Very many years ago, I recall seeing illustrated in your columns a hillclimb or sprint ‘special’ called the ‘Freikaiserwagen’.
This vehicle was apparently powered by a rear mounted vee-twin engine and the feature that remains clearly in my memory was the exhaust pipe of the rear cylinder, which was curled round in a complete circle! It appears that this was done to enable the correct length of pipe to be accommodated.
Could anyone tell me if this car survived and, if so, is it still being used competitively?
The Freikaiserwagen story is a complex one, but the short answer is that the car has not been seen for 40 years. Built around 1937 by Joe and David Fry and Dick Caesar, it was a GN-Frazer Nash special with a V-twin Blackburne engine behind the driver (Auto-Union style, hence the punning German name). After the war, the Frys and Robin Jackson radically rebuilt it on an Iota F3 chassis, using in-line transmission, rubber suspension and two-stage supercharging, making it one of the quickest hillclimbers of the time. We show it above at Shelsley Walsh in 1937. Sadly, around 1952 Joe Fry was killed in it at Blandford; the wreckage was removed by the family and never re-built. G C