Brooklands beckons for rare race winner
Ahead of its September sale, classic car auctioneer Historics has consigned the first ever 12hp Sports model produced by the Lea-Francis company; a car that was also raced to victory at Historics’ permanent auction home of Brooklands in 1938.
First owned by the company’s managing director, Charles Follett, chassis ‘52’ was fitted with a specially commissioned two-seat/dickey body from the Carlton Carriage Co., and with the windscreen and resplendent sweeping wings removed, was raced to victory round the famed Brooklands banking in the Second August Long Handicap by Follett, at an average lap time of 90.98mph.
Originally fitted with the highly tuned 12hp engine (number ‘53’), under new ownership the car was entrusted for minor routine maintenance in the winter of 1963, where the garage owners left the car outside in severe frost, causing the cylinder block to crack.
An ensuing court case saw the owner claim damages and costs awarded in the amount of a new post-war 14hp engine from AB Price & Co. Ltd. This engine has covered just 30,000 miles in the subsequent half a century, and is the only exception to a car that is otherwise in original condition.
Complete with a large file of logbooks, Lea-Francis instruction manuals, receipts, photographs and cuttings from newspapers and magazines, the Rose Red and Dove Grey sports car is a great example of the period and is expected to encourage offers in the region of £38,000 – £46,000, at auction on September 1st.
Ahead of the sale however, the car is returning to the site of its racing triumph, with Historics showcasing the pre-war ‘powerhouse’ at Brooklands during the Double Twelve event. Along with other fine cars, Historics’ team will be on hand to offer insight and information on this, and other consignments, or indeed for a friendly, informal chat on all aspects of the classic and sports car scene.