1938 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe.
Lagonda is a British luxury car marque established in 1906, which has been owned by Aston Martin since 1947. The marque has had a non-continuous presence in the luxury car market, being dormant for several times during its existence, most recently from 1995 to 2008 and 2010 to 2013.
Lagonda was founded by Wilber Gunn, an American born in Ohio who went to England to become and opera singer. Luckier at being a mechanic than atenor, he named his motor works for a creek back home. When Bentley found his relationship with Rolls Royce untenable, he took the reigns of Lagonda (Dunn had died in 1920) and shepherded the marque to a win at LeMans in 1935. This car was built for a titled nobleman in Italy.
It is rare for an engineer to be able to express all his talent without constraints and limitations, but this possibility was offered to WO Bentley when he joined the British factory of Lagonda automobiles in the late 1930s. that has succeeded in realizing a V-12 engine using very high level metal compounds such as Chromidium, Duralluminio, steel, aluminum and phosphor bronze, with every single component tested to withstand any failures under any conditions of use. In addition, it rested on a chassis with independent wheel-mounted front suspension and four hydraulically actuated drum brakes, which greatly improved both road behavior and braking speed.
A Lagonda V-12, with a closed body, once covered the distance of 101.5 miles (163 kilometers) in an hour, an amazing result for the time, even more incredible considering that the car had to stop along the test path to replace a laundry tire. Two V-12s, equipped with a special open body, are finished third and fourth absolute (first and second class) at Le Mans. The performance of the Lagonda V-12 amazed the world and, even today, remains one of the most desirable British touring cars of the period, especially when "dressed" with the aerodynamic cabriolet body made by Lagonda itself.
Descriptions & pictures by Wikipedia & ruotevecchie & flickr