1938 Lagonda V12 Saloon De Ville  Chassis no. 16018 Engine no. 16018/V12-38

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 184
1938 Lagonda V12 Saloon De Ville
Registration no. MGW 798 Chassis no. 16018 Engine no. 16018/V12-38

£ 30,000 - 35,000
US$ 39,000 - 46,000
1938 Lagonda V12 Saloon De Ville
Coachwork by Lagonda

Registration no. MGW 798
Chassis no. 16018
Engine no. 16018/V12-38
“In making an evaluation of the better British cars, the Lagonda V12 certainly must be considered an excellent design and one that contributed to raising the state of the art - not forgetting, of course, that it probably should be considered W O Bentley’s masterpiece.”
- Road & Track, October 1978.

Lagonda’s Technical Director from 1935, W O Bentley succeeded in refining the muscular, Meadows-engined Lagondas while working on a vastly more-advanced design which many consider to be the great man’s finest. First seen in 1936 but not produced until 1938, the Lagonda V12, just 189 of which were built before the coming of WW2 ended production, was a remarkable piece of automotive engineering. It was one of the outstanding British models of its day and one of the exclusive handful of 1930s road cars that could exceed 100 mph in standard tune. This magnificent engine produced 180 bhp at 5,500 rpm and sufficient torque to endow the car with a walking pace to 105 mph capability in top gear.

The V12’s announcement demonstrated that the revitalised company was very much back in business, an impression Lagonda’s decision to enter the 1939 Le Mans 24-Hour Race can only have enhanced. The marque already possessed a creditable Le Mans record, a short-chassis 4½-Litre prepared by Lagonda main agents Fox & Nicholl and driven by John Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes having won the endurance classic outright in 1935. In October 1938 a Lagonda V12 saloon driven by Earl Howe had covered 101.5 miles at Brooklands in a single hour, despite having to stop to change a burst tyre, and this together with other high-speed tests, during which the car had shown complete reliability, indicated that it would be a highly suitable candidate for reviving British prestige at Le Mans. Accordingly, it was decided to enter a two-car team in 1939 with the aim of securing valuable data, and then to mount a full-strength challenge the following year. In the race the two Lagondas fared better than expected, Messrs Brackenbury and Dobson finishing in third place with Lords Selsdon and Waleran fourth. Had a less conservative race strategy been employed, then either might have won.

The car offered here has been owned by the vendor for 15 years, having been acquired from a titled gentleman. It is built on the 11 ft-wheelbase De Ville chassis, while the factory coachwork is unusual in locating the spare wheel on the boot lid, rather than in the more commonplace side mount, endowing the car with a flowing, more elegant profile. The car benefits from a stainless-steel exhaust system and is fitted with flashing indicators concealed within the existing light fittings.

While in its present ownership the vehicle has had a complete engine rebuild and the automatic chassis lubrication system has been thoroughly overhauled, as have all other chassis elements. All instruments and electrical equipment are reported in sound working order. The body has been extensively re-timbered and fitted with excellent original seats from another V12. The carpets, all trim and headlining have been replaced to match the seats, giving the interior a superb appearance. (Bills are available). Wheel discs are fitted at present, though easily removed if required. The car is taxed for road use and comes with Swansea V5 registration document and MoT certificate valid until June 2005.

Had WW2 not intervened, then the V12 Lagonda’s impact on the luxury car market would have been considerable, the reasons for which are best summed up by Lagonda Club historian, and author of Lagonda 1899-1999, Arnold Davey: “It offered a dashing sportiness that the Phantom III could not, plus more refinement than the 4½-litre Bentley, and more performance than either.” The fact that fate took a hand and so few of these magnificent cars were completed has only served to enhance its legendary status.

Footnotes

  • The carpets, all trim and headlining have been replaced to match the seats, giving the interior a superb appearance. (Bills are available). Wheel discs are fitted at present, though easily removed if required. The car is taxed for road use and comes with Swansea V5 registration document and MoT certificate valid until June 2005.
    Had WW2 not intervened, then the V12 Lagonda’s impact on the luxury car market would have been considerable, the reasons for which are best summed up by Lagonda Club historian, and author of Lagonda 1899 - 1999, Arnold Davey: “It offered a dashing sportiness that the Phantom III could not, plus more refinement than the 41/4-Litre Bentley and more performance than either.” The fact that fate took a hand and so few of these magnificent cars were completed has only served to enhance its legendary status.
1938 Lagonda V12 Saloon De Ville  Chassis no. 16018 Engine no. 16018/V12-38
1938 Lagonda V12 Saloon De Ville  Chassis no. 16018 Engine no. 16018/V12-38
1938 Lagonda V12 Saloon De Ville  Chassis no. 16018 Engine no. 16018/V12-38
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.