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LG45 Rapide Team Car
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  Lagonda LG45 Rapide Team Car      

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1936
Numbers built:4 (1650)
Designed by:Fox & Nicholl
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 01, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn a startling twist of fate, the Lagonda Motor Company went into receivership and a Lagonda won the 24 Hours of Le Mans during June of 1935. A bidding war followed, which saw American Alan P. Good just outbid Lagonda's rival Rolls-Royce. In the following months, Good also managed to convince chief engineer W.O. Bentley to join his new company from Rolls-Royce. The first fruit of their combined labour was the LG45 launched in 1936.

Based on the M45 that had won Le Mans the previous year, the new LG45 was an altogether more luxurious version. It was followed by the high performance 'Rapide' model, which featured a more powerful evolution of the Meadows sourced straight six. Launched at the 1936 London Motor Show, the LG45 Rapide featured a striking Tourer body styled by Frank Feeley. To underline its performance credentials, it was fitted with subtle cues like the cutaway doors and external exhausts. Capable of 100 mph, the Rapide was marketed as the fastest car in the world.

In addition to the 25 LG45 Rapide road cars built, a further four chassis were dispatched to competition specialists Fox & Nicholl. Prepared specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, two were fitted with two-seater Tourer bodies, while the other two received four-seater bodies. As they were due to race at Le Mans, the four cars were finished in French racing blue. Sadly, the race was cancelled, so the competition debut of the LG45 Rapide had to be delayed. One of the two-seater cars did have quite an extensive racing career, first in France and then on the British isles. Famously registered 'EPE 97', it is considered by some marque experts as the 'most famous Lagonda of all'.

The LG45 Rapide was relieved as Lagonda's top-of-the-range model in 1938 by the new V12 Rapide. As the name suggests, this featured a brand new V12 engine. Today, the LG45 Rapide rank among the most sought after of all Lagondas. It is believed that of the four Team Cars, only the pair of two-seaters have survived.

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  Article Image gallery (12) 12111 Specifications