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Founded in 1895 under the aegis of R.H. Lea, the company originally built cycles and motorcycles but, by the 1920s, was established as a manufacturer of high quality sporting cars. From the 1930s to the 1960s, Lea-Francis specialized in medium-sized cars built with care and the best quality components. Successful in motorsports, "Leaf" was an innovative company, but a lack of regard for good business principles led to fluctuating fortunes throughout the company's long life. This text tells the story of the firm.
This book, originally published in 1985, examines the development of the car industry in Coventry within both its local context and the wider economic environment. It is a study of expansion and adjustment which reflects the broader pattern of Britain's industrial history. The book analyses the emergence and early dominance of Coventry's motor manufacturers, the appearance of the volume producers in the 1920s and the instability of the post-war era. The relationship between cars and other sectors of the local economy, particularly cycles, machine tools and aircraft, is discussed, while the significance of the two world wars receive special attention. Extensive use is made of original sources material, much of which, prior to publication, had received little or no attention from business historians.
There is something special about Alfa Romeo cars which can’t be defined precisely but is, perhaps, best described as a vitality that creates a symbiosis between driver and machine: a oneness that no other marque seems to replicate. Alfa’s Berlinas have always tended to be overshadowed by their spotlight-grabbing Coupé and Spider siblings, but enthusiasts with family car needs have always known that any saloon/sedan with the famous Alfa Romeo badge would deliver pure driving pleasure in equal measure. Here is the full story of Alfa’s quirky but characterful Berlinas, from their beginnings in the early 1900s through to the start of a new millennium. Not only does the book describe and picture every model, it also contains useful information on restoring classic Alfa Romeos and details of marque specialists.
This title was first published in 2000: Coventry is synonymous with both the creation and relative decline of the British motor car industry. This volume utilises the extensive range of primary sources on the subject to explore the relationship between the car industry in its local context and the wider economic, social and political environment. It analyses the emergence and early dominance of Coventry’s motor manufacturers, the rise of volume production in the 1930s and the instabilities and renaissance of the post-war era. Specific chapters deal with the industry’s response to the demands created by the two world wars. A number of themes run throughout the book including the structure of the industry and the relationship between its various sectors, resource provision, management and labour relations, and the nature and response to market demand. The book also provides fascinating insights into the history of some of the most evocative marques in the car industry, including Daimler, Jaguar, Alvis, Siddeley, Standard and Rover.

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