THE FRAZER NASH-B.M.W. BRINGING THE CONTINENT TO ENGLAND.
A. . NYONE who knows Mr. H. J. Aldington, the genial managing’ director of the Frazer Nash concern, will net need to be told that “Aldie” has few illusions about sports car performance, road holding and the like, so that when we were informed that Messrs. A.F.N. had decided to manufacture the well-known German small car, the B.M.W., we realised that this must indeed be ” some ” car. Mr. Aldington Was very favourably impressed with their performance in the Alpine Trial two years ago, and after long consultations with German technicians and personal trials on the continent, he made up his mind that the cars definitely had a future in England. In the early stages the chassis parts will be manufactured in Germany and assembled over here, and will, of course, be fitted with English bodywork ; but by the end of six months Messrs. A.F.N. Should be in a position to manufacture every part of the cars in this country. The :chassis has two tubular side,
members, steeply upswept at the back, and the back axle is carried at each side on a normal type of undershing semielliptic spring. In the centre of the frame the chassis Members are parallel and at floor level, but converge in front of the engine. Front axle proper there is none, but the side: members are joined to a pressing which carries a single transverse laminated spring. The front wheels are independently sprung, each of the two king pins being pivoted On the extremities of the spring and On radius arms carried underneath it, excessive movement being damped by built-in shock absorbers. The brakes are operated by cased cables.
The engine is a neat-looking overhead valve unit of 1.1 litre capacity, giving a sustained 40 h.p. at 3,800 r.p.m., with three carburettors and coil ignition. The gear box, which is built in unit with the engine, has four speeds and reverse, with synchro-mesh on third and top. The final drive is by spiral bevel, the reduction, and hence the top gear being 4.38 to I.
The two-seater body standardised in Germany is built on rakish lines, with flared wings and bonnets sides ventilated by large perforated panels. In this country the car will be fitted with English coachwork, a different radiator, wire wheels and right-hand steering ; and it is worth mentioning that it has been found possible to fit really high-geared steering without impairing the lightness which was part of the charm of the German version of the B.M.W.
The all-out speed ‘with the B.M.W. sports engine is said to be over 75 m.p.h., and since the complete car weighs only 141 cwt. the acceleration should be equally striking. The chassis is amply big enough to take the 70 b.h.p. six-cylinder Frazer Nash engine, in which case a further improvement in performance may be anticipated, and a two-litre engine may also be produced for it later on. We arrived at the works for a short trial run on a cold rainy night, and had already noted on the way down the slippery condition of the tramlines on the Isleworth road. The conditions in no way deterred Mr. Aldington, and in a Short time the demonstration car was brought out and we conducted a series of braking tests on these same tramlines at 45 to 50 m.p.h., and however hard the brakes were applied the remarkable car showed no inclination to deviate from a straight line. Sharp corners could be negotiated without any roll or skidding, yet the suspension is so Supple that the car can be rocked by hand when one is standing alongside it, like an old-style American saloon. The run was too short to notice much else, but we Could not fail to remark on the lively acceleration and the straight-through gear change ; but after what we had experienced we have no hesitation in supporting Mr. Aldington ‘s
contention that the is a car out of the ordinary.
The sports chassis will be priced in England at 2330, or exactly the same as it does in Germany, and the two-seater sports car complete costs from 2425 to 2450, according to equipment. The touring chassis, which has a two-carburettor engine, will also be sold in this country, costing 2275, and will be fitted with a complete range of bodies, one of the most practical being the 4-seater cabriolet at 2425.
Veteran Edwardian Vintage, September 1962
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