New member Samik Mukherjee
12th Oct 2022
I am delighted be the new custodian of a Boulogne with a fascinating history (Chassis No. 1118, Reg. PH 3870) that includes being both a works race car and one of three saloons to have been built in period. The car is now back in this country after a twenty-year stint in the continent in the custody of overseas Nash members, Francesco Di Lauro and Luc Brandts. Prior to that it belonged to FNCC Captain Bill Roberts and his son Steve Stanton; I believe both father and son campaigned it extensively for several decades, so some members may even remember the car and be pleased to learn it is back on our shores. Having recently joined the club, I took the opportunity to visit the archives at Henley on the Open Day earlier this month to find out more about the marque and the history of my car. I was warmly welcomed by fellow members of the chain gang whose enthusiasm for the cars and the history of the marque was quite obvious and contagious.
The Nash is not my first pre-war car, I currently own an MG J4 Special although that might have become a bit redundant with the Nash having firmly become the choice of car to take out at every opportunity (apologies to any fellow Triple M register members). In fact, I seem to be distinctly travelling back in time with my motoring predilections, having been bitten by the bug back in 2010 when it all started with a 1964 Alfa Giulia Spider which was swiftly replaced by a 1957 Lancia Aurelia B20 Coupe a year later. I put the Aurelia through a full restoration and enjoyed many years of ownership and only with the arrival of the Nash decided to part with it this summer. Alongside the Aurelia, I acquired the 1932 MG J4 Special a couple of years ago, my first foray into pre-war motoring. Some of my friends jest that at this rate it is simply a matter of time before they will find me on horse drawn carriages! Along the way, I have also indulged in a few other faster modern machines on two wheels and four. I must admit that the sensation of speed is addictive as long as I am in control of the situation and for me the Nash delivers that visceral experience in spades.
Which brings me on to what my plans are for the Nash. The biggest challenge I face, like many others I am sure, is finding sufficient time to do all the things I would love to. I intend to make the most of what little time I can find though by participating in some hill climbs next year and taking the Nash to a few events/meets. In the longer term, I hope to also get a race license and perhaps indulge in some amateur circuit racing. For now, I intend to embark on a sympathetic restoration project (mainly painting and detailing) over the winter months, so the Nash not only goes well (which it already does) but looks the part too. My good friend, historic motor car restorer Walter Heale, who some FNCC members will know is going to help me with this project. I acquired this car because I absolutely fell in love with it, quite oblivious to its interesting past. I was blown away more recently when I looked up the history of the car at the Archives. If there is any truth in the claims that the car has possible links to or is rebuilt from Chassis 1048, the Boulogne GP winning car driven by Captain Gallop that would be such an exciting find. I would very much welcome hearing from anyone in the Club who might have some knowledge of its past.
A bit about me then. My wife Kacy and I live on the South Downs on the borders of Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire, conveniently halfway between Brooklands and Goodwood or as some friends say petrol head heaven. We have a second home in Italy not far from Cernobbio or Brescia (not to mention some twisty mountain passes), so never really far from motoring action on our door step. Until COVID hit, we had been commuting mindlessly five days a week to the City, but one of the perks of working from home more often is that I now get to spend a bit of that time saved in commuting with my cars. I am fortunate that Kacy is very supportive of my passion for old cars and is happy to accompany me on various outings in my cars, even if that means she has to help push the car at times or wait by the side of the road for recovery. Kacy does not however drive and I hope the excitement of the Nash will perhaps encourage her to take it up one day. We are both very much looking forward to meeting fellow members of the chain gang in forthcoming meets/events.