Lea-Francis Vehicles

Lea-Francis R Type - 200 Mile Race cars 1928

Engine:
Meadows 4ED, 1496cc supercharged

Wheelbase:
8' 9"

Track:
3' 9"

In 1928 when Lea-Francis built three single seat racing cars to compete in the 200 mile event at Brooklands. These cars, 9161, 9162 and 9163 are often referred to as L types because the chassis was similar and, not least, because they were numbered in the L Type series i.e. 9xxx. However, the cars were very different from L types and were designated R types. The chassis of these cars shared the 8’ 9” wheelbase and 3’ 9” track of the L type, along with quarter elliptic rear springs, although these were raked upwards to give the car a lower centre of gravity. Power came from a Meadows 4ED engine blown by a Cozette supercharger and a 15 degree slope S type radiator was fitted up front. The cars were bodied in aluminium, by Cross & Ellis, as single seat track cars.

After much competition use by Lea-Francis, chassis 9162 was sold to Sir Kenneth Peacock (the same Peacock who entered LeaFs at Le Mans in 1929 and 1930 with significant success). The car was was extensively modified by Peacock who also used it competitively. In October 1932, the car was sold to Claude Wagstaff who modified the car again, fitting different bodywork (a two-seater in plywood) swapping engines several times and registering it for road use as VC 9046. Wagstaff raced the car and used it in MCC trials and, having effectively worn it out rebuilt the car again in 1976 using later style semi-elliptic sprung chassis. The car has subsequently been rebuilt yet again on a J Type chassis and the few remaining parts of the original car.

Some of the major components of one of the other R Types have also survived.

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