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About the 1954 Lagonda DB 3-Litre DHC
In 1953, the coach builder Tickford in Newport Pagnell built ten Drophead Coupes (DHC) and six 2-door Coupes as a special run for the Lagonda dealer Brooklands of Bond Street, London. They created this body style on rolling chassis and 2.6-liter engines from Lagonda developed by W.O. Bentley. Impressed with how quickly Brooklands sold these cars, Lagonda decided to have Tickford continue to build this body style on an improved rolling chassis featuring an engine with increased bore to 3 Liter, because the new body style was heavier, and they wanted to make sure that the car performed sportive enough against the competition from Rolls Royce and Bentley.
Between 1954 and 1955 Lagonda built the DB 3-Litre Mk 1 with 50 2-door Coupe, 70 4-door Sedans and only 20 of this model, the DHC. According to the Lagonda Club in Britain, from the 20 Lagonda DB 3-Litre MK1 DHC produced, only 7 have survived. This car is the only DHC in America (North and South).
The actor Peter Ustinov was part of a group of Gentlemen meeting on Thursday nights at a Club in London. He bought one of the 1953 DHC models as his first new car. Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was part of the group as well, where he learned about the Lagonda 3-Litre. He ordered his special car with an electric soft-top and floor shifter. The Netflix series “The Crown” shows in the second season correctly Prince Philip driving this car model in every episode. Lagonda decided to take over some of the changes from Prince Philip's car to the series. This car was built two months later and featured the floor shifter transmission as well.
Lagonda went on to build a Mk 2 from late 1955 to 1957, including 25 DHC, of which 12 are known to have survived. These cars are easy to identify at the different dashboard layout.
About This Car and The Owner
The car is number matching with the original engine and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust – Certified Copy of a Factory Record, as well as the Technical Data sheet. The car was originally Sapphire Blue with Beige Interior. The original equipment included a Jackall system, a double function of the fuel gauge to show the oil level in the sump and the semaphore trafficators – all in good working order.The current owner purchased this car from Portugal after a long search for the perfect car. The car has continuous ownership history from new and was one of the few cars of the period to be equipped with four wheel independent suspension.
Describing himself as both a car mechanic and car electrician having worked at several automotive industry suppliers in Germany and the US, the current owner made several improvements to the car to make it more reliable to drive. Most of them are so well hidden, that even a concourse judge would be hard pressed to find them. But in case somebody wants to make it all original again, he has kept all of the parts, so that it can easily be converted back.
He took on the project to equip the Lagonda with air-conditioning. Having an in-depth knowledge of these systems, he joined forces with former colleagues at Siemens-Valeo Automotive Heating and Air-conditioning in Bad Rodach, Germany, and they identified an evaporator fitting into the original Lagonda heater housing. That allowed them to keep the look of the car as original as possible. The AC works without fault and provides the occupants with the luxury of driving in a cool and comfortable car when the top is up.
The AC Conversion
The current owner enlisted the help of Antony Forshaw of Aston Service Dorset to make the double pulley needed to drive the AC compressor. The engine compartment got some changes due to the AC and other little improvements.
The upper AC vent is hidden behind the original wood cover of the ashtray. The current radio looks very much like the non-functional original but is a Retrosound unit with USB and Bluetooth connection. It supports a hands-free phone, using a small microphone hidden near the Oil-Temperature gauge at the steering column.
The original seats have been refurbished by the current owner. The seats and all the side panels are exactly the same color. He also added seat belts for the front seats, color matching the body paint of the car. The speakers are below the rear seats. Originally, there would have been only one speaker under the dashboard. But that space was used for HVAC and a cover to give that area a better finish.
The dashboard sports minor changes; the car didn't have an oil pressure warning light and relied solely on the pressure gauge in the center multifunction gauge. The current owner thought it too dangerous for the health of the engine. So, he installed a warning light to the right of the ashtray cover and a high frequency buzzer, hidden under the dashboard. Under the tachometer are from left to right the turn switch for the heater fan, the turn switch for the 3-speed AC fan, the chock, and the pushbutton for the windshield cleaner. The AC fan switch was added, but the distances between all four controls are the same. The car has a new (correct) Moto-Lita steering wheel, but the original comes with the car.
The odometer shows only 11966 miles. It was exchanged for a new one in 1975 with the old one reading 38575 miles at that time. Therefore, the correct total mileage for the car is 50541 as of today. Odometer readings have been documented over the years.
The body of the car, being gauge 12 aluminum, is in great condition. The paint is over 20 years old, not bad, but not perfect. The top is nearly 30 years old and in good shape. The car was restored in 1992 and has had three owners (including the current owner) since then.
This beautiful and rare Lagonda was entered in several car shows and won every time a Best in Show or Best in Class. On February 8th, 2020, this stunning Lagonda was entered in the largest and most prestigious show in SW Florida – Cars on 5th – in Naples, organized by the Ferrari Club. There were 650 high class classic- and sport-cars and this Lagonda won the Best in Show for the British Cars.
What Is Included
Original Parts: Steering wheel, ashtray, dynamo, radiator, heater core, heater blower fan, original leather bound Lagonda Three Liter Instruction Book
History documents from the first delivery documentation to former owners, odometer records, handwritten letters from parts and service provider, MOT certificates, etc.
Email for Compression Test, Oil pressure, PSI video.
Asking price: $240,000.00 US owner will listen to reasonable offers.
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Price: $200,000 obo