Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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Lagonda – V12 Rapide (1939)


Vehicle Type:
Coach Builder:
Engine CC:
Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey (GB)

Class A

The golden Age of Elegance: The Art Deco Era of Motor Car Design

Lagonda - V12 Rapide
Class A16

The name alone highlights the idea underpinning this elegant motor car produced in September 1939: Rapide. This was all about a breathtakingly fast car and about speed. Indeed, two Rapide convertibles campaigned at the 24 Hour Race of Le Mans in 1939. The Rapide was fast even in standard tune. The mind-warpingly expensive car was easily able to exceed the milestone mark of 100 miles an hour (160 km/h). This particular car is clothed in an opulently penned bodywork styled by designer Frank Feeley while Lagonda itself built the coachwork.

The metal skin is designed in voluptuous curves and the contours create a dashing, almost muscular impression. The luxurious appearance is complemented by the exceptionally potent 4.5 litre twelve-cylinder engine with overhead camshafts, which was designed by Walter Owen Bentley with the highest of aspirations. Shortly after the car was built, this Lagonda V21 Rapide crossed the ocean to the United States in the early war year 1940 and remained there until 1990. After a brief guest stay in the United Kingdom, a German collector took over ownership. The latest custodian has enjoyed stewardship since 2002 and put the Lagonda through a three-year restoration.

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