Auburn Fall | Lot 6061
1936 Lagonda LG45 Tourer
| Auburn, Indiana
5 September 2020
- The first model produced under the technical directorship of W.O. Bentley
- Based on the Lagonda that won the 1935 24 Hours of Le Mans
- One of 278 LG45s built; one of only 25 tourers
- Competition-proven 4.5-liter Meadows inline-six; elegant, luxurious bodywork
- Appealing, sporting touches include a fold-down windshield and aero windscreens
Young entrepreneur Alan P. Good landed quite a coup when he purchased Lagonda in 1935. Not only had he prevented the financially troubled company from falling into the hands of Rolls-Royce, he also persuaded none other than W.O. Bentley to join the enterprise—and to bring some of his team with him. Further signaling the marque’s celebrated upward trajectory, drivers Johnny Hindmarsh and Luis Fontés piloted a Lagonda M45 Rapide to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June of that year.
The first production Lagonda to be touched by the brilliance of W.O. was the LG45. The successor to the M45, the LG45 was built around the same highly capable, competition-proven 4.5-liter Meadows inline-six engine, but featured refinements such as synchromesh gears and a central lubrication system. Introduced in 1936, the public and motoring press alike immediately recognized the model’s merits, with British publication The Autocar reporting that the LG45 offered “all the performance that anyone can reasonably require, and at the same time has been silenced, smoothed out and made a much more comfortable car, so that in comparison with the earlier versions it is hardly recognizable on first driving it.”
Some 278 LG45s were produced between 1936 and 1937 in a range of body styles. Of these, just 25 were specified as tourers, and of this already exclusive group, perhaps as few as 17 are known to have survived to the present. Skillfully penned by Frank Feely, Lagonda’s in-house designer, the tourer was immediately recognized as an exceptional design; this car, chassis 12043, was one such car graced with this handsome lightweight coachwork. Tourer bodywork featured sweeping full fenders and stately dual-sidemount covers; in one is the expected spare wheel and tire, while the other conceals a flashlight, spare spark plugs, and a knock-off hammer.
Chassis 12043 is understood to have been ordered new by Donald H. Ogilvy of Scotland and is believed to have been imported to the United States while still relatively new, probably by Ogilvy himself. It has remained in the possession of collectors Stateside ever since.
This tourer is currently offered by a gentleman who has been a Lagonda enthusiast for more than 70 years, ever since he was given a Lagonda Dinky Toy as a child, as A.J. Baime reported in a 2019 Wall Street Journal collector profile. He acquired his first LG45, the first of ten Lagondas he has owned over the years, in 1963. This rare car, purchased in the 1990s from an heir of the Pepperidge Farm fortune, is his last—and favorite—Lagonda, which he and his family have cherished for over two decades.
This 1936 Lagonda LG45 tourer represents an exceptional opportunity to enjoy a rare, elegant, and well-engineered British machine. In comparing its driving dynamics to broadly equivalent Bentleys of the late 1930s, the consignor gives the Lagonda the edge—perhaps unsurprisingly, given W.O. Bentley’s involvement with its development—making this LG45 equally suited for show and the open road.