Shropshire businessman returns rare car to his home after 80 years and 9,250 mile journey
A 1939 Lagonda V12 Rapide Drophead was shipped 9,250 miles from California by Shropshire businessman Adrian Burr.
The classic car connoisseur and chairman of property developers Springbourne Homes, shipped the car to Southampton then quickly drove it to Cornwell Manor in the Cotswolds.
The glamorous vehicle, possibly one of only two 1930s cars that could exceed 100mph, was first owned by Major Godfrey Anthony Gillson, whom Mr Burr described as a ‘real James Bond guy’.
New owner Mr Burr of Grinshill said: “The story of this amazing car and its first owner is truly remarkable.
“The Major was a flamboyant figure who lived at Cornwell Manor, near Chipping Norton.
“He was married to American heiress Priscilla Dickerson and was a true James Bond character and, like Bond, had a penchant for fast, classic cars.
“The car, which he had ordered directly from the Lagonda factory, is also extraordinary. It is one of only 17 models designed by the legendary WOBentley, of the famous Bentley car, and one of the only two to sport James Young bodywork.
“It was fitted with an uprated 4.5 liter ‘Sanction IV’ engine, making it one of Britain’s fastest and most sought after pre-war cars, with top speed of 108 mph.
“I was fascinated by the whole story and that’s why I decided to bring the Lagonda ‘home’ to Cornwell Manor to pay homage to where it all began.
“I’m so glad I did. It was a real pleasure to see this beautiful car sitting proudly outside the Major’s beautiful, former home.
Lagonda’s next stop will be the majestic Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire for the UK’s most exclusive motor show, the Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance.