THE TYPE 45, 2-LITRE FRAZER-NASH-B.M.W. SALOON.
When, some years ago, the Aldington brothers introduced the Frazer-NashB.M.W. to British Sportsmen they did all of us a very good turn indeed, inasmuch as this marque combines so many good qualities in one vehicle as to offer a solution to all those persons who have occasion to travel far and fast and wish to do so with comfort, refinement, and security.
We recently carried out a test, extending over more than 300 miles, of a Type 45 2-litre saloon, which was particularly interesting in view of the fine achievement of the marque in the Monte Carlo Rally. Leaving Isleworth we had gone but a few miles ere the fascination of the FrazerNash-B.M.W. had taken full hold, as it does inevitably as soon as one takes the wheel of any model of the range. The interior finish imparts at once a sense of high refinement, and this is maintained as the car threads its way in complete silence through traffic or goes up to 60 m.p.h. as congested areas are left behind. Moreover, the driver sits high up in an arm-chair style of seat and has an exceptional view of the road, and can see both front wings, which makes for con fidence from the outset. The steering column rake is exactly right, as is the ” feel ” Of the wheel rim, and the pedals are correctly spaced. But perhaps most remarkable of all to a driver unacquainted with the B.M.W. is the easy supple action that characterises the whole car. The clutch and brake action is scarcely heavier than that of the accelerator, the steering is the most wonderful we have ever handled and absolutely in sympathy with the arm muscles, and the suspension is almost entirely free from pitching, yet it provides the very maximum of comfort on the worst of surfaces, the wheels rising and falling without transmitting motion to the occupants, so that we found it quite easy to read
Engine : 6-cylinders, bore 65 mm., stroke 96 mm., capacity 1,911 ex. R. A. C. rating 16 li.p. Tax g12.. Push-rod o.h.v. Twin Solex carburetters. Coil ignition. Gearbox : Four speeds and reverse. Syn
chro-mesh on top and third. Silent third.
Ratios : 4.3. 0.6. 9.8 and 16 to 1. Reverse.
16.1 to I. Cent ral control. Long lover; Suspension : Independent transverse at front. itall-dliptio at rear. Hydraulic shock
Brakes : Mechanical operation.
Dimensions : Wheelbase 8 ft. Ohms.
Track : Front 3 ft. 10 ins.
Rear 4 ft. 3 ins.
Price : Type 45 saloon : 1350. small print as a bad: seat passenger with
the car travelling really fast. On one particularly bad piece of road we espied a family saloon bouncing unpleasantly, yet the Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. remained rock-steady when we passed at 70 in.p.hs, steering into the gutter to do so. Naturally, suspension having these outstanding qualities invites suspicion as to stability. The answer was provided when we headed foi the open deserted
and very twisty roads near the East Coast. Open acute corners were taken at 45 m.p.h., and the near-side curb was hugged round long bends up to 70 m.p.h. The tyres sometimes protested, the car canted over a trifle and the tail would slide a few inches, but always the B.M.W. was under full control and felt completely stable. Such a combination of comfort and stability are certainly uncommon. Wet tram-lines, or heavy braking on bends, failed to upset this essentially safe handling. The steering enables full use to be made
of these characteristics. It is so highgeared that wrist movement alone steers the car round all normal corners, and yet it is absurdly light in action. More than that, there is not a trace of lost motion, it is absolutely accurate, and endowed with a remarkable smoothness which is the most pleasant action we have ever experienced, enabling instant changes of direction, or skid correction, to be made. There is full castor action, two turns take the wheels from lock to lock, and that lock makes a taxi blush. Only extreme surfaces result in slight return .action through the steering-wheel, which is occasionally emphasised by Column vibration.
These three qualities of comfort, stability and accurate control make possible very fine average speeds, and in an eighty mile run over very twisting giveand-take roads, and a strange route, we put thirty-seven miles into the first hour and averaged better than 41 m.p.h. without exceeding 70 m.p.h. Incidentally, sOme of the bends were taken fast with a thumb and finger, or even the thumb-tip alone, on the wheel. In spite of such refinement the Type 45 is a very real performer. In second gear, normally used for starting, the acceleration is truly vivid, and is continued to 50 m.p.h. in third, after changing up at around 30 m.p.h. On the other
hand the B.M.W. will crawl at 8 m.p.h. in top and pick up without the slightest trace of effort or hesitation, the acceleration becoming really useful after 20 m.p.h. is reached. So that this is essentially a one-gear car if so desired. There Is some engine noise of a subdued sort while accelerating, but cruising at 60 or even 70 m.p.h. the B.M.W. is as unobtrusive as it is in built-up areas, and on account of the high gearing, the oil pressure and water temperature show no inclination to move from their customary positions-60 lb. and 140 F. respectively. We never got the temperature beyond 180°F. and no oil was added.
