1948 HRG 1500 Sports FOR SALE with Pre-War style body, slab tank and windscreen

FOR SALE : 1948 HRG  1500

These up-market sports cars of the period have a compelling charm which inspires devotion to the HRG marque and have recently attracted strong interest from buyers seeking a sports car which has a little bit of exclusivity about it while possessing enough performance in standard form to be both entertaining and reliable on the road and in competition. Hence the phrase that the HRG is the "Sportsman's Ideal"

Car No.  W142   

Reg. No.  EPY 161

With pre-war style slab fuel tank, body style and windscreen...and a spare set of cycle front wings...

A blend of pre and post war HRG in style



...by respected vintage and historic cars race preparation and servicing engineer Bill Roberts of Wokingham Berkshire between October 1996 and October 1997 (also expert with Frazer Nash Le Mans Replicas) at a cost of £5950 in labour and £1106 in parts - every detail accounted for on file

In the course of this engine rebuild, he also rebuilt the starter motor, adjusted the brakes, refitted the windscreen which had been re-plated, re-upholstered the seats, fitted two exchange SU fuel pumps, painted the front wings and brackets then re-fitted, fitted 4 new Avon tyres.


A further £3776 was spent at Roundwood Ltd with Ian Mahany between December 1995 and February 1996 going through the car which had become overdue for general adjustments and rejuvenation.


The history file contains correspondence from owners going back to 1962, and of course with Ian Dussek, Hon. Sec, HRG Association to the early 1970s


Recent expenditure has been on a new radiator core.


Other work - in prior ownership as noted on file - includes rewiring, new dummy honeycomb radiator to the shell, new engine and gearbox mountings, new mirror, new floorboards, new filler caps - oil and fuel. new copper fuel lines, new rear lamp wiring, new starter and choke cables, new water pump impellor, new stainless steel radiator tie rods, 2 new bonnet catches, and lastly new spare wheel strap...


Chassis Constructed   12/12/1947

Engine installed    6/1/1948

First registered     30/3/1948

Engine No.           C199  Q   -   1496cc

Gearbox               C188  Q    -   Ratio  9-36

Rear axle No.       HRG 140/2

Tyres                    5.50 x 16"

Car supplied in chassis form - with individual body fitted by Fred Mead, HRG Chief mechanic, to pre war style for first owner J S Watkinson of Coulton, Yorks - reputedly to avoid Purchase Tax of the time. The result is of note and subtly different from the standard post war HRG body with elements of a pre-war body, notably the rear section, ending at the rear bonnet edge with a vertical scuttle line, contrary to the slanted angle scuttle line commencing with the first post-war car W88 for example. The windscreen on this car W142 is of pre-war style but with post war wiper motor location at the base of the windscreen on the passenger side instead of top-mounted centrally. At the time of construction, it had new wings and bonnet by Automarine, hence the presence of their door plates.

Comes with second set of front cycle wings as shown

Current long-term owner from 2002



The car is fully recognised and accepted by the HRG Association as a genuine ex- factory car with a full continuous history.

All H.R.Gs (both pre and post-war) are eligible to compete in the Class 2 (for pre-war production cars) in the MCC classic trials.

Post-war built H.R.G.s are eligible in historic rallying (ERA / HERO) in the pre-war category.

From 2021 ALL post war HRGs are VSCC eligible for the class for selected pre 1956 drum braked sports cars in standard or lightly modified form.  (Currently open to all events except circuit racing and August VSCC Prescott)


Further information

A full history of the marque, the company, the cars and the successes can be found in the two editions of the book  “The Sportsman’s Ideal” by Ian Dussek : 1985 and revised in 2010 :- ISBN 10: 0956512402  & ISBN 13: 9780956512406

HRG Association website:  www.hrgcars.com 


Brief history of The H.R.G Engineering Co. Ltd and the H.R.G light car

Formed by the partnership of E A Halford, G H Robins and H R Godfrey, the H.R.G Engineering Co. Ltd was created in 1935 incorporating the initials of their surnames.  H R (Ron) Godfrey was lead designer and was already well known in sports car circles for his involvement with Archie Frazer-Nash in the GN cycle cars of 1910 to 1922.

The first H.R.G car, the “1½ Litre” model, powered by the Meadows 4ED engine, was introduced to the motoring press at Brooklands race track in October 1935.  The car was considered a bit of a “throw back” to the past, even for the mid to late 1930s.  It mixed traditional hand-built construction techniques with updated tried and tested solutions from Godfrey’s experiences and executed them efficiently.  With a particular focus on functionality and lightness (rather than styling) there was a high power to weight ratio from a modest engine.  This also enabled higher gearing to be used for reliability.  The car was marketed as having “three-fold performance” enabling an owner to use the car, unmodified, in both racing and off-road trials as well as everyday transport.

