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LAGONDA RAPIER.


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Bernie,

 

2x on congrats.  

 

I think a new thread might be in order, either under British Cars or Restoration Projects...your choice.  Oh, and see if you can get the recipe for those scones!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Not only that but this Singer is now sold and waiting  to be collected. Meanwhile I have actually been giving our trusty Lagonda Rapier a mini "Birthday" cleaning out the fuel filters and actually replacing the "Throw away" filter on the main petrol line. This was well and truly ready for replacement. Perhaps this was the cause of the fuel problem we experienced when we last had the car out, Then again, having spent two or three days going over the car, I really cannot help wondering why I am constantly looking for something else?  It is such a pleasure to work on and so rewarding to drive!

There in total five filters incorporated is the system. Two inline filters at the rear of the car in the two pipes coming from the tank, another built into the SU petrol pump, and finally two more one in each of the carburettors where the fuel feed attaches to the float bowls. Normally it will be one or the other of the filters included in the pipe lines from the petrol tank  that catches any impurities. Certainly the filter I have just replaced had been doing its job. I simply cannot remember when it was last replaced but it contained enough debris to have been causing a problem. This only goes to confirm the need to have functioning fuel filters AND to look at them from time to time.

Looking at todays photograph tends to confirm the observation made by one of my friends. There is no waste space under the Rapiers "Bonnet" or if you prefer "Hood".

The four branch exhaust system takes up any spare space on the other side of the engine. Observant people will have noted that the air filter on the front "carb"nhas been trimmed so that it will fit in with the Bonnet/hood closed.

Bj.

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Posted (edited)

Now with the decks finally (almost ) clear I should very soon be able to return the Lagonda to the garage.   This will permit me to put the long suffering Peugeot under the carport and out of the weather.

We, here in Australia, are heading into Winter, so it really does need to be under cover.

I have to be very tough on myself and resist all temptation to be buying another project car. I just have to realise that at my age (almost 85) I do not need to be attempting to rescue other people's piles of junk.   The Lagonda Rapier is a "super" car but even looking at the photograph above I can see one or two items that require attention.

I am sure a morning spent checking it over would reveal some more. For instance it must be several years since I last checked the valve (tappet) clearances. There is a package of new "clearance shims" that is sitting in the door pocket.  I ordered and received these from the Rapioer Register "Spares",  two or three years ago. To check the valve clearances properly could easily fill in two or three mornings.  My first task will be to find where I carefully stowed my set of "feeler gauges".

Oh Dear! it really is a bugger to be growing old!   I am told that this situation is only temporary.  BUT we will not venture down that path! 

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Bernie,

 

Relax and enjoy some R & R.  Lavish some attention on your wonderful Lagonda.  I don't see you restoring a saloon car, anyway.  You always seem to be more of the roadster type.

 

While you head into winter, we head into a long, dry summer with drought and wildfires.

 

Cheers!

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Currently we are again in a Co-vid Lockdown so apart from e-mails and phone calls I am more or less isolated. I have made one phone call re a 1922 Citroen, a 10hp, one model Citroen I have not owned before. As the current owner/vendor does not"do emails" I am waiting to recieve his mailed photographs. As it is already "fully restored" it is outside my usual criteria for a possible purchase. I have made a tentative offer about $10,000 under the asking price, so I will not be surprised if it goes to some one with deeper pockets than mine. As it is a Citroen, a French car, I should not even be mentioned out here!

 

Bj.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Meanwhile I continue to be distracted by other lesser cars, the Citroen mentioned above has not passed the vital test and so languishes in it's owners garage.  Meanwhile I have been distracted again, this time by a 1940s Lea Francis. At least this one passes all the suitability tests. First it is very British and while not being a twin over head cam motor it comes close in that it has twin hight cams with very short push-rods. Very similar to a Riley. This is not by chance the Rileys designer then went on to be enployed by Lea Francis, so no doubt, he at the very least, took a mental picture of the Riley's engine with him. This will require a total restoration so there will be more than enough for a "thread" of its own

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

With so much activity centered around my "other cars" my poor little Lagonda barely rates a mention. This in fact is not true, we have been out on  the last VSCC run which much to our surprise had two other Rapiers and another two owners who while they did not have their cars out were navigating in the two Rapiers. It is a very long time since we had so many of our Rapier friends out on an event.

 

Bj.

