The Legacy of W.O. Bentley: From Bentley to Lagonda

When we think of W.O. Bentley, his namesake automotive brand immediately comes to mind. However, Bentley’s influence extended beyond his iconic brand, significantly impacting other prestigious English car manufacturers, most notably Lagonda. Persuaded by Alan P. Good, the new owner of Lagonda, Bentley joined the company, bringing along his skilled team. This collaboration led to the creation of the remarkable Lagonda LG45.

The Birth of the Lagonda LG45

A Direct Successor to the M45

The LG45 was Lagonda’s first production model to benefit from W.O. Bentley’s engineering brilliance. It was designed as a direct successor to the M45, incorporating Bentley’s vision and expertise.

Power and Performance

At the heart of the LG45 was the proven 4.5-litre Meadows inline-six engine, renowned for its performance in competitive racing. Bentley’s touch brought further enhancements, including synchromesh gears and a central lubrication system, elevating the car’s performance and reliability.

The Unveiling and Acclaim

Introduction in 1936

The LG45 was unveiled in 1936 and quickly captured the attention of both the public and the motoring press. Its blend of power, elegance, and innovation made it an instant success.

Praise from The Autocar

British publication The Autocar heaped praise on the LG45, highlighting its exceptional performance and significant refinements. They noted that the car had transformed into a more comfortable and quieter vehicle, a testament to Bentley’s influence. Compared to its predecessors, the LG45 was a revelation, offering a driving experience that was almost unrecognizable from earlier models.

Production and Customization

A Brief Production Span

The LG45 had a relatively short production run, with only 278 chassis produced. Each chassis was a blank canvas for the coachbuilders of the era, who crafted bespoke bodies to suit the tastes of discerning buyers.

Conclusion

The Lagonda LG45 stands as a testament to W.O. Bentley’s enduring legacy in the automotive world. His influence not only shaped the future of Bentley Motors but also left an indelible mark on Lagonda, showcasing his ability to elevate any brand he touched. The LG45 remains a celebrated classic, cherished by collectors and enthusiasts for its performance, elegance, and the legendary engineering prowess of W.O. Bentley.

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Source: RM Sotheby’s

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