Lot C511


1953 Lagonda DB Drophead Coupe
Reg. no. NYU 820
Chassis no. LAG/50/503
Engine no. VB6J171
Produced from 1953 to 1958, the 3-Litre was the second Lagonda to emerge under the marque’s ownership by David Brown. The car’s 2.9-litre twin-overhead-cam straight six was designed by W.O Bentley. This excellent engine produced 140bhp in the Lagonda; also used in the Aston Martin DB3 and DB2/4, power would eventually rise to 195bhp in its final form. While the Aston Martins occupied a sporting segment in the market, the Lagonda was firmly aimed at the luxury segment, with this large car being available in four-door saloon and two-door coupe and drophead coupe forms, the latter two being constructed by David Brown subsidiary, the well-known coachbuilding firm Tickford. The interior was true to the luxury nature of the car; in classic British style, there was plenty of polished walnut trim, and high-quality leather was used throughout. Standard equipment included a heater and a radio – both still very much luxury items in 1950s cars. The car rode on a separate cruciform-braced chassis, with independent suspension all-round – an unusual feature for the time, using coil springs at the front and torsion bars at the rear. A built-in hydraulic jacking system was standard. The excellent engine drove through a four-speed manual gearbox, and offered excellent performance for the time, with a top speed of over 100mph and a 0-60 time of around 13 seconds. The 3-litre was an extremely high-quality car, and expensive. Only 270 were sold in total, with an enviable list of purchasers. Sir Peter Ustinov was one 3-litre drophead owner, as was the late Duke of Edinburgh, who used his 1954 example as personal transport until 1961.
This 1953 drophead coupe has had just three previous owners. The first was a Mr Voltz of Putney, about whom unfortunately little is known. It was then owned by Mr Brunner of Wotton House in Buckinghamshire; this fine early 18th century stately home, which the Brunners saved from demolition in 1957, surely providing the perfect backdrop for such an elegant car as the Lagonda. Later, the car was inherited by the Brunners’ chauffeur, this being the previous owner before the vendor. Now, the car is in good condition for its age, with a patina that can only come from many years of loving care, although it would benefit from a new hood. The engine has been modified by Aston Martin specialists, with hardened valve seats, bigger valves and a different camshaft; with this bringing it up to Aston Martin tune, the car should prove a very lively performer indeed. This beautiful luxury drophead comes with much paperwork about Wotton House and the Brunner family, plus a selection of bills for work carried out. It also comes with a V5C and an old-style logbook.

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£65,000 - 70,000

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