Frazer Nash

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Frazer Nash Falcon 1931
Frazer Nash TT Replica 2-Seater Sports 1935
1955 Frazer Nash LeMans Coupé
Frazer-Nash 1958
2009 Frazer-Nash Namir Concept

Frazer Nash is a British sports car manufacturer and engineering company founded by Archibald Frazer-Nash in 1922. It produced sports cars incorporating a unique multi-chain transmission before the Second World War and also imported BMW cars to the UK. After the war it continued producing sports cars with conventional transmission until 1957. It also continued selling BMW cars and motorcycles and finally in 1956 became the official importer of Porsche cars.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1922 by Archibald Frazer-Nash who had, with Henry Ronald Godfrey founded and run the GN cyclecar company. The company was established in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, moving to Isleworth, Middlesex in 1929. The company entered receivership in 1927 and re-emerged as AFN Limited. The majority of AFN was acquired by H. J. ("Aldy") Aldington in 1929 and run by the three Aldington brothers, H.J., Donald A. and William H. Aldy's son, John Taylor ("JT") Aldington was the last of the family owners/directors until AFN Ltd was sold to Porsche GB. The company produced around 400 of the famous chain drive models between 1924 and 1939.

AFN, Ltd became importers and assemblers of BMW cars in 1934 and sold them as Frazer Nash-BMW. They were the official British BMW importer until the outbreak of war in 1939. In 1954 the company started to sell Porsche cars, becoming the official importer for Great Britain in 1956. This lasted until 1965 when Porsche Cars Great Britain was set up; Aldington family members remained on the board of this company until John Adlington sold out to Porsche in 1987, Nash & Thompson was formed in 1929 by Archibald Frazer-Nash and E. Grattan Thompson to develop the Frazer-Nash hydraulic aircraft gun turret

During the Second World War, Nash & Thompson was involved in armaments production with its turrets in use on British bombers such as the Avro Lancaster and Vickers Wellington. There are several successor companies still (as of 2011) active in engineering consultancy (Frazer-Nash Consultancy), engineering (Frazer-Nash (Midhurst) Ltd. and electric & hybrid vehicle technology (Frazer-Nash Group of Companies, owned by Kamkorp, which also owns Bristol Cars).

AFN Ltd produced about 85 more cars from 1948 to 1957. These cars were entirely unrelated to the chain-drive pre-war Frazer Nash, but were largely a direct evolution of the sporting BMW 328, mentioned above. AFN, as owners of the UK rights to the 328 engine licensed Bristol to make it against an agreement for its supply to them. Models include the Le Mans Replica, the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, the Le Mans Coupé and the Sebring. Competition successes included a third place at Le Mans (1949) and wins in the Targa Florio (1951) and the 12 Hours of Sebring, 1952. The post-war cars are very highly prized by collectors. The company participated in the 1952 Formula One season, the cars driven by Tony Crook and Ken Wharton.

Products[edit]

Car models[edit]

Considering the small number of cars made, the model range is vast and the following is not entirely comprehensive. Cars were all built to order and virtually any combination was possible. Some were rebuilt at the factory as different versions.

Type Engine Approx Production Year Notes
Frazer Nash Fast Tourer/Super Sports 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder 165 in the 1920s 1925–1930 engines were Plus Power, but mainly Anzani. Super Sports (from 1928) had no running boards. 105-inch (2,667 mm) wheelbase chassis on Fast Tourer and Super Sports with short 99-inch (2,515 mm) option on Super Sport.
Frazer Nash Interceptor/Sportop/Falcon 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder 25 1930–1932 Meadows engine. Sportop version was fabric bodied. Falcon had a better equipped body. Long and short chassis options.
Frazer Nash Boulogne I and II 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder 30 1926–1932 Anzani or Meadows engine. Supercharger optional. Long and short chassis options
Frazer Nash Ulster 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder 5 1929–1931 Competition version of the road cars. Long and short chassis options.
Frazer Nash Nūrburg 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder 3 1932–1933 Competition model. Tuned Meadows engine. No doors. Short chassis only.
Frazer Nash Exeter 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder 5 1932 Single carburettor Meadows engine. Short chassis only Corsica body.
Frazer Nash Colmore 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder or 1660 cc in line 6-cylinder 19 1932–1939 Four-seater. 105-inch (2,667 mm) or 108-inch (2,743 mm) wheelbase chassis options. Four-cylinder cars used a Meadows engine, six-cylinder cars a twin OHC Blackburne. Three or Four speed transmission.
Frazer Nash TT Replica 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder or 1660 cc in line 6-cylinder 83 1932–1938 Gough 4-cylinder engine used as well as the Meadows and Blackburne. 105-inch (2,667 mm) or 108-inch (2,743 mm) wheelbase chassis options
Frazer Nash Shelsley 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder or 1660 cc in line 6-cylinder 8 1934–1936 Gough (supercharger optional) or Blackburne engines. 108-inch (2,743 mm) wheelbase.
Frazer Nash Ulster 100 1.5 L in line 4-cylinder 1 1936–1937 Originally Anzani powered, later replaced by Gough engine and then a Meadows. Long rounded tail to body.
Frazer Nash Falcon 1.9 L in line 6-cylinder 1 1937 BMW-engined. 102-inch (2,591 mm) wheelbase.
Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica/ Le Mans Mk II Bristol engine (2 L in line 6-cylinder) 34 1948–1953 Originally named "High Speed" and "Competition". 96-inch (2,438 mm) wheelbase. Cycle wings. Conventional (Bristol) gearbox.
Frazer Nash Fast Tourer/Mille Miglia Bristol engine (2 L in line 6-cylinder) 12 1948–1953 Full width body.
Frazer Nash Single-Seater Bristol engine (2 L in line 6-cylinder) 3 1952 Narrow body on Le Mans Replica chassis built to Formula 2 regulations. Also competed in GP and Formula Libre races.
Frazer Nash Targa Florio Bristol engine (2 L in line 6-cylinder) 15 1952–1954 Turismo (100 hp (75 kW)) or Gran Sport (125 hp (93 kW)) Bristol engine options. One car fitted with Austin Atlantic engine. Last 5 cars were open versions of Le Mans Coupé.
Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé Bristol engine (2 L in line 6-cylinder) 9 1953–1955 100 hp (75 kW) or 140 hp (100 kW) engine.
Frazer Nash Sebring Bristol engine (2 L in line 6-cylinder) 3 1954 Full width body on Le Mans Replica Mk II chassis. 140 hp (100 kW) engine.
Frazer Nash Continental BMW engine (2.6 & 3.2 L) 2 1956–1957 V8 BMW engine. Listed at £3751 at the London Motor Show.

Grand Prix[edit]

Frazer Nash cars participated in 4 World Championship Grands Prix. Drivers of Frazer Nash cars scored 3 World Championship points.

(key)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1952 Frazer Nash FN172
Frazer Nash FN170
Bristol Straight-6 D SUI 500 BEL FRA GBR GER NED ITA
Ken Wharton 4 Ret Ret
Tony Crook 21

References[edit]

Notes
Bibliography
  • 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.

External links[edit]