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For the benefit of all those people struggling to keep up with all my chopping and changing, my Lagonda Rapier is the one constant in my life.  The Lea Francis is just the latest in my ever changing Project cars.  Hopefuly this LeaF will stay around long enough for me to do some constructive work on it

 

Bj.

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Posted (edited)

If you are confused, I can understand you asking. Why with such an amazing car as the Lagonda Rapier would any one get side tracked by "ordinary cars" such as the Lea Francis. You would think that by now the penny would have dropped!

Well I can only explain, I have this compulsive need to be doing something creative. With the Lagonda Rapier, it is so good that Iit simply does not need to be having "something" done to it every other day.

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You must have noticed that regardless of the constant changes happening all around it, it just stands there patiently waiting for our next outing knowing that nothing can compare with the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from driving it. When I look back at its history and then at all the miles we have driven in it, anything else simply fails by comparison.

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

When writing the Preface of the Rapier Register's book "Ever Keen" to celebrate the first 75 years of the Rapier in 2009  I state that having bought my first Rapier in the late 1960s and joined the Rapier Register in 1971 and while having owned a wide variety of other cars, none have surpassed the pleasure of owning, restoring, racing, rallying and driving a Rapier.

I should further explain the book contains the recollections of a number Rapier owners writing of their own experiences each about his or her own Rapier.  

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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In the early 1930s the Lagonda Company engaged a young Automotive Engineer, Tim Ashcroft to design the Rapier, to aid him in the task, the company provided him with one draftsman.   The company decided that as at the time it was using the one "Jig" to build the bodies for the other larger models, the Two Litre, Three Litre, and 4.5 Litre they would not go to the expense of building another to accomodate the smaller Rapier. In stead the Rapier was only ever offered "New" as a rolling chassis with a number of Independent Coach-builders offerin a choice of suitable bodies, These included a four seat open Tourer, a Drop Head Coupe , and a Fixed Head Coupe all available from Abbott Coach-builders of Farnham in Surrey, England. They supplied these to the majority of the purchasers of a new Rapier in 1934-5.  The Melbourne (Australia) Coach-building firm of "Supreme" offered a two door, four window saloon, there are two of these still surviving.

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Yes and no.

It is one of my earlier Rapiers*. This one has one of "my" two seater bodies and motor-cycle type mudguards (fenders). Some years ago it was sold by a subsequent owner and it is now "somewhere in Europe".

My bodies all have one common feature. They are built on a steel (square) tube frame with aluminium panels. This one did not have doors on either side.  The photograph was taken at one of our local "Hill climbs" at the crest of  the very steep hill.

The book's main content is of  various Rapier owners descriptions of and their experiences with theor cars.  It runs to 216 pages with the products of the various Coachbuilders grouped together.  Each car has two or three pages including photographs. There is a section devoted to each of the usual Coachbuilders and their body styles.

As I have stated in several places at different times, "There are no two Lagonda Rapiers "exactly the same".....

As with virtually all my cars this one too, was bought as a "basket case" to be restored from a pile of loosely assorted pieces.

This photograph shows the typical condition of the majority of my "project cars" when purchased.

This one is the extremely rare Dixie Flyers and when completed. The second photograph shows the same car standing outside the Louisville Kentucky (USA) factory where it was originaly built in 1922.

 

Bj.

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Bj.

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Posted (edited)

Another of my Lagonda Rapiers bought as a collection of loosely assorted parts was this one. When purchased  it came without a chassis frame, an Amilcar chassis was used after some modifications had been made. It was rebuilt as a very successful racing car. It too was sold overseas by a subsequent owner. I understand that it is now part of a "Collection" in England.

 

Bj.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

It is now 4.30 pm on Saturday afternoon. I have just closed the garage doors and am ready to get cleaned up and changed out of my work clothes. To come in from the garage I have to walk past my Lagonda Rapier. I cannot help but wonder about my sanity. After all I am now approaching my 85th Birthday, I have an absolutely fabulous car in my Lagonda. It has served us faithfully for a great many years and countless thousands of miles both here in Australia and overseas in the UK and Europe. If I looked very diligently I could find any number of little jobs that while not completely necessary I could be gaining satisfaction and a certain amount of pleasure doing. 

Why am I waisting my time fiddling about with a heap of rubbish which some day may emerge as a 1945 Lea Francis "special".  I really do not need this sort of mindless "projects". WHY AM I DOING THIS?

 

Bernie j.

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