The ex-New York Motor Show, Larry Kulok,1950 Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. 421/100/110 Engine no. FNS 1/40

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Lot 535
The ex-New York Motor Show, Larry Kulok, 1950 Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Registration no. EAS 841 Chassis no. 421/100/110 Engine no. FNS 1/40

£ 190,000 - 210,000
US$ 260,000 - 290,000
The ex-New York Motor Show, Larry Kulok
1950 Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Registration no. EAS 841
Chassis no. 421/100/110
Engine no. FNS 1/40
This beautifully turned out ‘Le Mans Rep’ is one of the finest presented Frazer Nash sports-racing cars of its type that we have had the pleasure to offer. Having assisted the Bristol company with the launch of their BMW-derived road car series in the late 1940s, H. J. Aldington of pre-war British BMW importer AFN Ltd set about launching his own post-war Frazer Nash line. To assist in this work he brought in Dr Fritz Fiedler, the former BMW Chief Designer, from Germany. An experimental Frazer Nash was constructed with an all-enveloping two-seater body à la BMW 328 but ‘Aldy’ quickly decided that the post-war cars – which were to be shaft-driven like the BMW 328s – would perpetuate the aura of the stark and racy-looking two-seater bodies preferred by owners of the old chain-driven pre-war ’Nashes, which could perform double duty as high-performance road, race or rally cars.

He announced plans for his new model as early as May 1946 but it was not until early 1948 that the first of the new shaft-driven, Bristol 6-cylinder engined new cars was shown to the press. Later that year the Frazer Nash stand at the legendarily innovative London Motor Show displayed a stark but functional two-seater with tiny mudguards, no doors and perspex aero screen. It was named the ‘High Speed’ or ‘Competition’ model and was plainly ready to go racing.

Power was to be provided by a BMW-derived 2-litre Bristol 6-cylinder engine developing some 120bhp at 5,500rpm and driving through a four-speed manual gearbox. These engines were eventually carefully prepared and specified for AFN Ltd’s Frazer Nash production as the ‘FNS’ unit.

The new model’s independent front suspension was similar to the BMW 328 with lower wishbones and a transverse leaf spring, while the rear suspension was a development of BMW practice with a live axle located by a large A-bracket whose apex was pivoted on top of the differential housing, while its base pivoted on the tubular chassis side members. This ‘High Speed’ model Frazer Nash was priced at no less than £2,250 plus HM Government’s swingeing double purchase tax of the time, bringing the total asking price to £3,501 10s.

In early 1949 the first ‘High Speed’ model Frazer Nash was exhibited at the Geneva Salon in Switzerland. At the end of the Show while less sporting manufacturers – as was traditional – sounded the horns of the cars on display, the Aldingtons started up the Bristol engine of their offering, and its raucous crackle drowned out all foreign opposition…

In the Spring of 1949 the new cars began racing, in the Giro di Sicilia and the Mille Miglia, and then at Le Mans for the first post-war 24-Hours endurance classic, ex racing-motorcyclist Norman Culpan fielded his ‘High Speed’ co-driving with H.J.Aldington himself. They promptly finished third overall in this most charismatic of all endurance races and ‘H.J.’ decreed that all subsequent examples would be marketed as the Frazer Nash ‘Le Mans Replica’. With increased production in AFN Ltd’s Isleworth factory, price fell to £2,723 14s 6d including tax.

During 1950 – the year in which this splendid example was manufactured – the ‘Le Mans Reps’ became consistent winners in the 2-litre sports car class. Franco Cortese ran second in the gruelling Giro di Sicilia until his fuel tank split – and in the mighty Mille Miglia he finished sixth overall and second in the 2-litre class. In 1951 Cortese drove Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani’s Italian-based ‘Le Mans Rep’ to finish fourth overall, humbling all the Ferraris in the 2-litre class of the Giro di Sicilia, then eighth overall in the Mille Miglia and second in class there.

The Eric Winterbottom/John Marshall car finished 14th at Le Mans, after which this enthusiastic (typically ’Nash!) crew promptly drove off in their car to contest the International Alpine Rally, winning their class and a Coupe des Alpes after a penalty-free run. Again in Sicily, Franco Cortese drove Lurani’s car to win the Targa Florio outright in 1951, while in the USA private customer Stuart Donaldson’s example was co-driven by Larry Kulok and Harry Grey to win the newly-inaugurated Sebring 12-Hours.

Frazer Nash Le Mans Replicas were sold throughout the developed world, and the United States provided an eager clientele. This particular car was exhibited in the New York Motor Show in March 1950 and sold to afterwards to future-1951 Sebring 12-Hours race winner Larry Kulok, and became his personal car.

He raced it successfully and at the Linden meeting of July 1950 won no fewer than three separate events before selling it on through a succession of equally enthusiast members of the Sports Car Club of America fraternity. It passed to Charles T. Boyinton who raced it in SCCA events during the seasons of 1952-53, new engine FNS1/40 being supplied at that time to Boyinton as standby spare for racing.

Around 1954 the car sold again, this time to Robert H. Sawyer of Hemet, California, and in 1956 it passed to J. Firestone. No further information upon the car’s whereabouts was logged with AFN Ltd until it resurfaced in 1989 and was brought back to England. The car was then acquired by former racing Aston Martin owner-driver Mo Skailes who lavished enthusiasm and love upon it before it passed to its present vendor, who has similarly cherished the car in recent years.

It has been said of the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica that once an enthusiast has experienced this amazingly versatile and capable model’s superb combination of handling, open-road performance and period open-air motoring character every other classic car will seem somehow diminished. These are distinctive cars indeed – the epitome of the very finest in late-1940s/early-’50s British sports car design - and for handling, agility and balance nothing in period could match a well set-up ‘Le Mans Rep’. This is a wonderful opportunity for a true enthusiast to acquire a uniquely fulfilling and truly classic car in fully restored condition. Offered with Swansea V5 registration document and history file.
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