1939 Lagonda Saloon
Year of manufacture1939
Number of seats2
1939 Lagonda 4½ litre LG6 Sports Saloon
Registration no. GAT 173
Chassis no. 12339
Engine no. LG6/494/S4
'The much improved 4½... comes up to expectations... It is doubtful whether a fast car has ever been made so steady and yet so comfortable. It is almost uncannily easy to take this car round bends at high speeds and at the same time the insulation offered to passengers is of the highest order.'
So wrote The Autocar magazine of Lagonda's LG6 in June 1938.
The Meadows engined M45 had been introduced in 1934 and, with the technical expertise of W.O Bentley, became progressively more refined with the introduction of synchromesh gears, central chassis lubrication and flexible engine mounts. The LG6 of 1937, produced alongside the sensational V12 cars, featured a cross-braced chassis with independent front suspension, hydraulic shock absorbers and Lockheed hydraulic front wheel brakes. The Frank Feeley designed factory coachwork was a match for the finest European design houses and even in saloon form the stylish LG6 claimed a top speed of 98 mph.
This elegant LG6 was first registered in Hull on 22nd July 1939, a matter of weeks before the outbreak of World War II and, although its early history is not recorded, it is likely therefore that it saw little use in the early years of its life. In 1958 the car is recorded in the ownership of architect Chas. Stainbury Madeley of Birmingham. Prior to the present long family ownership the car was owned by I.T. Jackson of Welwyn Garden City who had bought the car in the early 1960s from the late Cecil Bendall's renowned motor emporium at Paynes Park, Hitchin. It appears that Jackson owned the car for 30 years but used it little, as MOT and tax disc records cease shortly after he acquired it and records of expenditure in his name only survive from the early 1990s, when he presumably attempted to re-commission it. It was at this time, approximately 20 years ago, that GAT 173 came into the present family ownership. A major restoration programme was embarked upon, embracing mechanical, electrical and coachwork elements, to prepare the car for fast, comfortable and reliable Continental touring. Bills relating to that restoration, along with some restoration photographs, are on file and available for inspection. Great care was taken to retain originality wherever possible and thus some of the original upholstery was careful conserved retaining the character of the car. Discretely fitted modern flashing indicators and reversing lights are a concession to modern driving conditions. The restored and yet highly original car has subsequently been extensively rallied in Europe in the company of other fast thoroughbreds performing immaculately on all occasions.
GAT 173 is generously equipped for the fast motor tour with its Lucas headlamps, twin trumpet horns and centre driving light, rear view mirrors and an encased side mounted spare wheel, the matching case on the other side providing storage for tools and other items. The car is equipped with a most practical central lubrication system and has a stainless steel exhaust. Detail affording passenger comfort includes top and side scuttle ventilators, wind deflectors on all side windows, two courtesy lights and ashtrays to the rear, an opening windscreen and a sliding roof. The factory coachwork is attractively finished in burgundy livery with gold coach lining, having been the subject of a bare metal restoration, with repair to the wooden framework as necessary. GAT 173 is comfortably furnished with tan leather upholstery and matching leather bound carpets.
GAT 173 a true and elegant thoroughbred which was state of the art in 1939 - has seen little use in the last few years but has been regularly started, cherished and housed in an excellent motor house with other thoroughbreds. It is offered with an old buff logbook from 1958 and current Swansea V5C document, along with old MOT certificates, tax discs, many restoration invoices and some restoration photographs, together with much useful technical information.