.

New HV8, 2” carburettors, original 1930s specification.

High output oil pump with modern filter to protect bearings.

Peak torque 322 lb/ft at 1,800rpm

Peak power (rear wheels) 171bhp @ 3,700rpm.

Gear box

Speed 25 Alvis type, synchromesh on all gears.

Clutch

Borg & Beck type with special racing friction lining.

Coachwork

Lightweight tubular steel, aluminium covered design by Alan Brown built 1995-1997

Full length tonneau plus easily erected hood for wet weather protection.

Two front fully adjustable seats.

Fold flat windscreen plus aero screen.

Spare wheel and tools under detachable rear compartment.

Lighting 

Headlights fitted with halogen bulbs. (frame fully detachable for racing)

Additionally, there are also two files that come with the car;

The Green File 

This catalogues the applications for the FIA Historical Technical Passports in 2002, 2012 and in 2017. The new HTP is valid for 20 years and there is a form included so that title can be transferred to a new owner.

 The Blue File 

This includes all the invoices from 1995 when the project was started.

There is also all the correspondence with various suppliers and test results from dynamometers.

In an additional folder is supplied the application to register the number FPK 696 using the buff log book and a letter from the Lagonda Club dated 1997.

(With a current eligibility number of 13776, the VSCC may require the new owner to re-register for a new eligibility form)

This represents an extremely well put together vintage road/racing car, well known within VSCC, racing and touring circles and extremely desirable as a result.

The vendor has been quoted as saying, "I love this car for its power and torque, keeping up with modern traffic is easy and with bags of room for luggage”.

Consigned by Edward Bridger-Stille

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.

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