The ex-Charles Follett 1938 Lea-Francis 12hp Sports Roadster Coachwork by Carlton Carriage Co Registration no. FYW 622 Chassis no. 52
It is recorded that the car offered here is the first 12hp (1,496cc) Sports model produced by the 'new' Lea-Francis company in 1938. Approximately the fourth production chassis made, number '52' was supplied to the company's managing director, Charles Follett, who commissioned a two-seat/dickey body from the Carlton Carriage Co, which used the length of the un-shortened frame to fine effect. The engine (number '53') was a highly tuned unit fitted with twin SU carburettors, and the car had a 4:1 axle ratio. In 1938 Charles Follett raced 'FYW 622' at Brooklands minus the windscreen and the fine sweeping wings, and the car was pictured in the pits with Follett himself. Contemporary press cuttings are on file, one of which records that Follett's Lea-Francis lapped at approximately 93mph in racing trim. The car was purchased from Mr Jack Leonard by the current vendor in 1962, since when it has been kept garaged and used as a second car, covering relatively few miles. In the winter of 1963 the 'Leaf' was entrusted for minor routine maintenance to a local garage, which had been informed that there was no anti-freeze in the engine. Nevertheless, the car was left outside in severe frost and the cylinder block cracked. The garage denied responsibility but was found liable at the ensuing court case. Damages awarded amounted to the cost of a new post-war 14hp (1,767cc) block that Mr Barry Price of AB Price & Co Ltd had available. That engine has covered only some 30,000 miles since installation. The car is essentially in 'un-restored', original condition, though of course it has been regularly serviced and maintained, including re-upholstery of the front and dickey seats. A new wiring loom was fitted only four years ago. The colour of the car (Rose Red and Dove Grey) is believed to be original while the bodywork needs general attention. Included in the sale are two side-panels that attach to the doors, a tonneau cover and a (worn) hood that folds away neatly under a hinged flap. The car also comes with a complete file of logbooks, Lea-Francis instruction manuals, receipts, photographs and cuttings from various papers and magazines. 'FYW 622' is offered for sale with great regret by the present owner because it now needs loving restoration, which he feels unable to carry out. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a rare and historic 'Post Vintage Thoroughbred' with Brooklands history.