I do my best to answer the various queries which readers send me, but there is one of my own which has troubled me for a long time.
It concerns the provenance and fate of a rather unusual Frazer Nash. The section of the VSCC (about to become a club in its own right) which caters for the ultra-enthusiastic owners of GNs and Frazer Nashes in its evocative magazine The Chain-Gang Gazette, edited by Louise Northwood, covers both past and present very effectively but has no knowledge of one somewhat unusual Frazer Nash of the ‘chain-gang’ period.
It was, when I saw it, owned by Miss ‘Teddy’ Worthington when she was working on aeroplane matters at the RAE during the war, as were Denis Jenkinson and myself, along with other motor-minded persons. None of us knew of this Frazer Nash, which was unusual in having a twin-cam Anzani engine. Some assumed that this engine, a type never used in production four-cylinder ‘Nashes, must be one as used in the Squire sportscars, but it did not have the auxiliaries driven from the front of the camshafts and it looked to be from an earlier period, from mid-vintage times.
Its girl owner worked on it herself, regardless of the lack of heating in her garage, often into the early hours of winter mornings. A Sunday morning came when a few of us gathered to witness its first run after the restoration, Jenks included. Alas, as the radiator was being filled water poured from the engine.
However, the keen owner toiled some more and the Frazer Nash took to the road. Indeed it was driven to London for one of the 750MC’s meetings on the meagre ration of ‘basic’ petrol. On the return journey it ran out of fuel at Staines but Jenks had a tin in Farnborough and the FN’s girl owner rode there on the pillion of his motorcycle, returning clinging on with one hand and holding the precious tin with the other, a run of about 20 miles.
At war’s end we all dispersed and I never heard of the lady or her Frazer Nash again, nor of her 246cc Royal Enfield ‘bike which Cecil Barrow was said to have ridden in the TT and to a win at Brooklands in 1926. The ‘Nash had survived the war years so had not been broken up for scrap. I recall it as having a simple body, probably home-built, and having all its lamps wired up separately, so that on its dash was a row of switches. Surely someone, if not a previous owner, must remember it, and the motorcycle?