Wednesday, 12 January 2022

The cars of Alexander 'Sandy' Fraser: AF Grand Prix

Over to the next step in Alexander 'Sandy' Fraser's career as a motor manufacturer. After the AF Spider (click here) came the AF Grand Prix. That car was built in the same spirit but slightly differently designed and more cost-effectively made, making it also cheaper in price. Where the Spider had been offered for £850, the Grand Prix came at £650. 

Fraser: "I did not redesign the new car very much. It was just a matter of keeping the costs down by making a few subtle alterations. I was really trying to aim for a younger type of market than before. Previously it was really a rich man's fun car". The most notable changes were the round cycle wings, the rounded-off back, a different hood design and a bench seat rather than two separate bucket seats.

Sandy told me he made four Grand Prix three-wheelers plus one four-wheeler variant. The second three-wheeler was a customer-built car and he told: "It was the quickest car that I built, with 0-60 timed at just over 5 seconds. According to the owner 9000 rpm in top was achieved once just to see what it would do. This corresponds to 156 mph at which the airflow was said to be 'most uncomfortable'!" Now, let's have a look at the cars that I have found pictures of. I'd love to hear from you if you own any of these, or the one that I seem to have missed out on.

YTL 37L - AF Grand Prix - Green

NMR 179R  - AF Grand Prix - Blue

CMR 266V - AF Grand Prix - Red

CMR 267V - AF Grand Prix 4-wheeler - Maroon

Sandy Fraser with daughter and three of the five AF Grand Prix' he built, the 4-wheeler at the back. This lovely image reminds me very much of Roald Dahl's great story 'Danny the Champion of the World'
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

May 1972: the AF Grand Prix is launched and makes it to the local press
Picture Jeroen Booij archive 

Nine years later Sandy was still offering them, as this March 1980 clipping proves
Picture Jeroen Booij archive 

Motor test drove the AF Spider in July 1971 when Sandy told them about his plans for the AF Grand Prix. The magazine's artist Brian Hatton then made this drawing
Picture The Motor / Jeroen Booij archive

This is the AF Grand Prix brochure car, seen with garage plate '157 DD'
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

YTL 37L - AF Grand Prix. Is this also the brochure car / demonstrator?
Picture Peter Frost

NMR 179R - another AF Grand Prix, originally blue, later blue and black
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

CMR 166V - Cooper 'S' powered AF Grand Prix, beautifully finished in red
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

CMR 267V - the only AF Grand Prix with four wheels
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

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