It is astounding how the HRG marque has
slipped into such obscurity. The result of a split between HR Godfrey and
Frazer Nash, the HRG was in all respects a far better car than the 'Nash.
I have owned a Blackburn engined Nash as well as an HRG and I know which I
would rather keep! The HRG was engineered with real forethought.
Maintenance was a snip. One could remove
the entire body within half an hour and access every part of the car. The
HRG always felt 'tight' and handled like a dream. There was a tendency
however in very wet weather to lose the use of a front brake drum if
driven through a puddle. Quickly one learned to try the brakes every time
a splash was heard! Performance from the Singer engine was good but
therein lies a tale. Singer engine blocks did not last very long....at the
time we would always say that they should have stuck with sewing machines!
Without any notice whatsoever, the block would crack and it would be yet
another strip-down to have it 'stitched'. This was required three times by
If the 1100cc car was good, the 1500 cc
model was astounding. The 1500 'Alpine rally' being the most sought after.
Car shows could be most irritating as many would mistake the car for a
HRG went on to experiment with
'aerodynamic' body shapes. They were constructed in a traditional manner
on the standard ladder chassis which would of course flex. This resulted
in rapid bodywork suicide. Apart from this, the design appeared to have
been inspired by the 'little shed at the bottom of the garden'.
In the 1960s, it was still possible to
obtain spares from the factory which one run by the redoubtable 'Miss
Leather'. Yes, she was scary and kept Hurg owners very much in line. She
also knew every single HRG part number and could recite the history of all
of the 245 cars ever built.
The HRG was in my view one of the finest
all-round British sports cars ever built.
the editor's 1947 1100cc 'Hurg' alongside his MG Pa