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The Franziss Special


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#1 WDH74

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 01:06

Spent the day at Road America for the VSCDA's fall event, and spotted this:

[IMG]http://img168.images...ziss1do8.th.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://img178.images...ziss2tf5.th.jpg[/IMG]



The badges all say "Franziss", and closer inspection showed that the car's powered by a Curtiss OX aero engine. My Dad and I lvoed it, particularly the sound! Amazingly, it sounded just like every old aircraft you hear in the movies... :lol: Quite fast, too, and had a good scrap with a Ford V-8 engined special and a lovely Lester-MG.

Anyway, I never managed to actually ask the two fellows in charge about it, but did overhear a conversation between them and another chap, and heard the words "Frazer-Nash" a few times.
A Google search turned up a few photos from an earlier event, and that's about it. ISTR that the driver's name is Roger Sweet (at least that's what it said on his overalls!) Anyone else know more? Is the car usually in the U.K., and was making a special trip Stateside?

-William

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#2 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 08:07

The car seems to have the TOPS-Club sticker on its side - you could try them at TOPS - Club

Ralf

#3 Geoff E

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 09:12

One or two more pics here plus a "Readers' Comment" at the bottom of the page saying it it a Curtiss engine in a Frazer Nash chassis.

http://www.motorsnip...p?articleid=434

#4 bradbury west

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 10:54

Looks very much like the Becquet Delage raced in the UK for so many years. Quite a motor car.

Roger Lund.

#5 Alan Cox

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 11:33

Indeed, it was built by Roger Sweet and is entirely brewed from his own ideas. It is beautifully engineered and has featured at VSCC events in the UK since its debut at April Silverstone, 2004, and is, as Geoff E says, a Frazer Nash-derived chassis with a Curtiss aero engine.

#6 Paul Parker

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 14:13

But it does resemble the Delage that Alistair Boswell used to race a few years ago does it not?

#7 bradbury west

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 14:18

Paul, I thought Boswell still had it. Certainly he was at the 2005 Revival as I have the pics.

Superb machine, both in concept and implementation.

Roger Lund.

#8 Paul Medici

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 23:56

Roger Sweet said that he had the car ferried to the States.
From Baltimore he loaded her on the trailer shown in William's first photo
and visited Watkins Glen and Lime Rock Historics before coming to Kettle
Moraine County. Wish I had thought to have a close look at the chain drive.
As William stated Mr. Sweet had a enthusiastic dice with the 1500cc
Lester MG before leaving it in the dust.
Perhaps the 9000cc Curtiss had something to do with that.


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Holding on in Canada Corner

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#9 Jerry Entin

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 00:06

Great photos Paul. That machine must have sounded like a plane going down the runway on take off.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 01:01

What a wonderful doohickey!

But will those spokes hold up?

#11 WDH74

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 03:59

Paul, once again you and I seem to have crossed paths at Road America. One of these days I'll just stand there in a chauffeur's outfit with a cardboard sign with "Medici" on it and see if you turn up!

Ray-actually the spokes do seem to hold up, but they were getting a bit loose. I was watching them strap the car down on the trailer, and the "other chap" (never got his name!) was dragging his fingers along the spokes, listening for loose ones. A couple "plunked" when they should've "plinked"!

I've got more photos I'll try and post tomorrow. Man, what a neat car! If anyone here knows Mr. Sweet, please tell him that I hope he's enjoyed his Stateside adventures!

-William

#12 David Beard

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 20:39

The wonderful contraption raced at VSCC Oulton last weekend. Wonderfully driven, too…

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#13 Sharman

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 20:51

Just a thought.....How soulless Oulton looks in the background compared with when I were a lad! :(

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 21:09

What's the go with the change in the carburetion?

In fact, what is that strange carby set-up in the earlier pics?

#15 David Beard

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 21:51

Originally posted by Sharman
Just a thought.....How soulless Oulton looks in the background compared with when I were a lad! :(


It's not all that bad...it's just a lot harder to collide with the trees these days.

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 22:08

Ah! The Nostalgia!
I love these pictures of three-year-old cars :lol:

#17 David Beard

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 22:13

Originally posted by David McKinney
Ah! The Nostalgia!
I love these pictures of three-year-old cars :lol:


A newer equivalent of the 60s Napier Bentley, then? Whatever proper VSCC people think, it entertained me.

#18 dbw

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 03:27

the original ox-5 had a special aircraft dual updraft carb[made by zenith i think] that sat low on an impossibly long manifold....it seems that in the uk su's end up as the default carb on specials....gaining more favor here in the usa is the cast bronze sidedraft linkert [late of the harley world.]..several size bodies were made and rebuild bits are easy to get...best of all they can be used in multiples! [one carb per 750cc or so.]

the engine pictured is also equipped with the desirable miller [no relation to harry] roller rocker conversion...these items often added another 10 or so hours of total engine life. [the ox5's in military service had a short total hour life and were deemed "non rebuildable" when replaced with new units.]

#19 bradbury west

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 18:13

Originally posted by WDH74
Ray-actually the spokes do seem to hold up, but they were getting a bit loose. I was watching them strap the car down on the trailer, and the "other chap" (never got his name!) was dragging his fingers along the spokes, listening for loose ones. A couple "plunked" when they should've "plinked"!
-William


In fact it was a bit more serious than that. Roger Sweet has written an entertaining piece for the current VSCC Bulletin covering his escapades . At Road America, which he loved, after scrutineering, all OK, another driver pointed out the loose spokes on the NSR wheel. 6 were broken. Roger failed to persuade a spectator with a TC MG to loan him some spokes from his spare, but the chap did put him in touch with a nearby(relative term) Harley dealer who agreed to stay open until they got there, 3 hour round trip. Apparently the damage was done at Watkins Glen on the long uphill righthander, a known spoke breaker.

20 minutes away from the Glen is the Glen Curtiss Museum, with an OX5 engine motor bike, 8 ltr V8, 137mph at Daytona, one mile to get up to speed, 2 miles to slow down with only a piece of angle pressing onto the rear tyre only, for retardation.

Roger Lund.

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#20 David Beard

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 18:37

I have to admit I had tried to find the Franziss in DSJ's "The Racing Car Pocket Book" before Mr McKinney put me straight. :

#21 David McKinney

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 19:51

Originally posted by David Beard
I have to admit I had tried to find the Franziss in DSJ's "The Racing Car Pocket Book" before Mr McKinney put me straight. :

And Mr Cox before me :D
I agree with your sentiments about the car's appeal, and that of others such as the Napier-Bentley and Julian Bronson's Riley, and admire the ingenuity that has gone into some of them. But it strikes me as wrong that relatively recent specials dominate the results of VSCC races for vintage cars, which by their own definition is something built before 1931. Bugattis should win these races, with perhaps the odd Bentley backing them up (but not with an 8-litre engine) and Amilcars snapping at their heels.