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1930 Lagonda 3-Litre tourer

The 1953 Lagonda 3-litre was the second Lagonda of the David Brown/Aston Martin era. It used a higher displacement 2.9 L 140 bhp version of the twin overhead camshaft Lagonda Straight-6 engine which was designed by Walter Owen Bentley.

Like its predecessor, the 3-Litre was a 4-seat car, but only a 2-door saloon, built by David Brown subsidiary engineering company Tickford or convertible "Drophead Coupé" models built by Swiss coach builders Hermann Graber were offered initially. A 4-door saloon was introduced in 1954 and the 2-door saloon was discontinued in 1956.That same year, a Mark II version introduced a floor-mounted shift lever.

The car had a separate cruciform braced chassis and the suspension was independent all round, unusual for a car of its time. At the front there were coil springs and at the rear torsion bars and a swing axle. The Lockheed drum brakes, 12 in (305 mm) at the front and 11 in (279 mm) at the rear were servo assisted and steering was by a rack and pinion system with fore and aft adjustment on the steering column.

The interior was luxurious with polished walnut for the dashboard and door trims and leather seats, individual in front and a bench at the rear with fold down arm rest. There were also adjustable arm rests on the front doors. A heater, radio and built in hydraulic jacks were standard equipment. Single or two tome paint schemes were available.

The 3-Litre was more expensive than its competitors and a total of just 270 of the three bodystyles were sold. The convertible ended production in 1957, with the saloon following one year later. The Lagonda Rapide of 1961 was a final attempt to revive the Lagonda name as a luxury saloon counterpart to Aston Martin's GT cars.


A car was tested by the British Motor magazine in 1956 and was found to have a top speed of 104 mph (167 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 12.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 19.9 miles per imperial gallon (14.2 L/100 km; 16.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £2993 including taxes of £998.