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c.1922 Lagonda 11.9hp 'Brooklands Racer'
Registration no. not registered
Engine no. 7618A

Offered here is a replica of the two-seater racing car that Lagonda built in 1922 for the Brooklands 200 mile race. Although details are very sketchy, the racer is known to have been based on the 11.9hp production car of the time. The vendor began collecting the axles, engine, gearbox, and steering column from various sources around 1998. Most of the donor cars had rusted away but the major components had survived: the front axle, for example, was found propping up an ancient apple tree.

John Scolley, a friend of the vendor's family and member of Lagonda's 1939 Le Mans team, helped with all the skilled mechanical work, while Rod Jolley fabricated the body using photographs as his only guide. Mike Thomas then created the interior.

The Brooklands car's engine was based on the standard factory unit. Little is known about what was done to it although it is known to have had the stroke lengthened to give a capacity of 1,483, 1,495 or 1,496cc (depending on the source). Whatever was done, the original car was able to lap Brooklands at over 80 mph, while the vendor's little four-seater tourer (of 1925) would struggle at 45 mph.

From contemporary photographs, it can be seen that the carburettor (originally a small updraft Zenith) was changed to a large side-draft instrument of unknown make, while an oiling mechanism had to be created to enable the riding mechanic to lubricate the rockers during the race. There were also two small tanks fitted to the bulkhead: one for the oil and the other for an unknown purpose, though it is possible that it contained water for injecting into the petrol mixture. This last feature has not been reproduced. No attempt was made to alter camshaft profiles or enlarge the valves, etc as the engine has a very whippy two-bearing crankshaft and it was felt that it should not be over-stressed. Some £65,000 was spent on the project, not taking into account the countless hours of the vendor's labour. The restoration was finished around 2000 and the car's last outing was at Oulton Park around six years ago when it led a parade of historic Lagondas.

The car's bodywork, paint, and interior are all described as excellent and the mechanicals as good, the engine having been run up recently. Accompanying documentation consists of VSCC Eligibility Document issued in 2002.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department