1935 Frazer Nash-BMW 315 Three-Position Drophead Coupe by E. Bertelli
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | June 24, 2022
Archibald Frazer-Nash was the British importer of BMWs beginning in 1934. They re-branded and sold BMWs in the U.K. as Frazer Nash-BMWs, but this only lasted until the outbreak of war in 1939. After WWII, Frazer Nash sold sports cars of their own design.
So this 315 model is essentially a re-branded BMW 315, which was sold from 1934 through 1937. These small BMWs were part of the 303 lineage of cars that dated back to, well, 1933. But the 315/1 was a factory roadster. This particular car is said to be one of three fitted with three-position drophead coupe coachwork by British coachbuilder Enrico Bertelli of Feltham.
Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-six that was rated at 40 horsepower when new. These were sports cars in their day, even if this one has a less-sporty body. It’s been in the ownership of the same family since new, and it’s gonna need a restoration. The pre-sale estimate is $24,500-$37,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 29, 2020
Frazer Nash is interesting for a number of reasons, one of which is that they offered quite a few distinct models, none of which were built in any great quantity. And yet, examples of all survive.
The Boulogne was offered in two series between 1926 and 1932. Early cars received Anzani engines, which this car had. But it was at some point retrofitted with a later car’s 1.5-liter Meadows inline-four. The car was raced in the 1920s before being re-bodied as a sedan.
But the sedan body was damaged during WWII, and it was re-bodied again as a Super Sport. Now it’s hillclimb ready. Only 30 examples of the Boulogne were produced between both series. This one should bring between $140,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | October 24, 2018
Photo – Brightwells
The first two models from Frazer Nash were the quite-similar Fast Tourer and Super Sports. This is a later example of this early model, which was available from 1925 through 1930.
This car is fitted with a replacement 1.5-liter Meadows straight-four that was installed in 1930 when this car was being used as a demonstrator. No gearbox or rear differential came with the car and they instead use a series of chains and sprockets connected to the rear axle. It’s strange, but these were very fast cars in their day.
Only 165 examples combined between the Fast Tourer and Super Sports were produced, making this car very rare. It’s usable (and has been used frequently) and was acquired by the current owner 55 years ago. It should bring between $195,000-$235,000. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chantilly, France | September 10, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
GN was a car company from the U.K. that went out of business in 1925. Founded by H.R. Godfrey and Archibald Frazer Nash, they specialized in cycle cars. Another venture of Godfrey’s was HRG. Frazer Nash, meanwhile, founded his own company whose early cars used GN parts. Cars from all three brands have visually similar characteristics.
The Shelsley was a very limited edition model produced between 1934 and 1936. This particular car is powered by a 1.7-liter straight-six (other engines could be had as well and Frazer Nash even built at least one Shelsley with a supercharger). This car features chain-driven rear wheels.
All Frazer Nash models are rare, but only six examples of the Shelsley were produced, which, remarkably, puts it sort of mid-pack among Frazer Nash models in terms of production numbers. This example has been in the care of the same owner for the last 22 years. Like all Frazer Nash’s, the Shelsley is sporty and rare, which leads to its pre-sale estimate: $240,000-$290,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 10, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
I feel like every time we feature one of Archibald Frazer-Nash’s spectacular automobiles, we have to have the conversation about the word “replica.” In this case, replica refers to a production vehicle modeled after an actual race car the company built. In this case, Frazer Nash built a car for the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans. Because it was successful, they built a run of similar cars for customers.
This example, with known ownership history from new, was first sold in the U.K. in 1950. It is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six from Bristol making 125 horsepower. One owner has had this car for over four decades. At one point in time, it was owned and raced by famed driver Roy Salvadori.
This was the 20th of 34 built. Frazer Nash only built about 85 cars after WWII, with this model being the most popular. With pre-war production included, Frazer Nash output was only about 400 cars. Not a large amount. But they are among the best of the breed – true sports cars. This example – which is all original – should bring between $760,000-$840,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
Over the past several months, we’ve featured a few Frazer Nash cars. They are all rarities, with the most popular model selling only 165 units. And they built somewhere around 20 different models, some in quantities as small as a handful. This, the Colmore, was produced between 1932 and 1939.
