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Lagonda 4.5 litre M45

At the 1933 Olympia Show the first 41/2 litre, the M45, was introduced. It used a Meadows engine of 4453cc slightly modified by Lagonda's but otherwise similar to that used by the Invicta. This engine was already somewhat venerable having started life in 1925 as 63.5 x 120mm and been progressively bored out In its Lagonda form it had the bores offset to get them in. The chassis was basically the current 10'9" 3 litre but fitted with servo brakes and a heavier rear axle. The 3 litre gearbox proved inadequate very quickly and Meadows' own box became standard, most of the early cars being rebuilt with it quite soon. The engine had dual ignition, one coil one side and horizontal magneto the other. The M45 was a great success and Lord de Clifford got it off to a good start with a highly publicised run to Greece in the prototype, beating the train to Brindisi by 14 hours. For the 1934 TT a trio of lightweight short chassis cars run by Arthur Fox and equipped with Girling brakes put up a splendid showing. These cars were virtually M45 Rapides, which were announced a few weeks later. During 1934 General Metcalfe had died and was succeeded as Chairman and Managing Director by Sir Edgar Holberton.

At the 1934 Show Lagondas introduced a whole batch of new cars. The 41/2 litre M45 was supplemented by a Rapide Model (M45R) on a shorter, stiffer chassis and fitted with Girling brakes and a more highly tuned engine. A very similar short chassis was also sold with the 31/2 litre 84 x 120mm (3619cc) engine (M3SR) which was the final manifestation of the 16/65 and 3 litre engine.

Wheelbase 3124 mm 123 in  
Track front 1473 mm 58 in  
rear 1473 mm 58 in  
Length 4547 mm 179 in  
Width 1727 mm 68 in  
Kerb weight 1676 kg 3695 lb  
Manufacturer Meadows
Type S-6
12 valves total
2 valves per cylinder
Bore stroke 88.50mm 120.65mm
3.48 in 4.75 in
Bore/Stroke ratio 0.73
Displacement 4453 cc
(271.739 cu in)
Unitary capacity 742.17 cc/cylinder
Compression ratio 7.00:1
Fuel system 2 SU carbs
Aspiration Normal
Max. output 141.9 PS (140.0 bhp) (104.4 kW)
@3100 rpm
Coolant Water
Specific output 31.4 bhp/litre
0.52 bhp/cu in
Specific torque  
0-50mph (80 km/h) 9.40s
Top speed 163 km/h
Power-to-weight 83.53 bhp/ton
Engine location Front
Engine alignment Longitudinal
Drive RWD
Top gear ratio 1.00