The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

15-16 February 2013

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Lot 276

1959 Frisky Family Three

  • ID No. 20487

Sold for $57,500


An English microcar with Michelotti styling.



SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Frisky Cars (1959) Ltd.

Origin: Wolverhampton, England

Production: 1,500 (all types)

Motor: Villiers 1-cyl., 2-stroke

Displacement: 197 cc

Power: 9.5 hp

Length: 10 ft. 2 in.

Identification No. 20487



Captain Raymond Flower, a former racing driver, along with his two brothers and a design engineer from Kieft, Gordon Bedson, were involved in several automotive projects under the name of Phoenix, in Cairo, Egypt. These came to naught with the overthrow of King Farouk and the resulting Suez Crisis, so the brothers returned to England. Their idea of a small, economical car for every man took root with the established firm of Henry Meadows (Vehicles) Ltd. Bedson worked with the Meadows designer to create a small car nicknamed the Bug, which was somewhat less than attractive.



Meanwhile, the coachbuilding firm of Vignale in Turin was contacted to design the production car body, and their designer, Giovanni Michelotti, came up with a very advanced, attractive gullwing design, which went straight onto the stand of the February 1957 Geneva Motor Show. It was very well received, but it would be too expensive to produce, so the car was redesigned, again by Michelotti, for the 1957 Earls Court Show in October. Two models were on display on the Meadows Frisky stand, the open-top Friskysport, and the coupe, which was not yet ready for production. The Friskysport featured rear-hung doors, tailfins, Dubonnet front suspension that turned with the wheels, and a Villiers twin of 324 cubic centimeters, which actually did provide a sporty performance. The Friskysport entered production in March 1958, with early cars distinguished by a removable tail section.



In 1958, there were Frisky entries in a number of sporting events, as well as intensive design work on three new models by Bedson and Peckmore. Car production, still at Meadows, was now in the hands of Henry Stone, of the Marston Group, as Frisky Cars Ltd. The 1958 Earls Court Motor Show saw the sport and coupe, alongside the new Frisky Family Three and the spectacular Frisky Sprint. Australia’s Harold Lightburn was so impressed that he headhunted Bedson and Peckmore.



The Frisky Family Three, of which this is an example, became available in January 1959, and it featured a new body shell and a revised chassis derived from the Friskysport. The Dubonnet front suspension was replaced by an A-arm and coil-over-shock type. The reliable Villiers 197 cubic centimeter came with an electrical reverse, which rotated the motor in the opposite direction. Wipac electrics were replaced by Lucas, and production of this most popular model continued until July 1959. The fine Frisky Family Three presented here was nicely restored in England. The attractive contrast of the white mid-body against the yellow roof and lower body provide a rather sporting, energetic presentation.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more