c1932 Frazer Nash Ulster 2-Seater For Sale by Auction
Established by Captain Archibald Frazer-Nash in 1922 following his resignation from GN (a company he co-founded with H R Godfrey), Frazer Nash Ltd was initially based at Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey and sold overhead-valve conversions for Rovers before building their own cars in 1924. The earliest ‘Nashes closely resembled their GN cyclecar predecessors, using separate chains and dog clutch system for each of the three forward speeds (reverse had its own chain), along with quarter-elliptic springs, lightweight bodywork and no front brakes. Early cars were powered by proprietary Ruby and Power Plus engines, but the collapse of the latter saw Frazer Nash switch to beautifully engineered Anzani powerplants between 1925 and 1929. Four-wheel braking was introduced around 1926, four-speed transmission the following year and a lower chassis frame in 1928, featuring wider front and rear axles. Amongst the myriad of different models catalogued in the 1920s and 1930s, the Ulster was as close to standard model offered by Frazer Nash, with simple two-seater bodywork on a lowered frame, either without doors or a single door on the passenger’s side, along with a rounded tail section sitting above the fuel tank. The Ulster was catalogued with either side-valve Anzani or overhead-valve Meadows engines and in blown or unsupercharged form. Captain Frazer-Nash left his eponymous company that year, with control falling to the Aldington brothers, although Archie remained a shareholder until his death in 1965 aged 76 years. Already renamed AFN Ltd, the company relocated to Isleworth, Middlesex and production of the chain driven Frazer Nash cars continued to the end of the 1930s. Regarded as one of the finest sports cars of the vintage period, any chain driven Frazer Nash is now a highly desirable piece of machinery, supported by a close-knit community of Chain Gang owners around the world and eligible for numerous classic events and rallies.
- Rare ‘Chain Driven’ Frazer Nash, one of very few in Australia
- Interesting, well-documented period racing history
- Beautifully restored to supercharged Ulster specification
- Engine rebuilt by Pebble Beach winning NZ company
This beautifully restored Chain Driven Frazer Nash, one of very few examples left in Australia, is a well-documented car possessing a long and fascinating history offered from long-term ownership by a well-known family of motoring enthusiasts. The history of chassis number 2059 can be traced back to a car originally supplied to the Allington Brothers of London as a bare chassis for Australian Douglas Fraser Shepherd in July 1932. Although entered in factory records with Anzani engine number RB2059, we understand the ‘Nash was actually sent to the Antipodes with a more powerful supercharged roller bearing Anzani engine numbered 2002, a unit previously in H J Aldington’s own Ulster. Used by Aldy for racing and trials work, engine numbered 2002 was itself a rebuild of a much earlier car (chassis 1064) - like many Chain Driven ‘Nash’s, components were re-used and shuffled between cars, making it very difficult for historians to definitively pinpoint the exact history and production date of each and every car. Shepherd competed in various events over the next year or two, starting with the Light Car Club meeting at Maroubra Speedway on October 29, then in a Five Mile Handicap at the same track in January 1933. Following an appearance at Wisemans Ferry, Shepherd entered the ‘Nash in the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island but was unable to start due a cracked head. Further outings took place in Newcastle, at Granville Speedway and Wentworth Park Speedway in 1933, presumably using the replacement bronze cylinder head cast by a local Sydney firm and still on the car today. The Frazer Nash’s next owner was Alec Mackinnon, about whom little is known, but the chassis then went to Sydney Ford dealer Ron Mackellar in late 1936, who installed a Ford Model T engine block mated to a Frontenac cylinder head and supercharger. Known as the Mackellar Special, the resulting car appeared for the first time at the Broughton Pass hill climb in July 1937. The next owner was Hugh Stuart of Melbourne who transformed the car into the successful Innes Special with single-seater bodywork by Bob Baker, while Reg Nutt rebuilt the Ford mechanicals, Hudson back end and Vauxhall 30-98 gearbox. The other major components of the car were separated, the Anzani engine reportedly ending up in a midget speedway racer with Ball Balgarnie before passing to Ted Hider-Smith in Melbourne, while the body is thought to have ended up in a Morris Special owned by Geoff Russell. The Innes Special itself ultimately joined Hider-Smith’s collection of GN and Frazer Nashes before joining the vendor’s collection circa 2001. Under the guidance of his father, a highly respected Melbourne motoring identity, a major restoration was subsequently carried out by local craftsmen. The rigours of a long racing career had taken a toll so a new two-seater Ulster-type body was constructed by Mark Rye, modelled on that worn for the 1933 Australian Grand Prix. Freshly rebuilt by Neville Roberts, the engine first ran again in December 2006 after decades of sitting idle but persistent crankcase issues saw the Frazer Nash ultimately shipped to New Zealand in 2013 where world-renowned company Auto Restorations of Christchurch cast a replacement, rebuilding the Anzani engine with a Judson supercharger (a copy of the original Cozette No. 9) and SU 1 ¾-inch carburettor. Since completion the car has completed several events, performing admirably on the road. A rare opportunity to acquire one of the few remaining Chain Gang Frazer Nashes left in the country and ideally suited for the many vintage sports car club rallies and events held around the country, this fantastic and highly engaging pre-war sports car will be sold unregistered and supplied with a supporting history file.
Bidding for the online auction is opens 11 November and closes 18 November.
Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research and inspect motorcycles before purchase to authenticate originality and condition as a pre-purchase inspection report is not carried out on these vehicles.
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