1955 HRG Twin Cam Sports RacerSOLD

COYS - Sports Racing and Grand Prix Cars - Brands Hatch - 27th May 2007

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Estimate: ú38,000-45,000

Sold ú44,227

HRG was a partnership between E.A. Halford, G.H. Robins and H.T. Godfrey, who had been the 'G' of 'G.N.', the most famous and successful of British cycle cars. Production began in 1936 and 'Hurgs' soon gained a reputation for being a good all-round car, equally at home on the road, the track, in trials or in rallies. The definitive book on the marque, The Sportsman's Ideal by Ian Dussack, is aptly named; the 'Hurg' was a great all-rounder. Even when the first HRG's were made, their specification was old fashioned with a beam front axle on quarter-elliptical springs, friction dampers and cable operated brakes. But they worked and, with a top speed of about 90mph, the 1500 model was a sprightly performer for its day. They were also extremely handsome cars with a purity of line which is timeless. Since HRG's were hand built and were much more expensive than rivals such as MG, they have always been a rare car. Unlike say, Morgan, HRG was not able to maintain its place in the market on nostalgia in the 1950's because they were always too expensive to have a wide appeal. A replacement model, the 'Twin Cam', had a dohc head on a Singer block, alloy wheels and was among the first cars in the world with four-wheel disc brakes but, again, it was too expensive and production ended in 1956. HRG continued as a general engineering concern and later built some promising prototypes which might have revived the marque. Unfortunately, the death of the then owner in 1966 scotched any such plans and soon afterwards the company went into voluntary liquidation having made just over 200 cars. A batch of four HRG twin cam chassis are believed to have been laid down including the prototype VPH188. This was dismantled by the works, the remains being purchased by a local HRG enthusiast Mr. Wally Williams along with the chassis IN 503 TL directly from the works. Invoices and letters to confirm are in the history file. Also purchased and with the car, are a number of casting patterns, factory drawings, spare transverse springs, stub axles (including brakes and wheels) and other sundry parts. Mr Williams had the foresight to purchase the original registration plate with the car and it remains with it to this day. The car was in Wally Williams's ownership until 1989 when it came to the attention of well respected motor engineer John Guppy. He was commissioned to completely rebuild the car which was, of course, still in chassis form. It has a short stroke 1500cc singer engine with 10.5-1 compression ratio, steel crankshaft and rods, original twin cam cylinder head and twin SU carburettors. The cam boxes are of solid billet construction with Jaguar D-Type cam profiles. The original gearbox was found to be too frail and was changed to a 1962 MGA gearbox. Luck was on the owner's side when he approached a well known coachbuilder to re-body the car. He knew of the original sports racing body from famous the Calvert/Coreen Goodwood 9 hour race car. This was purchased and mounted on chassis IN503 utilising some 90% of the original panels. (See specialist Sports and Racing Cars of the 50's and 60's by Anthony Pritchard, page 110.) Simple changes to the steering wheel instruments and screen would do the car great justice and indeed were ongoing plans. The original 'Dover' 4 spoke steering wheel and 5" Jaeger instruments are available through various HRG club members and the new purchaser is advised to join this organisation which has proven itself to be most helpful. VSCC buff form and FIA papers have been applied for and a complete photographic build history and archive paperwork accompany the car. A rare opportunity to acquire a car not only eligible for Goodwood but also the new Woodcote Trophy run by Duncan Wilshire. A delightfully traditional sports car that will delight followers of the marque.

Reference Number 9482

as of 5/13/2007

Car 1955 HRG Twin Cam Sports Racer