The V12 came about as a reaction by the Lagonda to Rolls Royce and Hispano Suiza bringing their V12s to the market. Alan Good, owner of Lagonda since 1935 wanted a car to match the competition and tasked WO Bentley and his designers with the job of creating it. The team created the magnificent 4.5 litre OHC V12, which, though smaller in stature was easily the equal of their rival’s power plants. The incorporation of the V12 into an uprated chassis gave Lagonda’s, Alan Good the premium car that he craved, “The best car in the World”. The model was not designed with competition in mind but two lightened and uprated cars were entered at Le Mans in 1939 and came in third and fourth overall, an indication of the reliability and versatility of this model. Many of the modifications from the Le Mans cars were incorporated into a small batch of road cars sold under the Rapide name.
Auto Restorations started here with a driveable car, that, though shiny, was showing many signs of age. Disassembly revealed that the body was in poor condition, with many patch ups and rotten wooden framing. The mechanicals were very worn, with the engine struggling to run on 12 cylinders. Now resplendent in its dark green coat, with beautiful Taupe Connolly hide upholstery, this car is truly magnificent, and a great performer, with its Le Mans specified running gear. With this Rapide being one of the few to carry James Young coachwork, it is a very rare jewel indeed.
First in class; At the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance in the J3, European Classic Late class.