Lot 58

- Withdrawn

Lot details

Registration No: SVB 600
Chassis No: LB290/1/209
MOT: August 2023

  • Thought to be one of just 82 survivors from the 266 DB 3 Litres made (two-door, four-door and convertible)
  • Desirable MkII example with the preferred floor shift gearchange and revised dashboard
  • In single family ownership for six decades
  • Matching chassis and engine numbers
  • A true time warp with a magnificent interior and numerous well-preserved features

The second Lagonda model of the David Brown / Aston Martin era, the DB 3 Litre debuted in 1953. Underpinned by an evolution of its predecessor’s advanced chassis, the newcomer was equipped with all-round independent suspension, servo-assisted four-wheel drum brakes and rack and pinion steering. Shared with the Aston Martin DB 2/4, the Lagonda DB 3 Litre’s straight-six engine featured double overhead camshafts and hemispherical combustion chambers. Rated at 140bhp and 164lbft of torque and allied to four-speed manual transmission, it endowed the four-seater with a near 110mph top speed and spirited acceleration. Initially available in two-door guise only, as a Fixed Head or Drophead Coupe, the range was broadened to include a four-door saloon for 1954. Notable for a host of detail improvements including a floor-mounted gear shift, the MKII version arrived in early 1955. Production continued for another three years, however, a swingingly high purchase price meant that combined DB 3 Litre sales (across Fixed Head, Drophead and Saloon variants) amounted to just 266 cars of which a mere eighty-two are thought to remain intact.

Quite possibly the most original, and perhaps even the lowest mileage, survivor extant, chassis LB290/1/209 was issued with the distinctive number plate ‘SVB 600’ by Croydon Council on 13th December 1957. The DB Lagonda owes its remarkable state of preservation to the Morrow family of Nottingham who cherished it for six decades. Bought by Flight Lieutenant Robert Saunderson Morrow during the early 1960s, the 3 Litre found itself garaged alongside a variety of Alvis, MG and Alfa Romeo models plus a ‘daily driver’ Bentley Continental. A ‘hands-on’ enthusiast, the Flt Lt alternated the usage of his cars such that none accumulated a huge mileage. Correspondence on file from his son, Bob Morrow Jnr, warrants the current odometer reading of 36,000 as representing the total covered from new. Even without his endorsement, the condition of the car itself makes the mileage wholly credible. The stove enamelling to the exhaust manifold is largely intact as is the original paint to the engine. The pedal rubbers show very little wear and the material to the bulkhead / under-bonnet looks similarly well preserved. Although, the real delight is the interior. The carpets have been renewed but the upholstery, wood veneers and headlining have responded beautifully to a thorough clean (with the leather being lightly Connollised).

Finished in the subtle combination of Dark Green over Black, ‘SVB 600’ appears to be free of the electrolytic corrosion which claimed so many of its siblings. Indeed, the floors and sills are remarkably solid. The paintwork is no longer flawless and the brightwork pitted and tarnished in places but the car comes across as ‘all of a piece’. Starting readily and running well during our recent photography session, the DB 3 Litre arguably sounds more like an Aston Martin than a Lagonda! Off the road for some thirty years by the time the Morrow family parted with it in 2016, the Saloon passed into the trade before being bought by the vendor who has spent countless hours recommissioning and reviving it. A true ‘time warp’ even down to its original ‘Hills’ number plates, ‘SVB 600’ exhibits a gentle patina that no restoration could replicate. Offered for sale with V5C Registration Document, MOT certificate valid until August 2023 and history file.

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