Veteran-Edwardian-Vintage, April 1958
A section devoted to old-car matters
A rare light car.—Members of th Light Car Section of the V.S.C.C. were no doubt distressed to hear Cecil Clutton, an ex-President of the V.S.C.C., describe their cars as of “slight technical interest and inconspicuous power” during his recent broadcast on the B.B.C. Network Three programme. However, we believe that two other ex-Presidents of the V.S.C.C., Kent Karslake and Laurence Pomeroy, disagree with Clutton’s opinion that vintage small cars are “humdrum, uninteresting and drab little cars, simply not worth preserving,” and certainly the Editor of Motor Sport isn’t in agreement. So we venture to present this picture of a rare vintage small car, an oil-cooled V-twin Belsize Bradshaw seen at the last V.S.C.C. Heston meeting, in the belief that Karslake, Pomeroy and very many others will agree that such cars are well worth preserving, if only for their technical interest and rarity.
The Vintage S.C.C. opens the 1958 vintage racing season at Silverstone on April 12th, when those who like the variety of motoring and sartorial fashion seen on these occasions should make every effort to be present. Admission is by ticket only, obtainable in exchange for a s.a.e. from T. Carson, Brook Cottage, Bishops Green, Newbury, Berks, and a compulsory car-park fee of 5s will be charged—excellent valuel
Competitors report by 9.15 a.m., the programme opens with a One-Hour High-Speed Trial for vintage sports cars at 12.15 p.m., and the races will include the G.P. Itala Trophy Race over 10 laps for vintage racing cars, an Edwardian Handicap and a 10-lap All-Comers’ Scratch Race for vintage and historic racing cars. The first round of the 1958 Motor Sport Club Trophy Contest will be held at this meeting. Entries have closed. Stick this date—April 12th—in your diary, chaps.
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The 50th Anniversary M.C.C. Land’s End Trial at Easter is open to vintage cars, motor-cycles, combinations and three-wheelers, and pre-1914 motor-cycles and three-wheelers. The observed hills will be Porlock, Lymnouth, Station Lane, Beggars Roost and the original dreaded Bluehills Mine. Strictly this event is not so “traditional” as was the vintage “Land’s End” of 1952, for this year the cars converge from different starting points on Taunton and the trial ends at Newquay, whereas in 1952, when the Editor of Motor Sport competed at the wheel of a 1924 11.9 Lagonda, the correct 1927 route, starting at Virginia Water and finishing at Land’s End, was adhered to.
In 1930, in which year any of the vintage cars which will set out this Easter could have competed, there were 221 car competitors. In that year the hills included Grabhurst and Ruses Mill, however. The 50th Anniversary route is more reminiscent of the 1929 “Land’s End,” in which 178 cara started, embracing A.C., Alfa-Romeo, Alvis, Amilcar, Arrol-Aster, Aston Martin, Austin, Bayliss-Thomas, Bean, Bentley, Beardmore, Bugatti, Buick, Ceirano, Clyno, Delage. Delahaye, Diatto, Fiat, Ford, Frazer-Nash, Gardner, Hillman, Hupmobile, Invicta, Lagonda, Lea-Francis, M.G., Moratt, Morrie, O.M., Peerless, Rally, Riley, Rover, Salmson, Schneider, Senechal, Singer, Standard, Star, Sunbeam, Swift, Talbot, Triumph, Trojan (including A. F. Scroggs’ car), Vauxhall, Willys-Knight, Windsor and Wolseley. That year Porlock stopped 29 cars, Lynmouth 12, Beggars Roost 69 and Bluehills 16. At the time belt-driven motorcycles were quite a common sight and the R.A.F. was protecting the peace in Gamecock and Siskin fighters . . .
At Easter, apart from Scroggs’ Trojan in the Land’s End proper, 27 vintage cars are destined to compete in the Vintage Section, comprising two early Frazer-Nashes, two Austin Sevens, a 9/20 Humber, a Ballot, three 12/50 Alvises, a 1929 Hillman Fourteen, a Type 46 Bugatti, an M.G., two Morris-Oxfords, two Bentleys, Hayward’s legendary Bayliss-Thomas, a 1919 Chevrolet, a Fiat, a Lea-Francis, a Lagonda, a 30/98 Vauxhall, a Jowett, Patricia Stocken’s Trojan, a Riley Nine, a 1927 Rolls-Royce and the Jack Barclay 1910 Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce, which we hope won’t damage itself on Bluehille hairpin.
With the opening of another season of motor racing there is topical interest in an elaborate book, kindly sent to us by a reader, entitled “Automobile Fortnight in Ireland,” a 9-1/2 in. by 7-1/4 in. 150-page 6d. tome issued in Dublin to commemorate the 1903 Gordon Bennett race and the speed trials, hill-climbs, official tours and motor-boat races that spread this gathering of sporting motorists over a couple of weeks.
