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Maclure ended up working on a plagiarised version of his own engine design! By the end of 1925 Maclure had cured the faults he had found in the Cubitt engine and production continued for another two years until the four cylinder cars were withdrawn in 1927. Anzani struggled on in receivership until November 1925 when British Anzani’s newest director decided to take a hand. Charles J Fox of Fox Pianos had only joined the board in January 1925 and yet within a year had taken over the company renaming it the British Vulpine Engine Company and embarked on a programme of expansion. Gustave Maclure was invited back once more and rejoined his old firm as works manager and stayed there until 1927 when he left to go back to Riley cars where he became works manager. The new company was not to last long. By July 1926 it had itself gone into liquidation forced into bankruptcy by some ill luck and poor judgement on behalf of Charles Fox. Morgan cars ordered their engines by the hundred thereby playing one manufacturer off against the other as each new contract was bid for. Because of the increasing keenness of the prices inevitably some quality had been sacrificed and a problem developed with exhaust valves in the Anzani/Vulpine engines. Morgan complained and Anzani provided replacement valves - Morgan demanded more and Fox objected. Morgan cancelled their order and Fox sued for breach of contract, and lost. The company was bankrupt again and had lost a valuable customer into the bargain. Fortunately for Anzani/Vulpine’s other big customer, Frazer Nash, there were a number of engines already made and there was no immediate shortage for the Kingston-on-Thames based company to worry about. Archie Frazer-Nash was looking about for other suppliers though and wasn’t particularly happy with what he’d found. Then a chance meeting with Eric Burt in August 1926 changed everything. Eric Burt was a director of Mowlems (as was
his father) the international civil engineering company and enjoyed the lifestyle of the young and rich. Nash had met him at a motor racing event where Burt was competing with his Burt Special Aston Martin/Anzani and they got to talking about their engines. Nash thought the young man was just another keen garage proprietor/racer and invited him to the factory for a chat but by the time he turned up a week later Nash had realised who he was and an idea began to form. Eric Burt and his brother were persuaded by Nash to put up the bulk of the money to resurrect the Anzani/Vulpine company. They renamed it the British Anzani Engineering Company and with Eric Burt’s wife Elizabeth as his nominee on the board of directors and with other directors Archie Frazer-Nash and R.G.H Plunkett-Greene (the financier of A.F.N.) the next phase of Anzani history began. The new company began it’s life on February 18th 1927 still in the old Scrubbs Lane factory but it wasn’t long before the first factory move came. The lease on the Scrubbs Lane site expired at the end of that year and Burt moved Anzani’s into an adjacent site of the Kingston-on-Thames factory of A.F.N. Ltd. (the Frazer Nash company name). The new company was further encouraged when Morgan relented and returned to Anzani with more orders for engines for their three-wheelers. The Fox programme of range expansion continued and several new innovations were adopted. The 11.9 hp was adapted for marine use and marketed as an inboard engine and was still sold in various states of tune for car use. The V-twin range was expanded to incorporate three 1,000cc and 1,100cc motorcycle engines (also sold as the aero engine) and two 1,100cc water cooled cyclecar engines plus the 500cc single. Whilst on his third period at Anzani Gustave Maclure had designed his third engine and the new company decided to look again at this SOHC design. It was
A publicity picture of 20 Cubitt 16/20's in 1922. The only reminder of the now demolished Cubitt factory is Cubitt Road and Edge Road that cross the old site in Aylesbury, Bucks. Cubitt's ceased production in 1925.
Frazer-Nash worked throughout the WWI in the Tech Dept of the RAF researching the synchronisation of machine gun fire through the propellors of the time. Post-war he developed a hydraulic gun turret used in UK bombers throughout the WWII.
Archibald Goodman Frazer Nash was born in India on 30th June 1889. He served his apprenticeship at Willans & Thompson (engineers) of Thames Ditton and In 1905 he became a partner in GN Cars. By 1910 GN had produced their first ‘cycle car’. In 1923 he started the Frazer Nash company to develop the chain driven principle of the GN. Nash resigned in 1929 and began his own engineering consultancy business. His invention and skill led him to develop products for the construction industry, the RAF, the Defence Ministry and Atomic Energy industry among others. He died in 1965.