The Lea-Francis 'Hyper Sports' model of 1928

Lea and Francis were cycle and motor manufacturers based in Coventry.

Beginning in 1895 by ex-Singer employee Richard Lea and Graham Francis, Lea & Francis Ltd. established a base at Day’s Lane making ‘Lea’ safety cycles. By 1903 when many other local firms had engaged in the manufacture of motors, the company of Lea & Francis designed and built a 3-cylinder car but it was not a commercial success. It was not until 1911 that they built their first motorcycle – a lightweight 3.5hp JAP V-Twin.

The company built well-crafted cycles until 1920, and motorcycles until around 1924. These were phased out to concentrate on cars which they had begun to manufacture again after the conclusion of WWI. It was with the production of motorcars that Lea-Francis would pursue their efforts from this point onwards, starting with the 4-cylinder 13.9 model.

By the 1930s a range of saloons, tourers and sports cars were offered by the company. Narrowly avoiding bankruptcy by the mid-1930s, in 1937 the business was reformed and a new factory acquired. Military contracts kept them going during the War, but financial problems returned in the 1950s with all car production ending in 1954.

Once again the Lea-Francis name was reignited in 1960 with the introduction of the ambitious ‘Lynx’ model, a four-seater sports roadster, yet this ultimately only lasted until 1964 when car production was wound up yet again, this time for the final time.

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