1947 HRG 1500SOLD


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Registration No: JM 7075
Engine No: C/181/Q
CC: 1496
Colour: Black
Trim Colour: Red
MOT: May 2012

Reference Number 126365

as of 5/17/2011

Car 1947 HRG 1500
VIN W123 
Transmission Manual Shift 
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Known History

Founded in 1936, the H.R.G. Engineering Co. Ltd. drew its name from the initials of its founders - Major Ted Halford (a contributor to the Vale Special project), Guy Robins (formerly of Trojan) and Ron Godfrey (the G in GN and the Godfrey in Godfrey & Proctor). The newcomer initially operated from the Mid-Surrey Gear Company in Norbiton and the design of its products was clearly influenced by the GN and Frazer-Nash motorcars in which Godfrey had previously been involved. The first offering was a traditionally-styled open two-seater sports car with front-mounted 1496cc OHV Meadows 4ED engine mated to a four-speed Moss gearbox and driving through an ENV spiral bevel axle. The chassis members were bought in from Rubery Owen and the steering gear sourced from Marles, while most of the aluminium over ash frame bodies were manufactured by Reall of West London. Priced at ú395, the 1.5 litre HRG was half the cost of the equivalent Aston Martin and some 1,000 pounds lighter.


During 1936, the company established its own premises at Tolworth in Surrey. Two years later it launched the '1100' that was powered by a 1074cc 10hp OHC Singer unit and in 1939, as supplies of the Meadows engine dried up, it opted for Singer's 1496cc 12hp engine for what it now called its '1500' model. Car production resumed after the war and continued until 1956, with the business soldiering on for a further ten years in an engineering consultancy capacity. Figures for total production vary, but were in the region of 240, of which some 90 percent are said to survive today. The factory operated its own racing team, entitled 'Ecurie Lapin Blanc', which achieved success in such classic events as the Le Mans and Spa 24 Hour endurance races, while privateers employed the little two-seaters in such testing international rallies as the Alpine and, in particular, trials; at which examples of the breed still excel to this day.


The HRG 1500 now offered for sale for the first time in 58 years, was manufactured in 1947 and sports Black coachwork complemented by a Red interior. Factory records apparently confirm it was supplied as a rolling chassis (no.W123), together with windscreen, bonnet, front wings and comprehensively instrumented fascia, and then clothed in a factory-style body by an independent coachbuilder. We understand the original keeper was a Mr W. B. Slinger of Broughton-in-Furness. Two further owners then followed before 'JM 7075' was acquired by Birmingham-born Bob Maitland in 1953. Apparently an engineer with the B.S.A. Company, Maitland was better known as a racing cyclist of international renown, who won two national road racing championships, not to mention a silver medal at the 1948 Olympic Games in London - riding a bicycle of his own manufacture no less. He maintained the car throughout his tenure and in recent years embarked upon an extensive restoration programme.


The vendor informs us that the HRG is broadly standard aside of a few modifications designed and made by Maitland, the most fundamental of which is the hydraulic braking system that replaced the more basic cable-operated system originally fitted. We understand the output of the twin-SU equipped engine is approximately 60bhp and sufficient for a top speed of around 85mph. The 16-inch wheels and ENV axle of 4.0:1 ratio apparently result in a road speed of 20 mph/1000 rpm. Though there is no evidence of 'JM 7075' ever having been used in competition, the vendor feels it is very likely to have seen such action in the late '40s/early '50s. He currently considers the bodywork, paintwork and interior trim to be "excellent". Accompanied by an impressive history file and the subject of recent recommissioning work, the HRG is presented for sale with a fresh MOT certificate.


Bob Maitland passed away last year aged 86, having bequeathed his entire estate to the British Cycling Federation. It is on their behalf that this rare and iconic British sports car is now being sold.