1957 Lagonda 3.0 Litre Saloon
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a rare and exclusive factory right hand drive 1956 Lagonda 3.0 Litre Saloon.
The Heritage Certificate on file confirms this particular example was built on the 26th October 1956 with a date of despatch of the 14th March 1957. It also confirms that this was a RHD home market car that was delivered to Brooklands of Bond Street, London in the UK. It was delivered new in ‘peacock blue’ and ‘ice blue’ with a blue interior and supplied with an instruction book.
The current owner’s father acquired the car in the UK in 1959. The Club records suggest, but cannot confirm, that this car may well have been a works demonstrator. Given that the car was not sold until 5 months after it was built would also support this.
This Lagonda 3.0 Litre Saloon was used as a daily driver or family car until 1966 when it was parked up in the shed. The car sat in storage for the next 50+ years until the current owner decided to restore it. The restoration was completed in 2019 and the car has been used sparingly since.
The car has been restored to a good standard and today it presents and drives well. The car’s owner chose to have it painted in silver over burgundy, which as you will see from the photos is a perfect choice for the car. The paintwork remains in very good condition, consistent with the limited milage travelled since it was restored. The chrome and exterior trim also presents well. The underside of the car remains extensively original. The car was treated to a major mechanical rebuild, including the engine, cooling system, suspension, brakes and ancillaries. The interior remains extensively original and shows some patina. It is generally in very good condition for its age. At the time of restoration all the instruments were cleaned and overhauled as necessary.
This Lagonda 3.0 Litre Saloon retains its original matching numbers engine, which many early Lagondas and Aston Martins do not. A nice touch is that the last registration sticker, which shows an expiry date of December 1967, is still on the front windscreen!
Today the odometer reads 91,154 miles.
- A lovely example of a rare 1950’s British classic
- Factory RHD example that was restored only 3 years ago.
- Single family ownership since 1959.
- A beautifully presented car that runs and drives well.
Wilbur Gunn was born in 1859 in the Shawnee settlement “Lagonda” in modern day Springfield, Ohio, USA. Gunn was a former opera singer who became a British national in 1891. After moving to the UK, Gunn further pursued a career as an artist and singer. Fortunately, he wasn’t that successful and in 1898 he started building motorcycles. Gunn was quite successful building motorcycles, so much so that a Lagonda represented Great Britain in international cup races. In 1905 he won the London – Edinburgh trail. In 1906 Gunn founded a company and he started building cars. The name Lagonda was the Shawnee Indian name for what is now Buck Creek in Gunn’s native Springfield, Ohio and Gunn decided to use that name for his company. His first car was launched in 1907, the Lagonda 20HP, 6 cylinder Torpedo. The car was quite a success and in 1910 Gunn won the Moscow – St Peterburgs trial in the car. That win resulted in quite a few export orders from Russia.
Already in the prewar period Lagonda started producing some very advanced cars. In 1913 the company introduced 11.1, a small car with a 1,099cc four cylinder engine. By 1914 this model featured a panhard rod, a rivetted unibody body and the first ever fly off handbrake.
After World War I, production of the 11.1 continued. The car evolved into the 11.9, which had a larger 1400cc engine and standard electric lighting. The 11.9 was built until 1923 and the updated 12 until 1926.
After Gunn had passed away in 1920, three existing directors took charge of the company led by Colin Parbury. In 1925 Lagonda produced its first sports model, the 14/60 which featured a twin cam 1,954 cc four cylinder engine and hemispherical combustion chambers. It was superseded by the 2.0 litre speed model with a higher output engine in 1927. By 1930 that car could be ordered with a supercharger. A lengthened chassis version, the 16/65, with 6 cylinder, 2.4 litre engine was available from 1926 to 1930. The final car of the 1920’s was the 3.0 Litre using a 2931cc, 6 cylinder engine. This continued until 1933 when the engine grew to 3,181 cc and was also available with a complex 8 speed Maybach transmission as the Selector Special.
A new model for 1933 was the 16-80 using a 2-litre Crossley engine with pre selector gearbox from 1934. A new small car, the Rapier came along in 1934 with 1,104cc engine and pre selector gearbox. This lasted until 1935 but more were made until 1938 by a separate company. At the other extreme was the near 100mph, 4.5 litre M45 with Meadows supplied 6 cylinder 4,467cc engine. An out and out sporting version the M45R Rapide, with tuned M45 engine and a shorter chassis was also offered. Car dealer Arthur Fox entered two Lagonda M45R’s into the 1935 Le Mans 24 hour race and despite suffering from damaged steering and having hardly any oil left in the engine, the Lagonda driven by John Hindmarsh and Luís Fontes won that year’s race.
Alan P Good managed to purchase the company in 1935, outbidding Rolls-Royce. He then also managed to persuade WO Bentley to leave Rolls-Royce and join Lagonda as a Technical Director. The 4.5-litre range now became the LG45 with lower but heavier bodies and also available in LG45R Rapide form. The LG45 came in 3 versions known as Sanction 1, 2 and 3 each with more Bentley touches to the engine. 1938 saw the introduction of the LG6 with independent front suspension by torsion bar and hydraulic brakes.
In the meantime, Bentley, together with ex-Rolls Royce employees Stuart Tresillian and Charles Sewell and design expert Frank Feeley, had been working on his new masterpiece, the Lagonda V12. Launched in 1937, the Lagonda V12 was powered by a 4,480cc V12 engine that delivered 180 bhp and was said to be capable of going from 7 to 105 mph in top gear and to rev to 5,000 rpm.
Production of the Lagonda V12 started in 1938 and finished in 1940. Coachwork was offered either inhouse by Lagonda or one of the other independent coach builders. To accommodate the various body designs, upon ordering customers were given the choice of either a 124 inch wheel base, a 132 inch wheel base or a 138 inch wheel base. In total Lagonda produced 189 V12’s, of which it is understood only 10 had the 138 inch long wheel base chassis.
In 1947 Lagonda was purchased by David Brown which resulted in the company being moved to Feltham, Middlesex, UK where Aston Martin, also owned by David Brown, was based. Production was restarted and the first Lagonda produced after World War II was the Lagonda 2.6 Litre. Powered by the straight six engine designed by WO Bentley the 2.6 was available as a saloon and a drophead coupe. The 2.6 remained in production until 1953 and in total 512 were made, comprising 390 saloons and 122 drophead coupe.
In 1953 the Lagonda 2.6 Litre was succeeded by the slightly larger 3.0 Litre model. Initially the 3.0 Litre was only available as a 2 door coupe or as a drophead coupe. In 1954 the 4 door saloon was introduced. The 3.0 Litre remained in production through until 1958 and only 270 examples were made across all body styles.
- Lagonda 3.0 Litre Saloon
- 91,154 miles