2½-Litre Mark I Saloon was continued from 1948 and
produced until October 1952. The Mark I Drophead Coupé was
continued until 1953.
retaining the general lines of previous models, the Mark II Saloon
(from Oct. 1952) has a smoother and altogether tidier appearance
and features a number of notable improvements including
repositioning of components beneath the bonnet to improve
accessibility, revised instrument panel, wider rear seat, improved
heating and demisting equipment and hydraulic jacks. The Saloon
was discontinued in June 1953, the Mark I Coupé (bodied by
Tickford) two months later. During the year a few Coupés were
produced to Mark II specification.
New model got engine increased
to 2922 cc giving 140 bhp and not quite 100 mph top speed. Two body styles designed and made by Tickford are available: two-door saloon and Drpohead Coupe.
The Motor YEAR BOOK, 1954 BRITISH CARS OF 1953 LAGONDA 3-LITRE
3-Litre Saloon by Tickford
Introduced in 1946 the post-war Lagonda embodied a number of mechanical features which were far in advance of their time, at least as far as British practice was concerned. In particular, the use of a frame constructed as a pure cruciform with stabilizing members added gave remarkable stiffness for a moderate weight, and the use of independent rear suspension with double universal joints and radius arms made possible a rear seat ride which has not been approached by any other comparable British car. By contrast with this forward mechanical thinking the coachwork, although practical, was highly flavoured by the Baroque style and not being of the full width type imposed certain penalties in respect of carrying capacity. As the car was also somewhat heavy in relation to its engine size the top gear performance was not in harmony with a maximum road speed of well over 90 m.p.h.
For 1954 both these points of criticism have been removed. Taking first the mechanical side, the cylinder bores have been increased in diameter by 5 mm., i.e. from 78 to 83 mm., but it was found that the corresponding reduction by 5 mm. of the distance between the cylinder walls led to certain troubles as a result of reduced water space, and head sealing area specially between cylinders numbers 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6. On the other hand, cylinders numbers 2 and 3, 4 and 5 are widely spaced as the crankshaft beneath them has in these instances a main bearing between the crank cheeks. The most economic possible use of the space available has therefore been made by offsetting the axes of the cylinders in relation to the centres of the crank pins and this in turn has of course involved a corresponding offset of the connecting rods in relation to the big end bearings. Small changes have also been made in the combustion chambers to align them with the new bore centres. Accompanying these changes the compression ratio has been stepped up to 8.16 : 1 so as to make full use of modern anti-knock fuels and the overall result of this in conjunction with the greater engine capacity of 2,922 c.c. has been to raise the engine output to 140 b.h.p., and perhaps more important, to increase the b.m.e.p. in the middle part of the speed range from 130 lb./sq. in. at 3,000 r.p.m. to 139 lb./sq. in. at 2,500 r.p.m. Unfortunately, these improvements are not a clear gain, for the new bodies result in a slightly greater all-up weight than the preceding types.
Built by Tickfords, they are lower and a great deal wider than the previous models and are available in two forms-a fixed head and a drophead coupe, both with two doors. This type of construction which is, incidentally, much favoured in America, results in an extremely good-looking car with a minimum of pillars to obstruct the side view of the occupants, it being particularly noticeable that the glass is carried well back to the rear seats. The front seats continue to be separate with individual adjustment but they can be aligned so that three people can be carried in front if required. A particularly neat instrument panel is provided having a shroud over the dials so as to prevent reflection into the raked screen. The characteristic Lagonda radiator grille is retained at the front, but this fact and the lack of change in the chassis design does not prevent one from rightly regarding this newly engined and bodied car as a completely new model.