1948 HRG 1500
Chassis Number: W158
Engine Number: C509Q
The HRG Engineering Company also known as HRG, was a British car manufacturer based in Tolworth, Surrey. Founded by Major Edward Halford, Guy Robins and Henry Ronald Godfrey, its name was created from the first letter of their surnames.
Mr. Godfrey already gained experience in the motor trade with GN cycle cars which he started in 1910 together with Frazer Nash. When Mr. Nash started Frazer Nash in the late twenties, Godfrey approached Halford and later Robins, and HRG was born in 1935.
The idea was to develop a sports car like in the earlier days when sport cars were still genuine, uncompromised by the demand of more luxury of the main public. Bentley, Aston Martin and even Frazer Nash, all caved in to develop more comfortable tourers when HRG stayed true to the initial concept.
In 1938, the company announced the 1100cc model and later even the 1500cc with Singer powerplants. Both models were driven by OHC Singer engines and replacing the OHV Meadows units from before.
Although the company experienced with special versions like the Le Mans and the aerodynamic cars, the two main models were the 1100 and the 1500cc open tourers until 1956.
They are quite famous in participating in events like the Le Mans 24 hours, Alpine rally, Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps.
HRG produced cars their thoroughbred sport cars from 1935 until 1956. They made 241 cars in total where 225 believed to have survived. Many of which are still used today in various motorsport events.
The company made a profit every year until they closed the doors in 1966 as a engineering company. They worked for Volvo and made a prototype Vauxhall VX 4/90-powered sports car.
The HRG we have for sale is an 1948 1500cc sports car with comprehensive history documented by the HRG association:
“Work commenced on chassis 158 at the HRG Engineering CO Ltd Factory at Oakcroft Road, Tolworth, Surrey on March 4th, 1948 and the completed car was delivered to the sales agent, Harold Radford Ltd on October 5th, 1948.
W158 was fitted with the standard ‘Singer’ based 4 cylinder single camshaft engine, highly modified by HRG, engine no. C509Q, with gearbox no. C483R and the 4-1 ratio rear axle no. HRG 158/2.
The bodywork was carried out by “Real” of Acton and was the standard open two seater model.
The original paint colours were red for the bodywork, ‘silver’ for the wheels and red leather and trim for the interior and dashboard.
The car was built to HRG specification and there is no record of any special extras.
The first owner was Mr. C.C. Langer of Brenchley, Kent, who advised the factory on December 15th, 1948. Subsequent owners included the following:- Mr. D. Silver, of Turnbridge Wells, Kent, Mer. Henry Wilkinson, an artist, of Westerham, Kent.
It was exported to the USA and was owned by Rabbi Gumbiner, of California.
It returned to the UK around 1983 and was re-registered 15KYY.
It was bought by Mr. Richard Raynes of London. Later owners were:- Sir John Elstub, of Cheshire, Mr. Gordon-England, who made minor modifications to the radiator support. I believe that in his ownership, the car was repainted green.
The artist Mr. Wilkinson, painted a picture on the underside of the screen tray panel of a seaside scene. This may no longer exist.
The car was later purchased by Mr. Hans Hoogerwerf, who received a special award at the 2015 80th anniversary of the HRG marque Association General Meeting.
“Ian Dussek. Patron and Archivist, HRG association”
In one sentence: A “must have” very fun and fast sports car!
Full restoration file and history included.