During the 1930s, Frazer Nash, who made some of the finest sports car of the time, extended their range by importing BMW's 3 Series cars which were re-badged and sold as Frazer Nash-BMWs. After 1945 they acquired the designs for the BMW range and encouraged the Bristol Aeroplane Company to take up car manufacturing which, to our good fortune, they chose to do! The first product was the Bristol 400 which in essence combined the chassis of the BMW 326 with the looks of the 327 coupe and the superb engine of the 328 sports car. Being made by an aircraft manufacturer the 400 was a very high quality machine and, being hand built by highly skilled craftsmen, it was inevitably expensive however it soon found a strong market niche as well gaining a good reputation in motoring events. This particular example, which left the factory on 4 th November 1948, was sold via London based Bentley dealers Jack Barclay and would have cost its new owner somewhere in the region of £2,500 which reflected it being hand built to very exacting standards. When its current owner bought it the car had been laid up for 15 years and was therefore in need of some tender loving care! After an initial check over it
In 1914 the buyer of this VCC dated Humberette cyclecar opted to pay an additional £15 over its £120 list price so that they could have the water cooled version of the 998 cc vee twin engine instead of the standard air cooled unit – possibly on grounds of quietness! Whatever the reason it is very good and pushes the car along at a very acceptable rate of knots! This particular example is in lovely well used original condition with the only variances from new being an Amal carburettor rather than what I believe would have been a Smiths five jet and coil ignition in place of the magneto. It also has well based wheel rims fitted with low pressure tyres where you might expect to find beaded edge tyres. They probably give a slightly softer and more comfortable ride and I expect they could be quite useful if you were looking for extra grip on a slippery section of any trial you may take part in. The engine starts readily on the handle and as I said earlier pulls the car along very nicely. The three speed and reverse gearbox is easy to use, the steering is positive with no discernible wandering and the brakes are as good as you might expect to find in an Edwardian cyclecar so all in all i
In the 1920s and 1930s Lea Francis were known for producing high quality cars including the famous supercharged 1.5 Litre Hyper. In 1938 the company introduced a completely new range designed by Hugh Rose who had worked for many years with Riley. He brought much of his Riley experience to the new models which incorporated powerful engines with high set twin camshafts driving valves through very short push-rods. The cars were available with very stylish coachwork which included an attractive 1.5 litre sports model. The design was updated in 1948 to include torsion bar independent front suspension and in 1950 the 2.5 litre four cylinder 100+ bhp engine fitted in this particular car was introduced. This gives very useable power throughout its rev. range and the car will keep up with modern traffic on country lanes as well as on main roads. In addition it is a pleasure to drive as it handles well due to its positive steering and good suspension. Its bodywork appears to be very sound and apart from a few minor blemishes the metallic paintwork is really good. The leather upholstery, which has a lovely patina and looks to be original, is in sound condition though there are signs of wear o
The thing that surprises many people (including myself) when they first pilot a 1930s 320 series BMW is just how modern they feel when compared most other cars of the period. Given that the specification includes a very advanced engine design, independent front suspension, rack and pinion steering and very good hydraulic brakes then we should perhaps not be too taken aback by how well they drive. Whatever the reason there can be no doubt that their performance and handling is definitely a cut above many of their contemporaries and it feels much more like a good sporting car from a couple of decades later. I had never driven a BMW 327 before so I decided that instead of having it trailered the roughly 120 miles from where it was being stored I would wait for a nice day and drive it home on good old fashioned A roads. This turned out to be one of my better decisions as I think I can safely say that it was one of the most enjoyable drives I have ever had in any car and I have been fortunate enough to find myself driving some quite serious machinery in the past! Perhaps I was being a bit spoiled as this particular drop head coupe is one of a minority of 327s which left the factory fitt
I think it fair to say that Alvis Speed 20s must be counted amongst the best of English sporting cars made in the 1930s. Their powerful six cylinder engines were set deep in the chassis allowing low bonnet lines which gave these cars a more elegant outline than many of their more perpendicular competitors. As well as having very good six cylinder engines which were usually fed by three SU carburettors, from 1934 onwards the Speed models came with independent front suspension and very easy to use all-synchromesh gearboxes which gave them handling and driveability which was far ahead of most of their more traditionally designed contemporaries. They were all supplied in chassis form to be bodied by high quality coachbuilders such as Charlesworth, Cross and Ellis and Vanden Plas so they also had looks to match their performance and this particular 2.76 litre Speed 20 SC with its close-coupled Charlesworth four door four seat saloon body would have been regarded as a very special car to own in 1930s England. Its coachwork appears to be very sound and has clearly been professionally repainted in the recent past and the interior is delightfully original with the sort of patina you can onl
This very rare car was was clearly very expensive when it was new and if you look closely at the quality of design and construction as well as the trim and detailing you can see that nobody was going round the Talbot Lago works complaining that things should not be included because they were too expensive! It is powered by Lago's 120 bhp 2.7 litre four cylinder twin cam hemispherical combustion chamber engine which is mated to a Wilson preselector gearbox so it has got plenty of power and it has decent handling and brakes to match so it's ideally suited for comfortable long distance cruising. It has a comprehensive set of Jaeger instrumentation and some very period-looking controls all set in painted metal dashboard as you might expect from a French car of this period plus a sprung steering wheel which is a work of art in its own right! By the way I have a copy of an Automobile Magazine road test of this actual car which has more pictures as well as a brief history of its development - I can e-mail this to you if you are interested in learning more. This is a rare opportunity to buy into the Talbot Lago marque which should not be missed! '
BMWs are one of the most desirable cars built in Germany in the 1930s, the most famous model being the 328 sports roadster though these have now become immensely valuable. However it is still possible to buy into this famous marque at affordable prices as this 326 (which is a close relative of the 327 and 328 models) admirably demonstrates. As you can see in the photographs this very stylish left hand drive convertible is in lovely restored condition inside and out with very good quality leather interior trim and carpets, excellent external paintwork and a newly covered hood. In addition it has had considerable sums of money spent on the mechanical components including a recent rebuild of its 1971 cc twin carburettor six cylinder engine and associated components. Most people are surprised by just how modern a 1930’s BMW can feel. The engine is very smooth and its four speed easy to use gearbox helps you to get the best out of its performance. It has very good handling and road holding due to its stiff box section chassis and its advanced suspension which uses torsion bars for the rear axle and has transverse leaf independent front wheel springing. BMW 328 prices have gone through t
This elegant Alvis 3 ½ Litre was delivered as chassis number 13126 with engine number 13576 on 8 th January 1936 to Follett of London . It was bodied by the Mayfair Carriage Company of Edgware Road, London with the sedanca coupe coachwork it carries to this day. It was first owned by Captain the Honourable Henry Rogers Broughton (who later became Lord Fairhaven) and we have log books dating back to 1946 when Captain Broughton still owned the car. These, along with letters from various owners including Lord Fairhaven’s son, tell us the names of every owner from 1936 right up to the present day. As far as I can see, although the car has been maintained it has never been restored which is a great credit to Alvis and Mayfair as it is in really lovely lightly patinated condition. If I am right about it being largely untouched then it must be one of the most original cars of its era you are likely to come across. The bodywork is very sound and rattle free and is remarkably free of signs of ageing. The quality of the exterior paint finish, allowing for reasonable wear here and there, is really nice with a deep black shine. The interior trim and upholstery are in very good condition consid