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1937 Frazer Nash BMW 319 / 328 Sports Special

  • Original Frazer Nash BMW 319 chassis and BMW 328 engine and gearbox
  • Exceptional performance and handling
  • Perfect sporting entrant for track and rallies
  • Comfortable long distance driving
  • Finished to a very high standard by well known historic engineers

MODEL HISTORY

BMW launched their first completely in-house designed car, the 303, in 1933 having previously built Austin 7 based cars at their Diki Works since 1928.  The new 303 was a small family saloon, housing a 6 cylinder engine that displaced 1,182cc and it was the first model to feature the ‘kidney grille’ which has gone on to be the trademark feature of the brand.

The 303 was only in production until 1934 when BMW developed it into several other models including the 309 (a 4 cylinder version of the 303), the 315 (similar to the 303 but with an enlarged engine to 1,490cc) and a little later the 319.

The 319 model was brought out in 1935 and built alongside the 315 and these differed only in the 319 having an enlarged engine of 1911cc and a slightly bigger 40 litre fuel tank.  They were built on a lightweight ‘A-frame’ chassis design with two longitudinal tubular members of varying diameter depending on load and with 3 rectangular cross members.  Front suspension was via a transverse leaf spring with lower wishbones and internal single acting shock absorbers while the rear employed longitudinal leaf springs with a rigid axel and lever arm double acting shock absorbers.  They had rack and pinion steering and drum brakes on all 4 wheels.

THIS MOTOR CAR

The Frazer Nash-BMW 319 we offer here is a vintage special of exceptional performance and incredible handling.  The car is built on a 1937 Frazer Nash BMW 319 chassis, it was built from the ground up with standard suspension and steering but with the engine, gearbox and hydraulic brakes to 328 specification. The build was completed between 2006 and 2011 using contemporary parts wherever possible.

The car came into existence through the well known Bristol officianardo Andrew Blow who having spoken to Mark Garfitt of the BMW Historic Motor Club, acquired an original Frazer Nash 319 chassis and various parts from Norman Mascall in 2006. The chassis had previously been a FN BMW 319 saloon that was bought new by Captain G Blaine at the British Embassy in Berlin and was given registration GMV 620 which rather nicely has been reunited with the car.

At this point a friend and fellow car enthusiast Tom Thornton approached Andrew about coming in on the car and he acquired a half share in the fledgling project.  The chassis was set up in Tom’s garage, a back axel previously used on a 328 was obtained, the front suspension and steering was rebuilt with a lowered wishbone and a Bristol engine and gearbox were acquired. The lightweight aluminum body was fabricated by Ken Arthur near Warminster using a lightened steel frame to mount the panels to and again lightweight cycle wings. The comfortable but pre-war looking seats were made by David Nightingale and allow access to the storage behind the seats. A high level exhaust was decided on to allow for possible trial use and was made with a new manifold and twin pipe system by Mick Polson. A set of original BMW solid wheels were sourced and in 2013 an original BMW engine and gearbox replaced the initially used Bristol items. The engine and gearbox was built up with the help of specialist Spencer Lane-Jones and incorporated an original prewar 328 crankshaft and cam and it has been tuned and improved through the help of Tony Byford and Steve Stanton to achieve a sporty yet reliable engine.

This FN BMW 319 has since been used in the Brooklands Double 12, the Pomeroy Trophy, Measham Night Rally, a Scotland Rally, a rally to Spain, Frazer Nash raids, ice racing in Flaine and the 1000 mile trial to mention but a few.  The car is equally at home on the road, the track, long distances, luggage laden or stripped back.  This is an incredibly versatile motorcar offering a sublime driving experience in comfort and with reliability yet with the performance to win some of the most grueling events including the Flying Scotsman and the 1000 Mile Trial.

The BMW 319 comes with a large history file with a photographic record of its build and a large folder of invoices showing the huge amount of work that has been done to create this masterpiece.

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