FRAZER NASH HISTORY
CHASSIS NO. 2059 ENGINE. RB 2059/ 2002
Frazer Nash car No 2059 was sold to to Allington Brothers Motor Traders of London with Anzani engine RB 2059. This engine must have been removed whilst in London as when it was on sold to Douglas Fraser Shepherd in July 1932 with the engine from Chassis No.2002 which is stamped 2002, We know that the car now in NZ has an HE Anzani engine fitted is Chassis 2002. This car was raced by HJ Aldington with some success at Brooklands and also sand raced at Southport, at this stage with a supercharged Cozette blower and later with a Powerplus unit in 1932.
It would seem that the original chassis 2002 now with an HE Motor is no doubt in NZ and a new chassis 2059 with the original Works Anzani blown roller bearing engine is in Australia.
We can only wonder what sound advice was available to a very wealthy young colonial who spent a long time abroad after inheriting forty two thousand pounds plus a share of a large grazing property and buying at least two aircraft plus the Ulster model Frazer Nash said to be a replica of the highly successful ‘Terror’. Raced by R.G.J Nash.
There are four distinct periods to consider the history of the car after its arrival in Australia.
- As delivered and entered in the Australian GP in 1933 i.e. as supplied from the UK.
- As owned by Alec Mackinnon
- In its Mackellar Special form.
- In its Innes Special form.
- The original Anzani engine its removal from the original chassis and subsequent use by Bill Balgarnie in speed car form.
- The Ted Hider Smith collecting phase and ownership.
- The Quinn Rebuild
SECTION ONE. AS DELIVERED FROM THE UK
As outlined in the introduction the car 2059 was a new chassis fitted with a roller bearing Anzani engine and the first owner a London motor trader, Allington Bros who also built a body to suit .It should be noted that Thirlby states in his Register that the works sold the car as a bare chassis and engine in July 1932 .
It was also reported ( D Manson?) That Shepherd bought the car in July 1932 , a quick turn round for a London Trader it would seem.
Its first appearance in Australia was at Light Car Clubs Maroubra Speedway event of 29 October 1932 where his standing lap time was one second behind the fastest cars, Clements Bugatti and Alex Hunter in Mrs Jones 1750 S/C Alfa Romeo. On the 26th January 1933 he entered the Five Mile handicap and as he does not appear in the results it may have been a DNS.
On the 25th of February the car competed at Wisemans Ferry in what I understand was a Hill Climb and he was miles faster than anybody else.
The next event entered was the Australian GP at Phillip Island where he was handicapped off 7 seconds with only two Bugatti’s behind him. Unfortunately the head cracked in practice
In July 1933 he competed with the Frazer Nash at the Newcastle hill climb where he broke the previous record but on the day was beaten by Bill Thompson in the Bugatti. At this stage I cannot determine whether he had the original head repaired or the new existing Bronze head fitted which is the most likely as I understand a firm in Sydney was casting such heads at that time.
Granville Speedway was the cars next appearance on 12th August where it was beaten well by Bruce Leckies Fronty Ford Special .This event was followed by a disappointing run in a Light Car Club event.
September saw Shepherd and the Frazer Nash at Wisemans Ferry again where he achieved 3rd fastest time.
He entered the Frazer Nash at Wentworth Park Speedway on the 11th November but is recorded as a DNS,
That ends Douglas Shepherds involvement with the Frazer Nash.
SECTION TWO. ALEC MACKINNON
The only mention I have found about Alex(?) MacKinnon’s interest in a Frazer Nash is a note in David Thirlbys book as an owner after Shepherd. This information is repeated by Neville Webb in H.R.R no.64 suggesting that his car not be confused with the Mackellar Special or the Innes Special as it was at the time of publication “alive and well in Sydney”.
SECTION THREE. MACKELLAR SPECIAL
In late 1936 the Sydney Ford Dealer, Ron Mackellar acquired the Frazer Nash Chassis and installed a Ford Model T engine block and fitted Frontenac cylinder head and a Supercharger and named the Mackellar Racing Special and it appeared for the first time at Broughton Pass hill climb in July 1937. There appears in Kent Patrick’s book on Thompson a photograph of the car ‘ page 390” with Bill Balgarnie driving at Waterfall Hill climb circa 36/37 perhaps its first outing
SECTION FOUR. INNES SPECIAL
The Mackellar Special was purchased by Hugh Stuart of Melbourne, the two seater body removed and fitted with a new monoposto body by Bob baker. The mechanical rebuild was undertaken by Reg Nutt. The name of the car the Innes Special was taken from Hughs wife’s name have a shot of Bill Balgarnie at Waterfall Hillclimb with a two seater body then. The two seater body was reputedly fitted by Geoff Russell to his Morris Special? At this stage the chassis was still Frazer Nash with Hudson back end, Vauxhall gearbox (30/98) and of course the trusty Fronty Ford engine
SECTION FIVE. ANZANI ENGINE IN SPEED CAR
Bill Balgarnie raced a midget at Penrith fitted with I understand the roller bearing Anzani motor still supercharged. At this stage this period of speedway use of the Anzani motor is not clear and its eventual removal and passing into the hands of Ted Hider Smith does not appear to be documented.
SECTION SIX. TED HIDER SMITH OWNERSHIP AND COLLECTION PHASE
Ted Hider Smith was a long enthusiast for the “Chains and Dogs” using a variety of GN Specials the most used being powered by a Morris side valve engine of the twenties alleged to be of some commercial origin according to Ted who acquired the engine from the Fullard Family of Greensborough
SECTION SEVEN. THE QUINN REBUILD
The Subject Frazer Nash was picked up from Aspendale where, Ted Hider Smith lived by Graeme Quinn and transported to Barkers Creek where it was hoped that the restoration process would be undertaken,
The restoration was divided into three basic areas.
- The Engine.
- The Chassis and Transmission.
- The Body.
After inspection it was found that the long competitive life had taken its toll on the engine. One section of the built up crank was found to be cracked and the crankcase was in the words of one older gent “Was a mass of fatigued stresses as the visible cracks evidenced. The expertise of Crankshaft Re builders was called upon to undertake the mechanical rebuild of the motor and to fabricate a new section of crankshaft.
It was decided to restore the chassis, transmission, suspension, brakes and steering utilising the help that existed in abundance in the Castlemaine area.
A decision was reached to construct a new body from scratch as after a long racing life in a various bodies there was no original body left. As the car left the works in 1932 it was thought that it was appropriate to construct a body style that was used by the works at that stage and that was a TT Replica .Mark Rye who had done work for the writer on other cars and certainly had the eyes of a Craftsman was approached to undertake the task. The result was just plain fantastic.
The car was completed and shipped over to WA for my son Roderic but unfortunately the crankcase problems came back to spoil the pleasure of a mobile Nash. Various options were considered but as there were so few Roller Bearing engines in existence a radical decision was made to have a new crankcase made and fitted. This work was undertaken by the well known experts “Auto Restorations Ltd of Christchurch, New Zealand.