1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide T9 Tourer For Sale


Polson Motor Co. Ltd


1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide T9 Tourer For Sale

  • 6,000 Miles
  • United Kingdom


The 4½-Litre Lagonda was one of the most accomplished sports cars of the 1930s, as a succession of high-profile race wins, culminating in victory at Le Mans in 1935, amply demonstrates. Introduced at the 1933 Olympia Show, the M45 deployed Meadows' 4½-litre, twin-plug six to good effect, with saloons being capable of reaching 90mph and tourers 'the ton'.

A team of three specially built short-chassis M45s prepared by Lagonda main agents Fox & Nicholls performed creditably at the 1934 RAC Tourist Trophy at Ards, and the following year one of these TT cars driven by John Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes won the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance classic outright.

The M45 Rapide as offered here was the production version of this competition model, sharing the same short wheelbase 10-foot 3 inch chassis- 6 inches shorter than standard, along with a stronger crankcase, superior Girling brakes and many other detailed improvements. Arguably the ultimate M45, only 53 of these cars were built, making them a most rare and desirable model.

The M45 Rapide offered here was fitted from new with Lagondas in house T9 coachwork, with clever disappearing hood and most elegant lines. The immediately preceding owner?s family purchased the Lagonda, which was in a derelict state, for £80 in October 1959 from Reginald Woodhead, landlord of the White Hart Inn at Lydgate near Oldham, Lancashire. It is understood that the car had been ordered at the 1934 London Motor Show by a Mr Barraclough as a present for his son, Brian.

The list price of the standard M45 Rapide Tourer was £1, 000 at a time when the average UK house price was a little over £600. However, the car may have cost more, as a number of non-standard extras were specified: additional instrumentation requiring the special sheet-aluminium dashboard; twin emergency reserve fuel cans in the rear passenger foot-well; special wooden tray with extensive tool kit to the rear of the engine compartment; and wire mesh stone-guards to the four front lights and radiator.

The Lagonda was delivered and first registered on 22nd March. The car was used mainly for fishing trips in Scotland. Following Mr Barraclough's untimely death, his family gave the Lagonda to one of his friends, the aforementioned Reginald Woodhead. Regrettably, the car was left in the open where it quickly deteriorated. Nevertheless, it appears to have been used regularly, as frequent periods of three months' road tax during 1958/ 59 are recorded in its last logbook.

After the previous owner purchased the car in 1959, it was completely stripped down to the last nut and bolt. The chassis, axles, gearbox, and braking system were restored and reassembled, and then time, money and enthusiasm evaporated. Although disposing of the car as a part-finished project, or scrapping it, was considered, it moved with its owner to various addresses. In May 1986, it was decided that something must be done, and work was recommenced on a part-time basis. By May 2000, the car had passed its first MoT inspection and was re-taxed. Although parts, such as the trim, had deteriorated beyond restoration, all had been kept as patterns and evidence of the original specification, together with photographs supplied by Brian Barraclough's son. Much of the work was entrusted to specialists: Alan Brown of Delph near Oldham (engine rebuild); Paul Naylor of Delph (aluminium bodywork); John Hargreaves of Delph (cellulose paintwork); Mike at V. A. S. Auto Trim, Wakefield (interior trim); and Patrick Henry of Ludham, Norfolk (instrument reconditioning). All other work was carried out by the vendor's father with the aid and advice of many friends. Since completion the Lagonda has been maintained by Lagonda specialists Macdonald Racing Ltd, with engine work carried out in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

More recently the car has been checked over by the current owner?s personal mechanic and a modern clutch conversion fitted, since which point negligible mileage has been done.

In addition to the aforementioned old logbook, the car comes with a large file with all bills and correspondence from 1959 onwards for the initial restoration (organised in sections ? clutch, brakes, electrics, instruments, shock absorbers, paint, etc); and another file containing all bills and correspondence relating to the restoration's resumption and completion.

offering fast effortless touring in the best tradition of the model, ?BU? has had 2 owners in the last 60 years and represents the ultimate variant of one of the finest of all British sportscars.


Polson Motor Co. Ltd

Polson Motor Co. Ltd


Vehicle location

Mill Farm, Ashfield Green, Wickhambrook, Newmarket, Suffolk
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Classic Cars
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