Lea-Francis Hyper

1928 Lea-Francis 1½-Litre Type S Hyper Sports Two-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | June 24, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Trivia: what marque produced the first British production car with a supercharger? Bentley? Nope. It was Lea-Francis and their Hyper 1½-liter Type S. It was introduced in 1928 and was built through 1931. Only 185 were built.

It is powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four that has been supercharged. I can’t tell you how much power it makes but there is a quote in the lot description that says it will cruise comfortably at 70 mph. So it has plenty of power, I guess. This car was actually a factory racer, having competed in the 1928 Ards Tourist Trophy race, a race that was won by a sister machine.

The car has been completely restored and, strangely, is being offered by the family of the man who raced it in the Ards TT (even though they had to reacquire the car at auction in the early 1990s). It’s a solid competitor to a Frazer Nash, should you seek out on-track competition once purchased. If you’re interested, it should bring between $230,000-$320,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $210,135.

Lea-Francis 2.5-Litre Sports

1950 Lea-Francis 2½-Litre Westland Sports

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | June 11, 2016

Photo - Historics at Brooklands

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Lea-Francis was founded by Richard Lea and Graham Francis in 1895. As did many, the pair began by building bicycles and cars came in 1903. Strangely for a company that began by building bicycles, motorcycle production started after cars did. An independent their entire existence, the company folded in 1960.

The 2½-Litre was introduced in 1949 and was built in very small quantities through 1953. In fact, only 77 were built in total. The engine is a 2.5-liter straight-four rated at 120 horsepower. This is the sportiest car Lea-Francis built after the war.

Kind of resembling a Jaguar XK120, this Westland-bodied Lea-Francis is among the most collectible cars that the company built. Coupling with the decent looks and low production numbers, this example with a six-year-old restoration is expected to bring between $50,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,775.

Artcurial 6/10/13 Paris Sale Highlights

Artcurial held a relatively large sale in Paris on Monday and we featured a couple of cars from it. The top sale was this 1939 Horch 853A Cabriolet for $873,553.

1939 Horch 853A Cabriolet

Among our feature cars, there were two ASAs. Both sold: the race car RB 613 brought $291,184 while the road car 411 GT brought $237,545 – more than double the high end of the pre-sale estimate! Interesting cars were led by this 1974 KV Mini 1. It was built by KV using a 125cc engine. It’s a rare microcar of which not many were built. It sold for $2,759. Arrested Development fans take note – the hood appears to read “GOB.”

1974 KV Mini 1

Other interesting sales included this 1948 Lea-Francis 14HP Roadster. It sold for $49,042.

1948 Lea-Francis 14HP Roadster

One of our featured cars was an incredible military vehicle – a barn find condition World War I Nash Quad. It sold for $21,456. There were other military vehicles here as well, including this 1964 Hotchkiss M201 which sold for $15,325.

1964 Hotchkiss M201

There were a number of really nice, pretty French cars at this sale as well, including a trio of Bugattis, highlighted by this 1935 Type 57 Gangloff Coupe. It sold for $712,635. And our featured Renault Nervastella sold for $324,844 – almost three times its original estimate. Check out complete results here.

1935 Bugatti Type 57 Gangloff