Which Lea-Francis was this?


I wonder if your readers can throw any light on my query ?

On page 138 or "The Lea-Francis Story", so well reviewed in your May issue, is a picture of "Hyper", KD 7361, Ch. No. 14062.

This chassis number is not included in any of the race cars chapter for any year. My brother had this car in the early 1930s and we were under the impression that it had been raced in the TT by Dan Higgen. Certainly its general appearance with slats on top of bonnet, wire gauze on windscreen, shattering noise and performance, all gave the impression of an ex-Road Racing Car.

In "Hough's" book "A History of the World's Sports Cars", Allen and Unwin, 1961, there is a picture on page 174, Fig. 93, of Higgen's Leaf, following a Mercedes in the 1929 TT. The registration number appears to be KD 7361. 'This would, if correct, confirm our belief. Could it be that the registration number KD 7361 was switched to a later chassis?

I have photos of this car when in my brother's possession but as I have no negatives I want to retain them.

Perhaps the owner of KD 7361 has the solution. Anyway, I hope my brother was not sold a car under false pretences. He almost certainly was over a "Le Mans" Lorraine Dietrich which he always thought was a team car. I did not discover, until years after, that there were some 30 replicas, with inscribed plate under dash . . . "Le Mans" etc. I believe the key is the size of the oil coolers. My photographs do not show these well enough to form any opinion. Did any team cars come to UK? His bad been fitted with a two-seat and dickey, looked like James Young. A pleasant car, much smoother than Bentley's and fast.

Kensington H. M. CRUMP