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High Speed
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1948 - 1949
Numbers built:6
Introduced at:1948 Earls Court Motor Show
Successor:Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 14, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionImmediately after the War, Frazer Nash was partly acquired by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, who were particularly interested in the BMW 328 engine built under license by Frazer Nash during the second half of 1930s. Originally, the plan was to develop a luxury sedan under the Bristol name and a new Frazer Nash sports car. While both proposed models were indeed created, the two companies had already parted ways. Bristol did agree to supply engines to Frazer Nash in exchange for the services rendered.

With limited resources available, it is hardly surprising that the new Frazer Nash sports car was clearly a development of the pre-War BMW. The chassis was new but still consisted of a conventional steel ladder frame. Suspension at the front was through lower wishbones with a single transverse leaf spring. A live rear axle was fitted with torsion bar springs. A development of the overhead-valve 328 engine was, which featured hemispherical combustion chambers. Equipped with three carburettors, it produced around 120 bhp.

Following a one-off Spider for the Shah of Persia, the 'production' version was introduced at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show. Clothed in a straightforward cycle fender body, it was known as the High Speed Competition, or simply the High Speed. A handful of these were built and one was driven to third at Le Mans in 1949 by Norman Culpan and Harold John Aldington. Following this superb result, the model was re-christened the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica from late 1949 onwards. Around this time the engine's power was also slightly increased to 125 bhp.

The competition success of the new Frazer Nash prompted an increase in sales and the Le Mans Replica quickly became a formidable weapon on tracks the world over. Among the many successes were outright victories in the 1951 Targa Florio with Italian Franco Cortese at the wheel and in the inaugural, 1952 Sebring 12 Hours, driven by Larry Kulok and Harry Gray. Late in 1952, a Mk 2 Le Mans Replica was introduced with a lighter tubular chassis. A slightly narrower single seater version of this car also followed.

Production eventually ceased late in 1953 as cycle fender bodies were due to be banned in sports car racing. The Le Mans Replica was replaced by the straightforward Targa Florio Replica and the more luxurious Mille Miglia Replica, which both feature all-enveloping bodies. Today, the Le Mans Replica, in all its guises, is the most sought after of Frazer Nash models. Many of the surviving cars are still raced hard and with considerable success. Such is its demand that quite a significant replicas have also been built over the years.

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  Article Image gallery (18) 421/100/004 Specifications User Comments (1)