Leon Motor Company is a multi-million dollar car company that focuses on producing sports cars for the western world. The company has acquired many smaller companies along the way, such as Velox, Gallus, and Hayai to appeal to customers across the world. Leon was founded in 1947 as a steel factory which produced panels and chassis for many popular car brands. In November 1952, the founder of the company, Doug Leon, after seeing many possible improvements in the chassis and panel design in the car manufacturers demands, he decided to attempt creating his own cars. Thus, the Leon Motor Legacy began. With the funds he gathered from his factory he employed a team of experienced designers to help him with designing his first automobile. By January 1953, Leon and his team had completed the design and development needed to start manufacturing, and in December the first Leon cars were released to the public. Currently, Leon produces sports cars able to compete against a wide range of cars such as Chevrolet and Ford, and all the way up to Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren.
1954 Leon Ignite (C54/A23)
The 1954 Leon Ignite was the first car that Leon produced and ‘ignited’ a multi-million dollar company. The Ignite was a luxurious but light sports car with nimble handling for its time. The coupe was built upon the monocoque A23 chassis, which was made of a lightweight steel developed by Doug himself. The panels were originally designed to be aluminium sourced from a local factory, but due to cost and time, the idea was scrapped and standard steel was used. The production and design of this car was extremely rushed as Doug was eager to release the Ignite and start bringing in profit. As this car was rushed throughout the whole process, there were no options to choose from. Every single car produced came with the 3.0l i6, the same 4 speed-manual transmission, even the same ‘Shallow Teal’ colour.
The engine was designed and manufactured in-house, with performance in mind. The 3.0l i6 developed 78kw (104hp) and 204nm of torque reaching maximum rpm at 5000rpm. Two single barrel eco carburetors were secured to the intake side and cast log headers with a reverse flow muffler attached to the exhaust side. All of the internals were made from a high quality cast material, but after the production of these materials, they discovered that this high quality cast was not needed. These internals were still used though as there was little time and money to re-manufacture new camshafts, pistons and conrods.
The whole drivetrain was entirely made by Leon, just like the engine. The power was sent to the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission and an automatic locking differential. This propelled the car to 100km/h in 10.5 seconds and continuing on to a top speed of 171km/h. The tires were 155 wide all around, with 15in rims paired up with them. These wheels provided enough grip to handle the braking force in the drum brakes all around the car (300mm TLS in front and 280mm SLS in rear).
The cheap sporty interior and poorly made “premium” AM radio could only be enjoyed by four people at once, with maybe a fifth sneaked in the trunk. Due to the steel panels being used, the original idea to have it weigh less then a tonne was not accomplished. The overall weight of the car was 1056kg with the engine being responsible for 225kg.
Ignite - $2140
LEO-2956/i6-T1 (78kw/104hp, 204nm, twin single barrel eco carburetors, cast log exhaust)
(Notes- It will take me quite some time to upload each post as I have other commitments and change in my personal life at the current moment. It also takes me a lot of time to create the cars and write about them.)
Very interesting car, albeit with some questionable design choices! I believe it’s sold to quite a niche market?
Thanks, the design does look similar to that of a fish, and I’m not 100% happy with that design, I rushed it, which I find was a regret now… but I’ve already started my next car now, so no time to restart. The target market was small and was a big risk for the company, but it all worked out in the end.
Thanks for the response