£55,000 - £65,000
1953 LAGONDA 3-LITRE COUPE
Registration Number: KKU 62
Chassis Number: LAG/50/539
Engine Number: VB6J/64
Recorded Mileage: 491 miles
- Matching numbers engine and gearbox
- Comprehensively restored in the early 2000s
- Recently recommissioned at a cost exceeding £5,000
Shortly after peace returned to Britain following the end of the 2nd World War, David Brown acquired the famous sporting marques of both Lagonda and Aston-Martin, locating the new firm at the Feltham works in Hanworth Park West London. Post-war Lagondas were treated to a new W.O.Bentley-designed straight six twin-cam engine, which went on to power Lagonda and Aston Martin models into the late 50’s, most famously the highly successful DB3S.
The 1948 2.6-litre Lagonda was available as a 4-door saloon and from 1949 a 2-door drophead coupé joined the line up, Although the advanced chassis design and twin cam 6 cylinder engined car impressed dynamically, the styling was considered somewhat bulbous and staid. Following a beautifully redesigned body courtesy of Tickfords and the addition of the enlarged 3 Litre 140 bhp engine, the DB model of 1953 was certainly exquisite, capable and exclusive. With performance to match, the new model topped out well over 100 mph, very respectable for the early 1950s. With fully independent suspension all round mounted to its cruciform chassis, front coil springs, torsion bar rear suspension, and rack and pinion steering, this was cutting edge technology for the period. W.O. had clearly excelled himself, again!
The 3-Litre was originally offered as a Tickford-bodied 2-door coupé and drop-head, both coachbuilt by the now David Brown-owned company, Tickford. The body was hand-formed in the traditional manner, aluminium over an ash frame, while in typical Lagonda tradition the interior was opulent and exquisitely finished with the best hides and veneers. Within less than 2 years though the Coupé was discontinued replaced by a four door saloon, which ultimately became the most prolific version.
According to 'David Brown & Sons Lagonda & Aston Martin 1860 – 1960' by Alan Heard, only 267 DB 3 Litre cars were produced in total and just 65 of these were made in the 2-door coupé specification as presented here. It is believed that only a dozen or so 2-door coupés are known to exist today, with around less than half of this number being roadworthy, by far the rarest of all the DB Lagonda 6 cylinder cars.
Our example, KKU 62, is one of the first of the earliest 3-litre models, (only the first 23 cars produced had the LAG/50 chassis numbers before changing to LB/290 numbers) featuring a number of identifying details such as glass rear lights, semaphore trafficators set into the rear wings, smaller and delicate styled twin rear petrol cap fillers, a heater air scoop on the front scuttle panel, tripod headlamps, also an early dash configuration with the ignition switch cluster set to the left of the dash centre and rounded windscreen corners. It is understood that ‘KKU’ was ordered new as a ‘Sunshine Coupe’ with a wood-framed folding canvas sunroof, later to be replaced with a Webasto unit in the early 1960s, however still retains its original 1953 roof opening and chrome locking handle.
First registered in March 1954 via dealer Charles Sidney Limited of Bradford to the owner of woollen mill S.Lyles and Co. of Dewsbury, the Lagonda moved up to Hawick in Scotland, before traveling down to Middlesex and then Oxfordshire. In 1965 ‘KKU’ was on the move once more, this time to Connecticut in the United States for 14 years, then on to Oklahoma for 22 years, before finally traveling once more, this time to Belgium in the early 2000s.The new owner decided a rebuild was in order, and so the Lagonda was treated to a comprehensive body off restoration. Shortly afterwards the 3-Litre was acquired by a large Kuwaiti-based collection, where it remained until its recent repatriation to the UK.
Now in the care of a devoted Lagonda enthusiast, the 3-litre has been thoroughly recommissioned at a cost exceeding £5,000, to include all fluids and filters, a comprehensive front suspension rebuild and a brake and fuel system overhaul. Additionally, various electrical components have been replaced, as have missing original parts and period accessories. Pleasingly the car was at the same time reunited with its original Bradford-issued registration number.
This wonderful, and very rare Lagonda, starts we understand, on the button and drives very well, participating in an AMOC Classic Motor Hub Treasure Hunt, and April 2023's Drive It Day road rally. The 3-Litre also represented the Feltham Lagonda class in the 75th Anniversary of the David Brown years at the Aston Martin Heritage Trust Brooklands event. Finished in a period correct AML shade of Peony Red with light tan leather hides, this is a beautiful example which has covered only nominal mileage since restoration.
The 3-Litre is offered for sale with an original factory leather-bound handbook, the correct Lagonda Factory sales brochure, plus a pleasing history file, which includes a copy of the original AML Factory Build Sheet along with the Feltham factory service record, a copy of the West Yorkshire registration book entry, 1960s DVLA documents, period Lagonda Club magazine article referencing 'KKU', Oklahoma title certificates, Belgian registration documents, sales invoices from B.V. Cars NL, NOVA certificate, a current V5 registration document, and a large amount of recent receipts for the recommissioning parts.
This motor vehicle will be sold at auction with Dore & Rees in Frome, Somerset, on Saturday 17th June 2023. For more details contact the Motoring Department via the above details.