1934 Lagonda 3-litre Tourer

Well presented later example with 3.2-litre engine; recent clutch; excellent weather equipment

Lagonda’s founder, Wilbur Gunn, was an American opera singer who had the sense to realise that his real talents lay elsewhere. In 1906 he left the stage and, with help, produced and marketed a very competent motorcycle under the Lagonda brand, named after a creek in his native Ohio but produced from a factory in Staines, Middlesex.

After spending the war years producing munitions, Lagonda was well placed to expand its car making operation and took the shrewd decision to move the brand upmarket rather than fight with the mass production offerings of Austin and Morris.

To this end, they appointed Arthur Thomas from Lea-Francis who designed the 14/60 model, which sported powerful Rubery four-wheel brakes and was particularly attractive and sporting, especially as by 1930 (renamed the 2-litre) it could be had with a Cozette supercharger.

In 1928 the chassis was stretched and a 2.4-litre six-cylinder engine with conventional pushrods was introduced in the 16/55. This was all a bit heavy but performance was brought back up to specification when the capacity was increased to 2,931cc as the 3-Litre. Boasting a robust seven-bearing crankshaft with overhead valves, this smooth and robust unit produced some 80bhp and gave the car a top speed of 80mph.

In 1932 the chassis was stiffened and strengthened to ZMBS specification with improved axles and it was this chassis which was developed into the 4.25-litre M45. The engine was also enlarged to 3,181cc with a 75mm bore and 120mm stroke, along with improved Bishop-cam steering and Perrot shaft-operated brakes.

Testing a Lagonda 3-Litre in 1929, The Motor marvelled at the flexibility of the engine (capable of accelerating from 5mph to 80mph in top gear) and stated that it was “difficult to imagine a car nearer an ideal than one which combines the full performance of a speed model with the top gear performance of the best modern touring car.” Sentiments echoed by Motor Sport who declared the 3-Litre to be “a very pleasant car of very high quality and possessing that indefinable but very definite character which stamps the thoroughbred in every walk of life.”

In total some 580 3-Litre models were made before it was replaced in 1934 by the new M45 (with the improved ZMBS chassis and Meadows 4.25 6ESC engine) of which only around 150 are thought to survive today.

Delivered new to a customer in Victoria Australia, this 1934 3.2-litre Lagonda was originally fitted with ST24A saloon coachwork. It was owned by the Williams family and would have been a very expensive purchase back then. By the late 1940s, it was in the hands of Bill Brooks who sold it to Don Frazer in Adelaide in 1961 who ran an engineering business.

It was he who rebodied the car to its current form, a sporting four-seat tourer using the original scuttle, bonnet and wings. He kept it until 1972, passing it to Gordon Lindsay who was to enjoy the car for another few years before it moved to Tasmania to a new owner Bart Hutchings. He soon sent it to local restorer Nigel Grace for attention, the bodywork being refurbished and repainted green with black wings – the livery it wears today.

A change of hands again and a trip to New Zealand followed, before arriving back in the UK in 1989 when it was registered MSU 895.

Purchased by the vendor in 2005, he has enjoyed it very much and has kept on top of care and maintenance. Around three years ago, the door cards were retrimmed and a new hood and tonneau fitted, along with sidescreen restoration. In May 2020, he had a new clutch fitted, the invoice remaining on file for the parts from the Lagonda Club. It also comes with a copy handbook and manual.

Described by the vendor as in nice but not concours condition, it looks a good usable example with attractive coachwork offering performance to match….

For more information – contact [email protected]

Reg No: MSU895
Chassis Number: Z108888
Engine Number: 2637
Engine Size: 3181
Docs: V5C to follow, Copy of Instruction Book.

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £80,000-100,000

Lot 55

Lot ended

Wednesday 03/08/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

Under Offer @ £68,000
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