1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173
Lot 13
Beautifully restored
1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS
Sold for US$ 110,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173 1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS  Chassis no. 5158 Engine no. S5173
1949 LEA FRANCIS 2½ LITER SPORTS

Chassis no. 5158
Engine no. S5173

2,496cc, DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
2 SU Carburetors, 100hp at 4,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Drum Brakes, Front with Hydraulic Assistance
Independent Front Suspension by Torsion Bar
Semi-Elliptic Leaf Spring Rear Suspension


*Fresh from a comprehensive restoration
*Elegant British Sportscar
*One of only 85 built
*Known history from new



Lea Francis

Best known for their 'Hyper' model, which in supercharged form provided Kaye Don with a win in the 1928 Tourist Trophy, the Lea-Francis company was one of a number that originated in Coventry in Great Britain, where historically the armaments industry had been based. That industry's use of high quality tubes provided a natural evolution into bicycle, motorcycle and ultimately motorcar manufacture. Despite its Tourist Trophy win, as they arrived in the 1930s, the firm was making a loss and went into receivership in 1931. Production continued at a trickle for the next few years before Lea-Francis re-emerged under new ownership in 1938, offering a pair of twin-cam engined models designed by Hugh Rose, formerly with Riley.

With a reputation as 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-liter four and was good for 85mph. In 1949, the model received a substantial upgrade with the enhanced performance of a 2.5 liter version of the twin cam four cylinder, coupled to twin SUs. Sadly this was not enough to save the brand and only a mere 85 of these fast, stylish roadsters were produced.


The Motorcar Offered

This striking British sportscar was delivered new in this guise of 'Electric Blue' paint, according to the factory records that survive with former company owner Barrie Price in the U.K. It is known to have been supplied first through Northern England representative Marshalls Ltd. of Halifax in Yorkshire to Mr. Waterhouse, who retained it for five years, before moving south in the U.K. to a Mr. Watson of Kent and then finally in 1963 it passed into the long term ownership of a Mr. Ashwill of Chelmsford in 1963. Amazingly, the car would rest there until the mid-2000s, when it was sold to these shores and to Mr. Zifenbein of Madison Heights, Michigan. Further, David Evans of Blacklick, Ohio became the next owner, who repatriated the car for an engine rebuild.

The 'Leaf' (as they are popularly known), arrived in the present private collection ownership later on in 2008. Upon its acquisition the current owner, being a true enthusiast and understanding that we are all mere custodians of such machines, elected to complete a comprehensive refurbishment of the car and to research its history fully. Of course, his first stop was with Barrie Price, who supplied all of the details of its ownership and was well placed to help and guide on its restoration.

All told, the process took four years and more than $80,000 was expended in returning the car to its former glory, which as evidenced from its presentation today is above and beyond the levels one might expect for cars at this price point. Since this work, the car has only been exercised for a mere 100 miles, leaving it in 'as new' condition. Its sole showing, at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance in 2014, produced a 1st Prize in the British Sports Car class.

This rare car is ready to enjoy.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1947.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please click here for an online appraisal form or 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

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalogue.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

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

Special Car Dealer Notices

Dealers licence, number 49015

Contacts
  1. Bids (US)
    Auction administration - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 415 861 7500
    FaxFax: +1 415 861 8951
  2. Veronica Duque
    Auction administration - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, United States 94103
    Work +1 415 503 3322
    FaxFax: +1 415 391 4040
  3. Mark Osborne
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, United States 94103
    Work +1 415 503 3353
    FaxFax: +1 415 391 4040
  4. Jakob Greisen
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, United States 90046
    Work +1 415 503 3284
    FaxFax: +1 415 391 4040
  5. Evan Ide
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work Boston, United States
    Work +1 917 340 4657
    Mobile +1 917 340 4657
  6. Rupert Banner
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 461 6515
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9007
  7. Eric Minoff
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 917 206 1630
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9007
Similar Items