1955 Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupe

Introduced in 1953, complementing the company’s successful open sports cars, the Le Mans coupe was the first closed Frazer Nash to enter production. It used the new parallel-tube-chassis frame, around which was wrapped a beautiful, full-width alloy body that, with its curvaceous lines and horizontal front grille, hinted at the forthcoming Sebring roadster.

The chassis boasted independent front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, torsion-bar rear suspension and twin-leading-shoe brakes, while the engine was, of course, the 1,971-cc, 6-cylinder Bristol. Of the nine cars completed, three would race at Le Mans, the most successful being chassis 186, which finished 13th overall in 1953 (winning its class) and 11th overall in 1954.

One of only nine Le Mans fixed-head coupes built from April 1953 to October 1956, this particular car is historically significant as the last Frazer Nash to compete at the famous French endurance classic. Completed in April 1955, chassis 421200203 was ordered new by Mrs. Kathleen “Kitty” Maurice, the enthusiastic landowner/promoter of Wiltshire’s Castle Combe race circuit. A Frazer Nash enthusiast, Mrs. Maurice took delivery of her Le Mans coupe in April of 1955.

Chassis 421200203 was raced at the 1959 Le Mans 24-Hour Race by gentleman driver John Dashwood. Dashwood had bought the car, registered XMC 1, from Frazer Nash’s parent company, AFN Ltd., in March 1959. AFN then prepared the car for Le Mans, which included altering the method of rear axle location by fitting a Panhard rod and Rose joints in place of the original “A” bracket.

 

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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