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Sale Date: 24th May 2012

Lot Number: 41
1937 Lagonda LG45 Drophead Coupe

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Not Sold

Reg Number:EGH 950
Chassis Number:12255/G10S
Engine Number:12255
Body Colour: Blue / Black
Trim Colour:Black
MOT ExpiryDate:Jan 2013

Notable as the first Lagonda design to be overseen by legendary engineer - and recently appointed technical director of LG Motors (Staines) Ltd - W.O. Bentley, the LG45 was introduced in late September 1935. Although, sharing the same 10ft 9in wheelbase as its M45 Rapide and M45A predecessors, the newcomer boasted significantly reduced levels of noise, vibration and harshness. A massive ladder-frame channel-section affair, its chassis featured repositioned cross members (to liberate more rear legroom), softer semi-elliptic road springs, adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers, two prefabricated bulkheads and a harmonic stabilising front bumper. While other refinements included a Smiths 'Jackall' system (the controls of which were normally housed in a side-mounted 'dummy' spare wheel cover), one-shot Tecalemit lubrication and Girling four-wheel drum brakes. Powered by a modified version of the redoubtable 4453cc Meadows OHV straight-six engine (which had earned Lagonda victory in that year's Le Mans 24-hour race), the LG45 further benefited from a part synchromesh four-speed manual gearbox and strong Borg and Beck clutch. Initially available in saloon, tourer, drophead coupe or bare chassis guises, the model was among the fastest road cars of its day (with most closed variants being capable of over 90mph and some open ones reputedly topping 100mph).

Despite a fantastic 1936 season that saw four Fox & Nicholl prepared Works racers distinguish themselves in the French Grand Prix (1st in class), Belgian Grand Prix (1st in class), Ards Tourist Trophy (2nd in class) and BRDC 500 Mile Race (3rd overall), the LG45 was phased out of production the following year after some 278 had been made (though, 150 or so are thought to have survived to this day). The most expensive model in the LG45 range, the drophead coupe was penned in-house by Frank Feeley (arguably the most talented British stylist of his generation). Supremely elegant, it was priced at £1,220 (some £170 more than its Tourer or Rapide siblings) yet did not want for orders. Commissioned to find more power from the Meadows engine, Harry Weslake designed a new cylinder head with integral inlet manifold, larger valve area and better cooling. Known as the Sanction 3, the resultant unit came on stream in July 1936. Appearing just a month later, the heavily reworked G10 gearbox boasted synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears.

Dating from 1937, this particular example entered the current ownership some fifty-eight years later. A non-running proposition at the time, the Drophead Coupe has since benefited from extensive restoration work. As well as a complete strip of all panels and bare metal respray, the Lagonda had its woodwork refurbished, a new hood installed and the original wiring replaced. The Meadows six-cylinder engine was thoroughly overhauled and mated to an Alvis four-speed manual gearbox. The vendor now classes the 4.5-litre engine as "excellent", the bodywork as "very good" and the paintwork, interior trim and replacement transmission as "good". `EGH 950' has apparently completed a mere 3,995 post-restoration miles and is now offered complete with an MOT into March 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: This vehicle has an MOT until January 2013.

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