Car No. Z 10651
Coachwork by. Original Coachwork by Lagonda
Chassis No. Z 769
Body No. 6839
Engine No. MHS / 72700
Registration No. AXA 30
+44 (0)1869 244 255
By the time the Lagonda M45 model was introduced at the Olympia Motor Show of 1933, the company had already earned an enviable reputation for building some of the most attractive and stylish British sports cars of the late 1920s and early 1930s. It was the M45 though, powered by the, now legendary, 4.5-Litre six-cylinder Meadows engine, that was able to mate those famed good looks with truly exciting performance. In 1935 a Lagonda M45 Rapide, entered by the Fox & Nichol team and driven by Hindmarsh and Fontes triumphed over the 8C Alfa Romeos at the world’s toughest sport car endurance race – namely the 24-Hours of Le Mans. It was this success, along with numerous other high-profile victories with the 4.5-Litre Meadows engine, that cemented Lagonda’s reputation as one of the great British Sports car manufactures along with the likes of Bentley Motors and Aston Martin.
The increased power of the Meadows engine allowed for the M45 chassis to carry all manner of open and enclosed coachwork but it was often the in-house designs produced by Lagonda that proved the most popular. Of the more ‘standard’ designs, the T7 style, as offered for sale here, was perhaps the most popular, being practical, yet stylish without being over-bodied.
Copy factory records, recently obtained, give the build details and early service history of the M45 T7, offered for sale here. Car no. Z 10651 was delivered to Warwick Wright Ltd. on 29thDecember 1933 and registered AXA 30. The chassis (No. Z 769) was fitted with bodywork to the T7 design (No. 6839) finished in green, with green chassis and wings. The Meadows engine number is noted as 2400, and Lagonda engine No M45/72. A distinguishing feature of ‘AXA 30’ is the omission of the usual cut-out on the passenger door. With this full-size door, the passenger is afforded greater weather protection.
The first owner of ‘AXA 30’ is recorded as a L.R. Younger of Myrton Cottage, Whauphill Wigtownshire in the border region of Scotland to the west of Dumfries. The early ownership history of the car is not documented beyond the first owner, but the service records make mention of “Graham & Roberts’ on 11thJanuary 1934 and that the factory sent their own technician “Fogerty” to rectify some faults. Burton & Tweedy, Lagonda dealers in Glasgow, are also mentioned on the 1stSeptember 1934 so it would appear that the car remained in Scotland during the early part of its life.
A continuation buff log-book contained in the history file gives the ownership history as far back as 1951 and The Lagonda Club note the ownership history from 1958 until the present day. In 1986 The Lagonda Club records indicate that ‘AXA 30’ passed into the ownership of the well-known South Australian collector and dealer, Gavin Sanford-Morgan. From Sanford-Morgan the car passed to R H Nicholls, also of South Australia, and then to another well-known South Australian vintage enthusiast, John Ould. In 2011 AXA 30 was re-patriated into to the UK and was re-issued with its original UK registration number. It was sold to an Irish based collection by the legendary London dealer, Peter Bradfield, and has remained in Ireland ever since.
The current owner has enjoyed using ‘AXA 30’ on suitable events and tours such as The Gordon Bennett rally and the inaugural Shamrock Challenge last year. The car has always proved to be fun, fast and capable. Recent works include the fitting of a new water pump and a modification allowing the car to run on two coils rather than coil or magneto, these works carried out by Jim Boland of Naas.
Eminently suitable for endurance rallies and long-distance touring, we are proud to offer this fine and rare example of a Lagonda M45 T7. ‘AXA 30’ and its accompanying history file is ready for inspection and test drives at our showrooms, by appointment.