Duncan & Fraser Limited
"Adelaide's Premier Coach Builder"

Factory c1915

Photo courtesy RAA

This is the story of two men sharing a vision that could only be a dream in their native Scotland. In 1865 James Duncan & James Fraser formed a partnership establishing the firm of Duncan & Fraser in Adelaide, South Australia. From humble beginnings the partnership grew to be one of Australia's most influential manufacturers. Duncan & Fraser embraced not only carriage & buggy building, but also made train carriages & trams. In 1903 they embraced the "Horseless Carriage" and introduced the famous "Curved Dash" Oldsmobile automobile to Adelaide. Later they would import Henry Ford's famous Model 'T' in vast numbers for the South Australian motoring public before their untimely closure in 1927.

On this web site we will try & follow the journey as Duncan & Fraser and Adelaide emerge from the reliance on horses to the challenges of a new era, the age of the motor car...

New Pages


While this web site is under construction you can read about the journey that Duncan & Fraser embarked upon through this extraordinary part of Adelaide's history. "Duncan & Fraser Ltd. - Legacies Left Untold" by David Chantrell is a private publication of 500 books of around 280 pages finely illustrated with 250 photographs, many of which have come from the Duncan family albums and have never been published before.

"Legacies Left Untold" was available in both a soft and hard cover versions and has been sold out since July 2011.
I receive numerous enquires every month, so if you have a copy and wish to sell it back to me please contact me below.

Do you have any information, pictures, stories or ephemera about Duncan & Fraser or Duncan Motors? Did you have a relative that worked for them? If so I would love to hear from you, so please do not hesitate to contact David Chantrell.

David C. Chantrell,
South Australia,
May 2009.