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Lot 197: Lagonda Rapier

Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2012)

The Lagonda Rapier was a radical departure for the company for the 1934/35 season. The chassis was designed by Charles Kinghead, and the Girling system rod operated brakes had large 13 in (330 mm) drums. Half-elliptic springs provided the suspension controlled by friction dampers. At its heart was an all-new 1104cc twin overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine, extremely sophisticated for the time, designed by a consultant Thomas 'Tim' Ashcroft with the brief of producing Britain's finest 1100 cc engine.

It produced 50 bhp (37 kW; 51 PS) at 5400 rpm, a very good output for the time, and production of the engine was sub-contracted to the Coventry Climax company who were to make it famous. Unluckily it was also quite fragile in use, and as in the case of today's Rapier, other units were used as replacements.

This single-seat racing special became well-known during its time in the hands of prominent collector James Crocker, ex Vintage Sports Car Club President, who campaigned it for many years; with its AC two-litre triple-carburettor engine (complete with bespoke manifolding).

It competed successfully in VSCC events, and also more recently saw victory in the hands of its enthusiastic Swiss collector owner in events such as the Bern GP, Montlhery (twice), and in the Arosa Klassik also twice.

Though it was rebuilt in its current single-seater guise almost thirty years ago, with lightweight aluminium panels over a tubular framework constructed by the late Peter Hunt, the car has undergone a very considerable amount of recent restoration in the hands of its current custodian, including an engine rebuild, with new crankshaft, bearings, pistons, and work on radiator and brakes The result, nicely matured and now highly competitive, is a most charming period racing car, with a more than fleeting resemblance to an ERA.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number197
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£63400
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis numberUHB1069D
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors