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David 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,
but has had to put the project to 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.

David 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.

CHASSIS
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 it up.

AXLES
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.



ENGINE
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.

BODY
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.

FENDERS
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.

David Paqua
Norwalk, Connecticut USA

LagondaRapier.co.uk wishes David all the best with his projects
and looks forward to seeing the car progress.


 
 
   

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