LETTERS from READEARS
It is nearly a year now since I last sought space in the columns of your excellent magazine. In that time I have sold the " Daytona " Wolscley Hornet which I was running and I have bought an M.G. -Magnette of 1935 vintage. This car, though fitted with an " N " Type 2-seater sports body, has an engine which resembles the M.G. " K.3 " Magaette engine, and I have driven the car myself at over 90 m.p.h. on " Pool" petrol, which proves that the car is no ordinary " N " Type. I accidentally contacted the fellow who owned the car from 1935 to 1937 and he showed me several photographs of himself with the car at Brooklands and during several trials.
Unfortunately, there are no more names in the log book, and apparently the car has not been run on the road since 1937, but I aril bald that it was raced after this. I wondered if any other MoTott SPORT reader could give me any information about this car. The registration number is ANF524 ; I ant sorry I canna give you the engine and chassis numbers, as I have not got the log book down here with me. If anyone would be so good as to contact me concerning this car, please ask them to write through my home address as 1 am expecting to be moved from this station at any time now. My home address is Brookhouse, Laughton, near Sheffield, Yorks.
As I am not allowed to use a car during my training I have had to suspend my motoring for a while, and I enjoy reading MOTOR SPORT more than ever. I am, Yours etc., •
R.A.F. CADET G. W. DixoN. Sir, May I take this opportunity of congratulating you on your achievement in carrying on in these hard times ? I look forward all through the month to the arrival of MOTOR SPORT and then treat
myself to a perfect Orgy of good reading. Does anyone know the history of a sports Fiat " 17/50 " six-cylinder job, registered number 1TR3630, which was deposited in Adlards Motors, Putney, at Or about the beginning of 1939?
According to the registration book it was first used in 1929. The body was a heavy " beetleback " 2-seater of sheet metal with cut-away sides and faired scuttle, originally painted grey. Engine was six-cylinder of about 2-litres, with seven-bearing crankshaft, single Solex carburetter and Delco Remy coil ignition. Four-wheel brakes were fitted and it had steel artillery wheels, eye le-type front wings and rear wings faired into the body. I bought it in June, 1939, for 30:-, and after putting in much work on it and getting it in running order (it had been standing out for six months) I was forced to turn it in as scrap in December, 1939. If anyone knows anything of this car I Should be glad to hear from him, as I
am sure it was a Special " of some kind and may have been the apple of some enthusiast's eye.
I have a copy of the Badminton Library's Motors and Motor Driving," dated 1902, for disposal if anyone is Interested in old motoring books.
In closing, may I say how heartily I agree with Mr. Lycett's remarks in the February issue about MOTOR SPORT'S " bad journalism." I am, Yours etc.,
2/14.r. E. R. GREG.
Tidworth. Since writing to you concerning my Ansaldo quite a number of interesting
vintage cars have been discovered, viewed, and in some eases bought, by members of the small but enthusiastic band of vintagists at Rongotai• (New Zealand). A very vicious-looking Riley caused a hasty descent from a tramcar. Although too reeent to come under vintage category it appeared to he the real thing, with a very sketchy body with quick-action tank
fillers and quiek-action radiator filler. Rudge wheels gave a slight clue to its age, but as I am by no means ‘vell up in Rileys I would not hazard a guess. Soon afterwards a genuine " Ulster " Austin Seven was seen in town, followed
by a "Blue Label" Bentley, the latter possessing the most remarkable collection of odd-sized tyres and wheels ever seen on one motor-car, in spite of which it still looked a thoroughbred. Next came an examination of an eightcylinder 2I itre Bugatti, circa 1927 ;
another very good car in very bad condition. Another Bugatti, about two or three years younger, with a frightful Australian-built body. was also examined. A short ride confirmed Itugatti steering. The Ansaldo is cracking fairly heartily now, so Douglas Woods and I hied our selves to a local straight. complete with stop-watch, kind took a few times. I will refrain from quoting them as they are not yet good enough to cause Mr. Boddy to ask for a few tuning tips, nor do I leave molten rut )1 ier behind on my getaway ;
but 0-50 figures have improved by 6 sees. and I anticipate taking another 5 sees.
