3 photos

Blackhawk Automotive Museum
This 1939 Lagonda V-12 Drophead Coupe was photographed at the Danville, Calif.-based Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

"Lagonda is a British luxury car marque established in 1906, which has been owned by Aston Martin since 1947," according to Wikipedia. "The marque has had a non-contiguous presence in the luxury car market, being dormant for several times during its existence, most recently from 1995 to 2008 and 2010 to 2013.

"Lagonda was founded as a company in 1906 in Staines, Surrey, by a Scottish-American, Wilbur Gunn (1859–1920), a former opera singer. He became a British national in 1891 and worked as a speed boat and motorcycle engineer in Staines, England.

"He named the company after the Shawnee settlement 'Lagonda' in modern-day Springfield, Ohio, the town of his birth. This is a glacially eroded limestone gorge of much beauty. Historically, the area played a major role in the Treaty of Easton and the aligning of the Shawnee tribe with the British during the French and Indian War."

"Although Gunn died in 1920, the company kept expanding," according to a car summary provided by Blackhawk.
"Lagonda was founded as a company in 1906 in Staines, Surrey, by a Scottish-American, Wilbur Gunn (1859–1920), a former opera singer. He became a British national in 1891 and worked as a speed boat and motorcycle engineer in Staines, England. He named the company after the Shawnee settlement 'Lagonda' in modern-day Springfield, Ohio, the town of his birth. This is a glacially eroded limestone gorge of much beauty. Historically, the area played a major role in the Treaty of Easton and the aligning of the Shawnee tribe with the British during the French and Indian War."

"Although Gunn died in 1920, the company kept expanding," according to a car summary provided by the Blackhawk Automotive Museum, where I photographed it in 2012."

The boom didn't last long because The Great Depression, which contributed to the failure of many car manufacturers throughout the world, forced Lagonda into receivership.

"Alan Good bought the assets, forming LG Motors (Staines) Ltd.," according to Blackhawk. "Good hired W.O. Bentley in 1935 as chief designer at Lagonda, and the V-12 is a Bentley design throughout with its independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes and outboard rear springs.”The V-12 engine, brought out in 1937, is considered one of Bentley's finest designs.

"In 1947, the company was taken over by David Brown and the company moved in with Aston Martin, which he had also bought, in Feltham, Middlesex."

The brand didn't really gain back a marquee until 1961 when the Rapide name was resurrected with aluminum body by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. The 3995 cc engine was capable of taking the car to 125 mph. The car could generate 180 hp at 55 rpm. Price when new was $7,025 in that era's monetary value. Blackhawk said it was at this time that Aston Martin-Lagonda moved to Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Transportation
Subcategory:Cars
Subcategory Detail:Vintage
Keywords:1939 Lagonda V-12, Blackhawk Automotive Museum, Danville, Glenn Franco Simmons