<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116

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Lot 482
1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe

Sold for US$ 92,960 inc. premium
1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe
Chassis no. 14116
Engine no. 14116

4,480cc SOHC V12 Engine
175bhp at 5,500rpm
2 SU Carburetors
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Independent Front Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Original U.S. Delivery
*One of approximately 185 built
*Project with lots of potential


THE LAGONDA V12

'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.

A quite remarkable piece of automotive engineering, the W O Bentley-designed Lagonda V12 was one of the outstanding British models of its day and one of the exclusive handful of 1930s road cars that could exceed 100mph in standard tune. Not only that, but the magnificent, 4.5-liter, V12 engine produced sufficient torque to endow the car with a walking-pace-to-maximum capability in top gear.

For Lagonda, the year 1935 had brought bankruptcy and rescue, its benefactor being a young solicitor named Alan Good. Good reorganized the company and recruited W O Bentley, by then disillusioned with life at Rolls-Royce, which had acquired Bentley in 1931. Bentley succeeded in refining the muscular, Meadows-engined Lagondas while working on a vastly more-advanced design that many consider the great man's finest.

First seen in 1936, the Lagonda V12 did not commence deliveries until 1938 and only 189 had been built before the coming of WW2 ended production. The advanced chassis employed double-wishbone independent front suspension and was available with a varied choice of coachwork, including limousine. As usual, the short-chassis Rapide roadster provided even more performance.

The V12's announcement demonstrated that the revitalized 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-Liter 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 tire, 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 streamlined two-seater 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 MOTORCAR OFFERED

Frank Spain had an affinity with British built cars and particularly Lagondas. Rarely will you find 3 examples in the same collection on this continent and each are of particular note. In the early days of the museum, the plan had been to always have a car in restoration as part of the display, an appealing way of showing all the components that go into an automobile.

The V12 Lagonda was a perfect candidate for this, in that beneath the exquisitely clothed coachwork is an extremely modern and advanced running gear, from the pen of none other than WO Bentley.

According to records supplied by archivist Jon Leo, 14116 had been supplied new to the U.S. market, where its first owner was a Commodore J.H. Kimberly, who made the Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. his home in the early 1940s, having moved there from Chicago. As new, the car wore burgundy maroon paintwork and a fawn leather interior and top. Its history from that point is not recorded, but prior to acquisition for the collection by Mr. Spain it was known to have been previously registered in California as it still wears a license plate tagged for '54.

As displayed, the engine had been removed, some woodwork replaced and the car generally dismantled. From inspection today it does not appear that the restoration had actually begun, or any substantial progress made and the project must therefore be considered 'as is'.

A Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe is really one of the finest cars of its era, from its flowing lines, created by in house designer Frank Feeley, to its technical aspect. This is deserving of a full restoration to return it to its original splendor.
Contacts
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
<b>1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 14116<br />Engine no. 14116
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