Archibald Frazer-Nash

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Archibald Goodman Frazer Nash (30 June 1889 – 10 March 1965), was an early English motor car designer and engineer, who specialised in manufacturer of light ("cycle") and sports cars in England.

Frazer Nash changed his name from "Frazer Nash" to "Frazer-Nash" (with hyphen) in 1938, so both forms are correct, depending on the reference period.

Early years[edit]

Frazer Nash was born in India on 30 June 1889. In 1905, while at a technical college, he met Ron Godfrey, who would later become a business partner.[1]

Automotive career[edit]

In 1910, Frazer Nash partnered with Henry Ronald Godfrey to produce the GN cycle car.[1] First sold in 1911, the GN cyle car was a lightweight two-cylinder car that stayed in production (apart from the war years) until 1922 in the UK and 1925 in France, where it was made under licence by Salmson. Frazer Nash's racing successes in highly developed versions of the cars contributed to their popularity.

In 1923, Frazer Nash started the Frazer Nash company to produce an evolution of the GN, still chain-driven, which became the Frazer Nash sports car. Frazer Nash Ltd. was reconstituted as AFN Ltd in 1927. The new company was taken over by H.J. ("Aldy" or "HJ") Aldington in 1929. At the same time Frazer Nash resigned from any management role, although he remained a small shareholder.

Aeronautical career[edit]

In 1929, Frazer Nash started a separate engineering company, Nash & Thompson which designed a very successful machine gun turret, the Frazer-Nash hydraulic aircraft turret, for Second World War British bombers. In the same year, he launched Nash Safe-Load Indicators Ltd. to make a safety device for cranes he had invented. Its manufacture was subsequently licenced to Vickers.

Later years[edit]

After the Second World War, Frazer Nash again started inventing engineered products for defence, aircraft and atomic energy fields. After his death in 1965, the business continued growing as Frazer Nash Group until forced into receivership in 1990 by the UK government defence expenditure cuts.

Divisions that survived the demise of the Frazer Nash Group included Frazer Nash Consultancy, Frazer-Nash (Midhurst) and Frazer Nash Research. Frazer Nash Research is a division of Kamkorp, which purchased Bristol Cars in 2011.


  1. ^ a b "GN Car Compant." British Motor Manufacturers. Retrieved: 7 January 2010.
  • Jenkinson, Denis.From Chain-Drive to Turbocharger: The A.F.N. Story. London: Patrick Stephens Limited, 1984. ISBN 0-85059-631-9.
  • Tarring, Trevor and Mark Joseland. Archie Frazer-Nash .. Engineer. London: The Frazer Nash Archives, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9570351-0-2.
  • Thirlby, David A. The Chain-Drive Frazer Nash. London: MacDonald & Co. Ltd, 1965.
  • Thirlby, David A. Frazer Nash. London: The Haynes Publishing Group, 1977. ISBN 0-85429-183-0.