1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)

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Lot 170
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica

Sold for £ 603,333 (US$ 756,507) inc. premium
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica
Registration no. VHX 839
Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
*Present ownership since 1972
*Continous history from new
*Period compeititon history
*Eligible for many of the world's great historic events

Footnotes

  • Here we are privileged to offer one of the most original and unspoiled of all surviving original Frazer Nash Le Mans Replicas, completed as-new by Frazer Nash manufacturer AFN Limited at its Isleworth, West London, factory - the Falcon Works - in September, 1950.

    Company records preserved today by the Frazer Nash Archive show that this car, 'FN20', was the twentieth Le Mans Replica completed at AFN's Falcon Works, but it was - from the beginning - given the chassis serial number '127'. No proven reason for this has emerged during the car's 66-year life. In common with its preceding sister car 'FN19', this car was completed with Newton telescopic dampers front and rear which were mounted outside the body panelling, while its wing support brackets were exposed on top of the wing panels themselves. The car was also equipped with Al-Fin brake drums, an Invicta handbrake and a 3.7:1 back axle ratio.

    The car was ordered new by Anthony Crook Motors in Caterham, Surrey, for Anthony Alastair 'Buster' Baring. It was finished in maroon paintwork with black upholstery, and was entered for the August 26, 1950, One-Hour Production Sports Car Race scheduled for the major 'Daily Express' Silverstone race meeting, but it was not ready in time. Anthony Baring had also entered it for that year's RAC Tourist Trophy race at Dundrod, Ulster, but after practice decided that the engine remained too tight after insufficient running-in period and so he opted to become a non-starter. The car's competition debut followed one week later, on September 23, 1950, when it was loaned to Donald Pitt for the Shelsley Walsh hill-climb meeting, in which he promptly beat Tony Crook to win the 3-litre sports car class...

    Early in 1951 Anthony Crook purchased 'VHX 839' offered here from Anthony Baring, and sold it to fellow motor trader/racer Roy Francesco Salvadori, the British-born son of Tuscan-Italian parents and already a most experienced International competitor in the early years of his very fine racing career. By the time he acquired this Frazer Nash he had already made a considerable name for himself as a very fast and combative racing driver in MG, Riley, Alfa Romeo Monoposto, Maserati and Healey cars. This ex-Baring Frazer Nash was then race-prepared for him by Anthony Crook Motors and Roy Salvadori made his debut in the eight-month old Frazer Nash in the BRDC International Trophy May Meeting at Silverstone, on May 5, 1951.

    Roy Salvadori set fastest time during practice for the 2-litre Production Sports Car Race, and was leading until he crashed heavily at Stowe Corner while lapping a group of three slower cars. His Frazer Nash slid wide and struck a concrete-filled oil drum marking the aerodrome course. The car rolled over several times, inflicting severe and near fatal head injuries from which the unlucky new owner-driver was fortunate to recover fully, apart from total deafness in his right ear which persisted for the rest of this most popular celebrity racing driver's long life (he died as recently as 2012, aged 90).

    Anthony Crook Motors at Caterham subsequently rebuilt 'VHX 839' to the latest 1951 Le Mans Replica specification, with its rear dampers re-positioned within the bodywork and wing supports hidden benath the wings. The recovered Roy Salvadori resumed racing this Frazer Nash on October 6, 1951, at Castle Combe, immediately finishing a strong third overall in the unlimited-capacity sports car event.

    He then campaigned the car widely during 1952, winning the 2-litre class and finishing sixth overall in the Silverstone May Meeting's Production Sports Car event; fourth and second in class to Mike Hawthorn in the May 29 British Empire Trophy event at Douglas, Isle of Man, and second to Ken Wharton's works Mark II Le Mans car in the 100-mile sports car race at Boreham on August 2. Roy also shared the car with Stirling Moss in a Castle Combe relay race on April 12 that year.

    He always recalled 'VHX 839' with great affection: "I decided I really needed a car I could use on the road, so it didn't need a transporter, and that's why I bought the Le Mans Rep. It was a super car to drive. Unfortunately I nearly wrote myself off in it at Silverstone but I was racing it again less than a year later. It was a lovely car and I adored driving it...

    Late in 1952, Roy Salvadori finally sold what had become his faithful Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica. The new owner was Peter Kenneth, who continued to race it through 1953. He placed ninth overall and fourth in class at that year's British Empire Trophy race in Douglas, and entered the car for driver John Buncombe at May Silverstone.

    In early-1954 'VHX 839' was re-sold, this time passing to Walter Grant-Norton who fitted engine 'BS1/142'. He continued the car's racing career at minor level, while also rallying it, including International outings in the RAC Rally that March, the Dutch-based Tulip Rally in May and the mighty French-organised Alpine Rally in July. While not figuring in the results of these challenging events, Walter Grant-Norton was competitive and led his class in the Tulip Rally.

    The car was again offered for sale into 1955, this time by HW Motors of Walton-on-Thames. It found a new owner in John Dashwood who club-raced and rallied the car with a friend - Paul Fletcher - through 1955-56. Stan Creamer owned 'VHX 839' for a period before it was re-purchased by Peter Kenneth in 1961. Eleven years later, in 1972, it passed to its present owner - an International race-winning member of the British Racing Drivers' Club and a well-respected connoisseur of fine performance cars.

    As offered here - with only eight owners from new and the last having lovingly preserved the car for no fewer than the past 44 years - this important Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica is described as being "...all working, fully operational and in a lovely patinated condition - not a recent bright-as-a-button restoration, and all the better for it - owned since 1972 by a Scot!".

    The car is accompanied by a beautifully presented documentation file, plus historic photographs, fascinating copies of the 1951 May Silverstone race meeting bulletins detailing the Salvadori accident, and past, paid restoration invoices. These include; 1978-1994 nine invoices from Ian Cunningham (Edinburgh) covering extensive servicing and maintenance; 1991-1992 from leading Frazer Nash marque specialists TT Workshops covering engine and ancillaries overhaul, totalling £8,250; May 1996 from David Morris covering an extensive mechanical overhaul and bodywork 'tidying', totalling more than £14,000; and from 2010 for a brake system overhaul.

    A replacement period-style chassis plate has been fitted to match the original number-stamping on the chassis which reads '421/100/127'. This Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica is offered here in highly original condition including all original instruments and switches, hood and two-piece tonneau cover, spare wheel and toolkit, mechanical radiator blind and starting handle.

    Renowned for handling qualities and performance capabilities which bely its perhaps barrel-chested appearance, the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica earned its title after AFN Ltd principal H.J. Aldington and Norman Culpan drove a prototype 'High Speed' model - with 2-litre 6-cylinder Bristol engine and shaft drive - into a fine third place overall in the first postwar Le Mans 24-Hour race, in 1949. Some 34 of these cars were produced between 1948 and 1953 and they accumulated a glittering record of motor racing success in period, topped by Franco Cortese's outright win in the 1951 Targa Florio race around the Madonie Mountains of north-western Sicily.

    With such a record of competition glory - plus the strongest possible historical connection with none other than the great Roy Salvadori (Le Mans-winning driver for the works Aston Martin team in 1959, of course) - plus its outstanding originality - plus its 44 years in the current caring ownership - plus the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica model's renowned all-purpose drivability - we strongly commend 'VHX 839' to the worldwide connoisseur collector's market. Here is a true-blue British sports-racing car of perfect pedigree and provenance, and one perfectly suited to the broadest range of Historic motoring activities, from racing and rallying to comfortable touring and spur-of-the-moment summer-evening spins through beautiful countryside...
Contacts
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica  Chassis no. 421/100/120 - (numbered 127 as new - see text)
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