Frazer Nash Le Mans Rep - Crosthwaite & Gardiner
Frazer Nash Le Mans Rep - Crosthwaite & Gardiner
- Contains the original Bristol engine from the 1949 Works FN3
- Engine freshly rebuilt
- Confirmed Crosthwaite & Gardiner Heritage
- Body built by Peels on the original factory bucks
- HTP papers
Frazer Nash are one of the best known names in motor sport despite only producing just over 400 cars during their 33 years of production. These light, well handling cars are the benchmark to which all cars of the period are compared and the array of events in which they competed was quite incredible and included Le Mans, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and the TT to name but a few.
Perhaps the most iconic of the post war Frazer Nash models is the Le Mans Replica. Originally called the ‘High Speed’ it gained the name the Le Mans Replica in honour of Norman Culpan and H.J. Aldington’s 3rd overall in the 1949 race of the same name in much the same fashion as the TT Replica had been named before. The cars proved hugely successful on the track thanks to it excellent handling and the reliable and powerful 2-litre, six cylinder Bristol engine, gaining victories in the Targa Florio in 1951 and Sebring in 1952. Although these cars were very successful and much sought after in period, only 34 were built so demand has always outstripped supply.
The famous Motorsport correspondent Denis Jenkinson wrote: "In 1949 one of their new cars finished third at Le Mans. This prompted Frazer Nash to name the model the Le Mans Replica, and it was in production for four years, about fifty being built. In its day it was a good yardstick for performance, for it would do well over 120mph and cover a standing-start quarter-mile in 16 seconds. It handled well and apart from being a good road car it was a very successful racing car in its day, being sold 'ready to race' in anything from the Targa Florio to a Goodwood Club meeting"
With so few cars being available it was inevitable that recreations would soon follow. A number of companies had a go at recreating these fabulous cars but only one is truly recognised as ‘the next best thing after a real one’ and these are the Crosthwaite and Gardner cars. This renowned British firm has made some of the most recognisable recreations for the Audi and Mercedes museums as well as making many parts for Bugattis, Jaguars and many other marques.
The Frazer Nash Le Mans Rep recreation we offer here came into being in a rather round about manner. It starts in 1949 when the Frazer Nash entry for the Mille Miglia, car FN3, was bodied by Fox and Nichols with an aerodynamic but ugly body taken from one of the FN experimental vehicles. There was however a problem as the radiator opening was not sufficiently big enough, restricting air-flow, leading to continuous overheating issues. Near Ancona, despite battling the aforementioned overheating, in the end it was gearbox trouble that resulted in FN3’s retirement. This was a great disappointment to the driver and co-pilot Michael Tenbosch and Peter Monkhouse, the former of who took legal action against Frazer Nash and was refunded £1,750 by the factory in March 1950. On the cars return to the works the body was removed and cut in pieces. Always short of money, parts and time – when another racer needed a fresh engine, FN3’s rebuilt unit, number 1051 (the oldest FN Bristol engine still in existence today) was put into use.
In 1951 engine 1051 was fitted to Doctor Fiedler’s blue 2-seat GT car, FN16 until 1953 when the engine was fitted to the brand new FN190, a Mk1 Le Mans Rep with a Mk II chassis. FN190 was purchased by Betty Haig in May 1956, as a keen racer, Miss Haig bought a brand new engine (BS4/406) from AFN in July 1956 and subsequently sold engine 1051 to fellow racer, Roddy MacPherson.
The other side of this car’s story starts in the early 1970s when Robin Webb acquired one of the 5 Frazer Nash Le Mans ‘kits’ from Crosthwaite and Gardner. The car were not sold complete, so Robin enlisted the help of Roddy MacPherson to help him find an engine and build the car. Engine 1051 was put into the chassis and Robin instructed Peels (who now owned the original bucks) to build the body for the car which they did over a period of around 18 months.
Sadly Robin did not manage to complete the restoration, so the car, which now was in numerous boxes, was sold to David Stirling who slowly completed the rebuild but over many years in New Zealand. On completion David, now 70, acquired a HTP from the FIA in 2005 – some 30 years after he started the rebuild!
Due to age and the physical difficulty in getting into the car David sold it soon after and the car was repatriated to the UK since when it has been maintained by Steve Stanton and Simon Blackley-Edwards. The car is currently fitted with a Quaife LSD and an overdrive that was fitted by INRacing of Nottingham which vastly enhances the touring capabilities of the car while still giving plenty of acceleration (the original diff and a spar come with the car 3.75:1 & 4.35:1). The car also has aeroscreen should any one to fit them and numerous other spares. The car also just a full engine rebuild by Simon Blackley-Edwards so is fresh and ready to go in every way.