Lagonda Team Car from the 1939 Le Mans

1939 Lagonda 4.5 Liter V-12 factory team car (photo from the collection of the author)

Here's another Lagonda with racing pedigree from the wonderful Louwman Museum. One of two Lagonda factory team cars campaigned at the 1939 Le Mans, the #5 (chassis 14089) was driven by Arthur Dobson and Charles Blackenbury to a third place finish. 

One of the first thing's Alan Good did after purchasing Lagonda in 1935, was to create a car that could complete with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza. He hired W.O. Bentley and his team from Rolls-Royce and they set about designing new 12-cylinder car. The 4.5 liter V-12 was a great success for Lagonda with roughly 200 road-cars made - today these cars are highly regarded by collectors. 

A result of this endeavor was Lagonda's return to racing in 1939. The 1939 race, held June 17th that year, saw the British field 12 cars: 2 Lagondas, 3 Singers, 2 MGs, 2 Aston Martins, an HRG, a Riley and a Morgan. The two V-12 Lagondas gave a strong showing, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively with the Bugatti "Tank" of Wimille and Veyron finishing first. Great anticipation for a return to Le Mans in 1940 were dashed by the outbreak of WWII.

The Number 5 Lagonda of Dobson & Blackenburg (photo credit: Percy Kemish)

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