26 October 1915|
Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, England
|Died||29 July 1950
Blandford Camp, Blandford Forum, Dorset, England
|Formula One World Championship career|
|First entry||1950 British Grand Prix|
|Last entry||1950 British Grand Prix|
Joseph Gibson Fry (26 October 1915, Chipping Sodbury – 29 July 1950, Blandford circuit) was a British racing driver and distant member of the Fry's Chocolate family. He became the primary driver for the highly successful Shelsley Special "Freikaiserwagen", created by his cousin David Fry and Hugh Dunsterville, with help from Dick Caesar. The original car was built in Bristol in 1936 and featured an Anzani engine which was replaced in 1937 by a Blackburne engine. Joe set a number of hill records during the late 30s including an unofficial outright record at Prescott when he climbed in 47.62 seconds in the 1,100 c.c. Freikaiserwagen, on 27 August 1938. At the outbreak of World War Two he held both the blown and unblown 1,100 c.c. records at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in 41.52 and 42.58 seconds respectively.
Fry finished second in class, for racing cars up to 1,100 c.c., in the Freikaiserwagen at the Brighton Speed Trials in 1947. He drove the car to a class victory at Brighton the following year recording a faster time. He won the class again at Brighton in 1949 reducing his time yet again.
At Blandford hillclimb on 28 May 1949: "J.G. Fry made f.t.d. in the 650 lb., twin Marshall-blown V-twin Freikaiserwagen." His winning time was 31.13 seconds.
At Bouley Bay Hill Climb, Jersey, on 21 July 1949, Fry finished first in class but overall a runner-up to Sydney Allard, at which point Fry led the British Hill Climb Championship. At the final round at Prescott he was just one point behind Sydney Allard, but he had mechanical problems and slumped to fourth overall behind Allard, Poore and Moss in the final standings.
Fry was killed at the wheel of the Freikaiserwagen at the 1950 Blandford hillclimb, less than two months after driving a Maserati 4CL in the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Raymond Mays said: "The death of Joe Fry, from injuries received while practicing for a Blandford hill-climb, was a great blow to me and to British motor sport in general." 
The book of the complete history of "Freikaiserwagen" is called "Freik - The Private Life of the Freikaiserwagen" by Rob and Hugh Dunsterville published in 2008 and reprinted in 2009. Only 1000 copies were printed so it is in limited supply - see www.freikaiserwagen.com
Complete Formula One World Championship results
|1950||Joe Fry||Maserati 4CL||Maserati Straight-4||GBR
- * Indicates shared drive with Brian Shawe-Taylor
- Motor Sport, July 1940, Page 124-125.
- Motor Sport, May 1946, Page 92.
- Motor Sport, February 1940, Page 22.
- Motor Sport, October 1947, Page 290. The car is pictured at Brighton on the cover of Motor Sport, December 1947.
- Motor Sport, October 1948, Page 319.
- Motor Sport, October 1949, Page 396.
- Motor Sport, June 1949, Page 224.
- Motor Sport, August 1949, Page 333.
- Motor Sport, October 1949, Page 407.
- Split Seconds: My Racing Years, by Raymond Mays "ghosted" by Dennis May, G.T. Foulis & Co. Ltd. 1952, Page 293.