Lagonda motor cycle with a man wearing goggles, large fur gauntlets and armbands (numbered 58) circa 1904

Lagonda motor cycle with a man wearing goggles, large fur gauntlets and armbands (numbered 58) circa 1904

Lagonda Ltd. was the brain child of American-born Wilbur Gunn. Gunn moved to England in 1891 to set up a branch of his brother-in-law’s Lagonda manufacturing company, which made steam engine equipment. Instead he turned his attention to the manufacturing of motor vehicles.

In 1900 Gunn sold his first Lagonda motorcycle, and by 1903 he was producing motorcycles in his Egham factory. However, by 1909 he had turned his attention to the production of motorcars, and in 1910 Lagonda won the Moscow-St Petersburg reliability trial.

During the First World War production was based on helping the war effort, manufacturing shells and other munitions. At this time the factory expanded to take over private homes and shops, but the boom was short lived, and in 1935 the company went into receivership. The company was bought by a local solicitor who ran it as Lagonda (Staines) Ltd, employing designer Walter Owen Bentley. Once again manufacturing of cars ceased with the out-break of war in 1939, and instead shells, flame throwers, and aircraft fuel tanks were made.

In 1947 the company was once again sold and became Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. Although now more commonly known as just Aston Martin, the company still exists and produces world famous luxury cars.