There is some gear-noise on second, and a slight hum, on the overrun only, In third, which has silent pinions. The synchro-mesh between top and third is one of the fastest we have tried, it being possible to work the lever literally like a pump handle with the clutch depressed, If one does not object to experiencing some excusable shock through the lever. On the other hand, so responsive is the engine that it shouts at once to doubledeclutch. The central gear-lever is long and rather flexible, with long movements, as befits a touring car, but is nicely placed and lies conveniently in the top-gear posi.ion. A ham-handed driver must use care in locating second when at rest, but an alternative is to start in bottom and go direct into third. There was a slight tendency to stick in the top-gear position.
The clutch is extremely light and positive, but apt to be fierce towards the end of the pedal travel. The brakes are very powerful indeed, yet can be applied merely by resting the foot on the pedal, although operated hard they will call forth protest from the tyres on a dry surface, as we discovered in saving the life of a happy puppy that
indulged in unwise egress from a side street. They are absolutely even in action, progressive and completely silent. The hand-lever is rigid, easily reached by stooping very slightly, is positive, releases easily, has a small movemeat and is clear of th occupant s legs—more than which we do not ask. We put in our 300 miles between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8.30 p.m. without feeling we had motored any cc nsiderable distance, which is hardly surprising in view of the light control, the security and the silence of the Fra7er-NashB.M.W. The car tried was a hard-used demonstrator, yet the bodywork displayed not a trace of rattle or squeak. The windows could be opened without invoking unpleasant draughts, but around the feet the warmth was a trifle greater than we wanted on a muggy day, though
there are no fumes unless the under-bonnet tank is brimful. The Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. is essentially a very refined touring car, with astounding qualities, but it is also no mean performer. We were especially interested in carrying out the Brooklands tests, because the demonstration model had to be returned, and we were offered a private
owner’s car—his third Type 45—which had covered 15,000 hard miles.
On the run down we confirmed all that we had written about the other car, and were told that the only replacements to date had been shock-absorber rubbers, at a cost of 2/6. After decarbonisation the original gasket was replaced. At the track the soaking concrete did not assist the acceleration figures, which were taken two up with the roof and screen
shut, but the graph indicates their high quality, 0-50 m.p.h. occupied 131 secs., and 10-60 m.p.h 191 secs. Trying for speed, we attained 25 m.p.h. on first, 40 m.p.h. on second and 60 m.p.h. on third, equivalent to 5,500 r.p.m. in each ease, and at these revs, things under the bonnet did not sound unduly dis mayed. Once again the remarkable stability was apparent, for which the independent suspension, tubular frame and low-pressure tyres must be largely responsible. But maximum timed speed is taboo with workmen about the place. Nevertheless, in about half a mile, we reached eighty on the speedometer, as the other car had done on the road, and that instrument was approximately 2 m.p.h. fast at thirty. So that the Type 45 B.M.W. is a genuine 75 m.p.h. job, and far faster as a road car than most cars
that do 85 m.p.h. flat out. The fine acceleration is attributable to lightweight construction, but we are satisfied that the bodywork is not skimped to this end. The tests were actually made with 95 main jets, which are smaller than standard. Fuel consumption was not checked, but Mr. H. G. Symmons, whose car we tried on Brooklands, assures us that he gets 25 m.p.g. driving hard and 28 m.p.g. on long runs.
