A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Founded in 1906 in Middlesex by an American opera singer with Scottish ancestry, Wilbur Gunn, 'Lagonda' first produced motorcycles prior to car production ~ which commenced in 1907 with the 20hp, 6 cylinder 'Torpedo' model. The company was named after Lagonda Creek, near Springfield Ohio, Wilbur's home town in the USA. Production was slowed by the first World War but soon regained momentum with sales success and some innovative ground breaking features, including development of the first ever fly-off handbrake and a complex 8 speed Maybach transmission. In 1935 the company sadly went bust and was subsequently bought by Alan P.Good, who just outbid Rolls Royce Motors. He persuaded W.O Bentley to leave Rolls Royce and join Lagonda as chief designer which instantly regained the company's sales momentum and further sales success came quickly, not least because of his masterpiece V12 engine launched in 1937 which revolutionised luxury cars at the time. This beautiful Lagonda V12 2 door 'Hooper' saloon is a unique car specially built for the wife of the owner of Hooper Bodies Ltd. (the most noted British body builder of the era) and first registered in August 1939. It features a 5509cc 'Rapide' 4 Carburettor engine and coachwork similar to the standard pillarless saloon found on post-war Rolls Royce, Bentley and Daimler chassis which embodied the traditional Hooper 'Razor Edge' design. Stored throughout the War the car was eventually sold to Mr. Harry Ellard in March 1952 at a mileage reading of 19,266. Henry Ellard, known as Harry, was a highly successful engineer who built up the 'Henry Meadows' Wolverhampton enginering and engine producing business. He designed for the metal pressing business in the Black Country and was so successful that many of his designs are still being produced today. Becoming extremely wealthy during his life, the Midlands entrepreneur was able to start his hobby of collecting outstanding cars that had been well engineered and reflected great workmanship. The Lagonda certainly met this criteria as he was to own 6 cars, but this rare and special car was his clear favourite. He owned this car throughout the rest of his life as a part of his very significant collection until his final days when the entire collection was sold off in July 1984 by Colliers Bigwood and Bewlay at auction. This car was to feature on the cover of the catalogue which offered his amazing and treasured collection. By this stage the car had now covered a documented 39,809 miles from new. The condition of the car at that sale was described in the catalogue as 'generally very good' and the new owner, Don Williams, was to enjoy the car up until 2001 when it changed hands to our current owner and vendor. It has been in storage ever since and now requires a complete restoration. So, in summary, we are offering an extremely rare and very highly regarded matching numbers and highly original Lagonda, which includes it's original and collectable registration number 'FLD 1' (which we are told is transferrable) and the original buff log book showing just 3 former keepers and a genuine mileage of circa 40,000 from new. Silverstone Auctions are very proud to play a part of this unique car's history.