build date: Summer 1951
chassis number: 421/100/159
engine number: FNS 1/32, replaced with BS1/144 in July 1953
initial registration: JYS 3
original colour: Valentine’s Napier (dark green), green leather interior
- one of the most original Le Mans Replicas
- factory team car at the 1953 Goodwood Nine-Hour race
- highly eligible for the world’s most prestigious historic races
- fully documented history from new
- competitive, race-ready condition
- previously raced at Goodwood, the Monaco GP Historique, the Mille Miglia and Le Mans Classic
The Le Mans Replica was the most sporting model produced by Frazer Nash in its post-War era. Initially called the Competition model, it was renamed in honour of the Frazer Nash that came 3rd overall at Le Mans in 1949. Only 29 were made between 1949 and 1954, of which 21 were the prettier Mark 1 version.
Powered by a six-cylinder 2-litre Bristol engine, the Le Mans Replica was a quick and nimble vehicle which was competitive against the period Ferraris and Jaguars. Le Mans Replicas were successful in competition and raced with distinction at events as diverse as the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Le Mans 24 Hours and Goodwood Nine-Hours.
Chassis 421/100/159 (known as FN159) was one of the last Mark 1 versions of the Le Mans Replica produced by Frazer Nash in the Summer of 1951. It was displayed by Frazer Nash at the Festival of Britain in London and then exhibited at the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1951. FN159 was purchased by Melvin Motors Ltd in December 1951 for the proprietor’s 21 year old son, John Melvin, to race and road-registered “JYS 3”. Melvin raced the car throughout 1952 and 1953 in a variety of hillclimb and sprint events in Scotland.
Towards the end of 1953, Melvin entered FN159 for the Goodwood Nine-Hour race. The car was part of the official three car AFN factory team and had its engine changed at the factory for the latest uprated BS1 series unit (number 144). This is the engine still with the car today.
In 1954 FN159 was purchased by Bill Bradley who raced it with some success during the Summer of 1955. He fitted a Borg Warner CW6 split case gearbox with a modified remote shifting mechanism and again this is still on the car today.
Hugh Denton purchased the car in late 1955 and raced it in minor club events while also using it for rallies and on the road. He sold the car on to Stuart Sharp in 1957, who converted it for road use. Sharp was to own the car for nearly 30 years driving it only occasionally. For the last ten years of his ownership, the car was laid up in a garage.
It was disinterred in 1996 by Christie’s auction house and found to be in remarkably preserved condition with original paint and upholstery and 31,000 miles on its odometer. After minor recommissioning work, it was sold to Abba Kogan, the well-known Monaco based car collector.
The car was offered for sale again in 2004 in the same patinated state that it had emerged from Stuart Sharp’s garage 8 years earlier. Andrew Hall and Peter Bradfield of the eponymous London classic car dealership purchased it for their own personal use. The car was entrusted to Blakeney Motorsport to be sympathetically restored for historic motorsport.
Well-known car collector and historic racer, Irvine Laidlaw, bought FN 159 in July 2007. He raced the car for a couple of seasons before selling it on to Peter Lovett in February 2011. Peter Lovett then sold FN 159 to the current owner in October 2013. The current owner has raced the car at many of the most prestigious events including the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Mille Miglia, Le Mans Classic and the Goodwood Revival.
The car is in exceptionally authentic condition. The body and interior are original, the engine is the upgraded unit supplied by the factory in 1953 for the Goodwood race and the gearbox is the one installed by Bill Bradley in 1955. The registration mark “JYS 3” is the one it was first registered with. It comes with a comprehensive set of history files which fully document the car from new, including correspondence with John Melvin, Bill Bradley, Denis Jenkinson and the Frazer Nash Archive. FN159 has been looked after by the same well regarded preparers for the last 15 years, is fully maintained and in race-ready condition.