Frazer-Nash - GN

The story of Frazer Nash really goes back to the GN cyclecar, the product of Ron Godfrey and Capt. Archie Frazer-Nash, whose initials formed GN. Starting from 1910 the belt driven cars used proprietary V twin engines, but not long after GN produced their own 1087cc V twin . By the time of their Grand Prix model, just before 1914-18 war, the engine became forward facing with the cylinder heads poking out of the bonnet on either side to assist with cooling, with a drive shaft going to a bevel box via a substantial flywheel that was designed to keep the engine going if one cylinder was not working correctly - not a bad idea since the angle of the engines V did not quite correspond to the timing of the magneto! This GN design was the basis of what would continue through in to future Frazer-Nash cars.

Post 1918 a steering box was added which replaced the wire and bobbin method of steering, and the wood chassis frame was replaced with steel. Salmson the aero engine and aeroplane makers in France took out a licence to build these cars, while GN acquired larger premises in Wandsworth so that GN could move out of Hendon, but by the time of the move in 1920, they lost vast amounts of sales, not being able to satisfy demand because they could only build 50 cars a week. But as time went on customers demand was the expectation of quieter engines and bigger bodies with more room, which was done, but this was at the expense of these GN's having less power and weight weight, at a time that both Ron Godfrey and Archie Frazer-Nash had far less control of their company. And when you consider that around this time the numbers of GN's made in France under licence by Salmson was tapering off due to tehm getting harder to see while the French company started to build their own Cyclecars that had 4 cylinder water cooled engines (they were adamant the engine was not to be air cooled), conventional gearbox and so on - something that Archie Frazer-Nash also understood. The GN was a great and popular concept but by 1922 had really had its day.

But what about the GN tyres and their sizes? The earlier belt driven GN's used the tyre size "26x2 1/2 for 2 1/4" also called 650x65. The GN's built after the 1914 - 18 break used the size 700x80 which is what is also called 26x3. The only exception was the post war GN Vitesse which was still listed with the 26x2 1/2 for 2 1/4 or 650x65 size. Blockley not only produce these two tyre sizes with the period correct twin stud Dunlop pattern of the time, but unlike other tyre brands available, the Blockleys are more robustly built as in period and as such are compatible for use on motorcars (as well as lighter weight motorcycles), yet our better product costs no more because we sell our tyres direct to the end user without the assistance of the Classic tyre wholesalers! We have also sourced a thicker decent quality butyl inner tube to suit.

With the Blockley tyres and the inner tubes, there is no reason not to have the original beaded edge set up on a GN - the tyres grip well, handle well, look period and last - they are reliable but just make sure your wheel rims are in adequate condition. Some cars have inevitably had their rims changed to well base type over the years and for these we can supply our period correct high quality 3.50x19.

See full details of all these GN Blockley tyres at the links below:

Blockley Products for Frazer-Nash GN

350 x 19

Blockley Triple Stud Crossply

£74.00 (£88.80 inc. VAT)

18/19 inch Rim Band (22mm wide)

Blockley Rim Band

£2.50 (£3.00 inc. VAT)

26x3 (700x80)

Blockley Beaded Edge

£125.00 (£150.00 inc. VAT)

26 x 2.5 / 3 inner tube

£14.00 (£16.80 inc. VAT)

26x21/2 (650x60)

£123.00 (£147.60 inc. VAT)