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 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 of six cars were un-penalised.
This AC-engined Frazer Nash is a recently built example by Cumbria-based marque specialists Beckhouse Engineering (Alan Dunn), which was completed in 2008 following a two-year build around a new chassis. A complete new body was made in the traditional manner with ash-framed alloy-panelled bodywork by Jeff Henderson and leather-trimmed interior by Ryedale Upholstery of Elvington, Yorkshire. Original Frazer Nash parts used include the front axle with Alford & Alder brakes, bevel box (all gears new), radiator (new core) and instruments (reconditioned by Chris Clark). Other noteworthy features include Bosch headlights, a mohair tonneau cover and Dunlop triple-stud racing tyres. Accepted by the VSCC, the car is rated as '3 out of 5' in terms of genuine parts used.
The rebuilt pre-war (cat's paw) engine incorporates a new cylinder block (original comes with the car); new steel balanced crankshaft by Farndon Engineering; 9.5:1 pistons; new half-race camshaft; rebuilt cylinder head with new valves and hardened (unleaded compatible) valve seats; triple SU carburettors; and a stainless six-branch exhaust system. The chains and sprockets are all new, as is the Borg & Beck clutch, the gear set and sundry other components supplied by the FN Club's parts scheme.
Used in VSCC competitions at Prescott and Harewood, 'PJ 8414' is nevertheless a well-mannered road car that drives beautifully and is very fast. Described as in generally very good condition, this beautiful Frazer Nash is offered with VSCC 'buff form', sundry restoration invoices, current road fund licence, MoT to October 2014 and Swansea V5C document.