Close window
Print details

Frazer Nash TT Rep

Frazer Nash TT Rep

Click Here for Full Screen Image - Click Here to Download Image

Frazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT Rep
Frazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT Rep
Frazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT RepFrazer Nash TT Rep
Lot number 99
Hammer value £215,000
Description Frazer Nash TT Rep
Registration GME 819
Year 1937
Colour Green
Engine size 1,496 cc
Chassis No. 2171

The demise of cyclecar maker GN in 1922 forced its co-founder, Archie Frazer-Nash, to develop his own cars, marketing them under his own name.

A keen and successful competitor in a variety of GN based ‘specials’, Frazer-Nash was well aware of the performance potential offered by the rudimentary transmission system from the GN, opting to sell his new cars as ‘out and out’ sports cars rather than budget cyclecars.

Using the unconventional GN chain drive transmission in a very basic chassis, his new lightweight models had a near instant gear change and highly effective and entertaining handling, a fact obvious to all those who have witnessed the controlled 'Nash power slide'. A simple system of dog clutches was used to engage a range of sprockets giving different gear ratios to a solid back axle.

Early cars were fitted with Plus Power engines, but these quickly gave way to the light and effective 1.5 litre sv Anzani. In September 1929 the first car appeared with an ohv Meadows 4ED engine, a heavier unit, but one which offered another 15bhp in standard form with potential for a great deal more – 140bhp+ is not uncommon these days! For a brief period a customer could choose a Blackburn 6-cylinder twin-ohc engine, which wasn’t quite as good in practice as on paper, or Frazer-Nash’s own engine designed by a man called Albert Gough, which had an ohc and fancy water-cooled main bearings which proved to be its Achilles heel.

Boulogne, Colmore, and Ulster models were named after particular racing achievements, with the Falcons and Interceptors adding to the bewildering range of cars offered. At the end of the 1931 season the works introduced a new model called the Boulogne II which also went by the name of TT Replica – the latter name sticking with the car until the last cars were to leave the Isleworth factory.

Contemporary road testers loved the performance, with 85mph maximum speeds and rapid acceleration along with exemplary road manners. The fact that a company which produced just 348 chain-drive cars became such a well-known marque was due to the extensive use of its products in competition. The works supported such an active racing programme that the majority of cars were sold to owners keen to join in the fun.

Chassis 2171 is listed in the factory records as having been completed by the Frazer Nash works on 1st November 1936. It is reputed to have used the chassis frame from the 1931 Boulogne which was extensively raced by TG Moore, the owner of Motorsport Magazine. It was registered as a new car by the works in August 1937 - clearly recycling was in vogue even then!

David Thirlby’s book, ‘The Chain-drive Frazer Nash’ lists its first owner as Mr Gregory and that it was the 5th from last chain-drive car built. Supplied new with a Meadows engine, it was sold to a Mr Crowther sometime in the mid-1940s who competed in it post-war before putting it into Lord Montague’s motor museum in Brighton in 1958. It then passed into the hands of Peter Still in 1968 who campaigned it very successfully until he sold it to the vendor in 1998.

During Still’s tenure, the car was used for a wide range of disciplines, from winning the VSCC Lakeland Trial to successfully taking part in the 1972 Mille Miglia Storica. Upon his return from this event, he discovered that the twists and turns of the route had taken its toll on the chassis, a fracture having developed in the side rail next to the spare wheel carrier. The car was stripped and it was felt prudent to replace both side rails rather than try to repair the split. The chassis was reassembled retaining as much of the original as possible including the front and rear cross members, rear spring mountings and rear chassis extensions.

Shortly before coming into the hands of the vendor, the engine was rebuilt with new pistons, a re-sleeved block, its ‘Nash Section’ crank being reground and fitted with new bearings. The brakes were also relined, the interior reupholstered in green leather, the floorboards replaced and new carpets fitted.

Since purchase, the vendor has had the car professionally rewired by Vehicle Wiring Services and fitted a new twin carburettor ‘deflector’ head with both carbs rebuilt. The rear crank seal has been replaced, along with new undertrays and a new coil and distributor. The radiator has been rebuilt and a new stainless exhaust system fitted, the mechanical work being undertaken by Alan Dunn of Beckhouse Engineering. A new hood has also been fitted within the last couple of years.

The file of documentation includes two old buff logbooks and no fewer than 29 old MOTs, the car carrying a current ticket until August 2015.

The Frazer Nash Car Club, or ‘Chain Gang’ as it is more popularly known, is a world away from most one-make car clubs. Owners are actively encouraged to trial, race, sprint and use their cars. ‘Raids’ to Bolzano in Italy every ten years are interspersed with ‘1,000 miles in 24hours’, ice racing, East-West coast runs in America and regular trips to far flung parts of Europe. An excellent spares scheme and several marque specialists are on hand to assist in keeping the cars running.

Sold by ourselves in September of last year for a TT Rep auction record figure, the vendor at the time had been unaware of the use of replacement chassis side rails and has therefore magnanimously agreed to re-offer the car as a result of this new information coming to light.

Such is the enduring popularity of the Frazer Nash that many examples have been heavily modified, chopped about or recreated out of parts. Don’t be confused by the term Replica in the title of this car - it is a continuous history machine which retains a great deal of originality and goes extremely well thanks to a recent fettle by Blakeney Motorsport, renowned for getting these quirky and iconic machines to go very well indeed.

This lovely example is one of the very few ‘Nashes’ to escape onto the open market rather than be passed on within the ‘Chain Gang’ club and represents an opportunity not to be missed.

Close window
Print details