From this interesting publication we learn that the Irish A.C. was founded in Dublin in January 1901, its then-President being the Rt. Hon. Horace Plunkett. The book pictures many personalities prominent in Irish motoring circles at this early date. Thus William G. D. Goff, J.P., is depicted in cap, beard and one of his Napiers – he had two of these, a 16-h.p. and a 24-h.p., as well as a de Dion tricycle and a Werner motor-bicycle. Incidentally, his hobbies are quoted as “yachting and fishing,” H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught is seen in a military Wolseley, a full-page plate is devoted to His Excellency, The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who owned two 12-h.p. Panhard-Levassors and a 10-h.p. Mors (he was giving a tea-party at the Vice-Regal Lodge after the Phoenix Park Speed Trials—the Automobile Fortnight was a social occasion!), and S. F. Edge is shown at the wheel of the Napier with which he won the G.B. Trophy in 1902. There are some fine pictures of some of the competitors, although apparently photographs of the French cars and drivers were not available. The G.B. course is described in detail and Hutton & Co. ambitiously offered free garage and a free map of the circuit “to all who apply.”
The Gordon Bennett rules and race-day arrangements are there in full, cups and trophies galore are illustrated and the officials get adequate publicity, Lionel Earle being portrayed in his 20-h.p. Gobron-Brille, Mark Meyhew, L.C.C., on a 50-h.p. racing Napier, W. F. Peare in his Gladiator, and Dr. and Mrs. Colohan seated in a very smart Daimler. Officials wore coloured badges to distinguish their duties—marshals, green; starters, white; timekeepers, red; registrars, blue; press stewards, yellow; control stewards, green stripe; and cyclists, green armband and gold badge. Robert E. Phillips, chief timekeeper, had 84 chronograph watches under his care, and we note that, “large green flags will be stretched entirely across the road to indicate that a corner has to be negotiated within 100 yards.”
The Automobile Fortnight itinerary included the G.B. race on July 2nd, an exhibition of racing and touring cars at the Irish Automobile Garage, Earlsfort Rink, speed trials in Phoenix Park, a hillclimbing trial for the Henry Edmunds Trophy, a speed and hill-climbing trial at Cork, a motor-boat race for the Alfred Harmsworth Cup at Queenstown and a hill-climbing trial on the Killorglin-Tralee Road, these secondary contests being linked by competitive tours round Ireland. It is interesting that in the lists of competitors the Daimlers are designated by b.h.p., other cars by rated h.p. Unusual cars advertised in this official guide include the Mohawk Manon, with either de Dion or Aster engine, the Earl, Boyers, Evart-Hall and Brooke not forgetting the Lamplough-Albany steam car.—W. B.
Another discovery! In a shed in Essex a 1921 598-c.c. B.S.A. motor-cycle combination has recently been found. First registered in May 1921, it was used by the original owner until 1933, when it was put away and forgotten. It is in good order, with its original documents, but the tyres have perished. If anyone would care to restore it we can forward stamped letters.
A reader who would like to commence vintage motoring with a 1924 dark blue Morris-Cowley two-seater, FF 1669, which his father bought new and sold for a fiver in 1933, remarks that in 1941, when he was a member of the Cambridge O.T.C. there used to exist a vintage Bentley chassis used for instructional purposes at the Grange Road premises of the Armoured Corps section. If it is still there enthusiasts might care to save it. We suggest they form an orderly queue!
Last month we gave the address of the Hon. Registrar of the Lea-Francis Register incorrectly. He is Alan G. Woodland, 42, Bath Road, Leamington Spa. Warwicks, and the Register is open to all model Lea-Francis cars.
From Adelaide’s Public Library of South Australia comes a request for a Brocklebank Workshop manual, suggesting that one of these rare six-cylinder cars is still in existence there. Letters can be forwarded.
Vintage three-wheelers are particularly scarce, but we note from the Vintage M.C.C. magazine that a 1920 Coventry-Premier Super Runabout has come to light in Leicester.
A most interesting account of how the ex-Dubonnet Boulogne Hispano-Suiza with tulip-wood body was restored by Mr. Albertini will be found in The Manchester Guardian dated March 3rd.
Last year parades of old cars were a feature of several continental race meetings and some of these are likely to be repeated this year. In addition we hear that a veteran and vintage-car rally and “regularity race” is to be held in Rome next September. The Fiat Register is rallying to Turin on September 2nd.
Vintage Austin fancier John Oldham, in addition to his 1927 Austin Twenty Mayfair limousine and 1928 Austin Twenty Ranelagh limousine has added to his stable another 1927 Austin Twenty, a high-chassis model now endowed with an open torpedo body from a 16/55 Daimler of the same year, and one of the rare 1925 Austin Seven fixed-head coupés, painted red and black to match his Mayfair limousine. He also retains his very fine 1911 20/30 Renault limousine.
Vintage accessories.—Attractive cuff-links with colour reproductions of historic cars on them—Edwardian Austin Seven, bull-nose Morris, Ford N and T, Vauxhall, Mercedes and Peugeot—are available for 15s. 6d. a pair in extremely nice imitation mother-of-pearl cases, from Bolders & Co.. Ltd., 370, Strand, W.C.2. They are just the job for Easter wear and would make excellent Club prizes.
A platinum brooch in the form of, apparently, a Golden Bugatti, set with diamonds, is for sale and is held at the Motor Sport offices. Unless sold we gather it will he melted down.