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1936 Frazer Nash-BMW 319/45 Reutter Cabriolet
Registration No. AAM 434
Chassis No. 54677
Engine No. 53142
Hammer price:£ 34000
Frazer Nash (AFN) led by the Aldingtons signed an agreement in 1934 to import BMW models for sale in England with right hand drive and imperial instrument dials, and wearing Frazer Nash-BMW badges. Although this was not a good time politically to be trading with Germany, the cars were so obviously superbly designed and well built, and performed so amazingly well that the result was a great success all round, and over seven hundred were imported before the outbreak of WWII.
The early cars, such as this 319 model, all used the celebrated and advanced tubular chassis frame, with the cross section varying along the length according to the applied bending moments, and the tubes being formed from sheet rolled and welded to the designed specification with tubular and box section cross members. Excellent rack and pinion steering and transverse leaf spring independent front suspension with large diameter hydraulic brakes completed the very effective specification, and the engine was equally efficient, in the case of the 319 being a 1971cc six cylinder unit of 66 mm bore and 96 mm stroke. The final flowering of the pre-war FN-BMW was undoubtedly the 328 model, which used a basically similar chassis, but incorporating a more powerful version of the 1971 cc engine with an advanced ‘cross pushrod’ cylinder head to give the advantage of an overhead camshaft without the complications.
AAM 434 is a Type 319 imported in Frazer Nash-BMW form in 1936 (and registered on 23rd March) with right hand steering and elegant 2-door cabriolet coachwork by Reutters.
The car has been subject to a most comprehensive but unfinished rebuild, by the country’s leading BMW specialists, involving complete dismantling and rebuilding from the frame up. The chassis was checked for alignment, shot blasted and painted and assembled with rebuilt springs, suspension etc. The Hurth 4-speed gearbox has been replaced by a 4-speed Volvo unit, a usual and desirable modification for these cars. A matching set of wire wheels, steering wheel, column, box and rack are present, but the fuel tank has been mislaid, though the fittings are present. The bodywork and timber frame have been restored and is ready to be painted.
The 319 engine has been rebuilt to 328 specification, with a new steel crankshaft and balanced Bristol conrods and new pistons with all new shell bearings throughout and with a 328 pattern cylinder head and new valvegear. The engine requires final assembly.
Altogether a sum approaching £80,000 has been spent, and the work is almost complete, but still requires to be finished. This is an interesting project with immense potential, and prospective purchasers are recommended to examine the assembly very carefully to ascertain exactly what will be required to complete the restoration.
A log book and V5c safeguard the original registration and identity of this historic FN-BMW.