ENGLISH roads and English taste call for a type of sports car which can only be supplied in the British Isles. It needs to be fast and reliable, not too heavy, and quiet-running with just a suggestion of underlying power. Lastly it must have good lines, achieved without having recourse to eccentric mudguards, chromium plated bonnets, or colour schemes which are only tolerable in a French Riviera setting. Since the introduction of the early model twolitre in 1925, Lagonda cars have been designed with these ideals in view.
Built primarily to suit the British motorist, their success on the Continent has been considerable, helped not a little by their powerful headlamps, good springs and full equipment. The achievements of Lord de Clifford and others in Monte Carlo Rallies and Couper’s Coupe des Alpes in the last Alpine Trial, have demonstrated the ability of Lagonda cars to stand up to the most strenuous conditions of travel.
For the coming season two chassis types are listed, the two litre on a 10ft. wheelbase, and the three litre which is nine inches longer. The two litre chassis is of sound and straightforward design, the side members being upswept from the rear of the engine forward to the dumbirons in order to lower the e.g. in front, and swept over the rear axle in the usual way. The chassis is braced by numerous cross members of pressed and tubular formation, the two immediately behind the gear box together with the one in front of it dealing effectively with the twisting stresses which are inseparable from high-speed motoring.
Two engines are available in the two litre chassis, the older 4 cylinder overhead camshaft unit, which can also be obtained in supercharged form, and the 6 cylinder push-rod engine, which is used in the car road-tested in this issue of MOTOR SPORT. The cylinder dimensions of the four cylinder are 72 mm. by 120 mm., giving a total capacity of 1954c.c. The annual tax is 213. The cylinder block and crankcase are cast in one, and the detachable head carries two overhead valves per cylinder in hemispherical combustion chambers. The sparking plug is placed vertically between the two valves. The chain-driven overhead camshaft operates the valves through rockers, and the clearances are adjusted by rotating the eccen
tric rocker pins. The head can be detached without upsetting the valve timing. Inva-Strut split skirt pistons with hollow gudgeon pins_ and durahimin con necting rods keep down the reciprocating weight and the five bearing crankshaft is counterbalanced. Coil ignition is em ployed and the single S.U. carburettor is carried on the near side and supplied by Autovac from the 14 gallon rear tank. A
fan and a water-impellor assist the thermo-syphon cooling system, and the chromium plated radiator shutters, which are thermostatically controlled, keep the engine at its maximum efficiency. Two gallons of oil are carried in the sump and supplies are forced to the hollow crankshaft and other important points. Suction and pressure filters are incorporated. The crankcase can be
drained by turning an easily-reached valve, and the chassis grease-points are grouped for easy maintenance. The engine needs little modification to take the supercharger, which is mounted vertically between the engine and the crankshaft-driven dynamo. The carbur ettor is bolted directly on to the blower which is of Zoller manufacture, with various Lagonda modifications. A metal pipe flexibly jointed to the blower carries the mixture to the induction port on the near side of the engine, and a blow-off valve prevents damage in the event of a back-fire. A magneto replaces the coil, and a petrol pump driven from one of the camshafts is carried at the rear of the
engine. Air scoops help to keep the camshafts cool. The two-litre, supercharged Lagonda was one of the earliest examples of super
charging successfully applied to touring cars, and a road test of one of these models appeared in MOTOR SPORT for October, 1930. The six-cylinder engine was introduced last summer. The cylinders have bore and stroke of 65 and 100 mm. respectively, giving a total capacity of 1,991 c.c. The tax is 216. The detachable cylinder head carries vertical overhead valves, push-rod
operated adjustment being made by a screw and lock-nut on each rocker. The combustion chambers are machined throughout. The sparking plugs are carried in an inclined position on the offside of the engine. The exhaust gases are led away through a pair of twobranched exhaust pipes.
The magneto and dynamo are driven in tandem, and a belt-driven fan and water impellor supplement the thermo-syphon cooling. A Petrolift supplies fuel to the carburettors.
The four-bearing crankshaft has a vibration damper at its front end. It is drilled and is lubricated from a pressure pump, and the system embodies the usual pressure and suction filters.
The transmission layout is identical on all the 2 litre models. A single plate fabric-faced clutch mounted on a steel flywheel transmits the drive to a flexibly mounted gear-box which of course is a separate unit. All gearshafts are mounted on ball and roller bearings. The ratios of the four gears differs slightly on the four and the six cylinder models, the second and third in the latter being lower, as the six can run safely up to 5,000 r.p.m. A right-hand gear-lever is standard, and an adjustable clutch stop facilitates quick changes.
The open propellor shaft has two universal joints, and the spiral-bevel final drive is carried in a banjo housing with an aluminium cover plate. The front axle is of H. section special alloy steel, the steering pivots bear on ball-thrust washers while the hubs are carried on adjustable roller bearings.
