hit counter
british anzani archive:
next next previous previous
In January 1934 AFN became majority shareholders of British Anzani with a view to having BA make a new SOHC engine for Frazer Nash popularly known as the Gough. He had had Anzani’s immediately develop a supercharged racing version of the engine and although the manufacturing never actually did come their way the company had entered yet another new phase of it’s history. In 1936 Aldington bought out Burt completely and the company became a fully integrated member of A.F.N. making a living doing special development work and race engines for Frazer Nash, engine refurbishments, spares for the old engines plus their perennial contract work and all was quiet - for the time being anyway... A.F.N. at this time were developing their links with the BMW car company and finding it a very profitable business. This relationship was to become a defining feature of the company and the Anzani side of the business was left to fend for itself. The staffing level at this time is thought to have been around 25 people, far removed from the heady days of the AC contract in the early 1920’s when they employed over 100 people in the Willesden plant. Among the directors though was a man who was to have a big influence on British Anzani for the next 30 years. This man was a motor boat and motor cycle racer, an ex-world water speed record holder and engine designer - his name was Charles Henry Harrison. The company had been slowly failing and in 1938 Charles Henry Harrison A.M.I.Mech.E., an ex-J.A.P apprentice and keen motorcycle and powerboat racer, took over as their Chief Designer and Managing Director and moved the company to their next home in Hampton Hill, Middlesex. He was previously the technical director of the British Motor Boat Manufacturing Co. and held two Outboard World Speed records set in 1930 and 1931 when he was works driver for Elto and Evinrude. He was also Chairman of the British Outboard Racing Club, owner of Bedfont Lake (a well known racing venue) and
whilst at BMBM had designed the successful Britannia outboard motor. BMBM were also known for producing funfair equipment (dodgem cars and roundabouts) which Harrison now brought to British Anzani also. When the Second World War began British Anzani started development work on a stationary industrial engine which driving through a flexible underwater unit was used to propel landing craft and they also did contract work for the Air Ministry. Meanwhile they designed the Super Single outboard motor and from 1940 supplied 50-60 a month to the Admiralty throughout the war. This successful design was later sold to the public and was still in production into the late 1970’s. Over the years they built outboard motors that ranged from ½ hp up to 40 hp models and included some of the most succesful racing engines of their era and by 1956 their 344cc Racing Unitwin was the only British built racing outboard left in production. The need for additional war time food production required innovative products and the extremely successful British Anzani Iron Horse two-wheeled tractor was introduced in 1940. Advertised as ‘the agricultural machine built with aero engine accuracy’ it was fitted with a 4 stroke 6hp Anzani/JAP engine giving a top speed of 4 mph. A centrifugal clutch, three forward gears and reverse and with adjustable track from 24" to 36", a range of steel wheels, extension rims, pneumatic tyres or crawler track options meant it really was a machine to tackle any terrain. You could also purchase a ride-on carriage for the driver turning it into a normal tractor capable of pulling farm carts with up to a ton load. A range of accessories increased its functionality with attachments for mowing, ploughing, spraying, hoeing, crop lifting and harrowing. It also had a multifunctional belt driven power take-off system which provided farmers with
Harold Joseph ("Aldy") Aldington was also a well known racing driver in this time he competed in international rallies, trials, hill climbs and at Brookland and Le Mans. Charles Henry Harrison, racer, designer, engineer and the new MD of British Anzani