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Lot 045: Lea-Francis 14hp Saloon

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (18 July 2012)

The Lea-Francis concern made a name for itself by making rather sporting cars of extremely high quality. In the late '20s the sparkling supercharged S-Type Hyper made a name on the international stage, helping to sell their more touring models, all of which had a touch of pizzazz about the way they went about things. During the 1930s they introduced their own twin-cam six, the Ace of Spaces so called because of the shape of the cam covers at the front of the engine. It was not really what the market demanded and by the late '30s the firm was re-formed under the guidance of George Leek, an ex-Riley man along with others from the local Coventry competition. They set about designing a new 4-cylinder engine along the lines of the excellent 12/4 Riley engine with twin camshafts high up in the block operating short pushrods. It was to come in 14hp and 18hp versions and powered a series of sporting saloon and two seater models prior to the outbreak of war. Post war, the firm continued with these engines which were modern by most standards. The cars were traditionally made with wood framed bodies panelled in aluminium. The 14hp was produced from 1946 until 1954 and was to become Lea-Francis' most successful model with 2,133 examples finding new customers. The chassis was even supplied to Connaught as the basis for their excellent sports cars  recognising the potential of the super power unit. Many others have had the same idea and this example was purchased with the intention of turning it into a Leaf Special. The vendor however has decided that aside from being too good to break up, his time and energy have moved in a different direction. Believed to be mostly complete (the vendor is not aware that anything is missing), it would represent a reasonably straightforward task to restore to its former glory. The vendor is under the impression that work has been done to the engine; however it is some time since he acquired the project and cannot recall exactly what has been done. He also adds that there is a surprisingly good supply of spare parts for these cars, with most things available via Lea-Francis Cars Ltd. based in Alcester Warwickshire (01789 490060). Very much a worthwhile project that will reward the new owner with many happy hours tinkering in the workshop as well as the pleasure of driving an attractive sporting saloon when completed.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number045
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£800
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1951
Condition rating
Registration numberKRW 920
Mileage-
Chassis number8778
Engine number7883
Engine capacity (cc)1767
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors