1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096

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Lot 338
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc 200 Mile Race Car
Engine no. 3096

Sold for £ 56,500 (US$ 69,115) inc. premium
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc 200 Mile Race Car
Engine no. 3096

Footnotes

  • Archie Frazer Nash was engrossed in his racing exploits as the twentieth century entered its third decade, some say to the detriment of the G.N. business of cyclecar manufacture. There is no doubt that he spent an inordinate amount of both time and money campaigning ‘Kim’ to good effect up and down the country in hillclimbs, sprints and race meetings. Although the publicity achieved was good for the company, perhaps management time and business acumen were in short supply and this contributed to the ultimate decline of G.N.

    The Junior Car Club’s announcement in 1921 of a 200 Mile Race at Brooklands for cars up to 1,500cc capacity certainly caught the attention of Archie Frazer Nash and a new engine was designed specifically to win this event. Designated ‘Akela’, (G.N. took engine names from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book), the new engine featured a T-shaped overhead camshaft drive, the main shaft rising from the timing case and then driving through right-angle bevel gears to transmit drive to the camshafts in each cylinder head. The 84x98mm engine featured four valves and two plugs per cylinder and was hurriedly tested in the Experimental Shop and readied for the October race. Nash battled behind Lombard in the equally fragile and marginally faster French-built Salmson for much of the race but an extended pit re-fuelling stop by the Salmson enabled Nash to take the lead which he held to the end, winning the class at a mighty impressive average speed of 71.54mph. In the 1922 200 Mile Race Nash drove the same car to 5th place, despite a pit stop to change a piston, while Godfrey and Hawkins in similar cars took 3rd and 4th places respectively for G.N., winning the team award.

    This car, 3096, is reputed to be the spare car for the 1922 race and the car subsequently campaigned by intrepid lady driver, Miss Ivy Cummings. She competed with much success at such venues as Ewell, Southsea, Kop Hill, South Harting, Skegness, Brighton, Aston Clinton and of course Brooklands, regularly taking class wins in the 1923 and 1924 season, before passing the car to E.R.F.Mucklow who named the car ‘Tiger III’ and continued to enjoy outstanding successes with the car at Blackpool, Wallasey, Shelsley Walsh and Southport.

    Stafford East acquired this car in the 1950’s from that great G.N. exponent, the late Basil Davenport, owner and driver of ‘Spider’. It was incomplete, with crankcase and crankshaft missing, but Stafford East was able to find parts from his own shelves, source others from his G.N.chums or make other impossible-to-find bits in his own workshop. Original drawings for the body were obtained from Ron Godfrey and faithfully copied and Ron Sant provided a replica chassis plate in vintage style for the completed project.

    Only a handful of ‘Akela’ cars were built and this example has shared a motor house with ‘Kim II’ and a Vitesse for many years – surely the most representative collection of sporting G.N. cyclecars extant. The car has been standing for some years and will now require the usual careful re-commissioning. Although it has on occasion worn the registration number IT 327 it should be noted that this number has been allocated to ‘Kim II’ and ‘Akela’ 3096 is not currently road registered. Its proper place however is on the track or rapidly ascending the Test Hill at Brooklands or Shelsley Walsh in sympathetic hands.


1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
1922 G.N. ‘Akela’ 1,100cc  200 Mile Race Car  Engine no. 3096
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