|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)|