Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica
Sebring is a favorite race for underdogs. Who can forget Jim Hall’s Chaparral swimming down the pit straight on its way to vanquishing the Ford onslaught in 1965? Or the tiny Crosley winning the first Sebring race ever in 1951 (OK, it was on handicap). Still, the race is not always to the fastest or the best financed, and this was amply shown in 1952 when a newcomer to American racing showed an impressive field the way home.
The stage was set the week before the Sebring race when the SCCA, in a bone-headed power struggle with the AAA, put on a rival 12-hour enduro at Vero Beach. This siphoned off some of the top modifieds that were unable to be bent back into shape in time for the Sebring grind barely 100 miles away. Still, Briggs Cunningham was there with a Ferrari 4.1 for himself and Bill Spear. Bob Greer had a Cad-Allard, Dave Hirsch entered an Aston-Martin and there were numerous Jaguars and smaller Ferraris, as well. A last-minute entry was a Frazer Nash LeMans Replica, owned by Duke Donaldson and driven by Larry Kulok and Harry Grey. Donaldson had ordered the car five days earlier, and it was diverted by the factory, in mid-shipment from Australia to New York, in time for the race. Kulok and Grey picked up their silver steed at the wharf and drove it to Sebring to break in the engine. The engine was dead stock and there wasn’t even time to remove the street equipment. No one knew what to expect of this 2-liter sportster, but it certainly wasn’t considered a threat to the Ferraris and Jags. How wrong they were! When the flag dropped, Spear took off with Kulok hard on his heels. Soon they had pulled away from the field, leaving the Jags far behind. At 5:00 p.m. the fearsome Ferrari shelled a differential and Kulok went onto an unchallenged victory, finishing five laps ahead of the second place XK-120. The Frazer Nash team even snatched third in the Index of Performance!