1952 Lagonda 2.6-Litre Drophead Coupe
It is said that when David Brown acquired Lagonda in 1947 all he got was a famous name, a collection of engineering drawings, and a handful of prototypes. And although Lagonda's chief engineer and designer, the great W O Bentley, quit the firm when Brown took over, he did leave behind the 2.6-litre, six-cylinder, twin-overhead-camshaft engine that would power the Aston Martin DB2 and the next generation of Lagondas.
Although it retained a separate chassis, Bentley's 2.6-Litre Lagonda was advanced in other ways, featuring independent suspension all round: by double wishbones and coil-springs at the front - a layout similar to that adopted on the DB4 - and semi-trailing arms at the rear where the brakes were mounted inboard to reduce un-sprung weight. It had been intended that the new Lagonda would exploit a perceived gap in the luxury car market between Jaguar and Rover at one end and Rolls-Royce and Bentley at the other. W O's design succeeded brilliantly in this, being able to carry five persons and their luggage at high speed and in great comfort.
One of Lagonda's, and David Brown's, greatest assets was stylist Frank Feeley, the man responsible for the Italianate flair of the DB2, and while Feeley's 2.6-Litre looked back nostalgically at the Lagondas of pre-war years, his prototypes produced on that chassis in the late 1940s hinted at the 3-Litre model to come. Production of the 2.6-Litre amounted to 543 cars.
Descriptions & pictures by bonhams & artebellum