Lea Francis started to build cars in
1903, but it only built two models which are now
considered thoroughbred. The company has come and gone a
number of times and usually produced vehicles which were
frankly terrible. A large number of cars were sold to be
built into shooting brakes (half timbered). The 'Leaf'
was one of the last marques with a competition history
to have begun to be valued by collectors.
In the 1920s, Lea Francis amalgamated
with Vulcan of Southport. The fusion resulted in the
famous Hyper model.
This had a Cozette-supercharged
one and a half litre Meadows engine.
The Hyper was extremely successful in track events and
in recent years has been considered a classic sports
car. The Ace of Spades model followed which had a larger
engine but was normally aspirated.
In the sixties, two Hyper cars were
campaigned from the London Teaching Hospital. One of my
friends was a leading light in this enterprise, and on
occasion I would assist in preparation prior to VSCC
events. The cars were maintained in the old pathology
labs and brought in through a window with the use of
body trays! There was not a lot to these cars but they
did go very well in the races thanks to the Meadows
This 1.6 litre 100 h.p. supercharged car won the
1928 T.T. in the hands of Kay Don.