Each year, over 30 cars compete in the Frazer Nash Alpine Trial, which takes place in the beautiful landscapes of the Italian French Alps. This year is particularly special because our very own Jeremy Holden will be taking part, and spent last weekend traveling to Valloire in South East France with a Frazer Nash Super Sports car he owned until twelve months ago. This week, he’s driving 200 miles per day (with a break on the Wednesday) alongside the car’s current owner Julian Rodway. The route is split into two loops, northern and southern, both of which circle back to Valloire.
Jeremy owned the Frazer Nash Super Sports for six years before Julian purchased the car from him last year. Prior to this, the car was owned by Mike Fowler, an engineer who finished rebuilding it in 1999.
Jeremy has a real love of the Frazer Nash Super Sports, and even won the Frazer Nash Club’s Geoghegan Trophy with it in 2011. It’s no wonder, therefore, that he recently got in touch with its new owner, eager to take the car out onto the open road again.
Last Thursday evening Jeremy and Julian took the overnight ferry from Portsmouth, before trailering to Dijon and then ending up in Valloire in order to prepare for the event’s start date on Monday morning. Given that the route is steep, narrow and a little bit bumpy, they were keen to ensure the Super Sports was in tip-top shape before taking to the road. Unfortunately, it wasn’t! Complications arose, but thanks to Jeremy and Julian’s collective expertise (and sheer determination) they managed to get going as planned this morning.
We’ll be giving you regular updates throughout the week about Jeremy and Julian’s progress, so keep an eye on the blog for new posts and photos!
It’s not like the team at Holden Morgan to shy away from a challenge, and this is especially true of their latest venture – a monumental restoration project of a 1955 Morgan +4 currently occupying the new service and restoration bay.
We first introduced you to this broken down +4 back in March after Jeremy picked it up from Scotland following a bit of late night impulse shopping on eBay. Coincidentally, it turned out the chap he bought it off frequented the same old haunt Jeremy was once a regular at over 30 years ago, meaning their paths may have crossed a few times before. On Monday 13th March, after a celebratory dinner at the Anchor Hotel Kipford, Jeremy loaded the Morgan onto a trailer and it was transported back to the Holden premises in Bromyard.
Unfortunately, due to its fragile state, the car actually broke in half mid-journey, meaning that a new chassis will be required, a good job the Morgan factory is just up the road!
The exciting news is that there’s now an adventurous plan for the car. Not only will it be restored, in house, by June next year (which, when it comes to car restoration, is a bit of a tall order), but it’ll be modified into a rally car and taken to Rally Round Africa in October 2018!
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Rally Round Africa is a 6700km route that begins at Dar es Salaam, passing magnificent wildlife, bustling cities, breathtaking coastlines and dusty deserts before concluding in Cape Town. The question is; can this rather sorry looking Morgan handle the heat? We believe it can!
Follow our story over the next twelve months and watch us transform this tired and forgotten Morgan into a rally car fit for the African wilderness.
Time has definately passed since the last news of the Tiger rebuild. However, the painted shell has been quite literally descended on by a great collection of parts that have been carefully restored during the period whilst the shell was away. Some parts were done by Jonathan and team at Hardy Hall, some here in our own workshops – mostly things electrical – and others by outside specialists – brake calipers, rear axle etc etc, The car has now reached the stage where, it looks reasonably complete – Shiny bits are back on, dash and instruments installed, what trim there is reinstated, and most importantly front suspension and rear axle installed. The car is now in a position where it can sit on its own wheels and be moved – indeed it is imminently heading to Vehicle Wiring Services (www.vehiclewiringservices.co.uk) who will manufacture and install the wiring loom. All we are needing now is the engine and gearbox – which currently is waiting for a set of pistons!! The deadline is looming……….
You may remember from an earlier post that lurking around here there is a small green 2CV van – a wrinkly bonnet type equipped with a 425cc twin cylinder air-cooled engine – which is currently with Herefordshire 2CV guru Pete Sparrow being fettled. Well, investigation of the rest of the vehicle has commenced whilst the engine is away, and removal of a distinclty home-made floor plate has revealed the original floor – or rather a lack of one!!
Fref Flintstone’s 2CV!!
Never one to be outdone, Jeremy has instigated rebuild projects of his own. His early Vauxhall, having been rebuilt approximately 20 years ago, is having the engine looked at to make sure all is well and to possibly extract a little more ‘Ooomph’. Whilst the engine is out of the chassis, all the signs of abuse from trialling are being attended to!
Vauxhall engine being carefully removed from the chassis
Meanwhile, across the workshop, the 2CV van is also receiving attention – This little vehicle has not as yet, received a mention in these parts, but as with Julian’s 2CV it started from an Ebay listing. Initially, Julian thought about something to use whilst his car was being rebuilt – this little crinkly bonnet van caught the eye. However, SWMBO vetoed the idea stating that ‘We were all barmy’, and ‘what a pile of junk’. To shorten a slightly lengthy story, the result of the Ebay Auction was that Jeremy bought the van!
The above shows the van on the day it arrived. We later discovered that the engine was seized, but otherwise it’s in pretty good shape. Its destiny – get it running and roadworthy and use it as a company promotional vehicle!
The first part of which has now started – the engine initially had the bores filled with diesel to attempt to free off the stuck rings, but on advice, it was deemed quicker and easier to remove the heads to make certain that no debris had dropped down the manifolds – both inlet and exhaust ports are on the top of the 2CV cylinder head.
2CV engine out. No need for engine cranes here!