Thursday, 23 September 2010

Was one of these Fraser Nash BMW's an antecedent of the AC Cobra ?

At the August VSCC Prescott meeting one of the things that stood out was that the car park was almost as interesting as the Paddock.

For example pictured here in the car park is what I believe to be a Fraser Nash (UK BMW importer and assemblers amongst many other things for those not in the know) BMW 315/1.

Amazingly the car above is also a Fraser Nash BMW 315/1, dating from 1935 according to the VSCC programme, but the bodywork stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the traditional VSCC fare in the paddock at Prescott.

My first thought was that it might be a Tojerio body or AC Ace body, or at least a copy of either of those two vehicles dating back to 1952 and 1953 respectively, I also wondered how this car could possibly qualify to run in a VSCC event which generally caters for pre WW2 vehicles.

Thanks to Tim Murray at the TNF Forum I found out what the story behind the aluminium (English pronunciation please) bodied BMW 315/1 special, though there are many question marks around this vehicle, not least who actually commissioned it in the first place ?

It turns out this vehicle was originally supplied with body work by Abbots of Farnham and then after the War turned up, sans body, in the hands of a chemist who took it to Williams & Pritchard of London, a small sub contracting bodywork shop before WW2, a Spitfire fuselage workshop during WW2 which returned to doing repairs and bodywork after WW2.

The owner of the chassis took with him a pile of motoring magazines and sat down with Williams & Pritchard and pointed out all the features he wanted incorporated into the new bodywork for his old BMW.

When did this happen you may well ask ? 1965 ? 1960 ? 1955 ? after the Tojerio and AC Ace had been around ? 1950 ? none of the above amazingly the aluminium body work dates back to 1948 four years before the Tojerio which famously morphed into the AC Ace !

The Fraser Nash BMW 315/1 is allowed to compete in VSCC events because the body sits on a prewar chassis.

More information on Williams & Pritchard and the story of this car can be found here.

Hope you enjoyed today's blog and will join me again tomorrow.