1935 Lagonda 41/2-Litre M45 Pillar-less Sports Saloon

One of the fastest British sporting cars of its era with stunning looks and a powerful 4.5-litre, twin-plug, straight-six, this pillar-less saloon is an ideal owner/driver fast express. “ If the best British workmanship and the finest materials appeal to you, and if character, sweet running and a maximum speed are qualities that attract you, there is no need to look further; you will find them in this British car” So read Lagonda’s sales brochure announcing the new M45, a powerful model boasting some 4½-litres and rightly regarded as one of the most desirable of all post-vintage thoroughbred (PVT) offerings at the time . Launched in 1933, it was powered by the six-cylinder, 4,453cc overhead valve engine designed by Henry Meadows, which had been progressively developed since 1928. Like all of Meadows’ engines it was robust and, if anything, over-engineered, enabling the more sporting enthusiast in later years to tune it to good effect without serious consequences. At the time of its launch it was the largest-engined British sports-car available, even Bentley occupying the lower ranks with their relatively new 3½-litre model. Unlike Bentley, who did not produce their own coachwork at th at point , the Staines factory offered a range of attractive factory-built bodies including both open and closed cars. Such bespoke coachbuilders as Vanden Plas, Gurney-Nutting and Freestone & Webb were also to clothe the M45 chassis but few matched the elegance of the factory models particularly the carefully designed, pillar-less Silent Travel models which provided superb access for rear-seat passengers through rear-hinged rear doors . Occasionally known by the generic term Top-Hat Saloons, these designs enabled a Gentleman to take his seat in the rear without removing his top hat, although we have our doubts that this would work if you were over 5 feet 6 inches tall! Inevitably this resulted in sightly rectangular lines but in the case of the M45 here, this was softened by rather swoopy ski-jump running boards and a two-tone colour scheme. T he closed coachwork enabled the coachbuilder to fully demonstrate his skills in providing maximum comfort and luxury for the middle and upper- c lass owners of this model. For many years elderly saloons have lived rather in the shadow of open tourers however today’s connoisseur fully recognises the fine additional coachbuilding qualities and excellent appointments of such models and rare survivors of the closed cars are increasingly sought after. This Lagonda M45, Silent Travel-bodied, pillar-less saloon (Z11155) was purchased in Birmingham around 14 years ago by its previous owner, the late Brinley 'Brin' Edwards. It was driven back to his home in Cornwall and used only for the occasional wedding and school prom prior to being offered for sale at Goodwood in March 2018 where it was purchased by our vendor. He immediately entrusted it to marque specialist, David Ayre, to carry out extensive servicing and recommissioning and the appropriate invoices for this work are in the history file. Today, the car presents delightfully in light blue between a gloss black roof and similarly coloured wings and running boards. The extensive chromework appears in fine fettle and the car sits on silver-painted wire wheels. The interior is everything you hoped it might be with what looks to be recently refurbished seating clothed in Sky Blue leather with matching door cards and navy blue carpets. The Deco-influenced door panels are veneered in mahogany with light wood cross-banding and present well and the dashboard, instruments and controls appear original and display the patina of a lifetime of use. Offered from a prominent private collection, this rare pillar-less sports saloon is running and driving beautifully and must surely be t he ultimate owner/driver Lagonda. Specification Make: LAGONDA Model: 4½-LITRE M45 Year: 1935 Chassis Number: Z11155 Registration Number: BTN 575 Transmission: Manual Drive Side: Right-hand Drive Make: RHD Interior Colour: Blue Click here for more details and images