The TT-winning Lea-Francis

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Sir, I was delighted to read Mr. Arthur Knowles’ letter about the 1928 “Leaf” which won the Ulster TT. This car came into my father’s possession round about 1954. At the tender age of twelve I taught myself to drive in the “Leaf” giving my father the shock of his life as he saw his pride and joy—the car, not me—disappear up the drive, apparently of its own accord as I was not visible to him. I drove leaning out of the “cut-away” side. I remember the accelerator was between the clutch and brake pedals. There was a right-hand gear-change, and the hand-brake was open to the elements on the outside of the body.

How the memories come flooding back. Further details I recall are that the radiator was typically Lea-Francis, i.e., sloping. The boot was also sloping, from nothing at the end of the chassis up, to finish behind the seats. In the boot was a single dickey-seat under a pair of hinged flaps. Also the car had a magnificent outside exhaust ending in an enormous “Brooklands Fishtail”.

Alas, due to DClOs not having unburstable locks on their cargo hatches, my father is no longer with us. But, just writing this letter has brought back so many happy memories that I would dearly love to see the old “Leaf” again, or perhaps if someone, somewhere has a photograph?

Marlow

N. W. DEANE