Archibald Frazer-Nash started his company in 1922, but found himself in receivership by 1927. From the ashes was born AFN limited, the majority of which was purchased by H.J. Aldington. In the aftermath, Archibald went on to create a new company with E. Grattan Thompson ( Nash&Thompson), which developed hydraulic aircraft gun turrets.
By 1934, the early Frazer Nash “chain drive” cars were a thing of the past, so AFN Ltd. became importers and assemblers of BMWs and sold them as Frazer Nash BMW. They were the official importer until the war got in the way in 1939. After the war, strong ties with BMW kept AFN in good stead. What was left of the heavily damaged BMW plant that wasn’t removed by troops found its way to AFN’s Islworth Falcon works. The Bristol Aeroplane Company, which wanted to be part of the post-war auto industry, bought a controlling interest in AFN. The plan was to build cars using a Bristol version of the pre-war BMW engine. The touring cars would be Bristols, and the Frazer Nash name would be kept for the sports cars. In the end, there was a great deal of friction between the companies, so both companies ended up going their separate ways. Yet despite the split, Bristol agreed to supply AFN with its engines and transmissions.
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