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Rebuilt Single Seater Frazer Nash


29th Apr 2017

David Pryke has finished his rebuild of his single seater - he writes:

My understanding of the history of this car is that is was built up from various sources by the late John Charles in the early 80's. At that time he owned the Peter Aitken single seater (now owned by Geraint Lewis). He had a bad crash in that car at Spa in 1981 and whilst rebuilding it decided to use his cache of spares and some new components to build up a second single seater. The body however is based on photos of the Dudley Folland car with a squarer radiator intake and different scuttle from the Peter Aitken car. Some of the spares John Charles used had been left over when Truscott rebuilt CMH 498 (then reg as NBP 644) back into a two seater. The Gough engine was original and so is the radiator and perhaps most of the suspension and brakes - but how much of the rest I will leave experts far more knowledgeable than me to determine. The offside chassis rail is stamped 2149RC. 

Mark Morgan bought CMH 498 from my cousin Jo B-E about 3 years ago and then bought this single seater from the Lists in Austria (who also then owned the ex-Fane single seater (very recently acquired by Patrick B-E)) so that he could remove the Gough engine and put it back in CMH 498. So the BMW unit which til then had been in CMH 498 was surplus to requirements. My uncle Tim (Pryke) had first installed the BMW unit donkey's years ago. So the cars have basically swapped engines. The BMW engine came with the mounts and bell housing that Tim had made up many years ago and I have been able to reutilise much of those components and the exhaust manifold. 

One of the main difficulties was sorting the clutch as the one Tim had engineered came out of the wrong side of the bell housing for a single seater and was frankly horrible anyway. All the odds and sods like throttle linkages, fuel lines, choke mechanism, electrics etc etc took much longer to sort than I'd hoped. The propshaft had to be shortened. A lot of fettling was also needed with the wriggly monkey and bell cranks as the car could not be persuaded to select third or top. There was far too much front axle caster and the front lower radius arm brackets had to be altered on the chassis as all the potential adjustment had been used up. I can only assume the car has not been out in years as it was in several respects undriveable as set up. The bonnet also needed substantial alteration as the exhaust exits on the other side and the bonnet top was too close to the front carb intake. 

Anyway I've thoroughly enjoyed sorting it all out and much appreciated advice I've had from my brother Steve, Simon, Jo and Patrick B-E, Luke Roberts and many others. 

It's all finished now and will be debuting at Curborough on 30/4/17.