Richard Henry Lea

Tuesday 23rd February 1858

Born on this day, Richard Henry Lea, who with Graham Inglesby Francis started a business in Coventry in 1895. They branched out into car manufacture in 1903 and motorcycles in 1911. Lea-Francis built cars under licence for the Singer company and in 1919 they started to build their own cars from bought-in components. A total of almost 10,000 Lea-Francis vehicles were made until production ceased in 1960. In 1998 it was believed that the Lea-Francis name might yet be seen again on the road when a new Lea-Francis sports car by the name of the 30/230, designed by James Randle, was shown at the Motor Show. Only a prototype was built before the project had to be abandoned.

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