1933 Lagonda M45,
Lot 609
1933 Lagonda M45 Tourer Chassis no. Z10650 Engine no. 12670
Sold for £133,500 (US$ 167,942) inc. premium

Lot Details
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1933 Lagonda M45 Tourer
Coachwork by Vanden Plas

Registration no. AXR 522
Chassis no. Z10650
Engine no. 12670


  • ‘Lagonda cars have always upheld a reputation for effortless fast touring and the pride of ownership which fine detail work and distinguished coachbuilding can give. The 4½-Litre model retains these characteristics, but scores considerably over its forebears by its high power-to-weight ratio. The chassis is no bigger than the three litre car, and there is no suggestion of clumsiness, heavy steering or the other drawbacks which often accompany the large engined car.’ - Motor Sport, January 1934.
    The Lagonda car company was founded in 1906 in Staines, Middlesex by the American Wilbur Gunn (1859-1920) who named it after a river near his home town of Springfield, Ohio. Gunn had started out building motorcycles in the garden of his house in Staines with some success, including winning the 1905 London to Edinburgh Trial. In 1907 he launched his first car and in 1910 won the Moscow to St Petersburg Trial driving a 16/18hp model. Having established its reputation, Lagonda concentrated mainly on the production of light cars before reverting to sporting and luxury models in the mid-1920s with the introduction of the 14/60. This four-cylinder, 2.0-litre model was joined in 1929 by the first of Lagonda’s own sixes - the 3-Litre - but by the mid-1930s the Meadows-engined cars were seen as the way forward. Introduced at the 1933 Olympia Show and based on the preceding ZM 3-Litre model, the M45 deployed Meadows’ 4½-litre, twin-plug six to good effect, saloons being capable of reaching 90mph and tourers ‘the ton’ under favourable conditions.
    ‘A short run on one of the first of the 4½-Litre Lagonda models, with an open four-seater body, left a vivid impression not only of brilliant acceleration and sheer performance, but of a car delightfully silent and easy running in a way that can be achieved to the fullest extent only by a big-engined machine working well inside its limits,’ reported The Autocar in 1933. As the foregoing contemporary quote clearly demonstrates, these exceptionally handsome big-engined Lagondas created a considerable impression when new, and here we offer a fine example of this elegant and very British post-Vintage thoroughbred.
    Chassis number ‘Z10650’ was supplied new via Mann Egerton & Company and despatched on 18th December 1933 to the famous coachbuilding company of Vanden Plas (England) for its four-seat sports body to be fitted. This work was completed on 17th February 1934 at a cost of £229 8s 9d. We understand that the car was originally liveried in grey lined with rose pink, a colour keyed to its interior upholstery and a shade in turn selected for the rather bizarre reason that it matched an eiderdown belonging to the original customer. The car is illustrated on page 174 of the book ‘Vanden Plas’ by Brian Smith.
    The Lagonda was offered for sale at Brooks’ Olympia auction in February 1992 (Lot 198) and purchased there by a Mr Forster, of Marlborough, Wiltshire. Prior to its acquisition by Mr Forster, the car had been in the ownership of one family since 1964, passing through the hands of three brothers. Extensive restoration had been undertaken while it was in the third brother’s hands, the work being carried out over a five-year period (1986-1991) by well-known Lagonda specialist Peter Whenman at a cost of circa £43,000.
    Mr Forster sent the car back to Peter Whenman’s company, now called Vintage Coachworks, for an engine rebuild that took place between 1994/5, and it would appear that they maintained and serviced it for him during his ownership. It was then sold to a Mr Sharp, of Jersey, who put the car in his private collection and used it only sparingly. While in Jersey the Lagonda was looked after and serviced by Clayden Motors, althugh no major work was required.
    ‘AXR 522’ is currently taxed, MoT’d until August 2009 and comes with Swansea V5, while the history file contains bills and receipts for the restoration/services, the original buff logbook, M45 instruction manuals and starting instructions. Presented in excellent condition throughout, with everything working properly, this exceptionally attractive post-Vintage thoroughbred is ready to be enjoyed.
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