(1954.32-cc) engine has twin overhead camshafts, interchangeable
inlet and exhaust valves and hemispherical combustion chambers,
machined all over. Gearbox is four-speed, wheelbase 10 ft, tyre
size 5.00-31. The two-litre models are also available in
supercharged form, boosting the power output from 67 to 90 bhp,
both at 4200 rpm.
Three-litre has a 3181-cc (75 x 120 mm) OHV
engine and a special 'Selector' vacuum-operated gearbox,
manufactured under Maybach licence. It provides two ranges of four
forward speeds, controlled from the top of the steering column. A
conventional gear lever is used for reverse and for selecting high
and low ratio.
Two-Litre Speed Weymann Fabric Saloon is available in black,
maroon and green at £695. Any deviation from these
colourings costs £10 extra. Other extra-cost options includes
cycle type wings, £10, and semi-panelled bodywork in place
of fabric, £25.
Selector Special Panelled Weymann Saloon, priced at £1065. A
luggage boot for two suitcases is fitted at the rear.
In these days of low price regardless of everything, it is encouraging to remember that there are still concerns who carry on the engineering traditions of an earlier age, and combine the results of modern knowledge with first-class craftsmanship and materials.
Among these the firm of Lagonda Ltd., of Staines, have always been to the fore, and a fine example of their latest product was the 3-litre car which they recently placed at our disposal for the purpose of a road test.
This car afforded special interest as being the actual vehicle which recently took part in the Monte Carlo Rally, and in the able hands of Lord de Clifford and his crew, came successfully through that most exacting and strenuous affair.
The car in question is identical with the standard 3-litre "Selector" model, except for the substitution of the normal 4-speed gear-box for the pre-selective type.
The engine is a six-cylinder unit of 2,931 c.c. and subject to a tax of £20 per annum. The overhead valves are operated by push-rods from a single camshaft in the base of the engine. The whole layout of the engine is designed for smooth running with long wear and absolute reliability, the massive crankshaft being carried in seven bearings, and the camshaft in four bearings.
The 12-volt dynamo is driven from the crankshaft, and the electrical system is highly ingenious. The dynamo has an output of full 15 amperes when required, but to avoid the evaporation of the electrolyte, inevitable with such a high rate, the full current is only utilised when required to balance the output of the powerful lights. At normal speeds the charge rate is 5 amps, which is automatically increased to about 10 when the side lamps are switched on, and to 15 when further lights are in use.
Coil ignition is normally fitted, but the actual car we tried had a Scintilla magneto fitted, while for the purposes of the Rally a spare magneto was carried on the dash. It was not required, however.
Cooling is by pump and fan, controlled by a thermostat, so that although the system is equal to the hardest possible work, the engine is never overcooled in normal use and warms up to working temperature in a few minutes.
The two S.U. carburettors are fed by a pump from the 20-gallon rear tank, and a two level tap provides a reserve supply.
The oil sump holds no less than three gallons, and all bearings are pressure fed from this, giving further indication of this car's suitability for really long distance work under the hardest conditions.
The equipment of the Lagonda is very full indeed, including the large P.100 Lucas headlamps, fog lamp, rev. counter, radiator thermometer, and many items not normally considered part of the standard equipment, together with as fine a tool-kit as any owner could desire.
On the road we were immediately impressed by the comfort and smoothness of running, which confirmed our desire to use such a car for covering big distances. The acceleration is excellent, and although the car appears rather large at first, it is extremely handy, and the road holding, both on corners and on the straight, is really excellent.
The Bishop steering gave light yet positive control, while the truly ample body space is a great blessing. This car was fitted with a 4.7 to 1 axle ratio for the Rally, which cut down the maximum speed, the normal ratio being 3.66 to 1. However, 4,000 r.p.m. on the gear fitted gives just over 78 m.p.h., which is, of course, considerably increased with the normal gear ratio, and with less fuss.
As it was, the car would maintain 70 m.p.h. or over up many main road hills showing that it was undergeared for normal fast touring, though even with this gear,distances of over 55 miles in the hour were covered in the Rally itself when making up time.
The gear change is exceptionally easy, and the gears themselves run as quietly as first0class design and finish can make them Upward changes can be effected almost without pause owing to the provision of s clutch stop, and although this is a fitting which always reqires getting used to, it has many undoubted adventages.
The brakes were very much above the average, both in power and smoothness of working. They operate direct through rods which gives a very positive control, while the unusual refinement of carrying the operating shafts on self-aligning ball races accounts for the very small effort required to apply them.
On dry tarmac they gave a stopping distance of 48 ft. from 40 m.p.h. Furthermore, they can be applied hard without the least effect on the steering and without any fierceness or tendency to sudden locking of the wheels.
The car had not been touched since completing the Rally apart from being washed, and the only evidence of its strenuous trip was a certain amount of valve noise when ticking over, but which was not noticeable when on the move.
Taken as a whole, the 3-litre Lagonda is a very pleasant car of very high quality, and possesing that indefinable but very definite character which stamps the thoroughbred in every walk of life. Very comfortable, lavishly equipped and distinctly fast, this car at 1,065 should appeal to many who want a luxury car with a sports car performance.
Motor Sport, March '32