Lea-Francis Vehicles

Lea-Francis 14hp Sports 1947 - 1949

Engine:
1767cc 77bhp (later 87bhp) or 1496cc, 64bhp (later 70bhp)

Wheelbase:
8' 3"

Track:
4' 4"

The first example in October 1947 in fact had the smaller 12hp engine, but this was very soon replaced by the more powerful 14hp unit used for nearly all the production cars. The engines were considerably uprated, with high-lift camshafts, twin carburettors, and 8:1 compression on all except the early units. The chassis was the same as the saloon’s, only a foot shorter, with the beam front axle and rod brakes (apart from the last three which had ifs and hydro-mechanical brakes). In spite of the weight of just on a ton it performed extremely well, and an enthusiastic road test in The Autocar reported a top speed of 87mph and quick acceleration, with steering and brakes to match. It proved popular as a rally car, and also appeared occasionally in club racing.

This handsome sports car with lively performance deserved to do better, as there was little competition for it, but partly because of its price (£1276 including purchase tax in 1949) only 111 of these cars were produced, making way for the 2½ litre car in 1949. Luckily the model has enjoyed a high survival rate, with 46 in the Club and other known survivors.

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