Off this, so Illy tuning has not been in vain. I have .just purchased the 2-litre Ansaldo (mentioned in my article) that was raced here with such success, and intend taking the better bits and pieces off it for mine, which should yield interesting results. Experiments are also being made with an R.A.G. and an Arnott carburetter, the present Model A Zen i t It scarcely coming under the category of a sports instrument. The Ansaldo is now completely deprived of hood, and with black body, red chassis and silver wheels and a terrific Vortex silencer replacing the fishtail, looks definitely sinister. The Vortex has given it the most
delightful engine note imaginable and I feel quite legal driving past policemen.
Norman Carlton has just bought a " 12/50 " Alvis and has gone all Alvisminded. •So far I have not seen this car, but if the proud owner can be believed it is very nice indeed. A few days ago my wife and I had the opportunity of examining a very fierce " 30/98 " Vauxhall (0E127). This was my first close examination of a " 30/98," and fond as I am of the Wellesley-Colley 4i-litre Bentley, my allegiance definitely wavered. It has a particularly narrow 4-seater aluminium body and still stands in its beaded-edge tyres. The owner has been in correspondence with Anthony Heal concerning it, and informed me that it has an experimental engine fitted with durahunin con.-rods. [Surely standard
on eertaiti Telecontrols are another feature.
A lot tr-eylinder 1,100-c.c. ThomasSpecial " has been located at Lower Hutt and a trip will be made in due course to view it. Douglas Woods is the ex-owner of this car and I am trying to persuade him to write an article for MoToa Seowr concerning it. I was very interested to read in the August Mt mat SPORT of the tine write-up given years ago to a 2-litre Ansaldo, particularly the words " only really rapid stuff bore the simple title Of ' sports.' " The " new " Ansaldo is quite an interesting vehicle, especially for the £5 it cost me. It has a four-cylinder o.h.e. engine (72 120) with cast-iron monobloc crankcase and block, this being the only apparent difference from my later model, which has a separate aluminium crankcase. An early type Solex looks after carburation and ignition is provided by the usual " Magneto Marelli." The chassis appears longer than the later model, although I have not measured it yet, and is fitted with a narrow 4-seater body, with fold-flat screen. Two-wheel brakes with beautifully ribbed brake drums exert a
distinct retarding action. Tyres are 31' 4.50" beaded edge, on Rudgehubbed wire wheels, which look definitely " old school." This engine has not heel) run, due to the fact that petrol is nonexistent at the moment, but a dice will definitely be thrown before it is dismantled. The camshaft hears the legend " 28-11 23." For an 18-year-old in the hands of its twenty-first owner it is still in remarkable condition. If any of your readers should have an Attsaldo instruction book, or any infor
mation at all, I would be very pleased to hear from them, as even after three years' ownership of the 1.85-litre I ant still working in the dark on some points. I am, Yours etc.,
G. EASTERBROOR-S Mint.
Sgt., 11.N.Z.;1. V. Wellington,
New Zealand. Sir, May I amplify your footnotes in January and February issues on the
Vauxhall Villiers cars? These were definitely not 41-litres, but 3-litre T.T. ears modified and supercharged.
David Brown's version was fitted with the original front axle assembly, but I don't think the chassis frame was original. Ground clearance was 8" or 9", and underslung. Rear axle was an ingenious design and manufacture of David Brown's, giving " dill." or " solid " drive by Moving a small lever.
According to T. W. Carson, Brown's car was No. 1 of the T.T. team, with spares from No. 3, and No. 2 was developed into Raymond Mays's machine. Messrs. Carson and Martin took Brooklands records with No. 1, and before becoming" Villiers " both cars were raced by John Cobb, Jack Barclay and Dan Higgin, though who raced which I don't know.
I am collecting data on these ears—a slow job at present. I would appreciate any news or photographs of either of the " Villiers " from readers ; negatives, etc., will be carefully handled. Also information about any 4/-litre Vauxhalls. There is rumoured to be one still intact, but, apart from the owner's name possibly being Baines, nothing is known at present. Such a car was reported from the West Country, but I cannot confirm this.
Keep it up, MOTOR. SPORT; yon do not realise what it means to enthusiasts in the Forces !
If Mr. Howard Bateson could give me a few particulars, such as body, colour, etc., or photograph, I could probably help with the Bugatti's history, as I know most of such cars in that district. I am, Yours etc., R.A.F. ANTHONY BROOKE, [The statement that the VauxhallVilliers was a 41-litre was a careless error on our part, but it has at least drawn these further facts about these interesting cars from Mr. Brooke.—Ed.} Sir,
The idea of a" Victory Rim " to Berlin after the war is too silly for words. When I first read about it I thought it was someone's idea of a joke, and one in very poor taste.