We have emphasised that the interior appointments of the car are fully in keeping with its silent, supple functional refinement, and what follows serves to qualify this. The chassis lubrication is automatic,
by foot-operated pump. Another extremely good feature is the fuel reserve, which is a tiny tap behind the dash, easily bringing in. the reserve half-gallon without stopping the car, as the engine picks up as soon as the change is made. The range is approximately 200 miles on a tankful. The Bosch screen wipers work well and silently and park properly, the jacking system is very conveniently arranged, and the lamps are adequate up to 70 m.p.h. after dark, the dimmer being worked by the left heel. On the car tested it was rather stiff to operate. The instruments are beautifully finished. with white dials, and all the minor controls are in the form of pull-out buttons or big switches in white ivory. The instruments are lit from behind the panel and there is a control to fade the lighting to any desired degree, until only the oil and temperature readings stand out, Every instrument is easily read by the driver, though the wheel rather blanks the “seventies section” of the speedometer at night. The Bosch horn has a nice note and the button is in the wheel-centre. Two cubby holes are provided, a trifle on the shallow side, and the doors have
elastic-topped pockets. The backs of the front seats fold forward and have substantial grab rails for the rear-seat occupants. Upholstery was in very highgrade leather and was on the hard side. The cord-upholstered seats are much softer. The rear passengers have wellarranged arm-rests, and neat leather “pulls.” The view for reversing is limited, but the central mirror is adequate. The non-cancelling built-in direction Indicators are operated by a switch on the extreme near side of the facia, but this can actually be reached quite easily by the driver. The lamp-switch has a simple three-position movement. Reading from left to right the facia carries the following cigar lighter, ash container ; direction indicator switch below ; ignition key and dynamo window ; oil gauge ; ignition and starter controls below ; speedometer with rev, readings on gears ; thermometer ; throttle and choke below ; dash-lighting control ; petrol gauge ; lamp switch ; reserve fuel tap behind dash.
A League Championship
In the first issue of the E.R.A. Club’s fully fledged magazine ” Hearsay ” the suggestion is made that public interest in motor-racing should be raised by the institution of a League Championship. It is proposed that each of our roadcircuits has its own team of four, which would race against each other team in turn, scoring five points for a win, three for a second and one for a third. It is stipulated that these contests should all be scratch 200-mile events, limited to one class, preferably the 1i-litre. But we are not so sure. Following this expression of editoriai suggestion comes a Yankee
The screen pillars are, perhaps, rather wide but then the driving vision generally is far beyond the average. The doors are wide and entry and exit can be accomplished with grace. ‘Under the bonnet the engine seems of very modest dimensions, but what there is of it is finished with unobtrusive
German thoroughness. The dip-stick pulls straight out and radiator and fuel fillers are both to hand with the bonnet open. Chassis lubrication we have said, is fully automatic, and in normal driving the ignition control is not used. Starting was always instantaneous on depressing the tiny ivory Bosch button, and very little choke is needed after a night in an open garage. When ticking over the exhaust note is pleasantly sporting, though not evident from the interior. The bonnet panels are of light material, but they do not drum, and the simple clips work excellently. The “front works” and the big high-set headlamps remain firm and steady on all surfaces at all speeds.
Turning to mechanical matters the 2-litre engine measures 65 mm. x 96 mm. (1,911 c.c.) and has twin Solex carburetters, push-rod overhead valves and a compression ratio of 5.6 to 1. No pinking was noticeable, even on cheap fuel, and the engine is one of the smoothest sixes we know. The front suspension is independent with transverse spring and wish-bone links. The clutch is of dry plate type and the final drive by spiral bevel gears. The tubular backbone frame has semi-elliptic rear springs.
report of the American Vanderbilt Cup Race, from which we quote the following extracts. “The helmeted drivers in the rip-roaring flame wagons seemed bent on making up the delay in a hurry. The din was terrific as they buzzed dizzily around the turns and shot like loud streaks down the Grand Stand straight away. His Lordship (Lord Howe) seemed as cool as a cucumber as he went popping along in his bucket seat. He finally pulled up at the pits for a spot of tea and a couple of buckets of gas . . .” That Is the sort of thing you get when you attempt to make motor-racing_so_very popular. Hydraulic shock-absorbers are used and the brakes have mechanical actuation. The dimensions are : wheelbase 8 ft. ; track front 3 ft. 10 in. rear 4 ft. 3 in. The type 45 saloon is priced at £350, or at 4365 with leather upholstery and
safety glass all round. The weight is. 1,860 b. and the turning circle 29 ft. 3 in. On paper it is hard to do full credit to a Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., which sets. the hardened motoring scribe a considerable’poser. We have tried to show that here is a car which offers extreme refinement, sports-car performance at lowengine speeds and which possesses the finest steering we have ever handled, the best road-holding of any modern touring car we know, and which is beautifully finished and extremely comfortable. If the price were to be raised by a threefigure sum it is doubtful if the sales would be affected. As a service to readers we seriously suggest that anyone seeking a car in this class should make a test of one of the Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. models. Externally the car has been called ugly, though to us the lines rather suggest
quality and effieiency. Certainly the B.M.W. is recognised everywhere as being associated with a famous sports marque, which is some of the fun of owning one, apart altogether from the fascinating refinement that is ever present, whether one be winding one’s way through dense traffic, or cruising steadily and silently at a mile a minute. In conclusion, we admire the Frazer-Nash-B.24.W. very much indeed.
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