1908 GN JAP ‘chain-gang’ is a feast for the eyes (and ears!)

By Stefan Marjoram
Jan 17 2017, 4:33 pm
0

1908 GN JAP ‘chain-gang’ is a feast for the eyes (and ears!)

There are a few cars that have been made with such attention to detail that, no matter how many times you’ve seen them before, they’re always a joy to look at. Some are beautiful, some are quirky, and some are engineering feats, but there’s one car that I think is a feast for the eyes in every way – Richard Scaldwell’s GN JAP.

At only 470kg the performance is as exciting as the car looks…

The 1908 5-litre V8 JAP aero engine is one of four – and the only one still running. Air-cooled and with all the interesting bits on the outside, it makes a glorious collection of noises. Is there such a thing as a feast for the ears?

The chassis is made of wood (as were all the pre-WW1 GNs) and under the seat you’ll find the four chains of the chain-gang transmission connected to a solid rear axle – perfect for drifting. If you’ve never seen this arrangement before, find a Frazer Nash or GN owner and get them to lift their floorboards for you.

It can’t have been easy to come up with a body that would complement such exciting engineering. Luckily Richard trained as a sculptor and the beautifully formed body is a perfect blend of homage to the early GNs and a dramatic demonstration of his artistic skill.

At only 470kg the performance is as exciting as the car looks. Raced hard and driven to and from the circuit, Richard and Annie use it all the time. I got my first taste as a passenger while on a 1,000-mile road trip through France!

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