Moving into new factory premises in Tolworth in Surrey, car production started in early 1936 and the cars quickly gained a reputation for being very effective in competition and for the true enthusiast.  An 1100cc model, powered by a modified Singer engine, was introduced in 1938.  World War II naturally halted car production whereby just 35 cars had been produced.  War work included making parts for Wellington bombers and other Air Ministry contracts.

Soon after WWII, H.R.G was one of few British sports car companies that were able to get back into manufacturing new cars and the post-war models were a continuation of the pre-war cars with the addition of the “Aerodynamic”.  The cars were popular amongst sports car enthusiasts who wanted to acquire newly manufactured cars and to compete at that time.  Being more than twice the price of contemporary MGs, they were not cheap and considered a high quality product.

The majority of H.R.Gs were used for competition and featured in the results at nearly all well-known events, especially on the continent, including at Le Mans, Spa and the Alpine Rallies.  In addition, the cars competed at many hundreds of events in the UK including the first ever events at Silverstone, Goodwood and Prescott.

Just 241 cars in total were manufactured from 1935 to 1956.  After car manufacturing ceased the Company continued to service and repair the cars and operated as an engineering firm, finally closing in 1966 when all the directors reached retirement.  In 1960, the H.R.G Association (HRGA) was formed which inherited much of the intellectual property of the company.  It is estimated that over 90% of the cars survive today.

More information can be found at HRG cars website here :- www.hrgcars.com


Notable Events and Results in H.R.G cars in the period 1935 to 1956

H.R.G cars competed in virtually all of the principal motor sport events in Great Britain and Europe, especially in the immediate post war period.  Some notable events, dates and results are listed below.

Circuit Racing:

Brooklands – (many short scratch and handicap races), 1938 class winner 3 hr Sports Car Race.

Donington 12 hour Sports Car Race – 1937 - 4th overall

RAC Tourist Trophy – 1937, 1938 (Donington) & 1950 (Dundrod).

Le Mans 24 hour Race - class wins 1939 & 1949, 2nd in class 1937 & 1938.

Eifelrennen, Nurburgring – 1938 & 1939.

Gransden Lodge (the very first post war GB race meetings) – 1946 & 1947.

Chimay - Grand Prix des Frontieres, 1947 & 1948.

Montlhery - Paris 12 hour race – 1948.

Isle of Man - British Empire Trophy Manx Cup 1947, 1948, 1949 & 1950, team prize 1948.

Silverstone – first meetings in 1948 and 1949. Daily Express Trophy Production Sports Car Races Class wins 1949 & 1950, 2nd In Class 1949 & 1951, 6 hour Relay Races 1951, 52 & 53.

Spa-Francorchamps 24 hour Race - Coupe du Roi team prize 1948.  Class win, Coupe de la Victoire, Coupe de Richard Seaman and Coupe du Roi team prize in 1949

Goodwood - First Members meeting in 1948, Members and Easter Meetings 1948 to 1955,

9 hour Races 1952, 1953 & 1955.

Autosport Production Sports Car Championship - 1956 3rd Overall (including class wins at Mallory Park, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Goodwood).

Blandford – National Road Races (first circuit after WW2) 1949 2nd in Class and 1950 2nd in Class

Bridgehampton (USA) – 1949, 1950 & 1951, 3rd overall 1949.

Watkins Glen (USA) - 1949, 4th overall.

Sebring (USA) - 1950.

Jersey - International Road Race 1952

Crystal Palace - 1952 & 1953

Brands Hatch - Kent Cup Race – 1954

Oulton Park - British Empire Trophy – 1955 & 1956


Endurance Rallying:

Brooklands - 1937 JCC Brooklands Rally, 1st in Class.

Monte Carlo Rally – 1937.

Paris-Nice Trial - Class win 1938.

RAC Rally - Class wins 1939, 1951 & 1953, 2nd in Class 1937 & 1938.

Alpine Rally - Class wins, Coupes des Alpes 1948 & 1951. Team awards 1948. Several special stage awards.

Eastbourne Rally – 1951.

Paris-St Raphael Rally - Class win 1952, 2nd in Class 1951.


Speed Hill climbs and Sprints:

H.R.G cars competed and won many awards at speed events in Great Britain, especially in the immediate post war period.  These included Shelsey Walsh, Prescott (including the first ever meeting in 1938), Bo’ness, Brighton, Great Auclum, Lewes and Blackwell amongst many others.


Reliability Trials and Production Car Trials:

H.R.G cars competed in many events in the late 1930s into the 40s and 50s.  Over 200 awards in the three MCC Classic Trials (The Land’s End, Exeter and Edinburgh Trials) alone as well as several team and “triple” awards. 


Although we attempt to ensure accuracy of any statement or detail, the customer must make his or her own judgement in purchasing this car. The purchaser of the above car understands that he or she is purchasing a historic motor car with components that are up to 76 years old and sold as a collector item. There is no warranty given or implied due to the age of the car.

Please enquire


Call 07973 731508