F.H.B. I, II & III

Frank Bacon was an early pioneer of 500s, his first special appeared in early 1947, being one of the first half dozen cars to be completed. It was built with some assistance from fellow North Londoner, Colin Strang. The FHB I car was a front engined machine, on a standard Austin Seven chassis with Rudge "Ulster" power through an Austin drive train. During construction, Frank discovered that his plan to mount the engine low in the chassis was impractical due to the narrowness of the frame so a drop chain was introduced to take drive down to the Austin gearbox.

Frank attended the "White Hart" meeting in May 1947, then Shelsley in June, Brough, Gransden Lodge, Great Auclum, Prescott and Shelsley again making him one of  the most prolific competitors of the year, albeit with little success. He did however earn the good losers trophy, one the the few to be awarded in that first year.

Frank concluded that the FHB I would never be a match for the Coopers and set about a fundamental re-engineering over the winter.


FHB I at Prescott, August 1947 Photos courtesy Bacon family.


Frank bacon.jpg (187605 bytes)Frank retained the same basic Austin chassis but moved the engine to the middle driving through a Burman gearbox. This allowed the seating position to be significantly lowered now that there was no drive shaft but did mean major changes to the back axle to enable a sprocket to be inserted in the middle.

A JAP was substituted after blowing up the Rudge at Goodwood. The car stayed in this specification through 1948, '49 and '50

The start line at Prescott in 1948

Some results for FHB II:


Luton Hoo 31st March 1948, DNS

Goodwood 18th September 1948, DNF

Goodwood 18th April 1949 Easter Meeting, 5th

Silverstone 14th May 1949 British Grand Prix, DNF

Goodwood 10th April 1950 Easter Meeting, 7th

Frank leads Joe Fry and Sir Francis Samuelson at Silverstone, May 1949. Photo courtesy Bacon family.


For 1951, Frank completely rebuilt the car again, abandoning what was left of the Austin chassis in favour of his own tubular fabrication, much lower and more along Cooper lines with transverse leaf springs front and rear and a Cooper nose panel. He used this car through '51 and '52 until finally succumbing and moving to a Cooper Mk V acquired from Bill Aston for 1953.

FHB III takes the Goodwood chicane, April '52. Photo courtesy Bacon family.

Some results for FHB III

Silverstone 14th July 1951 Grand Prix, DNF

Goodwood 14th April 1952 Earl of March Trophy, 10th

Silverstone 19th July 1952 British Grand Prix, 17th

FHB III reviewed in Iota:

Forming up the non production car grid at Silverstone, August 1951