1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89

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Lot 207
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project
Coachwork by Tickford Registration no. 131 DMM Chassis no. LB/290/1/89

Sold for £ 89,420 (US$ 124,887) inc. premium
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project
Coachwork by Tickford

Registration no. 131 DMM
Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
*Used by Juan Manuel Fangio during 1955 and 1956
*Rare drophead coupé model
*Well documented
*Offered for restoration

Footnotes

  • 'Beauty of line, power and grace, superlative comfort and proud dignity are embodied in the three litre Lagonda Tickford Saloon and Drophead Coupe.' - Lagonda advertisement.

    The David Brown organisation's take-over of Lagonda in 1947 allowed production of the latter's W O Bentley-designed all-new model to commence the following year, and at the same time made Lagonda's 2.6-litre twin-cam 'six' available for the new Aston Martins. An advanced design employing a cruciform-braced chassis with independent suspension all round, the Lagonda was available as a saloon or drophead coupé, both with coachbuilt bodies. The interior with its leather upholstery, plentiful walnut and quality fittings stood comparison with that of the very best in the luxury car class. A Mark 2 version arrived in the autumn of 1952 boasting revisions to body and interior, as well as a Jackall self-jacking system.

    Coachbuilders Tickford of Newport Pagnell had begun to play an increasingly important role as body suppliers during manufacture of the 2.6-Litre, and when the new 3-Litre model was announced in 1953 assumed sole responsibility for body production of the two models offered initially - a two-door saloon and drophead coupé - and the four-door saloon that followed. The newly enlarged engine now produced 140bhp, an output good enough for a top speed in excess of 100mph despite the gain in weight over the '2.6'. In October 1955 a revised Mark 2 model was introduced and the range reduced to the four-door saloon only after only five Mark 2 dropheads had been completed. Expensive to produce and necessarily exclusive, the luxurious Lagondas did not sell as well as their manufacturer had hoped, though high-profile owners included HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (who had two dropheads) and actor Peter Ustinov (just the one).

    Chassis number 'LB/290/1/89' was retained by Lagonda Ltd as agent and loaned to Charles Follett, when available, for use as a demonstrator at the dealership's London showroom in Berkeley Street. The car remained the property of Lagonda Ltd until September 1956 when it was sold to a Mrs Noble Lownes of Upper Warlingham, Surrey. In the intervening period the Lagonda, registration '131 DMM', had featured in various advertisements in the motoring press, and had been on loan for the 1955 and 1956 seasons to reigning Formula 1 World Champion, Juan Manuel Fangio. Fangio was pictured with '131 DMM' in 'The Lagonda' magazine together with Stirling Moss, who posed with his Lagonda 3-Litre saloon (see file). The photograph of Fangio (incorrectly captioned 'Luis') is believed to have been taken at the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree.

    The accompanying (copy) build sheet records the original colour scheme as Bristol Red with blue Connolly hide interior and matching convertible hood. '131 DMM' was also fitted from new with a David Brown four-speed gearbox with floor change (rather than the usual column change), a feature that was standard on the Mark 2 cars. Only one item of non-standard equipment is listed: modified servo assisted brakes. Servicing is recorded in detail up to December 1964, the numerous bodywork repairs undertaken during 1955 and 1956 testifying to Fangio's bravura driving style.

    From 1965 onwards the Lagonda was owned by Mr Michael Audergon of Woldingham, Surrey, who was followed (from July 1985) by Conor Norton Ltd of London SW16. Next registered owner Q-Park Ltd of Leeds and Croydon acquired the car in July 2007, apparently in lieu of unpaid parking charges. A short piece in 'Classic & Sports Car' magazine in 2008 showed the Lagonda in a Croydon parking lot where it had sat for some time. Later that same year Q-Park sold the car Mr David Woodward of Glossop. The current owner purchased the car in November 2012.

    Since the Lagonda's acquisition, the cylinder head has been rebuilt and converted to accept unleaded fuel. Otherwise as purchased, '131 DMM' is offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed. The interior retains its original Connolly leather and walnut embellishment, while the hood opens and closes as it should.

    Offered with a history file and V5C registration document, '131 DMM' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of these exclusive and luxurious Lagondas, possessing the added cachet of association with one of the greatest racing drivers of all time.
Contacts
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
1955 Lagonda 3-Litre Drophead Coupé Project  Chassis no. LB/290/1/89
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