17 September 2017 at 16:59 #52474

    Has anyone ever seen an engine number like this one before? I’ve asked the question on the Lagonda Owners Group on Facebook too.

    So far as I am aware, the last of the LG45s were fitted with S4 engines and no LG6 was ever given an S3. Moreover, isn’t the ‘starred’ chassis number always present below the engine number too?

    Perhaps you know better.

    Attached files

    Colin M34
    17 September 2017 at 18:58 #52475

    How about this for a possible answer?

    If a car still under guarantee developed an engine fault the factory would have whipped out the motor and put in a replacement and sent the car back to the customer.

    They then investigated what the problem was. Perhaps they sent the engine back to Meadows who the rectified the fault and sent it back, waiting in the stores to be put into the next car being produced. So someone with their “new” LG6 got a perfectly good remanufactured engine. It was just from an earlier batch.

    The LG6 was after all only intended as stopgap model before the V12 engines were available. The fact that they are very good cars is another story…


    17 September 2017 at 23:18 #52476

    Hi Colin,

    Interesting thoughts. However, does this analysis explain (a) the suffix ‘S3’, or (b) the absence of the chassis number?


    Colin M34
    19 September 2017 at 09:20 #52479

    Perhaps it was a “float” engine held in the stores and quickly shoved into the LG6 under guarantee when the original engine went wrong. So of course it would not have been allocated a chassis number and could have been in the stores for some time. Also, as a float engine perhaps it had been previously upgraded from S3 to S4.

    I am not sure the difference between S3 and S4 and would the owner have known anyway if he got his car back quickly running sweetly again?

    Arnold Davey and I have had some most enjoyable discussions about what went on along the same lines with busses at London Transport’s Aldenham works.

    With London busses, the most extreme example of this occurred during the war with “frozen” and “unfrozen” bodies but that story will have to keep for another time.


    20 September 2017 at 07:45 #52480

    I think that the only difference between Sanction 3 and Sanction 4 were “internal” e.g. timing but nothing else .

    Colin M34
    21 September 2017 at 10:01 #52481

    Hi Bill,

    Yes, these were my thoughts as well. Possibly the Scintilla vertex magnetos on on S4 engines had automatic advance so the flywheel markings were different.

    What do you think about my theory that this was a “float” engine replaced under guarantee?


    21 September 2017 at 13:43 #52482

    My feeling is that you are probably correct, Colin. The very fact that the engine doesn’t have a chassis number I think indicates that it was never allocated to a specific chassis in the works.
    The worrying thing ,however, is does anyone now have the original engine with the original chassis number on it stored under their bench ? If so perhaps they should check it over very carefully before use …………….

    26 September 2017 at 22:37 #52484

    Interesting thoughts, chaps. From what you say, it seems that the engine numbers were applied in Staines rather than Wolverhampton? If that’s right, and this was a ‘float’ engine as you suggest (which seems an entirely logical premise to me), the proposition explains why there is no chassis number included (of course).

    However, I’m still a little unclear as to why (or even how) an LG6 float engine came to be stamped up as an S3? No matter how long it had been hanging around in the stores, it’s stamped as an LG6 despite ending up in an S3 LG45. Assuming that it had no engine number at all stamped on it prior to use, and that it had indeed been upgraded from S3 to S4 spec., why give it an LG6 prefix and yet an S3 suffix?

    Colin M34
    29 September 2017 at 08:34 #52492

    Hi Tim,

    Perhaps the engine came as a batch of engines with the Meadows number and the S3 designation because this was part of a contract. My understanding is that the board, including the finance director, would “sanction” the order so this engine formed part of an S3 batch.

    It might have then had the model number stamped in the factory as the LG6 float engine sometime later. No reason to change the S3 designation, it was still part of that batch. This might also tie up with the works orders.

    All speculation until further evidence comes to light….


    1 October 2017 at 23:02 #52498

    Not sure that the “float” engine theory works. My LG6 has engine number LG6/515/S4. I’ve done a lot of research correlating LG6 engine numbers, to the extent that I can be pretty certain that it (chassis 12360) would originally have been fitted with engine number 499 or 500. The engine is stamped 12360….but you can see that the block has been hammered to obliterate a previous chassis number…probably 12527.

    So….I think Lagonda would have stamped the eventual chassis number on this block. The “typeface” of both sets of numbers is identical, so I can be reasonably certain that Lagonda changed the chassis number.

    Perhaps this was an engine held in reserve, but sent outside the works for local fitting.

    I have at home in France my records for LG6 engine numbers, so on return will check to see how 384 sits with S4 and LG6 engines.

    Colin….the number here is Lagonda’s own engine number; Meadows had their own entirely different range of engine numbers, and I believe that earlier model Lagondas were indeed stamped (in different locations) with both Lagonda and Meadows engine numbers. Certainly by the time the LG6 appeared, this practice had ceased and LG6 engines have no Meadows engine number.


    Colin M34
    5 October 2017 at 12:09 #52499

    HI Lawrence

    The plot thickens. I like your idea that this was a reserve engine held outside the works. Could this be at Central garage Bradford?

    I also like your idea that the number on the engine is Lagonda’s own. This might be a works order or batch number and does not have to be the same number as stamped on the chassis plate.

    Colin M34

    9 October 2017 at 18:53 #52500

    Hi Colin & Tim,
    Now back home. Well, 384 is well into LG45 territory. The earliest engine number I find in an LG6 is 418, in a 1938 saloon 12324…..but 418 may be spurious. A safer guide is that the prototype LG6 short chassis E3007 has 437, and the first long chassis, 12510, has 439.

    The latest engine number I can find in an LG45 is in chassis 12269, and that is 433. The latest S3 engine I can find in a quick search is LG45/405/S3. So 384 is definitely an S3 engine….unless later uprated to LG45 spec.

    There are at least 7 LG6 engines fitted to M45s and LG45s, so it follows that this may originally have been LG45 carefully ground out and restamped LG6, to suit an LG6 to which it was later fitted. That said, all the LG6 engines so fitted remain stamped LG6…so unlikely.

    An alternative is that the number stamped is in fact completely spurious. My quick search just now revealed that LG45/384/S3 exists, in chassis 12192! Furthermore that could well be the original engine to that LG45 as it ties in well for an early-ish 1937 registration.

    Baffling. I’m not sure if Lagonda stamped internal components with the engine number, but that might be the next step to check. As Lagonda were not above producing two different cars carrying identical chassis numbers, anything is possible. Could even be a more recent replacement block deliberately stamped incorrectly, to warn that it is not original.

    Absence of a chassis number is not necessarily an issue; my V12 is fitted with one of the three engines it had between 1939 and 1945 according to the works record; but there is no chassis number stamped in the usual place.

    Might be worth a word with Arnold Davey.


Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


Request to join the Lagonda Forum

To avoid rogue requests we are currently manually approving all forum applications. Please fill out your details below and we will forward a link and password to complete your application.