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Homepage. This page: Two dapper chaps and a sporting 2-Litre Lagonda early in WW2.
Original transport photographs
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Lagonda 16/80 2-Litre saloon car.

Lagonda registration TH 2989 first saw use in the Carmarthenshire area of South West Wales. While it no longer shows as being registered and around today - at least on this registration number at any rate - perhaps it lies waiting to be discovered in a Welsh barn somewhere? Or more likely, it was broken up after the war - assuming it survived to that point in time. The Lagonda shown here has been identified as a 2-Litre 16/80, a 1991cc six-cylinder model introduced in 1932 as a replacement for the previous four-cylinder "2 Litre". Unusually, the engine for this model wasn't a Lagonda unit as such, it was sourced from Crossley and then was stripped and uprated to Lagonda's desired specification before being installed in the chassis. According to current club records, only 261 examples of the 14/80 are believed to have been constructed, before production ended in 1934.
Whereas most cars surviving to this day are open tourers, the example shown here is a coachbuilt saloon, and a rakish and very stylish machine it is too, with its low roofline, tapered running boards, proud Lagonda radiator, and full-width wheel discs.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
A Lagonda 16/80 saloon
There are a few scrawled pencil notes on the reverse of this old print, some of which are hard to decipher. The chap on the right is a Mr Len Bentley, while to the left is - I think - Mr Jim Wheeler (perhaps?). The date of 1939/1940 is given, as is a note that the original snapshot was taken on a Box Brownie camera - explaining why this enlarged print is somewhat fuzzy and ill-defined.
The date given ties in with the wartime-era black-out mask shown fitted to the n/s front headlamp, and the daubs of white paint laid onto the forward edges of the front mudguards, both of which suggest that this particular Lagonda could have been used during the war, and its driver had access to (limited) fuel stocks that were available at the time. Perhaps shortly after this photo was taken, the Lagonda was converted into a makeshift ambulance, or was used to tow a water pump trailer around to aid the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service)? Many once-revered motor-cars saw out the wartime years in such roles.

1932 Lagonda.

Thanks to Henry for the next early photograph - in it, his father is shown sat behind the steering wheel of a 1932 Lagonda, registration PJ 7455. As with the car shown above, this wonderful machine no longer shows as being registered. The coachwork on both Lagondas appears to be very similar, bar the shape of the visible running board which has a tapered front end on the above example, not uncommon on Lagondas of the era.
While Henry never got the opportunity to own this car, he does have an interesting link to pre-war motoring - Barney Barnato, owner of the Kimberley Diamond mine and father to famed Brooklands driver Woolf Barnato, is a cousin.
A 1932 Lagonda 16/80 saloon
Return to Page 21 in the motoring photographs archive, or visit the main index here.
Other Lagondas to feature in this section include examples of 14/60 tourer, LG45R Rapide and M45.

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