David Brown, Ltd., held a Convention—luncheon to you—at Feltham on March 1st to celebrate the re-birth of the Lagonda car. Besides a big concourse of distributors, those who attended included Kensington-Moir, S. C. H. Davis, George Abecassis, John Heath, Tommy Wisdom, Harold Nockolds, Christopher Jennings, Laurence Pomeroy, W. Boddy, H. M. Bentley, John Wyer, John Eason-Gibson, Kay Petre, Stanley Reece, Dudley Folland and many other well-known personalities.
A stripped chassis of the new 2½-litre Lagonda could be examined over cocktails and later we were assured that it was quite standard except for a few extra coats of paint and some polish.
David Brown took the chair, and J. Stirling, in an amusing speech, explained how the ideals of the Lagonda engineers had been converted into production possibilities after David Brown had acquired the old Staines concern. Production had now commenced at the rate of 20 cars a month and prices had been reduced. James Watt explained that amongst luxury cars there were those whose basic price was under £1,000, to miss double purchase-tax [A.C., Allard, Alvis, Citroen Six, Humber Super Snipe, Mk. V Jaguar, and 2½-litre Riley.—Ed.], and at the other extreme there were cars which, when double purchase-tax had been paid, cost over £4,000 [Bentley, Rolls-Royce and the more luxurious Daimlers.—Ed]. To compete in the former class production had to be high, one firm [presumably Jaguar] very creditably achieving a production rate of about 1,000 cars a month. The Lagonda was intended to come in the category between these two, and to appeal to those who appreciate an exclusive car, as production would be only about 240 a year. Prices had just been reduced, the saloon by £248, the coupé by £400, to basic prices of £1,750 and £1,798, respectively. [Other cars in this price class which come to mind are Bristol 401, 2½-litre Daimler sports and Healey Sportsmobile.—Ed]. Consequently, it was suggested that the new Lagonda represented a good proposition on what can be described as the pleasure/cost ratio—actually, this is a sticky subject for debate, for on our way to the Convention we saw a beautifully-prepared 1924 11.9-h.p. Lagonda, which, although costing its present owner probably considerably less than one-tenth the price of the 2½ litre, is possibly the equal of the 1950 model on a pleasure/cost basis! The trade would get a square deal from David Brown and cars would not be sold to the public—in other words words, the old back-door has been closed.
Two Lagonda distributors then spoke; one of whom told a horror story about how he let Alan Good drive him at horrific speeds in the new 2½ litre. The Convention concluded with inspection of the Feltham works and rides in Lagonda demonstrators. The development of the 2½ litre from the point where the old Lagonda company left off forms the subject of a special article elsewhere in this issue.