Archibald Frazer-Nash

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Archibald Goodman Frazer Nash (30 June 1889 – 10 March 1965), was an early English motor car designer and engineer, who specialised in manufacturer of light ("cycle") and sports cars in England.

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.


Nash added his third name Frazer and a hyphen to his surname in 1938 and so either form may be correct depending on the period.

Early years

Nash was born in India on 30 June 1889. In 1905, while at technical college, he met Henry Ronald Godfrey who later became a business partner in GN cars and Nash & Thompson. [1] After City and Guilds he served an apprenticeship with Willans & Robinson in Rugby. [2]

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Ronald Godfrey (1887–1968), technically Henry Ronald Godfrey, was an English motor car design engineer of the first half of the 20th century possibly best known for his successful Singer-engined H R G thoroughbred sports cars built between 1935 and 1956.

Willans & Robinson Limited manufacturing engineers of Thames Ditton, Surrey. Later, from 1896, at Victoria Works, Rugby, Warwickshire, England. They were manufacturers of stationary reciprocating steam engines then steam turbines, Diesel motors and generators. They also ran their own foundry.

Nash began an association with the aircraft industry in 1917 and remained in the Technical Department of the Royal Air Force until March 1919. [3] A skilled pilot he then bought his own Le Rhone Avro and flew with Godfrey to the Paris Salon. [2]

Paris Motor Show one of the worlds largest motor shows

The Paris Motor Show is a biennial auto show in Paris. Held during October, it is one of the most important auto shows, often with many new production automobile and concept car debuts. The show presently takes place in Paris expo Porte de Versailles. The Mondial is scheduled by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, which considers it a major international auto show.

Automotive career

GN and Frazer Nash cars

In 1910, Nash had partnered with Godfrey to produce the GN cycle car. [1] First sold in 1911, the GN cycle car was a lightweight two-cylinder car that stayed in production (apart from the war years) until 1922 in the UK and 1925 in France, where it was made under licence by Salmson. Frazer Nash's racing successes in highly developed versions of the cars contributed to their popularity.

GN (car) brand

The GN was a British cyclecar made in London, between 1910 and 1925, The name derived from its founders, H.R. Godfrey and Archibald Frazer-Nash. Production ceased in 1923 but the company kept trading until 1925.

Salmson aerospace and automotive manufacturer

Salmson is a French engineering company. Initially a pump manufacturer, it turned to automobile and aeroplane manufacturing in the 20th century, returning to pump manufacturing in the 1960s, and re-expanded to a number of products and services in the late 20th and into the 21st century. It is headquartered in Chatou and has production facilities in Laval. It has subsidiaries in Argentina, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, South Africa and Vietnam.

In 1923, Nash started the Frazer Nash company to produce an evolution of the GN, still chain-driven, which became the Frazer Nash sports car. Frazer Nash Ltd. was reconstituted as AFN Ltd in 1927 and taken over by H.J. ("Aldy" or "HJ") Aldington in 1929. At that time Nash resigned from any management role though he remained a small shareholder and instead devoted himself to his more profitable new engineering business. [2]

Frazer Nash brand

Frazer Nash was a brand of British sports car manufactured from 1922 first by Frazer Nash Limited founded by engineer Archibald Frazer-Nash. On its financial collapse in 1927, a new company AFN Limited was incorporated. In 1929 control of AFN passed to Harold John Aldington.


Nash & Thompson

FN-13 tail turret Royal Air Force- 1939-1945- Coastal Command CH854.jpg
FN-13 tail turret
FN-20 tail turret Fraser Nash FN-20 tail turret (14029963496).jpg
FN-20 tail turret

He was responsible for "many highly successful commercial inventions" starting with his Vickers-Nash Indicator. [3] Friend, Gordon Burt of Mowlem, was having trouble with jib cranes and Nash came up with a device to calculate and display the weight of a load a crane was about to lift.

Mowlem construction and civil engineering company

Mowlem was one of the largest construction and civil engineering companies in the United Kingdom. Carillion bought the firm in 2006.

In 1929 he launched Nash Safe-Load Indicators, manufacture was later licensed to Vickers. Encouraged by this success and the promise of a better income than provided by AFN Limited he started a separate engineering company, Nash & Thompson, described as Air Ministry contractors and armament engineers with a special interest in its application to aircraft.

FN servo-operated gunner's installation

In 1935 Nash & Thompson was sold into a new grouping, Parnall Aircraft Limited, formed with Parnall's shopfitters turned wartime fuselage and vessel manufacturers and Hendy Aircraft Company. In the documentation of the amalgamation special provision was made for the Frazer-Nash (sic) Servo-operated Gunner's Installation (specific ref . . . Official Secrets Act) which had completed extensive trials with the RAF. Manufacturing rights to his Frazer Nash Safety Wing-tip Flare Apparatus had been sold to S Smith & Sons and "the Governments of USA, Italy and other foreign countries". Nash remained on the board of directors as technical director. [3] H R Godfrey left to form his HRG Engineering Company with Halford and Robins.

Later years

After the Second World War, Nash again started inventing engineered products for defence, aircraft and atomic energy fields. After his death in 1965, the business continued growing as Frazer Nash Group until forced into receivership in 1990 by the UK government defence expenditure cuts.

Divisions that survived the demise of the Frazer Nash Group included Frazer-Nash Consultancy, Frazer-Nash (Midhurst) and Frazer Nash Research. Frazer-Nash Research is a division of Kamkorp, which purchased Bristol Cars in 2011.

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The Kamkorp Group is a privately held holding company, encompassing a wide range of businesses but operates mainly as Frazer-Nash Research Ltd. It is owned by UK-based Indian businessman Kamal Siddiqi. Over the past 25 years, the Kamkorp Group has developed proprietary digital electric and hybrid electric powertrains and products for the transportation and industrial markets. The company has produced various automobile prototypes under the brands Frazer-Nash and Metrocab. It also owns Bristol Cars, under which brand the Bristol Bullet sports car is being developed. The Bullet was unveiled on 26 July 2016, with production due to start in 2017.

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HRG Engineering Company British car manufacturer

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  1. 1 2 "GN Car Company." Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine .British Motor Manufacturers. Retrieved: 7 January 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 The Cars of Archie Frazer-Nash. Motor Sport magazine, Page 22, May 1963
  3. 1 2 3 Parnall Aircraft Limited. The Times, Monday, May 27, 1935; pg. 23; Issue 47074