The Classic DB Lagonda
I thought it useful to add a few examples of restorations of these rare post-war DB Lagondas. Two owners have kindly agreed to allow me to use pictures from restorations of their cars. These really are the last of the true coachbuilt cars made by Lagonda, with a steel cruciform chassis, onto which was placed the pressed steel floor pan, buklhead and rear seat base. With both 2.6 and 3.0 litre cars there is a certain amount of ash framing, to both support bodywork, and onto which the aluminum body was mounted.
Brooklands 3.0 dhc from 1953.
The first pictures show the car in the discovery state, pretty poor, but, very much representative of how many dhc's are found. Note the two heavy doors removed and stored safely, hood frame off the car, chrome work practically all removed, dashboard, front window, seats out etc. A frightening prospect I would say, rust clearly visible in the front outriggers in the first few pictures, a brave owner / restorer. Some initial resto work had been done in terms of chassis painting, brake pipes, the owner then died, and the car was purchased by Aston Service Dorset, Richard Forshaw died; and their plans had to be shelved. the car was then purchased by the owner.
1. Ideally, one would like to find a complete car which had not been mucked around, with say a low condition 3 car, everything present, but needing full restoration. However, given there were only ca. 50 cars made, the supply is very limited, and prices are going only one way for superb restored cars. Click on the images below to give you an idea of the DISCOVERY state of the car.
2. Disassembly of the car, revealed that the chassis had been stripped and painted black, along with the suspension and front steering rack. This is the easiest part of any resto, and whilst it looks impressive, it really should come later. Key to a good resto is removing the dreaded rust mouse, and this car had substantially corroded inner and outer sill structures, bulkhead, front out-riggers. and of course lots of rotten or missing ash-frame work, which will be discussed a little later.
At this stage of the restoration, both rear wings had been fully removed, doors were already off, all interior taken out and carefully stored; doors stripped down of any door cards, chrome door furniture, rotten wooden frame-work inside doors removed, all chrome-work off car; the loom if nay left was toast so removd and discarded. Simple point but worth repeating, take plenty of pictures and bag/label everything
The dash-board would clearly need to be replaced, since delaminated, as would much of the wood-work inside the doors, rear wings, inside the boot, the B-posts made of ash, and of course the inverted u-ash frame around the bulkhead, giving the front of the car rigidity and stopping body shake etc.
The running chassis and frame must still be kept attached to the body at this stage, which will not have a lot of strength, with the sills cut out and removed and a large amount of further adventures of the tin worm discovered and chopped out. Part 3 will focus on putting new metal back into the car, bracing it, checking the doors still fit etc