1932 Frazer Nash Nürburg

  • 1932 Frazer Nash Nürburg
  • One of only three built
  • Superb example of the ‘chain gang’ Frazer Nash
  • Eligible for the world’s leading historic motorsport events

The Classic Motor Hub is proud to offer for sale this Frazer Nash Nürburg, which is the second of only three such cars to leave the Isleworth factory wearing the attractive Corsica two-seater bodywork.

Chassis number 2069 was built in late 1932 and registered on 12 December as JB 1285. Its first owner was Rupert Brooke, from the family that had founded the Brooke Bond tea company. Brooke was based at Grazeley Court near Reading in Berkshire, and was apparently a regular buyer of ex-works Frazer Nash cars.

It’s thought that JB 1285 might have acted as a works back-up entry at the 1933 Brooklands 500 Miles. As such, it’s been suggested that it practised at the famous Surrey track, but didn’t race.
Originally listed as having been fitted with engine number 10232, the Frazer Nash received a replacement unit – number 10364 – in November 1933, and subsequent pre-war owners include a Mr Kennedy and a Mr Wilmot.

The extensive history file includes the continuation logbook, which shows that by 1956 the car was owned by John Grise in Yorkshire. It then passed to Martin Johnson and Anthony Rawson before crossing the Atlantic. By 1972, the car was owned by Edmund P Osborn of Ohio – he’d acquired it through Al Garthwaite’s company, Algar Enterprises.

In 1989, the Frazer Nash was brought back to the UK by well-known classic-car enthusiast and dealer Dan Margulies. It was completely stripped and restored by its next owner during the 1990s, and again in the mid-2000s. It is now fitted with engine number 10311, which is of the correct Meadows 4ED type and features the casting to accommodate the supercharger.

The supercharger is supplied with the car, and both that and the engine itself have received extensive recent work at Blakeney Motorsport – one of the world’s leading marque specialists.
The ‘chain gang’ Frazer Nash – so named for its chain-drive transmission system – has long been a favourite of enthusiastic drivers and has gained a strong following, and JB 1285 has been used on some of the most prestigious competition events. It took part in the Mille Miglia in 1996, and as recently as 2014 it was entered for the Flying Scotsman and reached the finish at Gleneagles a very creditable ninth in class.

Now presented in superb condition, this Frazer Nash Nürburg exudes sporting appeal even at rest thanks to details such as the external gear lever and ‘fish tail’ exhaust. Climb in over the side and drop behind the wheel, and you’re presented with a dashboard full of gauges, with the rev counter in your eyeline straight ahead and a great view down the bonnet.

This much-campaigned car comes with its FIA Historic Vehicle Identity Form and MSA Historic Technical Passport, and is ready to be enjoyed once again in the world’s greatest motoring events.

Model history

During the early 1930s, Frazer Nash was building cars in tiny numbers and mostly for competition use. One of those to leave the factory in 1932 was for a charismatic youngster by the name of Alfred Fane Peers Fane.

Born in 1911, AFP Fane started racing at a young age and by 1931 was competing in a supercharged Salmson. While racing it at Brooklands, he got to know HJ Aldington of Frazer Nash, and their relationship led to Fane ordering a new car from the Isleworth marque.
Chassis number 2040 was registered MV 2303, and wore a two-seater body that had been designed by Fane and built by London-based coachbuilder Corsica. The intrepid youngster then entered the car in the 1500cc support race at the 1932 German Grand Prix, which was held at the Nürburgring.

Although he failed to finish, his adventure led to two more cars being built using the ‘Nürburg’ name and wearing the same style of Corsica bodywork. No Frazer Nash of the time could really be called a ‘production model’ because they were built in such limited numbers, and the Nürburg was no exception. In his book The Chain-Drive Frazer Nash, David Thirlby instead referred to it as ‘a car for the connoisseur’.

Intended purely as a competition model, the Nürburg cost £650 and was fitted with a 1496cc Meadows 4ED engine. This overhead-valve four-cylinder unit was much modified by Frazer Nash, which developed new internals for it and tasked Albert Gough with designing an improved cylinder head to release more power.

The supercharged Nürburg featured coil ignition rather than magneto, and the model competed in period both with and without the blower. A Laystall crankshaft was used, and such were the upgrades carried out by Frazer Nash that only the most fundamental parts of the original Meadows engine remained, such as the block, crankcase and sump.

Although Fane’s car had run at the Nürburgring on a short chassis with a wheelbase of 8ft 3in, it was rebuilt after that race on a frame that was six inches longer and which was also used for subsequent Nürburg cars. Leaf springs were used front and rear, and there were friction dampers plus 12in drum brakes.

Fane also competed in his Nürburg at the famous Shelsley Walsh hillclimb in 1932, and won his class by the huge margin of 5.6 seconds. He later became a shareholder in Frazer Nash and enjoyed considerable international success at the wheel of works BMWs.

A remarkable character who was responsible for locating the German battleship Tirpitz while on a reconnaissance flight over Norway in 1942, Fane’s memory lives on with the Frazer Nash Nürburg – a superb sports car built during what many believe to be the marque’s golden age.

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