RUMBLINGS, April 1944
Probnblv lots of new names will appear in motorracing when it recommences, but so far not many people have taken their plans far New Names beyond the stage of optimistic pipe
dreams. However, F/0 Donald Parker, a young man with two 4L1itre Bentleys, tells me he recently acquired an 1,100 c.c. Riley from Parnell, who is keeping it for him for the time being. This car. and possibly a racing single-seater Salmson, he fully intends to race after the war, perhaps in partnership with Marcus Chambers. Later, Parker hopes to do bigger things, using an E.R.A., and it is even possible that he may persuade Raymond Mays to arrange for sOme magic to be instilled therein. Mays himself, I gather, has his all-black 2-litre E.R.A. and its spares wrapped carefully in the metaphorical cotton wool. Offered a pretty staggering sum for it, he carefully considered the offer, then sagely turned it; down, deciding that at his time of life it would be foolish to start learning new lessons on P, newly-acquired car. Not, of course, that Ray can have many lessons left to learn, and certainly he doesn’t consider himself by any means past knocking down some of his numerous records, but the 2-litre was going very nicely, thank you, in sprint and long-distance events up to the outbreak of war, so Ray is going to hang on to it ready for the afterwards. Parnell, of course, is open to offers for his Delageengined Challenge, but will apparently keep, and exercise, the Seaman Delage. The ” Bira ” Delage, with i.f.s., is also in Parnell’s care, but the Seaman car is entirely intact. A very attractive car for a beginner would be that ex-Bellevue Garage
M.G. Magnette raced by Mortimer and which Rowland, of Bylleet, has for sale at £250. One only hopes that there will come good racing with the peace. To this end I would like to see new blood on the R.A.C. Competitions Committee, but whether that will happen all depends, I understand, on who is nominated at next A.G.M. as suitable to assist or replace existing committeemen who have served the Competitions Committee of the controlling body so faithfully in the past. I am sure Rivers-Fletcher would be welcomed by a great many people, and Raymond Mays could obviously do the sport a power of good in the right places if elected to this capacity. Last month we published the stirring story of Flt./Lt. Crook’s war-time motorMiddle East ing, much of it in
the East, and be6,re lhaf a letter from Capt. Alan Southon, whose thoughts (I well largely on motorcars while he was exiled in the satin i(O’N111 V. Now a letter comes to hand from Major O. It. M. Chichester, of the Rifle Brigade, who thought MoToR Stioft’r had gone under ” for the duration, until he chanced on a recent issue, in a hairdresser’s shop of all places, on his return to this country. In Cairo he had the Alfa omeo which used to haunt Southon in the early morning—the only time, Chichester explains, that the roads were sufficiently free of donkeys and Arabs to drive it at all rapidly. It was a 1932 12-litre supercharged “Grand Sport” with a 2-seater fixed-head coupe body, probably by Fagoni, which he picked up for I50, hoping to ship it to England. Unable to resist, he paid the Egyptian Government a year’s tax (£12) and ran it for a month, during which time camel dung and desert sand rapidly promoted the need for a rebore. To this end the car was stripped and, as the owner was ordered home at short notice, was sold in this condition to a fellow officer. Other cars Chichester saw in Egypt, and which others have also commented on, included 2-litre straight-eight unblown Bugatti, reputed by some to have won at Monaco in 1926 and to have been bought after the race by an Egyptian for £8,000; and, by others, to be merely a model sold by M. Bugatti to people who wanted a racing car but were not capable of driving one. There was also an open 11-litre Alfa-Romeo belonging to Lt. Roger Keyes, which had exceeded 100 m.p.h. on the road by the Dead Sea, all5 Isotta-Fraschini with a duff water-pump, and a “86/220” Mercedes-Benz 4-seater for sale in Alexandria for £140—very probably the car Crook hired for
his leave. Apparently it was later repainted and offered for sale at about £600—a disease not unknown in this country ! So far as MorroR SPORT” going under” is concerned, it has, of course, kept cracking quite nicely since the outbreak of war, thanks to many willing contributors, but we would say, once again, that W. Boddy, who edits it, does so in his spare time only, and he once more apologises to those who have not received replies to queries or had acknowledgment of letters. etc. It is hoped that in the fullness of time all will be brought up to date ; meanwhile, while we will not go so far as to say that letters not containing stamped, addressed envelopes will be ignored, certainly
the first replies go to those who send these time-saving, economic enclosures. Sorry to be sordid. It is reported that Richard Shakspeare has been killed on active service in Sicily. He was a great enthusiast and a charming personality, best remembered for Obituary his associations with Bugattis. After com
peting in Bugatti Owners’ Club events with 0.M. cars, including a blown “2.2,” Shakspeare was very successful with his Type 55 Bugatti, and also drove the Club Type 51 at Prescott. He was also fond of the veterans, running his pre-1914 Enfield-Alldays and Mors touring cars at the Crystal Palace ; both, incidentally, are still in a good state of preservation.