Lot 658: 1934 Lagonda M45 T7 Tourer
The car offered here in none other than the famous �long lost� Lagonda M45 Tourer supplied new to Sir Malcolm Campbell, one of this country�s foremost sporting motorists, who broke the World Land Speed record on no fewer than nine occasions between 1929 and 1935.
Campbell, a Lloyds underwriter, had cut his competitive teeth in the London to Edinburgh motorcycle trials, gaining three Gold Medals in this challenging event between 1906 and 1908. He developed an interest in flying and in 1910 began racing cars at Brooklands. Campbell served in the Royal Flying Corps during WWI and in 1923 took to record-breaking with the first of his famous �Bluebird� cars, named after Maeterlinck�s play L�Oiseau Bleu (The Blue Bird), which he had seen in 1912. He was knighted for his achievements in 1931.
Malcolm Campbell was a noted connoisseur of fine cars and must have found the specification of the recently announced Lagonda M45 particularly appealing, based as it was on the proven 3-Litre model but fitted with one of Henry Meadows� powerful 4�-litre six-cylinder engines. Motor Sport�s report of January 1934 sums up the M45�s virtues, which were guaranteed to appeal to the wealthy sporting motorist. �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�-Litre model retains these characteristics, but scores considerably over its forebears by its high power-to-weight ratio. The chassis is no bigger than the three litre car, and there is no suggestion of clumsiness, heavy steering or the other drawbacks which often accompany the large engined car.�
When Campbell ordered this Lagonda M45, his preferred shade of blue was specified. Chassis number �Z10993� was completed with �T7� touring coachwork and finished in �blue, to customer�s pattern.� Registered �AYU 1�, the car bore Campbell�s distinctive �Bluebird� leitmotiv. Campbell owned other cars more specifically suited to competition work so he never raced the Lagonda; it did, however, appear at the British Empire Trophy meeting at Brooklands in 1934, when he used it to drive the Emir of Trans-Jordan around the circuit.
The car was sold later in the 1930s and shipped to Burma by a British Army officer. It survived the war in storage, subsequently changing hands a number of times before being found, laid up in a garage, by the current owner. It proved to be a remarkable discovery. Aston Martin Lagonda Limited confirmed its identity as the long-vanished Campbell car, unheard of for over 50 years. This historic vehicle was then shipped back to the UK via Hong Kong and restored over a period of three years, using original Lagonda parts wherever possible. Based on thorough research, Sir Malcolm Campbell�s favoured shade of blue was reproduced and his characteristic �Bluebird� insignia faithfully replicated on the scuttle panels. A pair of flags, the Union Jack and Union of Myanmar (Burma), painted on the coachwork, denote the two nations with which the Campbell Lagonda has been associated. Other noteworthy features include windscreen wind deflectors; headlamp and radiator stone guards; stainless-steel exhaust system; Lucas tripod headlamps and New Alto horns; Duolamp rear light; and pleated black leather upholstery with matching carpets;
Recently taken out of storage, where it has been for some years, the Campbell Lagonda is MoT�d but nevertheless would benefit from a thorough service and re-commissioning. It comes complete with period instruction book and four-person picnic set, and is offered with Swansea V5 registration document and a copy of The Automobile�s 1998 article featuring the car.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£111500|
|Registration number||AYU 1|
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|Engine - cylinders|
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