1931 Lagonda 2-Litre Low Chassis T2 Tourer , Chassis no. OH9900 Engine no. OHL2 1073
Lot 340
1931 Lagonda 2-Litre Low Chassis T2 Tourer , Chassis no. OH9900 Engine no. OHL2 1073
Sold for £57,500 (US$ 96,647) inc. premium
Lot Details
1931 Lagonda 2-Litre Low Chassis T2 Tourer

Registration no. RX 8493
Chassis no. OH9900
Engine no. OHL2 1073


  • Having established its reputation by winning the Moscow - St Petersburg Reliability Trial of 1910 with a 30hp six, 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. The latter abandoned the firm's traditional in-unit gearbox in favour of an amidships-mounted transmission, but of greater technical interest was the engine. Designed by Arthur Davidson, the 2-litre 'four' featured twin camshafts, mounted high in the block, operating inclined valves in hemispherical combustion chambers. Power output of this advanced design was a highly respectable 60bhp. For the 1929 season, a 'low chassis' Speed Model was introduced, featuring revisions to the frame's front end and a higher-compression engine fitted with twin carburettors. The Speed Model had resulted from the factory's Le Mans effort of 1928, when the 2-Litre 'high chassis' driven by Andre D'Erlanger and Douglas Hawkes had finished 11th overall in the 24-Hour endurance classic. A classic example of racing improving the breed, the 'low chassis' 2-Litre possessed markedly superior handling characteristics courtesy of its lower centre of gravity.

    For all its virtues, Davidson's engine was limited by its tortuous induction tracts and in 1930 a supercharged version was introduced to overcome this deficiency. The 'blower' was mounted vertically in front of the engine, which was fitted with a stronger crankshaft, while a 3-Litre rear axle beefed up the transmission. A Powerplus supercharged was specified at first, but most 'blown' 2-Litres came with a Cozette. Thus equipped, a 'low chassis' 2-Litre was capable of up to 90mph. Overheating though, could be a problem, and many owners ended up removing the blowers.

    Known as 'Persephone', this particular low chassis 2-Litre carries the factory's Weymann-type, fabric-covered open tourer coachwork. The bodywork had already undergone restoration (in the early 1980s) when the car was acquired by the current owner in 1988 from one Stephen Lewis, who had owned it for five years. The vendor had a lot of fun with his 2-Litre for the next 12 years and then in 2000 decided to have the engine fully rebuilt, a process that has taken another 13 years to complete.
    Undertaken by the Vintage Carriage Company of Lingfield, Surrey, the engine rebuild was finished earlier this year, as were overhauls of the dynamo and magneto, while the clutch was rebuilt in 2012. Some 32 hours of static testing have been completed but the engine will require further careful running in. The special tools manufactured to assist with rebuild are included in the sale. Departures from factory specification include the oil filter system, an electric fuel pump (original Autovac with car) and SU carburettors. The latter were fitted prior to acquisition (replacing the original twin Solex arrangement). The engine rebuild cost almost £198,000 (not a misprint!) as evidenced by numerous supporting bills, detailed work sheets and a photographic record running to several hundred images, all in bound files.

    'RX 8493' is finished in British Racing Green/black with green leather interior and comes complete with side screens (new in 1987 and virtually unused). The car is taxed/MoT'd to March 2014 and is offered with Swansea V5 document and the aforementioned restoration records. A rare survivor of this desirable Lagonda model, 'RX 8493' represents an opportunity to acquire a well preserved example one of the finest British sporting cars of its day, fresh from a total, no-expense-spared engine rebuild.

Saleroom notices

  • The vendor has informed us of an issue/problem with the clutch. The vendor has supplied a report as to its symtom, reason, and how to resolve it and this is on file. We advise interested parties to read the report. The car is sold strictly as viewed. This vehicle is not offerred with an MoT
  1. John Polson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 5803
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802