1935 Lagonda Rapier
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1935 Lagonda Rapier 1,104cc Tourer
Registration no. AAK 205
Chassis no. D11339
Lagonda returned, briefly, to the manufacture of light cars in 1934 with the introduction of the Rapier, which was heralded by The Autocar as 'a thoroughly worthwhile newcomer among small sports-type cars'. Tim Ashcroft's design had been on the drawing board for almost a year before it appeared in prototype form at the 1933 Olympia Motor Exhibition. In production from the late Spring of 1934, the Rapier was reminiscent of a baby 2-Litre in appearance and was most often seen with four-seat tourer coachwork by Abbott. The car's most notable feature was its gem of an engine: a four-cylinder, twin-overhead-camshaft unit displacing 1,104cc and producing 45bhp on twin Sus, which was built to Lagonda's design by Coventry Climax Ltd. A sturdy chassis frame, ENV four-speed pre-selector transmission and 13" diameter Girling brakes completed the mechanical picture. For its engine size the Rapier was in a class of its own, revving comfortably to 5,500rpm, turning in impressive acceleration figures and a top speed of around 75mph. With such a specification the model was necessarily expensive to produce; sales were disappointing and in 1935 manufacturing rights passed to Rapier Cars Limited, of Hammersmith, where production continued for a few more years.
This example was bought by the lady vendor's late husband in 1971, at which time it was totally dismantled. The rebuild commenced in 1982, but due to other commitments was not completed until 2004. Since then the Rapier has been entered in the concours competitions at various shows in Lancashire and Yorkshire, amassing a truly impressive collection of awards (details available). The most recent award, a 'Best in Show' was gained at Trawden in 2017.
Records compiled by the coachbuilder E D Abbott of Farnham, and held by the Rapier Register, show that chassis number 'D11339' was originally bodied as a fixed-head coupé and delivered to Central Garage, Bradford in 1935. The Lagonda was first registered in Wakefield, West Yorkshire as 'AAK 205' and retains its original registration. The Rapier Register's records contain details of various owners dating back to 1958 when the then owner, Mr David Broughton of Sandiway, Cheshire joined the Register (see letter on file). The Lagonda has been unused for the last year, and will require minor recommissioning prior to active use.
Offered with a V5 registration document, 'AAK 205' represents a rare opportunity to acquire a well restored example of what is widely recognised as one of the finest small sporting cars of the 1930s.