The 1935 Le Mans winning Lagonda M45 Rapide

The Louwman Collection's 1935 Le Mans winning Lagonda (from the collection of the author)
Yet another fantastic Lagonda from the Louwman Collection, this is the 1935 Le Mans winner. Driven by John "Johnny" Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes, the car battled the Alfa Romeo's for the entire race. 

This car (the number 4) was prepared and entered by Fox and Nicholl. Experienced at tuning Lagonda's "Meadows" designed engine, Arthur Fox and Charles Nicholl were essentially the factory team for Lagonda at the time (in much the same way as Scuderia Ferrari was for Alfa Romeo). 


The 1935 Le Mans (June 15th) was wet and the Alfa's, who had won the preceding 4 years, were highly favored. The British fielded 37 out of the 58 starters with Lagonda entering 2 cars. As the race neared completion the Alfa of Stoffel and Helde made an unscheduled stop. Once back on the track, they passed Fontes in the Lagonda. However, the Alfa team had made a critical tracking error and thought they were in the lead, when in fact they had simply made up their lost lap and were now on the same lap - behind the leading Lagonda. By the time they figured out their error it was too late and Lagonda had broken Alfa Romeo's win streak at Le Mans. 


Sadly, Hindmarsh was killed in 1938 test piloting a Hawker Hurricane and Fontes died soon after flying for the RAF in WWII.



The number 4 Lagonda of Hindmarsh and Fontes at Le Mans

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