A brief  history of Lenham Spridgets.

In February 1962 the Vintage and Sports Car Garage began restoring vintage cars behind the Dog and Bear Hotel in The Square, Lenham. This is in Maidstone, Kent, which is in the South East corner of England. By 1967, they moved a few kilometres up the road, to Harrietsham and much larger premises. They also changed their name to Lenham Motor Company.

The original Company was started by Julian Booty and David Miall-Smith. David left around 1970 and then Peter Rix joined, looking after sales.

An alloy bodied Mk1 Sprite was built and this became the genesis for the Lenham GT Coupe. A car purporting to be this prototype was sold at auction recently and the Registrar of the LSR is in the process of trying to contact the new owner to verify the authenticity of this claim.

Lenham GT with SLR BonnetSeries 2 Lenham GTThe GT Coupe was designed to be fitted to Mk1-2a Sprites or Mk1 Midgets (Basically, pre-1964 cars). These were produced as a Series 1 and Series 2. The picture on the left shows a Series 2 GT with a Competition Bonnet fitted to a Mk1 Sprite. The picture on the right shows another GT, this time with the Standard Lightweight Replacement (SLR) Bonnet. (Note the rear side window. This is unusual for a GT. Also Speedwell aftermarket door handles.)

 

 

 

Lenham Le Mans Coupe

The GT was followed by the Le Mans Coupe body, designed for Mk3 Sprites/Mk2 Midgets onward (Post-1964 cars). It is the Le Mans Coupe that is the more familiar of the Coupe bodies. There would appear to be two versions of the Le Mans Coupe - one having a scallop behind the side windows, the other being smooth.

 

Lenham GTO - CYR 7C

 

In addition to these, a roadster body was produced from 1966- The GTO. The most famous of these would probably be CYR 7C, built by the factory for Dave Matthews in 1989. It is now owned by Ken Nicholas.

 

 

Lenham John Britten Back

Also available was the "John Britten" Back. This was virtually a one-piece sillhouette of the standard Spridget rear end with a hard-top moulded in fibreglass. It was officially recognised for Marque racing and John successfully campaigned one of these winning the 1967 Amasco Trophy. The Lenham Spridget Register is not aware of any of these cars surviving and there are no records as to how many were sold. The picture on the right shows John competing in SS1800 in 1967.

 

 

Lenhams also produced removable hardtops and one-piece bonnets, including the Superfast, as well as the fibreglass panels for John Britten's Arkley SS conversions.

Apart from Spridgets, the Lenham Motor Co. was involved in a number of other ventures. Amongst which were the "Lenham Healey", based on a 'Big Healey' chassis and bearing a resemblence to a Silverstone Healey, the P69 & P70 Grp6 Sports Racing cars and F3 and Formula Ford open wheel racers.

Lenham Sports Cars is now owned by Andrew Actman, although Julian and Peter are still involved with the company.

Classic Cars of Kent, now own the 'Intellectual rights' associated with the Lenham Motor Company. They own all of the moulds for the GT, Le Mans Coupe and the GTO. "We have here the Lenham GT rear, Lenham Le Mans and Lenham GTO moulds and the Lenham front mould.  We have just sent the moulds off for the headlight cowls to be manufactured and we have the original Lenham badge which we are going to reproduce", Says Shaun Rainford, MD at Classic Cars.

Unfortunately, there are no records of how many of each type of car has been produced over the years. Many were made at the "Factory" and more would have 
been sold as kits. It is the aim of this Register to compile a record of as many of the remaining Lenham Bodied Spridgets as possible

 

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