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Ex-Works, H J Aldington, Philip Jucker
1932 Frazer Nash TT Replica
Coachwork by Compton
Registration no. MV 2429
Chassis no. 2050
Engine no. 11034

The Frazer Nash was the direct descendant of the GN cycle car, a twin-cylinder, chain driven vehicle produced until 1922 by the partnership of Captain Archie Frazer-Nash and H R Godfrey. Archie Frazer-Nash then formed a new company and in 1924 the first Frazer Nash appeared. In 1928 Captain Frazer-Nash left the company, which then came under the control of H J and W H Aldington.

Between 1924 and 1954, when production effectively ceased, approximately 450 Frazer Nash cars were produced, of which 350 were pre-war 'Chain Gang' models. Of these, 85 had the most popular TT Replica style of bodywork, which was offered between March 1932 and 1939. The TT Replica was based on the cars that contested the 1931 Tourist Trophy Race, though none of the three cars entered actually finished the event. In 1932 the cars fared better, one finishing 2nd in class.

Frazer Nash used a number of different proprietary engines, the TT Replica being fitted with the 1½-litre, four-cylinder, overhead-valve Meadows 4ED engine; the 1,660cc six-cylinder, twin-overhead-camshaft Blackburne engine; and the 1½-litre, four-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft Gough engine. However, it should be noted that the factory undertook the manufacture of individual cars to order and various combinations of engine and chassis were produced. Although the chain drive is highly unusual, for a motor car of the period, a chain is more efficient than almost any other form of power transmission and the Frazer Nash system was one of the best.

References at the time to 'smoking or red-hot chains lying on the road' after the rare breakage were mistaken. The reason they were handled with care was because they were dirty, and many chains lasted over 40,000 miles. With their unique form of drive, Frazer Nashes oversteered dramatically under power and it was said at the time that 'Frazer Nashes never go round corners, they merely change direction.'

While the TT Replica was sold as an all-round performer, it did not achieve significant success in major circuit races. The model's record in the International Alpine Trials of 1932, 1933 and 1934 is, however, outstanding and equalled by few makes, no doubt due in part to its ability to negotiate the tight Alpine passes under full power. In the 1932 event two cars were entered and lost no marks, while in 1933 a TT Replica was the only car entered not to lose marks. In 1934, four of the team's six cars were un-penalised.

First registered on 6th May 1932, 'MV 2429' was originally used by the works team and was driven at the Brighton Speed Trials in 1932 by Donald Aldington, the youngest of the three Aldington brothers. The works entry says the car was fitted by the owner with a special Meadows 4ED engine fitted with a Shardlow roller bearing crankshaft. The following year, 'MV 2429' was entered in the first meeting at the new Donington Park circuit by Philip Jucker.

'MV 2429' driven again by Donald Aldington and navigated by Henry Olrog won the 1 Hour speed trial at Brooklands in May 1932.
It had considerable success during 1932 and 33, in the hands of Ken Hutchison as well as the Aldingtons.

In November 1934 the Frazer Nash went to South Africa where it was one of a mixed bag of cars to start at the first South African Grand Prix on 27th December that year. It was not a good race for either the Frazer Nash (car No.7) or its driver. To quote Brad Bishop from his book, 'South African Grand Prix': 'Only the delightful English driver L G Williamson really got himself in some comic trouble in his Frazer Nash.

Taking the Leaches Bay angled bridge with too much vim, Williamson shot off the track into the valley below. The cleft was well carpeted but mainly with prickly pear bushes. When the ambulance men rushed to rescue Williamson, they could see his car lying 30 feet below in the foliage but they couldn't see him. When they did pluck him out, Williamson looked like a pincushion. For the next two days in Frere Hospital, it took two pretty nurses all their time with tweezers to extract the needles from various parts of Williamson's anatomy. But no bones broken. He just laughed.'

Despite this episode, 'MV 2429' went on to enjoy a long and illustrious racing career. The car stayed in South Africa and was raced in the mid-1930s at the Grand Central Circuit near Johannesburg, presumably by Williamson. In the late 1940s the Frazer Nash was widely campaigned in the Western Cape by Irvine Louw. There are photographs of the car competing in the first Van Riebeeck Trophy at Paarden Eiland in 1948 and later at Gunners Circle. After Irivine Louw left for Canada, Fritz Meisner owned the Nash for a couple of years, entering one or two events.

The car then passed to Bill Penbertly of Mowbray where it stood in a lean-to for many years. Well known to members of the Cape Town Crankhandle Club, it was finally acquired by the current owner in 1966 after only four years of discussions over glasses of amber liquid!

'MV 2429' is a very early TT Replica, much lighter and competition orientated than the later versions. It has the large TT Replica fuel tank at the rear and a basic, two-seater body. Made by Compton, the latter has the traditional ash timber frame with aluminium panelling. The design is similar to the 1931 Boulogne model (Tourist Trophy and 'Double 12' cars), the rounded rear body being designed to enable a spare wheel to be laid flat behind the seats.

Commencing in 1996, many years were spent restoring 'MV 2429' using as many of the original parts as possible. A 1929 Meadows 4ED from a Lea Francis was acquired and fitted to the car, and a replica radiator constructed. The engine was rebuilt in 2006 by Steve Stanton and has a new crankshaft, con-rods, cylinder block and head. The car is complete and has its original chassis, axles and chain transmission. The body frame has been replaced but many of the original aluminium panels are retained together with parts of the bonnet. Not offered on the open market for years, this delightful 'Chain Gang' Frazer Nash is, quite simply, a real gem. Please note this lot will be subject to the reduced import tax of 5% on the hammer price should it remain in the EU.

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