Lot 11: Lagonda LG45 Saloon De Ville
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). Following a lengthy slumber in dry storage, this glorious time warp LG45 Saloon is unsurprisingly now in need of a comprehensive restoration. According to Arnold Davey of the Lagonda Club, it was registered 'JK 7475' in 1937 - probably in either April or May. The four-door saloon was constructed on the longer wheelbase De Ville chassis that was of 11ft 6in rather the standard 10ft 9in. Though visually similar to the shorter body, it differed by not being pillarless. This was because the design brief required there to be room for a division if requested - apparently few customers did. The De Ville model had only just been introduced when chassis 12212/G10 was laid down and the club believes it was only the second one to have been produced at that stage. The history prior to the vendor's purchase in 1977 is currently unknown, but the engine has been confirmed as the original item and the vendor informs us that the car is seemingly complete, including the windtone horns and starting handle. As a result of the previous owner carrying out some work on the windscreen pillars, the screen is separate to the car but being sold with it. The vendor considers the leather interior to be "remarkably good for its age" and believes but does not warrant the Lagonda to have covered around 78,000 miles to date. A unique opportunity to acquire an unmolested post-vintage British thoroughbred.
H&H Sales Limited, Rockingham Castle
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£26880|
|Engine capacity (cc)||4500|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|