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Frazer Nash was a British automobile manufacturer, founded by Archibald Frazer-Nash in 1922. The company produced around 400 cars until the mid-1930s, notably a series of chain-drive models, and 85 more cars from 1948 to 1957. The company was the official British importer for BMW from 1934 to 1939. These cars, often imported as bare chassis and bodied in England, were rebadged Frazer-Nash-BMW. It is said that this renaming was due to increasing anti-German feeling in Britain. During the war the company switched to armaments production. From 1948 to 1957 the company made a total of 85 sports and racing cars. Although these cars were entirely unrelated to the pre-war Frazer Nash, in the choice of Bristol engines the cars were natural successors to the imported BMWs: the Bristol engine being a development of that of the BMW 328. These 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. In 1954 the company, as AFN, 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 for some time.
The company was founded in 1922 by Archibald Frazer-Nash who had, with H.R. Godfrey founded and run the GN cyclecar company, and made cars from 1924 until 1957. In 1929 following financial problems the company, AFN Ltd (formed in 1927 after Frazer Nash Ltd was put into receivership), was acquired by HJ Aldington and run by the three Aldington brothers. They became importers and assemblers of BMW cars in 1934 and sold them as Frazer Nash BMW, and then Porsche in 1953 and the parent company AFN Limited remained as a Porsche distributor after car making ceased. AFN also worked with the Bristol Aeroplane Company to set up Bristol Cars. There are several successor companies still (2005) active in engineering consultancy (Frazer-Nash Consultancy) and electric vehicle design.
Frazer Nash was founded by Archibald Frazer-Nash (1889-1965) in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey moving to Isleworth, London in 1929. It became famous as a proponent of chain drive automobiles in the 1930s. Production was never high and just over 400 were made.
Prior to, and during, World War II Frazer Nash was a leading proponent and manufacturer of hydraulically-operated gun turrets for use in aircraft. Notable aircraft equipped with Frazer Nash turrets included the Avro Lancaster, Vickers Wellington and Short Sunderland.
After World War II, Frazer Nash used an engine derived from the BMW 328 engine, produced by Bristol, for a series of 85 notable sports and racing cars, including the LeMans Replica, the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, the LeMans Coupe and the Sebring. Competition successes included a third place at Le Mans (1949) and a win in the Targa Florio (1951).
Considering the small number of cars made, the model range is vast and the following is probably not comprehensive. Cars were all built to order and virtually any combination was possible. Some were rebuilt at the factory as different versions.
|Frazer Nash Fast Tourer/Super Sports||1.5 L in line 4 cylinder||165 in the 1920s||1925-1930||various engines including Plus Power, Anzani and Meadows. Super Sports (from 1928) had no running boards. 105 inch wheelbase chassis on Fast Tourer and Super Sports with short 99 inch option on Super Sport.|
|Frazer Nash Interceptor/Sportop/Falcon||1.5 L in line 4 cylinder||5||1930-1932||Anzani or Meadows engine. Sportop version was fabric bodied. Falcon had a better equipped body. Long and short chassis options.|
|Frazer Nash Boulogne||1.5 L in line 4 cylinder||16||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||4||1932||Single carburettor Meadows engine. Short chassis only.|
|Frazer Nash Colmore||1.5 L in line 4 cylinder or 1660 cc in line 6 cylinder||19||1932-1939||Four seater. 105 inch or 108 inch 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 or 108 inch 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 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||1936||BMW engined. 102 inch wheelbase.|
|Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica||2 L in line 6 cylinder||34||1948-1953||Bristol engined. 96 inch wheelbase. Cycle wings. Coventional (Bristol) gearbox.|
|Frazer Nash Fast Tourer/Mille Miglia||2 L in line 6 cylinder||12||1948-1952||Full width body.|
|Frazer Nash Targa Florio||2 L in line 6 cylinder||14||1952-1954||Turismo (100 hp) or Gran Sport (125 hp) engine options. One car fitted with Austin Atlantic engine.|
|Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé||2 L in line 6 cylinder||9||1953-1956||140 hp engine.|
|Frazer Nash Sebring||2 L in line 6 cylinder||3||1954||Open version of Le Mans Coupé.|
|Frazer Nash Continental||3.2 L V-8||2||1957||BMW engine. Listed at £3751 at the London Motor Show.|
They participated in 4 Grand Prix, entering a total of 4 cars. They scored 3 championship points.
Complete Formula One results
(Note: grands prix in bold denote points scoring races.)
Many built by Parnall Aircraft
- Frazer-Nash FN.4A - quadruple gun rear turret
- Frazer-Nash FN 5 Front Turret
- Frazer-Nash FN 7 Dorsal - Short Sunderland
- Frazer-Nash FN 9 "Dustbin" Turret - Vickers Wellington ventral position but not often fitted
- Frazer-Nash FN 10 Rear Turret - Wellington
- frazer Nash FN 13 - quadruple gun rear turret
- Frazer-Nash FN 20 Quadruple Gun Rear Turret
- Frazer Nash FN 50 Mid Upper Gun Turret - Avro Lancaster
- The Postwar Frazer Nash Cars - An Overview
- Frazer Nash Car Club
- gun turrets including FN
- Frazer-Nash Consultancy
- From Chain-Drive to Turbocharger: The A.F.N. Story by Denis Jenkinson, Patrick Stephens Limited, 1984 ISBN 0-85059-631-9