1936 Lagonda LG45 Tourer
Chassis No. 12113
Engine No. 12113 (LG45/272/S3)
Registration No. ELD 509
Although outright victory at Le Mans in 1935 had come too late to save Lagonda from their financial woes, it certainly cemented their reputation for producing high quality sporting motorcars, a reputation that survives to this day. Furthermore, it must surely have given the new owners of the company and those who worked there a significant boost and played a part in persuading the legendary W. O. Bentley to leave Rolls-Royce and join the firm.
In September 1935, Lagonda introduced the LG45 model. Essentially it was an updated version of the preceding M45 and M45R models, and still employed Meadows’ sturdy straight-six 4.5-Litre motor, but under the guidance of “W.O.” was developed to be smoother, stronger, quieter and generally more refined, his engines being denoted as Sanctions 1, 2 and 3 as they were progressively developed. The LG45 catered not only for the out and out sporting motorist but also the increasing trend for the more refined sports cars (perhaps what we would consider more the GTs of today) thus proving a viable competitor to the Rolls-Royce derived Bentleys of the time. While a few chassis were sold to private individuals who employed their own coachbuilders, Lagonda prided itself on building most of its own coachwork in-house and employed, the hugely talented, Frank Feeley to create some of the prettiest designs of the era. As well as the much sought after LG45 Rapide, Feeley also designed the extremely stylish body for the LG45 Tourer model, such as the example offered for sale here. Frank Feeley, of course, went on to join Aston Martin when Lagonda was purchased by David Brown and Aston Martin in 1947 where he penned the DB1, DB2 and utterly stunning DB3S.
According to copy factory records on file, this fine example of the stylish Lagonda LG45 Tourer, chassis number 12113 was completed in 1936 and fitted with one of the first W.O. Bentley improved Sanction 3, six-cylinder 4.5-Litre Meadows engines, numbers 12113 and LG45/272/S3. The copy factory build-sheets also indicate that the body number is 7217 and that it was finished in silver all-over with blue upholstery. Although completed in 1936 the LG45 Tourer was not registered ‘ELD 509’ until the 16th November 1937, leading to the thought that it would most likely have been employed a dealer demonstrator car before being sold to the first owner.
‘ELD 509’ became known to The Lagonda Club as early as 1954 when it was owned by a Dr. D.M. Connor of Launceston, Cornwall. The car changed hands twice during the 1950s before being purchased by Brian Dearden-Briggs in 1962, with whom, ‘ELD 509’ was employed for use on numerous rallies, with photographs of some of the events retained in the history file offered with the car. In 1967 ‘ELD 509’ was sold to Dr. Watson and was not registered to a Baker Street address – a fairly elementary problem to have solved – but instead travelled further afield to Ontario, Canada where this particular Dr. Watson resided. The Lagonda remained overseas until it was re-patriated in 2004 by Andrew Brackenbury, a relation, albeit distant, of Charles Brackenbury, the garage owner, racing driver and former works driver for Lagonda at Le Mans in 1939. In Mr. Brackenbury’s care the LG 45 received an ongoing yet thorough restoration with invoices on file from a number of well-known and respected Lagonda and Meadows specialists. As part of the restoration process ‘ELD 509’ was returned to its correct colour scheme of silver all over, with blue upholstery and blue hood. Most of the restoration works were carried out between 2004 and 2007 and Mr. Brackenbury subsequently enjoyed driving the Tourer regularly for its intended purpose, covering many trouble free miles and travelling all over Europe.
The current owner has merely fitted new tyres to improves the tractability. Offered for sale in fine condition, ‘ELD 509’ is fast, stylish and easy to drive. Viewing of the car and accompanying history file is invited at our showrooms by appointment. Then we suggest a trip to the Cote D’Azur to get the full experience and enjoyment out of the car.