Lea-Francis Vehicles

Connaught L2 and L3 1948 - 1953

Engine:
1767cc, 98-107bhp with two SUs or 102-122bhp with four Amals

Wheelbase:
8' 3"

Track:
4' 4"

The Connaught was made by Continental Cars of Send, Surrey, and their first sports cars used the chassis, engine and transmission of the Lea-Francis 14hp Sports. Special camshafts and pistons, 8.2:1 compression and a four-branch exhaust resulted in a brisk performance. The bodywork (designed by Rodney Clarke) had the whole front hinged for easy access to the engine. The first car was completed in October 1948, and two more the following spring. These three, designated L2s, had the competition specification, which meant the dry sump version of the Lea-Francis engine fitted with four Amal carburettors. They had numerous successes in racing.

From 1950, the Lea-Francis ifs chassis was used, and this car was called the L3, fitted with twin H4 SUs. The bodywork was the same as for the L2, except in the case of the car in the third photo below, which has a one-off body. In 1951 a more sporting version of this having simpler bodywork with cycle-type wings was produced, called the L3/SR (for Sports Racing) (fourth photo).

The firm went on to build single-seater racing cars, of which the first, the A type Formula 2 car, still had an engine developed from the Lea-Francis unit, with a special aluminium block. The bottom photo shows the engine with rocker covers removed, revealing the valve gear of pure Lea-Francis design.

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