1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359
Lot 54
1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster
Registration no. JVC 20 Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359
Sold for £29,900 (US$ 40,171) inc. premium

Lot Details
1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster  Chassis no. 3426 Engine no. S3359
1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports Roadster
Registration no. JVC 20
Chassis no. 3426
Engine no. S3359

Footnotes

  • Purveyors of quality motor cars to those who preferred individuality to the banality of mass production, the long established Coventry firm of Lea-Francis recommenced production after WW2 with its 1939 range and it was not until 1947 that a new model arrived in the shape of the 14hp Sports. Boasting up-to-the-minute styling, albeit somewhat reminiscent of the pre-war BMW 328, the Sports was powered by Lea-Francis's Riley-esque twin-camshaft 1.8-litre four and good for 85mph. A mere 118 of these fast, stylish roadsters were produced between 1947 and 1949.

    This example's factory build sheet confirms that it retains matching engine and frame numbers and was intended as a left-hand drive model. However, 'JVC 20' appears to have been right-hand drive all its life, one possible explanation being that an overseas order was cancelled and the car completed for the home market. Having started its life as a factory demonstrator, 'JVC 20' was photographed and mentioned in the 4th June 1952 edition of The Motor as competing in the 2nd Edinburgh Rally driven by S W Fox, while there is another photograph on file of the car competing at Silverstone at around this time, again driven by Fox. Undoubtedly, there is a great deal more history to discover regarding this fascinating car, which is featured in a number of books on the marque.

    Previous owner and highly respected Bugatti specialist Ivan Dutton acquired 'JVC 20' in 2001 and re-commissioned the car prior to racing it at Snetterton. Work undertaken included removing and cleaning sump and inspecting the big-end bearings; stripping and rebuilding the carburettors (1½" are fitted instead of the standard 1¼") with new seals/jets and fitting twin fuel pumps; rebuilding the radiator; fabricating an exhaust system; removing and reconditioning the shock absorbers; changing oils/filters; and removing and rebuilding the steering box. The wheels were sand-blasted, repainted and fitted with new radial tyres, and at Snetterton in October 2001 the Lea-Francis clocked a little over 90mph down the straight and beat a Ginetta G4 in the wet race! Following that satisfying victory, the 'Leaf' was used as a road car on high days and holidays only before being offered for sale at Bonhams' Beaulieu auction in September 2006 (Lot 469) where it was purchased by the current vendor.

    Since then the engine has been comprehensively rebuilt (in 2007) by Barrie Price (Lea-Francis Cars Ltd) totalling some £5,000. Works carried out earlier this year, again by Barrie, include a full service, engine top end overhaul, a new convertible hood fitted and repair to the hood frame (see bills on file totalling circa £2,000). Offered with the aforementioned bills, an old-style logbook and V5C document, 'JVC 20' represents an exciting opportunity to acquire a rare Lea-Francis sports car with in-period competition history. The vendor informs us he has confirmation from Goodwood Competitions department that the LeaF is eligible for this years Fordwater Trophy race at the Goodwood Revival meeting, in addition to a wide variety of historic motor sports events.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this Lot does not include a buff log book, as catalogued.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Under the Buyer's Agreement, a premium (the Buyer's
Premium) is payable to us by the Buyer in accordance with the terms of the Buyer's Agreement and at rates set out below, calculated by reference to the Hammer Price and payable in addition to it. Storage charges and Expenses
are also payable by the Buyer as set out in the Buyer's Agreement

All the sums payable to us by the Buyer are subject to VAT
For this Sale the following rates of Buyer's Premium will be payable by Buyers of Lots:

Motor Cars
15% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
12% from £50,001 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. John Polson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5803
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802
Similar Items