"Low Chassis Two-Litre"
||In-line 4 cyl.
||Staines, Middlesex, Eng.
|Bore & Stroke
||2.83 x 4.72 in.
||4 speed manual
Wilbur Gunn was an American who disdained his family's
sheepshearing business, and went to England to find his
fortune. Gunn moved to England in about 1897 and
approximately a year later, he built an air-cooled cycle
in a greenhouse at Staines. In 1900, Gunn (who was born in
Lagonda Creek, Ohio) created the Lagonda Car Company of England.
A perfectionist, Gunn even tooled his own nuts and bolts, and
his cars gained a reputation for durability. The Lagonda Company
took its cars to the major races (common practice at the time),
including LeMans and Brooklands. The Lagonda's early success was
due in part to heavy exportation of the cars to Russia. This
following the winning of the 1910 Moscow-St. Petersburg Reliability
Trial, which had captured the attention and favor of Czar Nicholas
II. Lagondas had moderate racing success including being awarded
Overall Winner at LeMans in 1935.
In 1926, the company introduced a new car - the 14/60 - which was a
departure from their previous models. It was a more refined car, a
roomy and smooth touring car that later became the company's
well-known "Two-Liter" car. This unusual car had an engine with
hemipherical heads and a five-bearing crankshaft, a well made chassis
and efficient brakes. The 2-liter kept the same engine, but included
slightly higher compression and a four seater with fabric bodywork.
In 1929, the Two-Liter was offered on a low chassis with cycle type
front fenders (which turn with the wheels). Gunn's company continued
to make almost all their parts and the cars (which were similar in size
and weight to W.O. Bentley cars) came to known as "poor man's Bentleys."
On loan from Hazel Lyon-Farrell of Santa Barbara, CA