I take great pleasure in offering for sale this very important and historical Frazer Nash Shelsley Single Seat racing car, which was the last of the three single-seater voiturettes produced by the AFN works.
With a prestigious in-period race history in the hands of Hon. Peter Aitken, as well as an outstanding modern-day competition record, this exceptionally maintained and competitive Frazer Nash represents a rare ownership opportunity.
Frazer Nash manufactured just three single-seater cars with their own 1496cc supercharged Gough engine between 1934 and 1936. The first utilised a two-seater TT rep chassis. The current whereabouts of this car is unknown. The second, chassis #2155, was the first single-seater chassis AFN produced, and currently resides in the stable of Messrs Blakeney-Edwards and Hall.
Finally in 1936, Nash built a sister car and the last of the trio, Chassis #2164, as a pale blue single-seater. The car stands today as the most original and complete example of the two remaining cars. #2164 was ordered by Hon. Peter Rudyard Aitken, then aged 24. He was the son of media magnate Lord Beaverbrook and God-son of the famed author Rudyard Kipling. Peter raced many cars including 6CM Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and ERA R11B which he campaigned in South Africa.
#2155 and #2164 were built to similar specifications; both had bespoke chassis and straight-tube Shelsley front axles, 13” brakes, and incorporated the famous Frazer Nash chain drive rear axle with duplex chains, to handle the additional power output.
The engines for these cars were the newly designed Frazer Nash overhead cam four-cylinder with 1496cc displacement. These were the first engine designed from scratch for Frazer Nash by chief engineer Albert Gough, becoming known as “The Gough”.
Both single-seaters were supercharged with two Centric 260 superchargers mounted at the front of the engine and running in parallel using twin up-draught SU carbs. The cars were updated by the Works in the winter of 1936 to improve performance and engine reliability for the 1937 season. In 1937 the Works competed them together at Crystal Palace along with the Empire Trophy at Donnington Park, where #2164 was driven by Hon. Peter Aitken and #2155 was in the hands of AFP Fane. Aitken also ran his car at Brooklands and Phoenix Park.
During the war, Hon Peter Aitken hid his collection of cars away but sadly died in a boating accident in 1947 aged just 35. His brother, Max, sold #2164 via dealer and racing driver Charles Mortimer, to a Mr Robert Kempe, who passed the car to Dr Mirlees Chassels and Dr Joe Hendry. The two men campaigned the car jointly. In 1951, Chassels was driving at Bowness Hill Climb and crashed; the car sustained body-work damage and was laid up for repairs that never came. In 1959 they sold the car to Mr John Grice.
Grice rebuilt the car in 1960/61, replacing the centre section of bodywork but retaining the original tail and bonnet. He painted the car silver with black chassis and sold #2164 to Mr Arthur Gibson, who campaigned it with his brother Peter. The pair competed in the 50th anniversary of the French GP; de I’Age d’Or at Rouen, finishing 3rd overall and 1st in class.
Somewhere around 1975, the car again changed hands and then resided in Belgium with Mr John Charles, who returned the car to the original pale blue bodywork and grey chassis. In 1982, Mr John Sebert took the car to Ontario, Canada, but in 1989 Mr Mike Haywood brought the car back to the UK to be raced by Martin Stretton, as well as undertaking a period of restoration. In 2004 it was purchased by the current custodian, Mr Geraint Lewis.d
Prior to 2004 this car had been restored and well maintained, but the complete lack of any replacement engine parts proved to be a barrier to its competitive use. Over the past eighteen years the true potential of the car has been identified, and considerable time and money has been dedicated to developing #2164 towards fulfilling that potential.
The workshops of Blakeney Motorsport undertook the huge task of reverse engineering all the major engine components, manufacturing new spares that would secure the future of the Gough engines in these important cars.
Blakeney Motorsport skilfully combined modern technology with time-honoured know-how to produce new patterns for magnesium crankcases and cast-iron blocks and heads, and after extensive testing, new castings were undertaken and machined, together with spare sets for future use. Arrow Precision Engineering were commissioned to make a first batch of cranks and rods, and JE Pistons designed and manufactured new forged aluminium pistons.
In May 2007 #2164 returned to the track with new vigour and reliability, which produced an almost faultless track record.
In 2020 Mark Groves, owner of CMH500, one of the works supercharged Gough-powered sports cars, formed Cozette Engineering Limited as a supercharger specialist. A pair of completely brand new Centric 260 superchargers were built by Cozette, as spare parts had become unavailable, and this was considered the last major component needed for future-proofing these engines. Their engineering expertise using modern materials and machining capabilities has resulted in an incredible improvement in both reliability and efficiency of the superchargers.
As part of this final stage of the development, the engine was returned to Blakeney Motorsport, the undisputed experts in the Gough engine. A complete strip down was carried out, a new modified Arrows crankshaft was commissioned, and the engine was completely rebuilt.
This provided a further boost to the power output which now stands at 200 bhp, and this engine has completed only three races since the rebuild.
With major spares now available through Blakeney Motorsport, #2164 has the potential to be a front-running car in the hands of a true racing driver.
As the last of the chain driven single seat racing cars, and one of only two genuine factory cars, #2164 is eligible for all the best invitation events worldwide.
As well as is a full calendar of eligible events with the VSCC and HGPCA, #2164 is also has been a multiple entrant at Goodwood Revival, the Members Meeting, Monaco Historic and Vernasca Silver Flag.
In the very capable hands of Patrick Blakeney Edwards, #2155 achieved a podium finish at 2022 Monaco Historic. If the two cars were to compete together it could see them both take a podium finish, such is the level of potential that has been released over these last 20 years.
The car has held HTP papers for the past twenty years, with the current passport valid until 2026.
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