Club News, April 1948



We Hear

Barry Eaglesfield has disposed of the ex-Birkett Type 40 Bugatti and acquired a Type 37, which he has fitted with a Morris Minor tank, S.U. pump, 5.50 in. by 18 in. rear tyres and a folding seat in a new tail, the original 30-gallon tank and tail having been disposed of to Major Cree for a “special” he is building. Major Cree runs a 2-litre Lagonda. Eaglesfield has a Type 40 instruction book which he will lend to any person who deposits £5 with him. R. Redvers Lewis has a 1932 2-litre Crossley drophead coupé which has been laid-up since 1938. Apart from the several Lanchester 21s reported last month, another is reported as in use by a Margate Hire Service. D. C. Pitt has fitted four special Amal carburetters to his ex-Lester PB M.G. Midget, also Q-type valve gear, h.c. pistons, etc., while reducing weight by about 28 lb., a lot of it unsprung weight. He is running a Fiat “500” as transport. Another M.G. enthusiast is G. E. Lant, who has installed a 1936 N-type M.G. Magnette engine in a 1933 Wolseley Hornet Special chassis. He argues that not everyone can run a vintage sports car. His Wolseley was a 21st birthday present, bought for £20 and, finding out its shortcomings during the war, Lant decided to try to eradicate them. He chose the Magnette engine as a replacement for the original as offering an opposed-port head, better valve timing and 5/16-in. b.e. bolts. To improve stability and control a new front and rear cross-member were added, together with double Hartford shock-absorbers, stronger rear springs, new shackle pins and steering joints and a Series E Morris Eight drop arm. Radius rods will eventually be fitted to the front axle. This type of rebuild is extremely sensible and worth while and Lant will be glad to assist anyone anxious to undertake a similar rebuild.

Earl Howe and Sir Miles Thomas are Vice-Presidents of the Oxford University M.D.C. The article on Peter Hampton’s 1910 Type 13 Bugatti in the February Motor Sport aroused much interest. The little car was originally used by Ettore with a 4-seater closed body (!). but Col. Dawson fitted the present 2-seater body when he acquired the car. It saw war service at the Front during 1914-18, yet Col. Dawson “never had to renew a brass in the engine.” Good Edwardian stuff, it seems. Lt. Bellingham, R.N., is carefully rebuilding a 1911-12 ex-Scott-Moncrieff Ninety Mercedes. Jarvis is running a very fine Marshall-blown “Ulster” Austin Seven and hopes that there will soon be some reason for the Cambridge Engineering Co. to assemble his single-seater Austin Seven for further “dicing.” Bowles also has his well-known “Ulster” Austin, now fitted with the rather special ex-Fish “works” engine out of a car that used to run at Southport, ready for any Prescotts that happen. A well-known manufacturer who made very high-performance sports cars before the war wishes to contact someone interested in investing money in the business and resuming production. Major Silva is rebuilding a 1931 “International” Aston-Martin and Chris Tooley has been devoting this petrol-less period to overhauling his Riley-G.N. sprint car. The last run in his brother’s Meadows-engined Singe-rBrescia Wilson-gearbox “Special,” to lay it up, resulted in an average of 52 m.p.h. and no trouble of any sort. Allan Raunsley has joined a friend in restoring an Austin believed to be about 1912 vintage, but he would like confirmation of this; the aged number plate appears to read NA 8002. A mysterious car with “Brooklands” Riley Nine engine and gearbox, what is thought to be a Bugatti chassis and rear axle, a prop. shaft that is probably M.G., 1/4-elliptic rear springs and a galvanised-iron body, has been saved from a barn by John Savage and Francis Gabb. The car seems to have been registered as a Victor Gillow Special about 1940 and engine and chassis Nos. are B3 and E3. The new owners are anxious to discover whether that exciting driver Victor Gillow really did have anything to do with this car or if it has a competition history. Film producers are getting quite particular about the cars they use, for Dick Nash was recently asked for a car for this purpose, but it had to be a Rolls-Royce, either a tourer or coupe, and of about 1920 vintage. A 1923 550-c.c. Bradbury motor-cycle was advertised for £16 recently in a non-motoring paper — the name, alas, spelt as “Bradberry.”

Julian Fall has acquired a well-preserved example of 1922 ” 8/18 ” Talbot-Darracq 2-seater. It is very encouraging to find that British toy makers have pulled their fingers out and are flat-out for the export market. The International Model Aircraft Co., Ltd., apart from making those fascinating “Frog” metal flying model aircraft, delivered in a box that contains an ingenious winder, have recently introduced excellent rubber-driven, plastic replicas of the modern 1 1/2-litre Riley and Ford V8 saloon cars. We believe these replicas cost 3s. each and they will be avidly sought by those who are not too grown-up to collect motor-car miniatures. A Club has recently been formed on an island in the Persian Gulf, with a heterogeneous collection of cars ranging from 8-litre Bentley to 1948 Ford, Studebaker and Nash. Petrol is in unlimited supply at 4d. a gallon! Basil Tye has acquired the ex-Williams racing 1 1/2-litre Alta which, appeared at the last Shelsley Walsh meeting with new bodywork, and Cowell, recently joined by John “Alvis” Cooper, has been motoring in a Lago Talbot. A Wilton of the early nineteen-twenties is rotting in a S. London garden. A. J. Taylor has acquired a “Grand Sport” Amilcar and seeks a set of pistons for it.

