Paqua's 1934 Lagonda Rapier
David is living in Connecticut in the USA and has owned BLA 913 for about
25 years now.
David started to complete the Abbott touring body about two years ago,
has had to put the project
one side for a while, while he
completes the restoration
of his Acro Sport bi-plane.
David is going to supercharge the car once he has completed the body.
David was a member of a Rapier owners club in the UK, and hopes to rejoin it again soon.
has sent some interesting information about his car.........
I purchased the car in 1978 from a Patricia Faulk-Feeley.
The car was housed just a few miles away from my home. Patricia
had owned the car since the late 60's. I believe it was imported
at that time from the UK. BLA-913 was in dire need of repair and
she entrusted the car to a local exotic car "expert"
who took it completely apart and proceeded to loose, steal or
sell parts off it. He went to jail. The remains were trucked back
to Patricia and there it sat until I purchased it.
I sandblasted the chassis and had new road springs made. A number
of the crosstubes were damaged over the years and required cutting
out the damaged sections and welding in new. It took a lot of
time to get the profile correct but the result was a big improvement
over what had been there. I re-assembled the chassis and squared
The front axle was re-bushed and the brake backing plates that
had cracked were welded and machined back to shape.
The rear axle was in good shape but I did need to replaced the
bearings and adjusted the ring & pinion lash.
I've done considerable amount of work here. Camshafts were re-ground,
water pump had new internals machined only after this was done
did I find the Rapier Register had replacement parts for this
pump. I made the adapter for the external Mini oil pump but I
will replace this with an internal pump one day. New pistons were
made, I don't recall how much the block was overbore but I suspect
no more than .060. Connecting rods were toughened, shot peened
and new rod bolts were installed. I now there were from ARP but
I don't remember what the application was. All moving parts were
balanced. I had new babbet poured for the main bearings and the
motor was re-assembled. We had it running on the dyno then pickled
it for storage.
I don't know were to start here. The original body was removed
and carefully stored OUTDOORS uncovered for a few years by the
"expert". This action, as you can imagine helped to
advance the deterioration of the wood frame. After I got the car
it was clear the aluminium panels were un-supported. I removed
them and made templates of the old ash frames. I have to say here
and now that I greatly dislike woodwork. I must have been a blacksmith
in a previous life. However, I forged ahead, putting up with the
saw dust in my shop and re-created the ash frames. The panel beating
was fun and this is the stage the car is currently in. I made
all new panels, door panels and trunk lid. These are welded in
place and some finalizing needs to be done.
Boy are they in rough shape. There is enough profile to make pattern
bucks but I haven't progressed to that point yet.
Currently I completing a very nice Acro Sport II biplane built
from plans. It will be up to the airport in September and the
shop will be free to finish the Lagonda and my very first car,
a TR3A Triumph.
I am an active Vintage racer since 1980. My wife and I own a homebuilt
Cadillac powered special called a Cheetah that was built in 1953
and is in completely unrestored condition. This car has had a
long history in SCCA racing in the North East. It won the Seneca
cup at Watkins Glen in 1955 and the Mt. Equinox Hillclimb in 1956.
I also have a supercharged Crosley powered sports racer called
a Jabro MK2. The Jabro looks like a scaled down "D"
Type Jag. and only weighs 700 lbs. I also have a more modern Pallister
FF as well as a Brabham BT29. I did compete in the Grand Am endurance
series here in the US and had the opportunity to race in the 24
hours of Daytona in 1999 co-driving a Kudzu sports racer.
Norwalk, Connecticut USA
wishes David all the best with his projects
and looks forward to seeing the car progress.