Thursday, 15 September 2011

Frazer Nash

I stayed over at Dickie’s and the following day, Sunday, I asked Dickie what was in his garages? We both went out and opened up the doors together and then I saw his two Frazer Nash Sebring cars. (special thank you to Bill Ainscough, who supplied the enclosed Frazer Nash Sebring photographs, who now owns one of these cars).
Unbeknown to me at that time, Dickie Stoop was an internationally well-known racing car driver, who came from a very good family and had served in the RAF and rose to the rank of RAF Squadron Leader after the war.
Anyway, Dickie being Dickie, just fired up the British Racing Green Frazer Nash Sebring, and we hopped in it and went screaming off down the lane adjacent to his home. We were soon doing 100mph in the Nash down the small country lanes and I must say the open top motoring was really exhilarating! 
I believe both of these Nash’s were in fact replicas, as I recall John Aldington making a comment to me about them many years later and John certainly knows his Frazer Nash cars. However I understand today that they are genuinely accepted as true Frazer Nash cars, although not of the original “chain gang” types and all of them worth a small fortune.
From then on plane spotting with my pals at weekends took a backseat as I was off motor racing whenever I could!
Dickie became a regular visitor to our house and he would often pop in at Beavers Lane for “egg and chips” on his way home from the City. He was independently wealthy; his father Sir Adrian Stoop was a great friend of Douglas Bader who had stayed with the Stoop’s after losing his legs in his aircraft accident. I believe Adrian Stoop had founded Harlequin Rugby Club in Twickenham. During the day Dickie looked after his Stoop Family investments in the City, which were connected to the Shell Oil Company. I guess he was not what you considered to be a working class man.
Dickie always had the best of everything especially his cars. He had driven Fraser Nash, BMW 328 in his earlier days and then moved on and owned two Porsche Carrera 356 4-Cam models, registered as HOT 5 and YOU 4 respectively. He also had AFN order and import the first Porsche 904 GTS for him, which he transferred the registration plate YOU 4 to as his road car. This was in my opinion, one of the most beautiful Porsche cars ever made then and to date designed by Butzi Porsche. It had a magnificent four-cam, four-cylinder Porsche engine in it, which was a mechanical marvel of pure engineering. I have included a series of pictures of this car, taken by Bill Bates, of Dickie taking delivery of his Porsche 904 GTS from W H Aldington at AFN when it was new, with a young Peter Bulbeck and Iain Denham looking on in their overalls.

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