Rare 1952 Frazer Nash Targa Florio, a Piece of Sebring’s History, Now Up for Grabs!


Frazer Nash might not ring any bells if you’re not passionate about British racecars, especially considering that the carmaker only built a small number of cars. However, the British brand made a name for itself in the post-WWII years with its lightweight and agile models that achieved great results in international competitions.

The Frazer Nash Targa Florio was introduced in 1952 to replace the Mille Miglia model and was targeted at people who were looking for a fast touring car with competition potential.

The Targa Florio cars were named in honor of Franco Cortese’s historic victory in the 1951 edition of the eponymous Sicilian long-distance classic race behind the wheel of a Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica.

The model was built on a new parallel-tube chassis frame with a beautiful full-width alloy body and was produced in two specifications: Turismo, which developed 100 hp (101 ps), and Gran Sport, capable of 127 hp (129 ps).

Targa Florio had a low price by that time’s standards, but it still was way more expensive than the Jaguar XK120 Roadster. This meant demand for this model was very low, so only 15 examples were ever manufactured. Out of those, only ten were the sportier Mk1s.

The example you see here is chassis number 421/200/175, a Gran Sport unit built in 1952 that has come up for sale via RM Sotheby’s.

It was ordered new by American racing driver and team owner Briggs Cunningham and was showcased at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show. It’s an important unit in the bunch as it’s the only one that was raced at the 1953 12 Hours of Sebring endurance classic race by the Briggs Cunningham team.

According to the accompanying documents, this Targa Florio was completed with a lightweight body, as well as larger wheels and brakes.

It was the fourth unit built and the second sold and boasts a larger-than-normal radiator grille with brake cooling holes lower on the nose’s either side. Additionally, it was equipped with a relatively powerful 2.0-liter six-cylinder Bristol engine.

It is offered with its matching-numbers engine and original body. Moreover, in 2015, the car benefitted from a full restoration carried out by Nick Finburgh of Classic Autos, meant to return it to its period specification, including its original color scheme of Valentine Blue San Remo (French Racing Blue).

Considering how well the Targo Florios handle, they are still a delight to drive around to this day. RM Sotheby’s is offering this 1952 Frazer Nash Targa Florio as part of a private sale, with an asking price of £495,000 ($602,199 at today’s exchange rates).

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