#7273 Lagonda M45R (1935) Louwman Museum
Lagonda M45R (1935) at the Louwman Museum in The Hague (Holland)
This Le Mans-winning Lagonda M45R (No 4) is completely original; even the upholstery has never been replaced. The fin at the back of this Lagonda M45R was fitted the night before the 1935 Le Mans race, purely because the participating Alfa Romeos all had one. As it was fitted in haste, it is a little crooked. On replicas the fin is perfectly straight. This Lagonda M45R won Le Mans in 1935 despite having hardly any oil left in its engine and having damaged steering caused by a collision with a spinning Aston Martin in torrential rain. During the race the Lagonda team, made up of drivers John Hindmarsh and Luís Fontes, was put under extreme pressure by the Alfa Romeo driven by "Heldé" (the pseudonym used by the famous racing driver Dreyfus) and Stoffel. Alfa Romeo was planning to take its fifth consecutive victory and equal Bentley’s record. However, Heldé was misinformed by his pit crew: he thought he was in the lead but was in fact one lap behind the Lagonda which won, having covered 3007 kilometres at an average speed of 125 km/h (about 78 mph). It is one of two Lagondas entered for Le Mans in 1935 by car dealer Arthur Fox, who hired test-drivers John Hindmarsh and Luís Fontes to form his racing team. The 21-year-old Fontes was one of the favourites, but this talented driver retired from racing after one successful season. After 'Le Mans' the car was sold to the then-new Lagonda chairman Alan Good, who hired a new technical director: Walter Owen Bentley.
The Louwman Museum in The Hague, the Netherlands, features one of the most impressive private car collections in the world. Several hundred cars are on show to teach you all about car history. The Louwman Museum offers a wide collection that includes everything from antique and classic cars to Formula 1 racing cars and hybrids. Since 1934, two generations of the Louwman family have assembled a unique collection of cars. The present Louwman Museum was designed to display the collection to the public. It was festively opened in 2010. The collection leads you from horse and wagon to the first self-propelled vehicles. It also takes you past the luxury cars from the end of the 19th century, post-war "affordable cars" and the first racing cars. Some of the Louwman Museum's highlights include unique specimens such as the boat-car, the beach-car and the swan-car as well as famous cars such as James Bond's Aston Martin from the film Goldfinger and the customised Cadillac Fleetwood of Elvis Presley.