15th Mar, 2023 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

  Lot 32

1951/2000 Lea-Francis Special

Sold for £14,625

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: LXU 715
Chassis No: 8822
MOT: Exempt

  • Alloy-bodied Special with tuned twin-cam engine
  • Offered with V5C document
  • Believed to have MG B front suspension, brakes and back axle
  • Stylistic echoes of the Bill Skelly car and even the HWM-Alta that (Sir) Stirling Moss drove

Launched in 1946, the new Lea-Francis 14hp saloon owed much to its pre-WW2 namesake. Featuring twin high-mounted camshafts, its 1767cc four-cylinder engine was the work of ex-Riley engineer Harry Rose. Quoted as developing up to 70bhp in its later guises (an output that reputedly translated into a top speed of 75mph even with saloon coachwork), this advanced unit was mated to a four-speed synchromesh manual gearbox. In production for a scant seven years, the 14hp was upgraded in late 1949 with torsion bar independent front suspension and a hydro-mechanic braking system.

Reputedly built during 2000 or thereabouts, this attractive two-seater Special has stylistic echoes of Bill Skelly’s much modified Lea-Francis 14hp racer and even the HWM-Alta that (Sir) Stirling Moss drove. Underpinned by a rigid, box-section chassis and bodied in lightweight alloy, the two-seater is further understood to benefit from a 1.8 litre Lea-Francis ‘twin cam’ engine that was overhauled and uprated by the late Steve O’Rourke’s mechanic ‘Yarrow’. As well as a lightened flywheel, twin 1.5in SU carburettors, electronic ignition, electronic water pump and 4-2-1 exhaust manifold, the four-cylinder unit is believed to possess a higher compression ratio, modern oil filter, alternator, ported / gasflowed cylinder head (with reduced diameter, 10mm spark plugs), cooling fan and uprated valve springs etc. Said to have been last refreshed some 5,000 miles ago, the engine is estimated to develop circa 100bhp. Road registered using the identity of a 1951 Lea-Francis 14hp Saloon, ‘LXU 715’ boasts a 95-100mph top speed. Understood to utilise MGB independent front suspension, brakes and back axle, the Special is reportedly a ‘fabulous road car – sweet to drive, nice gearbox, brakes and steering, engine has plenty of torque as well as top end. Everyone smiles, waves and thumbs up’.

For more information, please contact:
James McWilliam
07943 584760


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 15th Mar, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe. 

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Cambridgeshire. 

Bidding will take place live at the venue, online via our website, by telephone and commission. 

Parking and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue, available at the door. 

To enquire about entering your motorcar into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click the Valuations For Sale button below. 

All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

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Tuesday 14th March 2023, from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 15th March 2023, from 9am

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