1939 Lagonda V12

DHC

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1939
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Chassis number 
    14092
  • Engine number 
    V12 59
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Interior colour 
    Blue
  • Interior type 
    Leather
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    4
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Blue
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

The V12 Lagonda has long been regarded as an engineering masterpiece. With advent of the continental motorways in the 1930's all major manufacturers were competing to produce powerful long distance motorcars. The forerunner of the V12, the six cylinder LG6 was an excellent car. It utilised the tried and tested Meadows Le Mans winning engine that also powered the Invicta Low Chassis 4.5 Litre. It was powerful and very reliable, but dated from the early 1930's and was perhaps rather crude for a car designed in the late 1930's for the high end market.

Alan P. Good, who had purchased the Lagonda company out of receivership in 1935 persuaded W.O. Bentley to leave Rolls Royce and join his design team at Lagonda. He gave Bentley a free hand to design the V12, and W.O., along with a crack team of engineers (including Stuart Tresillian and Charles Sewell), set about producing a car that was to eclipse anything of its type so far produced. In a nutshell it was powerful, smooth, quiet and beautifully balanced. Apart from the engine the design boasted independent front suspension, synchromesh on 2nd 3rd and top, twin master cylinder hydraulic servo assisted brakes, a sophisticated set of instruments, plus a whole host of refinements not seen on cheaper cars. The V12 engine was used at Le Mans in the 1939 race and powered the two Lagonda entries to 3rd and 4th place, at an average speed of circa 84 MPH!

In common with many luxury cars made at the time a customer could order a bare chassis and have his own coach builder build a bespoke body. Some did, but the standard factory body designed by Frank Feeley (of DB2, DB3S and Lagonda Rapide fame), was so elegant and balanced that many opted for it. It is an extremely streamlined, well balanced, and attractive design. This car, of course carries factory coachwork.

14092 was first sold to a Mr.A.C.W.Norman of London W1 and registered on 12th June 1939. It appears from the factory records (complete up to 1952!) that the original engine was replaced under warrantee (V12 151 became V12 59). The car was black with buff leather upholstery and fawn hood. The car changed hands in 1945 and went to a Mr. Withair London SW3. The car then went to Mr Dewhurst in Bognor Regis, then Mr. Sanderson of Middleton-on-Sea and finally in 1965 the Hollinshead family. Amazingly the car was stored for 41 years and emerged as a barn find in 2006. It was purchased by Alfred Hill M.B.E. who set about a total restoration incorporating the Sanction 2 design features which gives the car noticeable extra performance. A full set of photos, invoices, and records accompany the car.