The Lagonda LG45R Rapide is the cream of the ’30’s sports racing cars, a classic look and amazing performance, even by our standards today. Recently sold at auction at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale, a superb model, one of only two built, with a historic competition history, the famous Lagonda LG45R Rapide Sports Racing Two-Seater, or ‘EPE 97’ as it’s popularly known, set a new world record. Perhaps the best of a breed, this car represented a unique opportunity, all you needed was £1,569,500.
One of the most visibly recognisable pre-war sports racing cars. Geoff Seaton called it ‘the most famous Lagonda of all’.
An automotive icon, a ‘all rounder’, the car has immense appeal. The Rapide is fast, comfortable and straightforward to drive.
Introduced in 1935, the 4½-litre Rapide and the 3½-litre both shared the same shorter, lighter chassis frame . For the 1936 season four competition cars were built, two four-seaters, two-seaters This a one of the two surviving two-seaters.
Competition history (Brief)
Grand Prix de l’ACF at Montlhéry, June 28, 1936. Retired. Driven by Marcel Lehoux
RAC Torist Trophy-Video Ulster August 1936 14th, after an epic battle! Driven by Brian Lewis (Lord Essendon),
“If you imagine maintaining such an average speed (83.1 MPH) around a narrow, undulating, winding loop of Ulster roads, through villages, a town center and out around rolling farmland, you will form an accurate impression of the remarkable performance of these imposing-looking mid-1930s British sports-racing cars.” (Bonhams Catalogue)
British Racing Drivers’ Club 500-Miles – Brooklands 3rd – Driven by Earl Howe – Brian Lewis
Le Mans 24-Hour 1937 Retired – Charles Brackenbury – John Hindmarsh.
RAC Tourist Trophy – Donnington Park August 1937 Retired Driven by Charlie Brackenbury and C.E.C. ‘Charlie’ Martin.
Speeed Record 104.4MPH over 1 Hour, from a standing start. Driven by Alan Hess – Speed Magazine
The car survived the Second World War
Goodwood Nine Hours Endurance Race 1952. 14th
VSCC Pomeroy Trophy 1959 1st Colonel L.S. Michael
Firle hill-climb. 1st Colonel L.S. Michael
Mille Miglia seven events 2002-2008,
Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca,
Lime Rock Park
Vintage Sports Car Club of America
Mount Equinox in Vermont
Hunnewell in Massachusetts