Super-rare pre-war Lagonda survivor comes to light


A 1935 Lagonda M45 T8 Tourer that hasn't seen the light of day for years and is thought to be one of only 10 survivors has re-emerged.

The car has a rich history having been owned by racer Walter 'Wal' Handley in the 1930s, Handley was due to drive a Lagonda at Le Mans in 1928 but is better known for four Isle of Man TT class wins – subsequently having a corner on the Manx course named after him – co-driving with Freddie Dixon and piloting an Alfa Romeo 8V 2300, MG K3 and various Rileys among others.

After Handley died in a WW2 aircraft crash the car was known to have been raced at Silverstone by Ron Newman in the 1950s before passing to marque expert and current Lagonda Club president David Hine in the early 1960s.

In his five years of ownership Hine replaced the engine with an LG45 unit sourced from Gardner Diesels and improved the car generally before it passed to its current ownership in 1967 for £969 18s 0d before being consigned to storage.

One of the interesting facets of the car's history – apart from BLP 494 featuring in a period greetings card – was that it was returned to the factory in 1937 where it received modifications to the tail and Rapide exhausts.

Having been disinterred from its storage, the Lagonda will be sold by H&H at Duxford on 24 April and is expected to make £60-80,000.

Click here for more info on the sale. 



I'm glad that some "lucky" fellow with deep pockets and saintly patience will take this one on. But I wouldn't dream of it. Other than it being a swell old car, it has little to recommend the investment. When you're all done you'll be deeply underwater and have only a pleasant old crock to show for your time and trouble. In some famous words only slightly altered, there's "not enough THERE there" ... or so it seems to me.

Jared Hoke

Marine on St Croix MN USA


Thanks goodness there are still people who do not share our Colonial cousin's view that restoring a car should have to show a return on their 'investment'.

He seems to be totally missing the point and I only hope that the car is sympatheticaly restored and will be campaigned again.  At least he has promised that he won't be buying it, so I suppose we should be thankful for small mercies!


It doesn't look like it needs total restoration. Why disturb all that patina. What are the other cars in the shadows there?

Chris Martin

I think it would be safe to assume Mr Hoke would be in a minority of one within the classic world and the rest of us can recognise what we are looking at. Prices of far more common, or even dare I say mundane. old cars have all been on the up for some time now, and we could all pick our favourite case of where something is overpriced as much as rue the bargain that got away, but in the end it is the buyer who decides what the real price is.
I would suspect the estimate quoted here is a touch on the low side as a 'come and get me' and the Lagonda will sell in six figures. These have always been seen as bargain Bentleys and given the prices of the latter, a good M45 must be worth upward of 150K even without the history attached. Such provenance can only add value, as long as the car is correctly recommissioned and preserved, which need not cost and arm and a leg. Of course if some mug wants to do a complete nut and bolt cheque-book restoration they will be paying over the odds while at the same time destroying the originality, but as I said, it is the buyer who decides.


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