1929 Lea-Francis P-Type 12/40 Tourer
From the Tresham Collection; current owner 18 years; Cross & Ellis coachwork; Meadows 4ED engine; well-maintained and in regular use; charmingly patinated Vintage tourer with room for all the family
Initially best known for their high-quality bicycles (an example of which appears elsewhere in this sale, Lot 300), the Coventry firm of Lea-Francis went on to produce a bewildering variety of cars during the 1920s.
They eventually settled on using overhead-valve Meadows engines, which proved a shrewd move as these were extremely well-engineered units with great tuning potential, leading to race-winning models such as the Hyper and the Ace of Spades. Keen to capitalise on this success, various other models were produced for the wider market including the 1927 P-Type 12/40 which was powered by the renowned Meadows 1,496cc 4ED engine.
More powerful than its predecessors, the 38bhp 4ED necessitated the introduction of a redesigned chassis, which was longer, wider and equipped with semi-elliptic springing all round, a spiral bevel rear axle and four-wheel brakes. The result was one of the most spirited touring cars of the late Vintage period.
The P-Type offered here has well-made open four-seater bodywork by Coventry-based Cross & Ellis, who also produced similar coachwork for Alvis. To emphasise its sporting credentials, a previous owner has fitted the louvred valence that covers the front dumb-irons – a feature normally seen only on the Hyper.
Little is known of the early history of the car, but the UW number plate would indicate that it was first registered in London in November 1929. Lots of old MOTs and tax discs imply that the car was in regular use throughout the 1980s and ‘90s, our vendor acquiring it in 2004 from a gentleman near Bath who had owned it since 1993.
Kept as part of a collection of interesting cars, it has been well-maintained in the current ownership with various bills on file including an overhaul of the engine/gearbox/propshaft/axle using parts supplied by Barrie Price of Lea-Francis Cars in 2005/06. The instruments were rebuilt by Vintage Restorations of Tunbridge Wells in 2005 and the wooden dash was restored at the same time. It had a new pair of Blockley tyres at the rear in 2008 and was fitted with a full stainless steel exhaust system in 2011.
Supplied with a good set of weather gear including hood, hood cover and sidescreens, it also has a well-stocked tool box bolted to the driver’s side running board.
The vendor states that the car goes very well, cruising happily at 50mph. A regular attendee at Prescott VSCC meetings, it has also been displayed at the Welland Steam Fair and has given good service as a wedding car for friends and family. Very little used in recent years due to illness, it was fitted with a new battery shortly before the auction and has been running very sweetly as we have moved it around on site with good 35psi oil pressure.
A quality Vintage tourer with room for all the family, it is on offer here at a modest guide price and doubtless has another 90+ years of useful life ahead of it.
This is one of nine Lots entered from the Tresham Collection.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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