Wilbur Gunn, the founder of the Lagonda Motor Company, was born in America. As a young man, Gunn enjoyed a checkered career, working for a time as sewing machine repairer for Singer, while earning himself a reputation and some extra income as an opera singer.

In 1897, when he was already in his late Thirties, Gunn decided to emigrate to the United Kingdom, possible to pursue his career in the sewing machine industry.

For reasons that have become obscured by the sands of time, Gunn switched for repairing sewing machines to fixing cars, and he obviously and he apparently gained enough experience and confidence in his abilities to establish his own company in 1900.

Gunn named his new venture Lagonda, after the river that flowed past his parent’s house in the city of Springfield, Ohio, where he was born and raised.

From the outset, the Lagonda Motor Company specialised in the production of both small racing cars and large, prestigious vehicles, usually custom made for wealthy customers.

After the end of World War One, continuing through into the Twenties and Thirties, Lagonda’s fortunes went from strength to strength with the Lagonda car winning the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1935, making the company world famous.

Just before the outbreak of World War II Gunn convinced the famous auto designer W.O. Bentley to joinLagonda where he was responsible for the design of a number of superb engines including a V-12 and six-cylinder with twin overhead camshafts, which continued in production well hostilities had ceased.

>Unfortunately, Lagonda as a company fared very badly during the war years, meaning that they had little in reserve to get back into production.

With nothing to offer in the way of new models Lagonda’s financial situation was becoming increasingly precarious.

They were and almost on the verge of bankruptcy when they were snapped up by Midlands industrialist David Brown,  who had only recently acquired luxury car manufacturer, Aston Martin, as he began a planned diversification from his position as one of the U.K.'s leading manufacturers of tractors and farming equipment.

Ever the visionary David Brown rapidly began to stamp his presence on the company with his first step coming in 1948 with the release of the Lagonda 2.6 litre

Powered by a Bentley 2,580 cc capacity engine, also used in a number of Aston Martin models, the Lagonda 2.6 Liter

The 2.6 liter was one of the few cars of the immediate pre-war era to be fitted with both front and rear independent suspension, and certainly the first English vehicle with such construction.

Following the relative success of the 2.6, Lagonda released a larger bodied and engined model, the 3-Liter in 1953, which remained in production until 1958.

As its name suggests, the 3.0-Litre came fitted with a 2.9 Liter engine capable of generating 140 bhp. The engine was once again designed for Lagonda by WO Bentley.

Powered by a Bentley 2,580 cc capacity engine, also used in a number of Aston Martin models, the Lagonda 2.6 Liter was one of the few cars of the immediate pre-war era to be fitted with both front and rear independent suspension, and certainly the first English vehicle with such construction.

Following the relative success of the 2.6, Lagonda released a larger bodied and engined model, the 3-Liter in 1953, which remained in production until 1958.

As its name suggests, the 3.0-Litre came fitted with a 2.9 Liter engine capable of generating 140 bhp. The engine was once again designed for Lagonda by WO Bentley.

The 3.0 litre was initially launched as a four-seater two door coupé, with the bodywork produced for Lagonda by another David Brown subsidiary, Tickford. Almost simultaneously Lagonda also introduced a 3.0-liter drophead coupé, with the coachwork once again farmed out to Tickford.

In 1955 David Brown presumably concluded that he was sending so much work Tickfords' way, and it would be sound business sense to acquire the company.

Once the deal was completed, in 1956 the entire production facility at Aston Martin Lagonda moved to a new plant in the development town of Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire where the Tickford works had long been situated.

This meant that the original Lagonda plant in Feltham was taken out of operation.

In 1958, with sales of Aston Martin cars beginning to take off, David Brown made the strategic move to temporarily suspend production at Lagonda, to concentrate all of his facilities on Aston Martin.

The Lagonda brand did make a return to production in the early Sixties although it was met with very little fanfare and consequently short lived.

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