Semi elliptic springs are fitted back and front. The rear springs are nnderslung and all are fitted with gaiters.
All cars are equipped with Rndge Whitworth wheels for 31 x S Fort Dunlop tyres.
The Lagonda braking system leaves nothing to chance. The foot-brake applies two large front brakes and two sets of shoes at the rear, while the hand-lever operates on an independent set. The rear brakes are cable-operated and are compensated by chain and sprocket gear, and all shafts are carried on self-aligning ball races so that no binding can take place.
Cam-type steering is fitted, and the column is adjustable for rake.
Lagonda equipment is noticeably generous, particularly with regard to the lighting system. All cars are equipped with Lucas P 80 projectors which give a driving light allowing of the highest speeds in safety, while a centre light inclined to the left of the road gives a safe driving light without any possibility of dazzle. The dashboard equipment is complete and the tools are carried in a special container recessed te carry each individual tool.
A special model. The 16.80 h.p. Lagonda chassis fitted with a Vanden Pies
open four-seater body.
The chassis layout of the 3 litre cars is similar to that of the smaller models, except of course that the side-members and other parts carrying the load are of heavier construction.
The six-cylinder ” Special ” engine has a bore and stroke of 72 and 120 mm. and the capacity is 2,931 c.c., with an R.A.C. rating of 19.2. The overhead valves are push-rod operated, and adjustment is made in the usual way by means of screws and lock-nuts on the rockers, and the bearings receive forced lubrication. The detachable head has machined combustion chambers and the plugs are fitted on the off-side. Two S.U. carburettors, which are pro tected by Takes air-cleaners, are carried on the near side, and the petrol pump, which draws its fuel from a 20 gallon tank, is driven from the rear end of the camshaft. This is carried on four bearings and runs submerged in oil. The alloy pistons have hollow gudgeon pins, and the massive crankshaft runs in seven bearings. The dynamo is carried at the front end, and the distributor for the coil ignition system is driven by spiral gearing from the cam’ shaft, and is accessibly mounted on the off-side of the engine. ; The lubrication system is similar to
that fitted on the smaller models, and the sump holds 3 gallons of oil.
Clutch, gearbox, and back axle are similar to those models already described, but the top gear ratio is 4.1 as against 4.4. on the smaller cars. The RudgeWhitworth wheels are fitted with 31 by 5.25 Fort Dunlop tyres.
The most luxurious car of the range is the three litre “Special Selector,” which is fitted with an 8 speed gear-box manufactured under Maybach patents. The engine is similar to that of the ” Special” but the cylinder bore has been increased to 75 mm. bringing up the total capacity to 3,181 c.c. The Maybach design gives two alternate
sets of four gear ratios, a high set, all silent, for effortless touring with a slow running engine, and a low set intended for mountainous districts and other emergency use. A movement of the central gear-lever backwards or forwards determines which set of ratios are in use, ordinary gear-changing being carried out by means of two small levers mounted in the centre of the steering wheel. The centre lever also engages reverse gear, and since the selecting levers control four gears it follows that there are also four reverse ratios.
The ratios are pre-selected by the steering-wheel levers and the gears are actually shifted by vacuum cylinders when the accelerator is slightly released. Overrunning clutches prevent the gears from engaging until their speeds are matched, and changes up can be made almost instantaneous by using the clutch and its powerful stop in the normal way. The normal ratios are :-3.66, 5.27, 6.95 and 10.61 to 1 and the low set 6.0, 8,67, 11.6 and 16.54 to 1.
The handsome lines of the Lagonda bodies are proverbial, and have won their owners numerous awards at Concours d’Elegance in England and abroad. They are made throughout at the Staines factory, and embody various interesting points of design which the makers have found useful for long-distance travel.
In addition to the normal Le Mans type four-seaters, special bodies for the supercharged two litre and three litre cars have a neat container built into the back which holds two suitcases, while the tools are arranged in a sunk tray which swings out when the locker is opened. This feature is also found on the panelled Weyraann saloons. A pillarless saloon built under Silent Travel patents can be obtained on the 3 litre chassis. Prices :-
Two litre 4 and 6 cylinder Speed Tourers £595; Saloon 095.
Two litre Supercharged 4 cylinder, Speed Tourer £775; Weynuinn Saloon £875.
Three litre Special, Speed Tourer £900; Panelled Wcymann Saloon 090.
Three litre” Selector Special,” Speed Tourer, £975; Panelled Weymann Saloon 0,065 ; Pillarless Saloon 41000.
Lagonda Cars carry a nine year guarantee renewable every three years after an inspection of the car has been made. This guarantee is transferable when the car is sold.