Lot 328: Lagonda 2.6-Litre Drophead Coup�
It's said that when David Brown acquired Lagonda in 1947 all he got was a famous name, a collection of engineering drawings and a handful of prototypes. And although Lagonda's chief engineer and designer, the great W O Bentley, quit the firm when Brown took over, he did leave behind the 2.6-litre, six-cylinder, twin-overhead-camshaft engine that would power the Aston Martin DB2 and the next generation of Lagondas. Although it retained a separate chassis, Bentley's 2.6-Litre Lagonda was advanced in other ways, featuring independent suspension all round: by double wishbones and coil-springs at the front - a layout similar to that adopted on the DB4 - and semi-trailing arms at the rear where the brakes were mounted inboard to reduce un-sprung weight. It had been intended that the new Lagonda would exploit a perceived gap in the luxury car market between Jaguar and Rover at one end and Rolls-Royce and Bentley at the other. W O's design succeeded brilliantly in this, being able to carry five persons and their luggage at high speed and in great comfort. One of Lagonda's, and David Brown's, greatest assets was stylist Frank Feeley, the man responsible for the Italianate flair of the DB2, and while Feeley's 2.6-Litre looked back nostalgically at the Lagondas of pre-war years, his prototypes produced on that chassis in the late 1940s hinted at the 3-Litre model to come. A Mark 2 version arrived in the autumn of 1952 boasting revisions to body and interior, as well as a Jackall self-jacking system. Coachbuilders Tickford had begun to play an increasingly important role as body suppliers during manufacture of the 2.6-Litre and when the new 3-Litre model was announced in 1953, the Newport Pagnell firm assumed sole responsibility for body production. Chassis number 'LAG/50/267' was supplied new via Brooklands of Bond Street to one Neville Hort Player of South Kensington, London and subsequently owned by Lt A P Robert, RN (see copy order form on file). The original registration was 'LXY 873'. In the early 1970s the Lagonda was acquired by the immediately preceding owner and used sparingly up to 1996, remaining unused thereafter. The current vendor purchased the car, which was offered for restoration, at Bonhams' Oxford sale in June 2012 (Lot 236). Mechanically re-commissioned (see invoice on file) it has been used sparingly throughout this summer and is offered for sale following the vendor's purchase of a Lagonda 3-Litre. Eminently deserving of further renovation, this handsome drophead Lagonda is offered with some expired MoT certificates from the 1990s, Swansea V5C document and MoT/tax to April 2014. A potentially most rewarding project. (It should be noted that the engine number stamped on the water pump is different from that recorded on the registration document).
The Beaulieu Sale|
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
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