Overview

Car Type V12
Date in Production 1937 to 1939
Number Sold 190
How many exist today? 69

Technical Details

Track Rear 5ft
Track Front 5ft
Length varies with body
Wheelbase 10ft 4in: 11ft ; 11ft 6in
Kerb Weight DHC 37cwt (1880kg); Saloon 38.5cwt (1956kg); Rapide 34cwt (1346kg)
RAC Rating
Engine Manufacturer Lagonda
Type 60° V12 cylinder with single overhead cam per bank
Firing Order 1-2-9-10-5-6-11-12-3-4-7-8 (sanction 1); 1-12-9-4-5-8-11-2-3-10-7-6 (sanction 2)
Carburettor. 2 downdraught SU; 4 for Le Mans spec
Dynamo Lucas C45HV
Bore X Stroke 75 x 84.5mm
Ignition Twin 12v coils with twin Delco-Remy distributors
Displacement 4480cc
Fuel System 20 gallon tank
Clutch 11inBorg & Beck
Gearbox Lagonda
Coolant Water pump with thermostaic radiator shutters
Specific Output [email protected] (standard) [email protected] (Le Mans spec)

Information

On taking over the company Good had said publicly that he intended to build the best car in the world and Bentley and his team were doing just that once the LG45 was in production. The aim was the same as with his 8 litre and now he reckoned to do it with 4½ litres if he went to 12 cylinders and high revs.

The V12 was 4480cc (75 x 84.5mm). The cylinders were bored in the two blocks, set at 60°, with the offside cylinder in each pair just over 1” (25mm) further forward than the nearside. The crankshaft had 4 main bearings, with two intermediate crankcase webs to support the middle ones. Each cylinder bank had a single overhead camshaft driven by a chain and a complex twin oil pressure feed.
The V12 used the new cross-braced chassis with front independent suspension and came in 3 wheelbases short: 10ft 4” (starting 14010); mid 11ft (starting 16010) and the long 11ft 6” (18010).
The Rapide shown here has 4 downdraft carbs instead of the 2 on the standard V12 and was lighter and hence fastest V12 available to the public. Advertised as a 2/3 seater
Prices started for the swb at £1,200 for the chassis up to £1,625 for the mwb DeVille.

Christmas 1938 saw another Alan Good bombshell when he let slip that the company was to contest Le Mans in 1939 and W. O. was building two special V12 racers for the job. Six months was absurdly short notice in W.O.’s opinion and he got Good to agree that 1939 would be run to schedule with little attempt at winning, pending an all-out attack in 1940 using the experience gained. It was a very tight time allowance and the cars were only just ready in time, ran throughout trouble free and finished third and fourth.

In 1938 Lord Howe using a factory demonstrator V12 Saloon around Brooklands and achieves 101.5 mph over an hour which included a 2min 42 sec stop to repair a puncture
At the same run Stan Ivermee took another factory demonstrator LG6 Saloon covered 95.87 miles in the timed hour.

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