1938 Frazer-Nash BMW 320
From the John Malyan Collection; rare and desirable VSCC saloon; fully restored by TT Workshops
John Malyan was a well-known Vintage and Classic car enthusiast who maintained and restored his cars to the highest, no expense spared, standard. As a renowned architect he recognised beautiful form and good design when he saw it and chose his cars accordingly. Brightwells are delighted to offer three of his favourite cars for auction, this Frazer-Nash BMW, the Bentley Mk VI (Lot 41) and Bristol 400 (Lot 42).
For the same reasons that John appreciated BMW's design and engineering, John Aldington, who had taken over the running of Frazer-Nash Ltd was also struck by them while competing with the 'works' chain-drive Frazer-Nash cars in the Alpine trial of 1933. He thought the BMWs appeared so sophisticated and sure-footed compared with all else and so he approached BMW at the first opportunity to obtain the sole import rights for the UK.
Sold alongside their idiosyncratic chain-drive Frazer-Nash stablemates, the ultra-modern Frazer-Nash BMWs (as they were badged) were at completely the opposite end of the engineering spectrum but were clearly the way of the future and a good earner into the bargain.
The company didn't just focus on the out and out sports models either, but offered the more civilised saloon variants in the 320, 326 and 327...
These cars gradually took over attention at the Falcon works, becoming the mainstay of the business before WWII put a large spanner in the works. Aldington clearly had a keen eye, for post war they took on the exclusive rights to the Porsche brand in the UK, which there were to keep until the 1980s as AFN Ltd (Archie Frazer-Nash).
The 320 was not an out and out sports car, but offered 'Outstanding suspension and brisk performance' according to the Motor road test of 1938, the car providing 'all the familiar Frazer-Nash BMW characteristics - speed, rapid acceleration and an independent front suspension which combines road holding with unusual comfort'... a copy of the road test is on file.
The first owner of this car was a Mr Hill from Cullworth Hall near Banbury. He was to keep the car until around 1978, a period of 40 years. Its new owner lived in Chiswick and he owned it for a further 20 years, until 1998 when it was sold as the personal car to John Giles of TT Workshops.
The car was subsequently renovated by his apprentices at the Workshops to the very high standard we see today, before ownership passed to an American customer, although the car never left the UK and stayed with John at TT Workshops during his tenure.
John Giles took the car to a local BMW club gathering in 2010 on behalf of the owner, where it was spotted by John Malyan and a deal was subsequently struck, the car passing into his wife's name. During this ownership trail, the V5c records just three previous keepers.
Once in John Malyan's hands, care and maintenance continued, including work from David Cooper of Vintage Restoration and Maintenance. It had a new clutch cover plate in 2011 - supported by bills on file.
A letter from the BMW Historic Motor Club Chairman confirms that it is the only 320 Frazer-Nash BMW known to be up and running and it was invited to the club display at VSCC Prescott in 2014 as the sole surviving example of the model.
The restoration was clearly comprehensive and professionally carried out - the interior is trimmed in grey leather and we know it runs and drives as it has been used fairly recently to attend a rally at Hever Castle - a distance of some 80 miles. It also has an MOT which expires in April 2022 with one minor advisory for an exhaust blow.
One of the key appeals to this car is its usability. It may not look it, but it is a pre-war car which is fully VSCC eligible and is both effective from a performance stand-point and comfortable into the bargain. It looks to us like a lot of car for the money.
For more information - contact [email protected]
Reg No: FGC706
Engine Size: 1991
Docs: V5C, 8 old MOT's, VSCC Eligibility Document, Invoices.
Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)
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