1952 Lagonda 3-Litre Mk II DHC
Historically important motor car; the first of only 38 drophead 3.0 Mk II's ever produced; fully recorded ownership history and in need of restoration; lovely original condition; engine runs; a very rare find; recently featured in Octane magazine
Offered here at auction for the first time in its history, this 1955 Lagonda is an historically important car – being the very first 3-litre built in Series 2 form, manufactured by Aston Martin Lagonda. It is the very rare Drophead Coupe too - one of a total of only 38 Series 2 DHCs manufactured. Today, these wonderful cars attract the interest and respect that they’ve always deserved. Indeed, a beautiful example is featured currently in a 9-page spread in November’s issue of Octane magazine.
Production of the earlier (DHC and 4-door saloon) 2.6 litre Lagondas took place between 1945 and 1953. They were then replaced by the first series of the 3-litre Lagondas, the 140bhp of the new VB6J six-cylinder engine capable of propelling these cars to a maximum speed of 104mph (as tested by The Motor). Mated to the David Brown 4-speed box, the 3 litre cars were blessed with a beautiful new body design, available in DHC, 2-door saloon, and (in series 2) 4-door saloon form, created by the then still independent Tickford coachbuiders.
By 1955, the upgraded Series 2 became available – of which this DHC (chassis number 82) was the first - now equipped with a floor gear change and numerous other minor refinements to accompany the existing benefits of independent suspension all round, proper rack and pinion steering, larger brake size front and rear, stronger differential, and the Jackall hydraulic jacking system. These cars continued to be built in tiny numbers until production ceased entirely in 1958.
Such a rare car obviously meant very few people were lucky enough to own one. Even the Duke of Edinburgh probably found it fairly tricky to get his hands on one. 709 XUL (originally RGC 2) was first owned by Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd. Headed up by Norman Garrod CBE, G&L Ltd were the first producers and inventers of flip-back sleeves for vinyl records which would have been a pretty big deal back in the 1950s. As the process saved so much money for the music industry, they were contracted to print 90% of all EMI affiliated productions, therefore credited on all original LP releases for the Beatles. Although not vitally important to the detail of the car you see today, it not only add some interesting provenance, but also shows how examples at the time must have been only available to very influential people of the day.
All eleven other owners of the car are recorded within the paperwork, passing between well known Lagonda collectors during the 2000s. Most recently chassis 82 has been languishing in East Anglia in dry storage. Prepped for auction, she does now run and drive, although only with the help of a slave battery and a drop of fuel. There are many photographs showing here, all of which have been taken at Brightwells and show a true reflection of the condition and work that needs to be done. As always though, we would recommend that one books an appointment to come and view in person.
Spectacular originality, provenance, rarity and patina is presented here, and a careful thorough restoration would surely produce one of the most impressive 3-litre DHCs on the road but also one of the most historically important post-war Lagondas.
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