1939 Lagonda V12 Sports Saloon

Highly original, sheer quality, style, and elegance propelled by a silky-smooth V12 engine, these delightful Lagondas are considered by many connoisseurs to be the ultimate pre-war saloon. Often regarded as the finest of W.O.Bentley’s efforts, the Lagonda V12 was by far the standout British model of its day, seated firmly in an exclusive club of 1930s road cars that could exceed 100mph in standard tune. Launched in 1936 at the Olympia Motor Show, the new V12 was the ultimate expression of a talented group of young designers of the era, with a simple design ethos; sports car pace and performance with limousine comfort. The fabulous V12, inspired by contemporary aero engines, featured twin-overhead camshafts (one per bank), twin SU carburettors, a combined duplex-chain / gear-driven timing system and a Lanchester-type vibration damper. The 4.5-litre unit could deliver an ample 180bhp at 5,500rpm, driven through a sporty, centrally-mounted, four-speed manual gearbox and conventional pedal layout. Deliveries did not commence until 1938, with a mere 189 chassis being fully-clothed before the commencement of World War Two ended production. The advanced chassis employed double-wishbone independent front suspension and was made available with a varied choice of coachwork; the short-chassis V12 Rapide roadster of course provided even more performance and desirability. Of the Lagonda V12s produced between 1938 and 1940, under 100 are thought to have survived to the present day. This remarkable example (#16061 - FYE 999) is a long-wheelbase car that was fitted from new with the factory, four-door, four-seat coachwork and was delivered a month before WW2 broke out. By 1953, it was a part of the renowned Ellard Collection where it remained, unused, until the 1980s, after which it moved to Jersey for a short time. When the Lagonda was offered for sale at Brooks' auction at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in September 1999 its paint, chrome, leather and woodwork were said to be original and in very good order. The catalogue also noted that in 1990 £14,000 had been spent on an engine rebuild by Brunts of Silverdale as well as a chassis and brake overhaul whilst, in 1999 and in the Collection of the late Vaughan Gaskell, £12,000 had been spent on re-commissioning with Chris Shenton Engineering, a fairly expensive ten years of ownership considering the car covered only some 500-or-so miles in that period. It remains finished in Masons Black with red coach lines with the paint in good order throughout and the interior displays the gentle patina of decades of use with the original red leather to the seats and door cards. The Burr Walnut dash is likewise all original giving a delightful period ambience and the whole car appears cared for and unmolested. We understand that our vendor's mechanic has just fully gone though the car and, having been freshly serviced, is running well.   The real beauty of FYE 999 is how original and untouched it is and when combined with the engine rebuild a few years ago, the comfort offered by the long-wheelbase, the legendary smoothness of Lagonda's big V12, the model's rarity and a sensible guide, this seems an opportunity not to be missed. Specification Make: LAGONDA Model: V12 SPORTS SALOON Year: 1939 Chassis Number: 16061 Registration Number: FYE 999 Transmission: Manual Engine Number: 16061 Drive Side: Right-hand Drive Make: RHD Interior Colour: Red Leather Click here for more details and images