1934 Lagonda M45 T7 Tourer
Coachwork by Lagonda
Car No. Z 10800
Engine No. M45/ 352
Registration No. BPD 798
By the time the Lagonda M45 model was introduced at the Olympia Motor Show of 1933, the company had already earned an enviable reputation for building some of the most attractive and stylish British sports cars of the late 1920s and early 1930s. It was the M45 though, powered by the now legendary, 4. 5-Litre six-cylinder Meadows engine, that was able to mate those famed good looks with truly exciting performance. Their victory at the Le Mans 24 Hour Race in 1935 along with numerous other high-profile victories utilising the 4. 5-Litre Meadows engine, cemented Lagonda’s reputation as one of the great British Sports car manufactures along with the likes of Bentley and Aston Martin.
The increased power of the Meadows engine allowed for the M45 chassis to carry all manner of open and enclosed coachwork but it was often the in-house designs produced by Lagonda that proved the most popular. Of the more ‘standard’ designs, the T7 style, as offered for sale here, was perhaps the most popular, being practical yet stylish without being over-bodied.
Little of the pre-war history of this 1934 Lagonda M45 T7, Car no. Z 10800 is currently known by the Lagonda Club beyond the fact that was fitted originally with T7 coachwork by Lagonda and first registered BPD 798 by Surrey County Council on the 21st March 1934. It would originally have been fitted with an engine no. of around M45/ 152. It now carries engine no. M45/ 352, ex car no. Z 11412.
The post-war history of this fine M45 T7 Tourer has been kindly supplied by the Lagonda Car Club and more specifically by Arnold Davey, John Sword and Len Cozzolino and we are most grateful to them for their kind assistance. The history in the file and supplied by The Club dates back to 1952 when it was owned by Duncan Westall from St. John’s Wood. Mr. Westall later became a committee member of The Lagonda Club and often used ‘BPD 798’ on Bentley Drivers’ Club events in addition to Lagonda events. From 1955 to 1958 the Lagonda was owned by a Mr. Thomas Grey of Hertfordshire. The subsequent Club record of owners reads as follows:
c. 1962 to 1964 – B. Parkyn, Harrold, Bedfordshire
c. 1964 – I. A. Graham, Hillingdon, Middlesex
In April 1964 Mr. Graham sold a half share of ‘BPD 798’ to a Mr. Berwick R. Watson, of Pudsey, N. Yorkshire, whom, it would appear, purchased the other 50% share of the car in October of 1965. Berwick Watson was a member of the family who owned Waddington Games, of Monopoly fame, and the same company who had, via MI 9, provided Monopoly Games to WWII British prisoners of war held by the Germans, with hidden compasses, real money and other objects useful for escape. Berwick Watson travelled for thousands of miles in ‘BPD 798’ between Leeds and London, preferring to take the Lagonda rather than the train – and who could blame him?
In 1976 the M45 had passed into the care of M. Howe of Harrogate who retained ownership until 1983 when it passed to H. E. Affleck-Graves of Hampshire. According to invoices in the history file, the current owner acquired the Lagonda M45 from Mr. Affleck-Graves, via Peter Wenman, in September 1987. ‘BPD 798’ was to join a very fine stable of motor cars which included the superb Lagonda LG 45 Rapide ‘BYG 7’ also offered for sale by Robert Glover Limited.
Upon purchase by the current owner the M45 was treated to a total and thorough restoration which was carried out over a c. 18-month period including a thorough rebuild of the engine and all of the mechanicals. The body was carefully rebuilt retaining most of the original ash frame, although some new wood was spliced in where necessary to strengthen the floor and boot area. The car was re-upholstered and painted in dark green. One of the particularly nice original features of the car is the original spare wheel cover, so rarely seen on M45 Tourers as they are often lost or damaged. Since the rebuild was completed, the owner and his wife have used ‘BPD 798’ extensively for continental travel, Lagonda Club events and numerous trips to the Isle of Man. It has, like all of the cars in the same stable been driven carefully, maintained to the highest standards and given all the care and attention a car of its age should receive whenever it is required. To this end it still drives beautifully to this day.
‘BPD 798’ comes from a fine collection of Lagonda and other pre-war motorcars and has, for many years, shared a garage with one of the finest of all the Lagonda LG45 Rapides, ‘BYG 7.’ Suitable for endurance rallies and long-distance touring, we are proud to offer this fine example of a Lagonda M45 T7 Tourer – an eminently useable motor car that, despite its connection to Waddington Games, should not cost Monopoly money for the next owner to purchase or run.
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