1954 H.R.G. TWIN CAM SPORTS RACER
1954 H.R.G. Twin Cam Sports Racer
Chassis Number: 15APB
1 of 3 Built!
This car was built for Peter Fletcher a Gentleman race driver from London and was supplied by Henry Ronald Godfrey (HRG). This extremely rare example is one of the three cars built and is the only car in its original condition being all its life in private collections. The HRG was well ahead of its time and the unique spider wheels meant the brakes could be changed in 15 minutes this along with the tubular chassis gave the car superb road holding as the plans were to run an HRG team at Le Mans these were important design factors. The twin cams as they became known were very expensive hand built sports cars. After 15APB left the factory the company could only produce performance parts and did not produce another car. It was the last car HRG made, except for a brief one off effort some twenty years late.
The car was driven by Green and Calvert at the prestigious Goodwood nine hour race in 1955 finished seventh in class in front of many world class drivers including Sir Stirling Moss in a Porsche 550 spyder, Peter Whitehead in a D type Jaguar, Colin Chapman in a Lotus MKIV and Mike Hawthorn in a Ferrari Monza 750 in front of the worlds very best works entered cars. The race was won by Peter Walker in an Aston Martin DB3S. The HRG having to come in to have the radiator cleared of leaves after an incursion into the Swede field.
Peter was a determined racer and accepted the offer to race his team sponsored car at the Goodwood Easter International production car race in 1956. He managed to get on pole position alongside Ken Rudd's 2 Litre Bristol Ace and sister HRG driven by Green, another 2 Litre Frazer Nash was alongside them driven by Frank Utley. (GN was a company owned by Henry R. Godfrey and Archie Frazer Nash they split up and formed HRG and Frazer Nash respectively). Peter was first away and in his enthusiasm to put some space between the following pack (snapped the bleeding crank as he put it) and after a number laps he retired. That put paid to 15APB's first outing but Greens HRG managed a very credible 4th overall and first in class, in front of works entered Jaguar XK120's, Austin Healey and the Porsche 356 teams. Peter, although snapping the crank finished 3rd in class. Mr. Coombs later of Jaguar fame driving a Mercedes 300 Gullwing trailed the HRG's Peter soon had the car out again and drove in several events with varying success during the season. Whilst Green in the sister car had entered the several circuits and hill climbs in the Auto Sport Championship and was leading up until the final event but was runner up overall by some odd handicap system that even today is not fully understood in the last race at Oulton Park. Graham Hill driving a Lotus eleven DNF, truly excellent results considering that the HRG was running a 1.5 litre engine and the A.C.'s were running the much developed Bristol 2 litre engine.
15APB is one of three cars made and is the only car in its original condition being all its life in private collections. It is ready and waiting for its next outing. The spec of the car was the state of the art for 1956 and details can be sent on request. The combination of the alloy head along with the HRG-Palmer developed helicopter disc brakes make this automobile one of the most important British cars ever made. Cooper and Porsche went on to use the disc brakes in their race cars.
The HRG was well ahead of its time and the unique spider wheels meant the brakes could be changed in 15 minutes. This along with the tubular chassis gave the car superb road handling as the plans were to run the HRG at LeMans these were important design factors. Unfortunately the design and build costs got out of hand and when Singer who supplied some of the engine components were taken over by Rootes. HRG couldn't take up their engine options and it proved too much for a small manufacturer as the cost of the development was prohibitively expensive and it had drained their reserves producing the prototypes. The twin cams as they became known were very expensive hand built sports cars. After 15APB left the factory the company could only produce performance parts and did not produce another car. It was the last car HRG made, except for a brief one off effort some twenty years late.
The press of the day described the HRG as an extremely handsome sports racing car and as the car can be driven in traffic with impeccable manners, it production, it would have had few peers and as all the British manufacturers were struggling and couldn't afford to take on another radical newly designed car. HRG had to drop car production completely to avoid bankruptcy.
Frazer Nash tried with the Sebring and although it was not a particularly attractive car they managed through their loyal devotees to build a number of cars and notch up a few track successes but they then came under the same financial constraints and were soon another manufacturer from the past.
Road registered and taxed in the UK with new F1A and F1VA papers along with invited VSCC postwar documents and VSCA registration. The car has its original detachable V screen for driving to and from events. It also has the hood cover and hood stays for adverse weather conditions.
With the engine still to be run in from a recent rebuild. The car has never needed to be fully restored and mileage is minimal due to being kept in collections all its life. Sympathetic restoration as required has been carried out to keep the car in tip top period condition an original matching numbers car that features in every publication on British sports or racing cars published since 1955.
15APB has a regulation F1A oil catch tank, detachable fire extinguisher along with Dunlop competition tires and is ready for competitions. All documents from previous owners/club archives along with black and white photos from Good wood and Watkins Glen GP support race, finishing 2nd in class.
Color photos from Aintree and from Le Mans. Oil painting approximately 4' x 2' by the world's top automobile artist Tony Smith. Official posters from Watkins Glen and Le Mans along with 1956 Goodwood competitor key ring and Watkins Glen drivers badge with many other items, including the programs for all the events come with the car to give a comprehensive history.
KNOWN COMPETITION HISTORY
2007 LE MANS 24 HOUR INVITED SUPPORT RACE driver Patrick Blakeney Edwards
2004 AINTREE INVITED 50'S SPORTCARS. Simon Blakeney Edwards.
1975 WATKINS GLEN GP SUPPORT RACE. Ian Dussek
1956 GOODWOOD INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTIONS RACE. Peter Fletcher.