Leicestershire C.C.

This Club has a strong social programme to tide it over the present era and six of the members’ wives have formed a Ladies’ Social Committee to assist in this direction. A regular newsletter is issued and readers of Motor Sport are extended a hearty welcome to attend the Club’s functions, by the Hon. Sec., H. H. Mayes, “Willoughby,” 75, Leicester Road, Narborough (Phone: Narborough 3343). There is a motoring talk at the Victory Hotel on April 6th.

Berkhamsted M.C. & L.C.C.

This old-established Club, which used to run the Dancer’s End speed hill-climbs, etc., is extending its social activities to tide it over “the drought.” A Film Show will be held at the “Mason’s Arms,” Maddox Street, London, at 7.30 p.m., on April 7th. Members of the Harrow N.L.E.C.C., Chiltern C.C. and Herts County C.C. are invited.


The Bentley Drivers’ Club “Review,” which appears quarterly, is in every way a fitting publication for the commemorating of one of the greatest of the British vintage cars. That for March contained some fine illustrations, useful technical “gen,” a long list of new members (membership now numbers 679), more of Dr. Benjafield’s delightful reminiscences, American news, reports of the Club’s events, of which it still holds a great many, W. A. Taylor’s impressions of a Brooklands outer-circuit race in Barnato’s 3-litre Bentley, Overseas News, and an article by W. Boddy on Bentleys at Brooklands. This journal alone makes the 30s. subscription worth while. Future fixtures include a Steering Wheel party, a Northern meeting, a possible expedition to the J.C.C. Jersey race and the A.G.M. on May 8th.


The Vintage S.C.C., the membership of which approaches the four-figure mark, gave a very fine film show by George Monkhouse and talk by Laurence Pomeroy, in London, at the end of February. The German motor-racing propaganda film was shown — it should be shown in every British cinema, followed by a silver collection for the

B.R.M. And we suggest that, if Raymond Mays is ever troubled by a queue of ex-tank drivers, Spitfire pilots and the like seeking a “wheel” in the B.R.M. team, he shows them this film, especially the part showing Hasse’s Auto-Union emerging backwards from the tunnel at Monaco, preceded and accompanied by fearful tyre-scream and still going very fast. That, and the shot of the crowd at Nurburg leaving the fence in a wild frenzy of arms, legs and human shrieks when Nuvolari’s Alfa-Romeo shed a rear wheel at speed, together with some of the bunched starts, should thin the ranks of the applicants quite a bit. Leaving this magnificent film show, so vastly improved by George Monkhouse’s witty and accurate commentary, we wondered why anyone troubles to show other motor-racing films.

North-West London M.C.

The Annual General Meeting will be held at St. Stephen’s Tavern, Westminster (adjacent to Westminster Station) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6th.


The North London E.C.C. invited all other clubs and enthusiasts to a lantern lecture and film show at Central Hall, Westminster, on March 4th. This was very well attended and Sir Malcolm Campbell, introduced by A. F. Rivers Fletcher, who organised the show, spoke for some 2 1/2 hours, without notes, on his adventures in connection with breaking the land and water speed records, dating back to 1924 with the 350-h.p. V12 Sunbeam at Fanoe. His land speed record endeavours were continued with “Bluebird,” built in 1926-27 and the front axle of which was retained for all subsequent versions of the car, up to the Rolls-Royce-engined car of 1935, with which Sir Malcolm did 301.13 m.p.h. Mrs. K. Petre thanked the lecturer for a very entertaining evening, and Leo Villa, Campbell’s engineer, “who came to him as a boy and now has a grown-up son,” was introduced to the audience.

G.N. Reunion

The luncheon for G.N. owners went off very well indeed. H. R. Godfrey had many amusing reminiscences to put over, remarking, for example, that the old G.N. works were at the top of a hill, which made it so easy to dispatch customers and so difficult for them to return! He was ably backed-up by A. G. Frazer-Nash, and other speakers were Douglas Clease, A. C. Armstrong, John Bolster, Basil Davenport, E. J. Anderson, Clive Gallop and Mrs. Ivy Collins (formerly Miss Ivy Cummings).


The first correct solution to the Motor Sport March Quiz picture came from H. L. Biggs, of Enfield. He described the car as the Straight-Eight O.M., driven by Henken Widengren and R. F. (“Dick”) Oats and remarked that he has worked on this interesting car. Actually, our photograph showed it in the 1933 500-Mile Race, in which it was driven by G. M. Crowther and Vernon Balls. It was a blown 1 1/2-litre straight-eight. Other correct solutions came from H. J. Gahagan, of East Leake; T. Brettell, P. L. K. Bird, of London, W.1; and R. G. Bell, of Southampton.

Incorrect solutions covered such cars as the 4-litre V12 Sunbeams, the Napier-Railton, the Multi-Union, an Eyston Riley. 2-litre O.M. and 2-litre Mercedes.