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1937 Lagonda Speedster


270offy
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Here are a couple of shots of my "Speedster" project, a Lagonda LG45, one of 175, getting a new lightweight body.

These cars won at LeMans in their day with W.O.Bentley, yea that one, as head of engineering.

This is destined to be a streetable race car.

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The design is my own, as I am not interested in building a replica. This is to be a custom body "of the period" following the tradition of having a factory provide the running chassis and sending it out to a coach builder for a bespoke body.

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Great looking project.

I would like to do something similar so am very interested in knowing what type of rivets are you using.

Is the skin pop riveted to the frame or do the rivets go right through the frame and be hammered over or how do you do it? Thanks

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The rivets are conventional solid rivets made of aluminum that are hammered over. I am using round head style for the look, but you can use flush head rivets like those used in the aviation field.

Once the skin is riveted to the frame the entire structure becomes very strong.

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You'll want to talk to a good paint rep about prep and primers for that aluminum too, not all primers adhere well to it. Of course the other option is to just polish the whole car, but that could take some upkeep... You're keeping me motivated to get my shop finished before winter... keep us drooling!

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  • 3 months later...

Just found this thread, as was browsing through the "Speedsters" part of the forum, as I'm interested in building/restoring one as a future project. Your previous build is one awesome looking car, and the current one is looking very nice too. The exposed rivets will give it a very cool look.

Thanks for sharing.

Keith

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you havent already done so. Source and fit a prewar Alvis gearbox. Also look at opening out the outlet manifold with a decent exhaust sytem and fitting larger SU carbs after having the head gass flowed. It makes a huge difference. You also can go for a steel crank and rods and then probably have a cowl fitted to vent the front brakes. We campaigned one for years and had a lot of fun and it couldnt half go.

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Word of warning... riveting aluminum to mild steel can result in corrosion problems down the road. I have seen it on early Land Rovers with aluminum panels over steel framing. From a distance it looked good, but all the panels were hanging loose where the edges had corroded away. Rover used strips of cloth as insulation but in this case it did not help.

What I am saying is, 10 or 20 years from now your car could be coming apart at the seams.

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I was wondering about that too, seems to me it's similar to the electrolysis issues they had with combining household wiring that was both aluminum and copper. Then again he doesn't have our winter salt issues so if it's kept inside those issues could be decades down the road.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The corrosion problem is highly overrated particularly on a car that is not going to be left outdoors all of its life. Land Rovers were poor examples because they were essentially farm vehicles subjected to the worst treatment one could heap on a car. Proper painting of the framework and a garage make all the difference! This is not a daily beater to be ridden and put away wet. I have restored race cars built this way that were 80 years old and showed no signs of electrolysis.

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  • 8 months later...

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