RUMBLINGS, April 1942
2,000 Different Makes
OUGH the kindness of a reader we now have i our possession a most remarkable publication, in
of which we had previously heard, but of which no copy had been forthcoming. It is an insignificantlooking little book, but there is a wealth of interest between its plain covers. G. R. Doyle set out to compile a list of the makes and the manufacturers’ addresses of every car that ever went into anything like serious production and, his task accomplished, he published the result under the title of” The World’s Automobiles-1881 to 1931, a Monograph on Fifty Years of Car-building.” The early part of the book outlines simply and in most pleasing language the early history and subsequent development of the motor-car, and this forms a preface to this remarkable list of makes. The list includes 2,000 makes that were in production as private passenger cars from 1882 to March, 1931. Apart from giving the nationality, fate and period of business of each marque, interesting technical notes appear frequently, and different designations applied to one and the same car are fully covered. One is astonished at the infallibility of the list. We tried the rarest makes we know, and they all turned up. We took a 1920 list of cars and picked out the obscurest light cars—all were there in Doyle’s list, with one exception, and that one which we had doubted as ever actually going into production. All the early cycle-cars and tri-cars appear, even the Vagova, of which a six-cylinder 750-c.c. supercharged racing example was built for the 1924 200-Mile Race, although never seen in this country. The amount of entertainment value this list provides is astonishing ; but more than that, it forms a most valuable source of reference as to the origin of now defunct makes and the status and activities of pioneer manufacturers. Although 2,000 makes are included, the author apologises for not being able to cover some 200 American makes which blossomed prior to 1895 and faded out within two years.
France, Italy, Austria, Great Britain and Germany had cars before 1889, and the author quotes the first American car as the Duryea of 1892, the first Belgian car as the Miesse of 1896 and the first Swiss car as the Martini of 1898 or possibly the Vivinus. Holland followed with the Spyker and Spain seems to have come in in 1902. An analysis of marques shows a world’s total of 3,180, of which 503 existed in 1931— so if you consider you have exhausted motoring history, think again ! The author fills odd spaces with witty paragraphs, S. F. Edge wrote the Foreword and pictures appear of various early cars and of 1931 Lanchester and Rochet-Schneider. Altogether a most stimulating little work. The reader who sent the book believes copies are still available from the author. Up to the time of writing we have been unable to confirm this, but in case anyone wishes to try to obtain a copy, publication was from Windmill Hill, Ruislip, Middlesex.
Headlines, Mr. Printer !
Isn’t it curious how the popular Press loves to label anyone remotely connected with fast ears, or apparently-fast cars, as a racing ace or a lady speed queen ? Yet it so seldom reports a big race decently and invariably does the Sport untold harm by referring to long-distance trials as midnight races and the like. The other day the Daily Sketch came out with the headline, “Racing Ace Teaches Army,” or something of the kind. Who is this one-time racing driver ? Why, Capt. Crickmay, of the R.A.S.0 Crickmay drove a Morris Cowley in the 1927 Whitsun B.A.R.C. Meeting and finished second in a 75-m.p.h. Short Handicap, from the limit mark, 50 yards behind Ashby’s Riley, which averaged under 68 m.p.h. At the 1929 Easter Brooklands Meeting he won a 75-m.p.h. Short Handicap at 77.66 m.p.h. by nearly a mile, driving the R.L.B., which was, we believe, an AstonMartin-engined “Special.” Of such stuff are aces made.
The “500” is Off
America is in the war and for the first time since the last world war there will be no 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis in May. ” Pop ” Myers, who had sold many advance tickets up to the suspension of the race, as promoter and manager of the “500,” has announced his retirement from active work and will relinquish his desk in his office on North Capital
Avenue, Indianapolis, for the duration. Albert Rickenbaker, a brother of Captain Eddie Rickenbaker, President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, is the man who is in charge of closing the track and the downtown racing office. Small offices will be maintained at Indianapolis, however. The doodle-bug folk are in a happier position, although badly worried about the tyre shortage. President Roosevelt has sanctioned the continuance of night baseball matches as relaxation for a war-tuned nation and it is expected that midget car racing, by day and by night, will go on as well. Some guys get all the luck.
A Powerful Book
One of the brighter aspects of this war is the number of good books about it that we are able to read while they are still topical and not when it is all a bad dream which everyone will wish to forget. In such a category is “I Had a Row with a German,” •by ” R.A.F. Casualty,” just recently published by Macmillan’s. It is a very powerful, yet withal a very simply told, account of a Squadron Leader’s experiences with the Royal Air Force as a ” Hurricane ” pilot during the war. His machine caught fire and blew up, after accounting for a useful number of German bombers, and the author’s account of his spell in hospital is, perhaps, more remarkable writing than is his very sound description of his flying experiences. Royalties on this little work go to the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund, so by spending 5fon it at the earliest opportunity you will be doing this deserving institution a good turn, as well as buying admirable entertainment for yourself. We only wish we could print the author’s short but convincing appeal on behalf of this organisation, on whose behalf he had the happy idea of writing his book. If we could do that we should be certain that you would invest 5/as we feel you should invest it. So, when you see a bookshop remember “I Had a Row with a German.”
That Basic Ration
The concluding sentence in last month’s General Notes erred on the side of optimism without being actually mistaken. If only utility motoring is to be permitted, then it is goodbye for a time to one of our most-cherished relaxations. However, if it will hasten the end of hostilities and help even in a small way to bring victory, then followers of the Sport will make the sacrifice willingly—but not necessarily cheerfully. The little boy who, under persuasion, gives the largest orange to his sister may enjoy a self-righteous glow at having done the right thing, but he still feels that he would have derived more material satisfaction by following his own inclination.