1935 Lagonda 4½-Litre M45 Rapide T9 Tourer

Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ellena

Founded in 1906 in Staines, Middlesex, the Lagonda car company has its roots in the vision of American entrepreneur Wilbur Gunn (1859-1920). He chose the name “Lagonda” in homage to a river near his hometown of Springfield, Ohio. Gunn initially gained recognition for building motorcycles in the garden of his Staines residence, achieving success such as winning the 1905 London to Edinburgh Trial.

In 1907, Gunn expanded his ventures by introducing Lagonda’s first car. By 1910, he further solidified the brand’s standing by triumphing in the Moscow to St Petersburg Trial with a 16/18hp model. Lagonda, having established a commendable reputation, initially focused on manufacturing light cars. However, in the mid-1920s, the company shifted its emphasis to crafting sports and luxury models, exemplified by the introduction of the 14/60.

The 14/60, a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre model, marked Lagonda’s foray into sporting and luxury vehicles. In 1929, the company expanded its offerings with the introduction of the 3-Litre, the first of Lagonda’s six-cylinder models. Despite this, by the mid-1930s, the company’s direction favored Meadows-engined cars.

The M45, unveiled at the 1933 Olympia Show and based on the preceding ZM 3-Litre model, featured Meadows’ 4½-litre, twin-plug six-cylinder engine. This innovation proved successful, enabling saloons to reach speeds of 90mph and tourers to achieve ‘the ton’ under favorable conditions.

Source: Bonhams Cars