Fraser Cars celebrates three decades in business
With roughly a quarter of Kiwi businesses failing within the first three years, lasting one decade, let alone three, is a great milestone for Fraser Cars.
With roughly a quarter of Kiwi businesses failing within the first three years, lasting one decade, let alone three, is a pretty great milestone for North Shore-based Fraser Cars.
The Fraser story begins 30 years ago at a race track, where founder Neil Fraser first encountered a replica Lotus 7. He was so impressed by what he saw that he promptly set about building his own replica.
When Neil took his hand-built replica to the 1988 National Car Show, he received three orders on the spot.
Neil continued building stunning replicas (and the business that came to be known as Fraser Cars) for nearly 20 years before deciding it was time to retire – selling the business to one of his chassis builders Scott Tristram and Scott’s wife Ida, who was at the time a primary school teacher.
Now, twelve years later, and as they celebrate 30 years of Fraser Cars, Scott and Ida (pictured) are inviting Kiwis (and Fraser fans from beyond) to create their own Fraser story by bringing the car-building experience into the 21st century with their online virtual workshop and modern rebrand.
“We wanted to put the customer at the heart of every part of the Fraser Cars process, which is why we created an online workshop and community, the Fraser Pit. For the cars we’re building in our factory, we can share updates online with the owner and they get to really appreciate the journey that their car goes through before it gets to them. Plus, they’re welcome to visit the factory at any time and see it in person,” explains Ida.
“For people building their Fraser Cars at home, they can upload photos to share where they’re at, ask questions about what other Fraser fans have done, and get advice from our team, as well as their dedicated Project Manager.”
Part of what’s helped Fraser Cars survive 30 years is the amazing passion of the people who drive (or covet!) their own Fraser. The Fraser Car Club regularly meets for rallies and track days, and stays in touch with the Tristrams and the rest of the Fraser team.
“For us, owning Fraser Cars isn’t just about the cars – it’s about the community of people,” shares Ida. “Absolutely, the feeling of driving a Fraser and having the wind in your hair is amazing, but there are also so many passionate people who love coming together to celebrate their Fraser stories – that’s what makes it worth it for us.”
Based in a workshop in Beach Haven in Auckland, Fraser Cars continues to handcraft their range of Fraser Cars, from the basic (and relatively cost-effective) Fraser through to the sporty Fraser SL and even a completely customisable Fraser SP for people who want something truly one-of-a-kind.
While about 35 percent of the vehicles remain in New Zealand, Fraser Cars’ reputation for quality is renowned worldwide and the cars are regularly exported, in particular to Australia and Japan.
“Even though our cars are rooted in the Lotus 7 replica, they’re so much more than just a replica now – we’re really focused on creating custom Frasers that stand on their own. “Fraser is its own marque (just like Toyota or even Ferrari!), and we’re looking at how to use new technology to make these cars exceptional,” says Ida.
“Our customers might want a classic look, but they generally want a modern motor that can give them much more power. We’re even looking at the possibility of electric now, which I don’t think anyone would have expected when we bought the business 12 years ago!
“We love what an incredible history Fraser Cars has, and that just makes us even more excited about what the future holds.”