Until we all become imbued with righteous hate for the Germans and all they stand for—in other words, until the whole nation pulls as one, with the spirit of Russia and of China—we shall not win the war, or even deserve to win it.
I hope the R.A.F. will so blast Berlin that there will be no such place to which to make a " Victory Run" of any description.
Like all my contemporaries who saw active service in the last war, I have nothing but the profoundest hatred for the German nation. I would stick at nothing to see that nation wiped off the earth.
The good red blood of our ancestors seems to have turned to milk in many people now living in t his country. Even if the FLAX. were to sanction the projected run, I can promise the sponsors, and S/Capt. Hess, that the up
and-doing section of the public will see to it that it does not take place. Let us win the war first and then think about play. I am, Yours etc.,
C. A. L. MEREDITH. Sir,
On glancing through some old copies of MOTOR SPORT, One Of t he few pleasures remaining to the enthusiast, I noticed in the June, 1941, issue an article by 2nd Lt. J. R. A. Green, mentioning an E.H.P. car, of which I believe I have some small knowledge. The car sounds very much like one I saw in a showroom (Berkeley Motors ?) in Euston Road during the Motor Show weeks of 1936 and 1037. I was rather interested in this, although at the time I had a San Sebastian Sahnson, and would probably have bought it had it been nearer my home. I made a few enquiries at the time, and although the five or six years elapsed renders the giving of actual names and figures difficult, I believe it is correct to say that Olive drove it at Brooklands and underStand that he was a captain or a major, who was connected in some way with a firm named (this is where memory is hazy) Bourdon Motors, of Berkeley Square. Upon communicating with this concern, I was informed that they had a very representative stock of E.H.P. spares, so that it may be possible to trace these. The lap speed of 114 m.p.h. quoted by your contributor would appear a little high, although I seem to remember it having been placed in a handicap event at about 94 m.p.h. [Olive won the 1926 B.A.R.C. President's Gold Plate Handicap at 89.05 m.p.h.—Ed.]
Incidentally, if there are any Northern enthusiasts building " Specials " incorporating Salmson parts, I have a large selection of spares.
At the present time I am running a Citroen 12 F.W.D. saloon, which fully bears out all the favourable comments recently passed in the motoring Press. I am, Yours etc.,
93, Ormerod Road, J. R. BROWN. Burnley. Sir,
In response to your appeal for information about vintage cars I offer the following, which may possibly be of interest.
I had no time to examine them closely, unfortunately, but they were all to seen about two months ago at Gray Breakers' Yard, Braidwood, Lanarkshire.
Napier, date about 1920, about 4-litres capacity, six-cylinder engil IC, cofelition good. Price asked t;i0, but I faney could be had for a good deal lest.
61-litre Bentley, limousine body, year uncertain, less tyres, condition fair (engine looked well kept).
Delage 1)8, coupe body, date about 1931, 'condition fair. Wishing every suceess to your excellent magazine. I am, Yours etc., BOBEtt r A. MeMILLAN, 2/Lt. 1st Lothians and
Border Yeomanry. Sir, Readers of "Club News" may be interested to hear of the following items noted recently while in a hunt of breakers' yards. Continued on page 87
At a breaker's yard about two miles outside of Chichester, Sussex, on the main Shoreham line, easily get-at-able on the main I3ognor Road, " 12/40 " LeaFrancis, about 1929, practically complete (name of breaker Coe) ; most of a 14-h.p. Lancia, early series.
At a yard just outside Watling (name Volkes, or similar), the greater part of a six-cylinder Alfa-Romeo engine, believed 22 h.p.
There may be some readers to whom this information would be helpful.
I, incidentally, should be glad to be put on the track of an Amilcar (preferably Surbaisse), a Sahnson (preferably double o.h.c. grand sports or San Sebastian, or something similar), old and cheap. Condition not too important, as I have fairly good facilities, also plenty of time, as there is little hope of running anything at present. Perhaps you may hear of something in this category.
Best wishes for MOTOR SPORT. I am, Yours etc.,
R.N.V.R. H. L. NEAL, U.