Lot 258

Hershey 2023

1936 Lagonda LG45 Tourer

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$160,000 - $180,000 USD | Not Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania

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language
Chassis No.
12043
Engine No.
12043
Crankcase No.
LG45/202/S1
Documents
US Title
  • The first Lagonda model produced under technical direction of W.O. Bentley
  • Formerly owned by noted Lagonda collectors Bill Rudkin and Desmond FitzGerald
  • One of just 278 LG45s built; one of only 25 Le Mans-inspired tourers
  • Powered by a competition-proven 4.5-liter Meadows inline-six engine
  • 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 Walter Owen 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. Bentley 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 193, and of these just 25 were reportedly specified as Le Mans-inspired Tourers. Skillfully penned by Frank Feely, Lagonda’s in-house designer, the Tourer was immediately recognized as an exceptional design. The example offered here, chassis 12043, was one such car graced with the rare and handsome lightweight coachwork, featuring sweeping full fenders and stately dual, side-mount covers. Chassis 12043 is understood to have been ordered new by Donald H. Ogilvy of Scarsdale, New York via Lagonda’s Scottish distributor, Burton & Tweedy.

Some years later this elegant Lagonda Tourer was purchased by Bill Rudkin, president of Pepperidge Farm Bakeries, who kept it at his home in Southport, Connecticut. Following a subsequent move to Pawlet, Vermont in the 1990s, Rudkin sold the car to noted Lagonda collector Desmond FitzGerald of Fairfield, Connecticut. In a 2019 piece in The Wall Street Journal, FitzGerald described his relationship with this exciting LG45 as “love at first sight.”

This 1936 Lagonda LG45 Tourer represents an exceptional opportunity to enjoy a rare, elegant, and well-engineered British machine, significant for being the first Lagonda model produced under the technical direction of W.O. Bentley.