|Freikaiserwagen & Freikaiserwagen 500|
The Freikaiserwagen is an interesting example of the cross over between pre and post war cars and illustrates that nothing is ever really new! The original and best known car was a "Shelsley special", of David Fry of the Fry's Chocolate family and Hugh Dunsterville. They were assisted by Dick Caesar who was instrumental in the origins of the 500 movement as a founder member of CAPA and the 500 Club (See Keith Gough's From Acorns......). The name Freikaiserwagen is derived from their names, Fry and Caesar with a Germanic twist appropriate to the time. In its original 1936 form, Freikaiserwagen used a GN chassis and a V twin Anzani engine, mounted amidships, which was highly unusual for the time and probably accounts for the nickname "Porsche" used by the team members (A reference to the Auto Union Grand Prix cars designed by von Porsche). David's cousin Joe Fry became the primary driver, partly because of David's size but also due to Joe's considerable skill. The car underwent constant development including a switch to a Robin Jackson tuned V twin Blackburne engine and set many fastest times for its class.
Post war, this car was reconstructed around one of Caesar's Iota chassis and two stage supercharging was used to boost power even further. Joe achieved considerable success with the Freikaiserwagen, the pinnacle being setting overall FTD at Shelsley Walsh in June 1949 but he also drove 500s such as the Arengo. Tragically, Joe crashed the Freikaiserwagen car in practice for the hill climb at Blandford in July 1950 and was killed. The Freikaiserwagen was broken up.
The Freikaiserwagen 500, built by David Fry in 1948, was also based on an Iota chassis with a Cross rotary valve engine but a JAP was substituted due to overheating.
“Freik – The Private Life of the Freikaiserwagen”.
Hugh Dunsterville passed away in November 2011.