In 1923 Charles Van Eugen set about designing a new car for Lea-Francis. The D type was proving to be reasonably successful, but it was thought something a little more sophisticated and refined was required. The result was the E type, which was to form the basis of a number of other models; the F type, H type and I type.
The new chassis carried the same 9.8hp Meadows 4EB engine of the D type, had semi-elliptic springs to the front, quarter-elliptics to the rear and retained the two wheel foot-brake and transmission handbrake of the earlier cars. However, the new chassis was more substantial, had an additional cross-member and provided a 9” longer wheelbase, resulting in a slightly larger car. It was fitted with a newly designed four speed gearbox, which was to become the standard design for most Lea-Francis motor cars up to the end of the 1920s. There was also a more substantial rear-axle casing with improved spring mounting, although the rear-axle itself, with its spur-gear differential, remained a weak point of the cars. The distinctive Lea-Francis radiator was now two inches wider and cars had better weather equipment and low-pressure tyres as standard.
A number of different body styles were available on the E type chassis. These ranged from a two-seater that cost £262. 10s. in 1924, to a Saloon De Luxe for upwards of £365.
A noteworthy owner of a four-seater tourer version of the E type was Sir Edward Elgar. Elgar purchased the car, believed to be chassis 5536, new in late 1924.
Approximately 192 E types Lea-Francis were built, of which it is thought two may have survived.