1951 Lagonda 2,6l Tickford DHC

1951 Lagonda 2,6l Tickford DHC

Lagonda is a British car manufacturer, founded as a company in 1906 in Staines, Middlesex by the American Wilbur Gunn (1859-1920). He named the company after a river near the town of his birth Springfield, Ohio. The company was purchased and integrated into Aston Martin in 1947.

Wilbur Gunn had originally built motorcycles on a small scale in the garden of his house in Staines with reasonable success including a win on the 1905 London—Edinburgh trial. In 1907 he launched his first car, the 20-hp, 6-cylinder Torpedo, which he used to win the Moscow—St. Petersburg trial of 1910. This success produced a healthy order for exports to Russia which continued until 1914. In the pre-war period Lagonda also made an advanced small car, the 11.1 with a four-cylinder 1000 cc engine, which featured an anti-roll bar and a rivetted monocoque body and the first ever fly-off handbrake.

During World War I Lagonda made artillery shells.

After the end of the war the 11.1 continued with a larger 1400-cc engine and standard electric lighting as the 11.9 until 1923 and the updated 12 until 1926. Following Wilbur Gunn’s death in 1920, three existing directors headed by Colin Parbury took charge. The first of the company’s sports models was launched in 1925 as the 14/60 with a twin-cam 1954-cc 4-cylinder engine and hemispherical combustion chambers. The car was designed by Arthur Davidson who had come from Lea-Francis. A higher output engine came in 1927 with the 2-litre Speed Model which could be had supercharged in 1930. A lengthened chassis version, the 16/65, with 6-cylinder 2.4-litre engine, was available from 1926 to 1930. The final car of the 1920s was the 3-litre using a 2931-cc 6-cylinder engine. This continued until 1933 when the engine grew to 3181 cc and was also available with a complex 8-speed Maybach transmission as the Selector Special.

A new model for 1933 was the 16-80 using a 2-litre Crossley engine with pre-selector gearbox from 1934. A new small car, the Rapier came along in 1934 with 1104-cc engine and pre-selector gearbox. This lasted until 1935 but more were made until 1938 by a separate company, Rapier Cars of Hammersmith, London. At the other extreme was the near 100-mph, 4.5-litre M45 with Meadows 6-cylinder 4467-cc engine. An out and out sporting version the M45R Rapide, with tuned M45 engine and a shorter chassis led to a Le Mans victory in 1935. Also in 1935 the 3-litre grew to a 3.5-litre.

All was not well financially and the receiver was called in 1935 but the company was bought by Alan Good, who just outbid Rolls-Royce. He also persuaded W. O. Bentley to leave Rolls-Royce and join Lagonda as designer. The 4.5-litre range now became the LG45 with lower but heavier bodies and also available in LG45R Rapide form. The LG45 came in 3 versions known as Sanction 1,2 and 3 each with more Bentley touches to the engine. In 1938 the LG6 with independent front suspension by torsion bar and …

1951 Nash Ambassador- The make-out automobile of choice for teenagers

1951 Nash Ambassador- The make-out automobile of choice for teenagers

Nash continued to use the Ambassador name on its plushest models from 1949 to 1957. N-K President George Mason was an outspoken supporter of aerodynamics in car design, and the post war Ambassador is best remembered for its enclosed front wheels. When Nash rolled out its Airflyte body style, Ambassador sales enjoyed a significant gain by selling just four door and two door sedans in the 1949-1951 market place. The Airflytes also featured fully reclining seats that could turn the car into a vehicle capable of sleeping three adults, however this would also earn the dubious distinction of being the make-out automobile of choice for teenagers coming of age in the 1950s. The 1950 Ambassador became the first non-General Motors automobiles to be equipped with GM’s Hydramatic automatic transmissions.

Mason believed that once the sellers market following World War II ended, that Nash’s best hope for survival lay in a product range not addressed by other car manufactures in the United States at that time – the compact. With sales of the large Nash’s surging ahead of prewar production numbers, Mason began a small car program that would eventually emerge as the compact Nash Rambler reviving the traditional Rambler marque.

NASCAR
The Nash Motor Company was the first manufacturer that actively supported NASCAR racing. Ebenezer "Slick" Smith drove an Ambassador in the September 24, 1950 NASCAR race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. (This was the same car that Bill France had crashed in the Carrera Panamericana.) Smith crashed midway through the race and finished 20th in the field of 26.

For the 1952 NASCAR season, other automakers became more involved. Nash recruited and signed dynamic stars Curtis Turner and Johnny Mantz. Curtis Turner won the 150-lap NASCAR Grand National race at Charlotte Speedway on April 1, 1951. This is the only win for Nash in NASCAR.

Posted by Robert Lz on 2008-07-27 00:03:46

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