Page 1 of 2 Next >> Like so many luxury manufacturers, Lagonda had hit dire straits during the early 1930s. A last gasp attempt to regain a market share with an all-new six cylinder engined model launched in 1933 looked to have come to naught when the company filed for bankruptcy in April of 1935. Fortunately, the financial difficulties at Lagonda did not affect the privately run Fox & Nicholl, who were in the process of readying two Lagondas for that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The pair of Lagondas headed to Le Mans were originally part of a set of three rolling chassis delivered to Fox & Nicholl in 1934. Run by Arthur Fox, Fox & Nicholl was a dealer and race preparation specialist, who had previously campaigned Talbots with great success. The Lagondas supplied to Fox & Nicholl were the latest M45 model, sporting a short wheelbase, which was later adopted for the M45 Rapide model. They included a basic dashboard, stiffer springs and uprated brakes.
Fox & Nicholl spent a considerable amount of time to ensure the Meadows straight six engine was both as reliable and powerful as possible. Among the changes were a higher compression ratio, a bespoke alloy crankcase, a Scintilla Vertex magneto and the addition of back-up fuel pumps. The end result was an output of 140 bhp at 3,100 rpm compared to the 108 bhp available in the road going M45. The modified Meadows engine was mated to a close-ratio four-speed gearbox.
The short wheelbase Lagonda chassis was of a wholly conventional design, boasting a ladder frame with semi-elliptic leaf springs and friction dampers on all four corners. Although uprated for competition use, the Girling rod brakes were also no longer cutting edge. The rolling chassis was clothed in a lightweight aluminium body, which was supported by a wooden frame. As stipulated by the regulations, there was room for four people in the dual-cockpit body. Page 1 of 2 Next >>