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Did you see the Fry fly?
My father Hugh, who turns 90 this year, was the co-designer/constructor with David Fry of the Freikaiserwagen Shelsley Walsh Special and drove it for its debut at the Backwell Speed Hill Climb, near Bristol, in July 1936. He had just completed his engineering degree and built the car in the Merchant Venturers premises in Park Street.
With my father, I have undertaken to write an accurate history of the car from 1936-50, during which time it underwent three distinct changes. May I appeal to any reader who has any recollections of the car, at any time, to contact us to help build up a detailed history.
We have only a few photographs of the car in paddocks or competing. Any photos, photocopies or written extracts from magazines, programmes or race results would be welcome.
In 1938, the car astounded many motorsport enthusiasts with its speed up the Shelsley Walsh and Prescott hills and again in an even greater form in ’49. It also gained notoriety for its fast times at many other speed events with both David and Joe Fry at the wheel.
Sadly, the car no longer exists; there is only a detailed model which forms an accurate and formidable memorial to a great Shelsley Special.
Readers can write to me at 85 Green Point Drive, Green Point, Forster, NSW 2428, Australia. Email: [email protected]
Rob Dunsterville, NSW, Australia
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