Lagonda History

Wilbur Gunn built a reputation by constructing reliable motorcycles during the early 1900's. They were built in England and the engines powered the front wheel. Some of the bikes were driven to victories at the race track. By 1907 he had built his first automobile which was powered by a six-cylinder engine which produced about 20 horsepower. This combination was enough for his 'Torpedo' vehicle to place first in a few prominent races. One of those races was the Moscow to St. Petersburg Reliability trials. With his racing success came an escalation in the popularity of the vehicles. Many of his 20 hp and 30 hp vehicles were exported to Moscow.

The Lagonda 11.1 was powered by a four-cylinder 1000 cc engine. It quickly gained a reputation for its advanced design and exceptional build quality. It featured a fly-off handbrake which was the first of its kind. During the War Lagonda manufactured military machinery for the Royal Navy. At the close of World War I the engine of the 11/1 was enlarged to 1400 cc. This was also a side time for the Lagonda Company as Gunn died in 1920.

The 16/65 was produced from 1926 through 1930 and was powered by a 2.4 liter, six-cylinder engine. Sitting on an enlarged chassis, it provided additional room and enough power to carry a family of passengers.

In the mid 1920's, the Arthur Davidson designed vehicle was introduced. It was a sporty model with a four-cylinder engine with hemispherical combustion champers. It was dubbed the 14/60. A more powerful version was introduced two years later. By 1930 it was available with a supercharger.

By the early 1930's, a 2-liter Crossley could be found under the bonnet of the 16/80. A smaller version with a 1087 cc engine was introduced in 1934. The 4.5-liter Meadows engined M45 was at the top-of-the line offering by the Lagonda Company during this time.

The Rapier was introduced in the early 1930's. It bore the Lagonda name until 1935 when it began being produced by the Rapier Cars Ltd.

The Great Depression was a difficult time for many companies and this was true for the Lagonda Company. By 1935 the company had entered into receivership. It was rescued by Alan Good of Rolls-Royce. In 1935 W.O. Bentley was commissioned to design the LG series. The V-12 was introduced in 1937 and would be the final new series introduced prior to World War II. The company continued to produce vehicles for several years before being integrated into the Aston Martin Company under the leadership of David Brown in 1947. The V12 engine was very attractive to Brown and was easily integrated into the Aston Martin vehicles. Lagonda production continued though it was in very small numbers. The Rapide was introduced in 1961.

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Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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