Two engines were available and this car features the smaller 1.5-liter straight-four. The car is chain driven, as most early Frazer Nash cars were. The Frazer Nash was sort of the pre-Lotus: it focused on being lightweight and nimble. The bodywork here was done by Elkington of London and is a 3/4-seater.
This car has known ownership back to 1950 and is one of only 19 ever built. It’s really sporty (go to Bonhams’ site to check out more photos, especially the other side of the car with the dramatic exhaust running down the side). Really cool, really interesting, this car should bring between $280,000-$340,000. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 11, 2015
Photo – H&H Classics
We’ve featured quite a few Frazer Nash cars recently, but they’re so rare we can’t help it. The Fast Tourer is actually the first model sold by Archibald Frazer-Nash’s company. It pre-dates the Frazer Nash-BMW cars of the 1930s.
It is powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four and is actually chain-driven. There were two concurrent models sold by Frazer Nash at this point. The Fast Tourer was the long wheelbase version while the Super Sports was the short wheelbase version.
This car has known ownership history since 1933 and it was restored in the late 1980s. It’s in great shape today and would make for a fun driver. These were built between 1925 and 1930 with only 165 built, split between the two different wheelbases. This one should sell for between $125,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | May 13, 2015
Photo – Brightwells
I don’t know what Archibald Frazer-Nash’s obsession was with naming his road models “Replicas” but he had at least two cars that featured that word. Imagine if Jaguar would’ve called their F-Type an “E-Type Replica” – it would have been chaos. “Replica” isn’t necessarily a word full of positive connotations.
But in this case it served a purpose. They were based on the cars that competed in the 1931 Tourist Trophy race, a race in which Frazer Nash entered three cars. The road car could be had with two engines, this one features the smaller 1.5-liter Meadows straight-four. The chassis was from an earlier FN car – the Boulogne – and is chain-drive.
The TT Replica was the second-most popular Frazer Nash model built, with 83 constructed between 1932 and 1938. These light, British sports cars were among the first of their kind and led the way for many light, British sports cars to come. This one should bring between $210,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | March 21, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
The BMW 328 is one of Germany’s first great sports cars, launched in 1936. It was the car that put BMW on the performance map. Meanwhile, in England, Archibald Frazer-Nash had established himself as the official importer for BMW vehicles into the U.K. Except, that these British-bound cars would be marketed as Frazer Nash-BMWs, not just BMWs.
The 328 is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six making 79 horsepower. Top speed was 93 MPH and they were serious contenders at the Mille Miglia. Production continued until 1940 when the war broke out. This example was imported into England, thus it is a Frazer Nash-BMW, and it was the second-to-last 328 sold in the U.K. before production ceased.
This car has had a number of owners and entered a museum collection in 1972. When the museum closed in the 1980s, it was retained by the family who owned it and has been used sparingly since. It has never been completely restored, just worked on as needed, so it has many original parts. Only 464 BMW 328s were built and not many of them were sold as Frazer-Nash BMWs. This one can be yours for between $1,000,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chicester, England | March 21, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
Archibald Frazer-Nash built some really cool cars under his own name (he also imported and attached his name to some BMWs). One such car was the Frazer Nash Targia Florio, a sleek convertible built between 1952 and 1954. The company experimented with putting a hard top on one of the Targa Florios and the Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupe was born (not to be confused with the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica).
The Le Mans Coupe was built between 1953 and 1956. It was the first Frazer Nash closed-top car offered and it featured a 2.0-liter straight-six making 100 or 140 horsepower. This car was actually prepped for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and competed there in 1959. It was driven by William Wilks and John Dashwood, who crashed the car and they were a DNF in 47th place. It was the final race for Frazer Nash at Le Mans.
The car was repaired and has had a number of owners of the years. It is in great condition and is very rare in that only nine were built and this is one of three to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It should sell for between $850,000-$1,00,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.