Lagonda isn't a name that we often hear in the States, but in Europe it used to be a big name in the Luxury car segment. Lagondas were produced in very limited numbers and few have survived. We stumbled across an upcoming auction in England that's is going to feature three Lagondas that have been hidden away in a garage for who know how long. Its a long trip to the beautiful Rockingham Castle in Northamptonshire where the auction is going to be held on June 16th, but it may be worth it. All three cars are going to be offered without reserve by H&H auctions both on location and via the internet.
This 1937 Lagonda LG45 Saloon De Ville was the second one to have been built on the extended De Ville chassis, which is over eleven and a half feet long. The LG45 was the first Lagonda to be built under the direction of W.O. Bently, the founder of Bently. W.O. was hired to rebuild the Lagonda brand and the LG45 was the first car he developed. He designed a new 4.4 liter straight six for the LG45, which proved to be extremely durable. This car is original and has all of its facctory components, but its in rough shape. There were only 278 LG45s built and only a few were the De Ville model, making this an exceptionally rare car.
After WWII ended Lagonda went back to building cars, with W.O. still at the helm. He set out designing a new car, the 2.5 liter, but the company was still struggling financially and unable to build the new car. Luckily, David Brown bought up the company and combined it with Aston Martin. With the new resources Lagonda was able to manufacture the car, but with David Brown's influence the car became the 2.6 liter like the one we see here. This 1952 2.6 liter Drophead is rough, but in better shape then the LG45.
The 2.6 liter straight six that powers this car is virtually identical to the 2.6 liter found in Aston Martins up till 1959. The original engine has been pulled from the car and has a replacement engine currently installed. The seller has the original engine and is willing to sell it, but separately from the auction. There were 511 2.6 liters built, but only 125 were drophead coupes. After a detailed restoration, this car could offer Aston Martin performance with a beautifully flowing body.
The final car to be offered from this collection is this 1934 Lagonda M45 Howorth Special. The M45 was one of Lagonda's sportiest cars and the company had considerable racing success with the car, even winning the Le Mans in 1935. This particular car started life as a standard M45 Pillar-less Saloon, but was bought and modified by Hugh Howorth in 1944 for racing. Mr. Howorth raced the car in many events from '44 to '51, with victories in a wide variety of events. The car passed through several hands until it disappeared in 1970.
At one time this car was a beautifully built racing machine, but sadly the car has seen better days and needs a total restoration. The seller apparently found the car abandoned in the basement of a water logged mill. Mr. Howorth can be seen above after winning a race in 1949 with this car. He would, no doubt, be sad to see the car in its current condition.
After a complete restoration this car would likely be welcome at any historic race and given the extensive modifications performed to it, it should be able to win a few more times. We hope that all three of these Lagondas end up in the hands of owners that can care for them properly. We also wish we could make it to this incredible auction, as there are going to be a lot of other amazing British cars auctioned off at the Rockingham Castle which itself has been around for about 1,000 years. If any of you just happen to be in England next weekend, be sure to stop by and snap a few photos for us.