(Jacob Rumans) #1

70


head-to-head with 4¼ Litre Bentleys, though those only had
six-cylinderohv engines– a lotlessto shoutabout.
TheLagondaV12founda nicheasthepreferredchoiceofthe
‘sunglassesandmink coat brigade’,most notably Britishactor
RalphRichardsonwho, inApril 19 39,bought adropheadcoupé
thatsurvivestothisday.ButLagondaalwaysstruggledandjust
190 orthereaboutsoftheV12modelweresoldbeforewarbroke
out.Afterthat the company was in trouble again andquickly
snappedupbyDavidBrownto incorporateintoAstonMartin.
Ourwell-travelleddrophead,chassis14062,wasfirstregistered
inFebruary 1939 to JamesScottandSonsofDundee,a successful
jutemillownerandtrader. At that timeit waspaintedarather
moresubduedsingleshadeofgunmetalgrey.Scotthadlittletime
toenjoyit,andthecarwassooninthehandsofRAbbot&Co
inActon,London.It wasthenlaidupoverthewarandbought in
June 1947 by theEarlofWilton,alsoLondon-based.At that point
servicerecordsshowit stillonlyhad 2684 milesontheclock.
TwoyearslatertheV12passedtoLadyAlexandraBeasleyof
Wold House, near Malton in Yorkshire


  • nowthesiteofahousingestate.The
    trailthen goes cold until 1957 whenit
    came into the hands of Lagonda Club
    memberKBackhouse.In 196 4 it crossed
    theAtlanticandwentthroughthehands
    ofseveraldifferentownersinIllinoisand
    Coloradoforthenextfewdecades.
    One of those keepers during its
    Americansojourn– probablyduring the
    Seventies though there’s no record in
    thehistory file– musthave foundthe
    colourschemea littledull.Afteranother


transatlantic crossing in 1987 a sales invoice from Porters in
Kensington,showsit as beige and cream. London was only a brief
stop-offfortheLagonda – that invoice records that it was bought
for£19,000,plus another £2000 for ‘works carried out’ by Karl
RagnarAstrominUmea, Sweden.
A6000-hourrestoration was completed in 2008, during which
theLagondawastreated to its current eye-popping blue over silver
livery.It wasbarelyused after that but is recorded as being sold by
RMSotheby’sat itsMay 2015 auction at Villa Erba in Italy, though
thecarremainedinSweden until recently, when it was sent over
forVintage&Prestigeto sell on behalf of the owner.
Andsohere it istoday. A day with the Lagonda V12 leaves
nothingbutadmiration for how much was achieved so quickly
bysuchasmallbuttalented team. From behind the wheel it is
instantly familiar and easy to drive. Without the unfortunate
timingofwar, thecarmay have been even more influential, but
theworldwasa verydifferent place after 1945. However, much
ofitsstyling didpavethe way for how cars for the truly affluent
would look right into the mid-Fifties –
just look at any Alvis from the period.
And that’s a decent legacy.
In its day this was the perfect car for
the successful pre-war industrialist who
found Rolls-Royce’s take on Bentleys a
trifle dull and unimaginative.
Behind the wheel of a Lagonda V12, he
would not have been disappointed.

Thanks to: Vintage & Prestige Classic Cars
(vandp.net) – where this Lagonda V12 is
currently for sale – and Orsett Hall.

‘The Lagonda’s styling paved

the way for how cars for the

truly affluent would look

right into the mid-Fifties’

1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead
Engine 4480cc cast-iron V12, sohc per bank, two SU
downdraftcarburettorsPowerandtorque 175bhp
@6000rpm; 34 0lbft @4200rpmTransmission
Four-speedmanual,rear-wheeldriveSuspension
Front:independent by doublewishbones,
longitudinaltorsionbarsandadjustableArmstrong
lever-armdampers; Rear:solidaxle, semi-elliptic leaf
springs,adjustableArmstronglever-armdampers
andanti-rollbarSteeringRackandpinionBrakes
Lockheed16indrumsallroundWeight2007kg
(4424lb)PerformanceTopspeed:104mph;
0-60mph:12.9secFuelconsumption14mpg
Costnew£160 5 Askingprice£420,000