‘Ref. P (for PANSY ?) V.T. ALVIS
” Collins, in a rather pansy Alvis, also did 11 see. but went the wrong way ” (Moron SPotrr, March, p. 162).
Definition of ” Pansy ” given by Chambers’ Dictionary : ” U. a species of violet developed by cultivation into large blossoms of great variety of colour—also Hearts-ease, Lorr-in-idleness . . .”
Doubtless, as an editor and a gentleman, you will not be averse to allowing me, as the nearest and dearest of the offended party, a few • words in her (his ?) defence.
Briefly. Alois G.P. (for Gray, or even Gaudy. Pansy ?) 5043 came into my hands in January 1953 as a dilapidated T.J. 12/50 saloon. Purchased by the light of a 60w. street. lamp and wrapped at the time in a mantle of snow, she rapidly fell to pieces when a fine spell thawed the ice from her joints (I sometimes wonder if she had previously been garaged in a refrigerator). The weekly bill for string and insulating tape became too huge to Support, and accepting the advice of an idiot I tore off the remaining shreds of wood and fabric and built a new body Of steel tubing and aluminium.
This creation served me well for some four years of incident. filled motoring—my happiest memory of this period being the occasion when, in a tantrum, she hurled one of her abominable cycle-type front wings straight at an on-corning police car, catching the brute fair and square in the number plate and stopping him in his tracks (the patrolmen couldn’t have been Meer about it).
In 1957 the creative urge came over me again and a feverish six months ensued, during which the present ” rather pansy ” coachbuilt drophead body was built onto a prepared T.L. 12/60 chassis (photographs enclosed). All mod, eons, were incorporated, i.e., commodious yet form-fitting boot, wind-up windows; full mudguarding and. in due (amuse, condonable seating (ex Armstrong Siddeley) and natty dark blue carpeting, contrasting tastefully with the red upholstery, dark grey cellulose and red wheels. To the ” standard ” equipment have been added : screen washers, demisters, twin remote-drive wipers, fog and reversing lights, and a .single spring leaf chrome bumper to protect the dumb-iron apron from clumsy parkers in London’s traffic.
The ” works.” apart from a modern charging circuit, are pretty. well standard. Looked at front the viewpoint of a dyed-in-the-wool, stuck-in-the-mud, hide-bound vintagent, I suppose it. would be fair to call sonic of the equipment, and possibly even the appearance of the car as is whole, rather florid, but alongside the chromeembellished V12 IlispanoSuiza she looks positively stark. Yet, dear Sir, this pate magnificent carriage draws from you in the same report the just description ” glittering and fabulous.” One wonders when you discard the word pansy in favour of a kinder phrase. Is it simply a question of size ? Or Lite degree of luxury, perhaps ? [feel quite sure that with your vast experience of motoring and motor ears you can have no prejudice against such useful modern-day accessories as screen washers and demisters.
Anyway, Pansy (as I shall happily regard her henceforth) would like you to know that she is not a weekend spit-and-polish motor car. Out of her garage every day and all day she clocks about 20,000 miles a year, which ain’t bad for an old ‘un, you’ll agree. And since she became beautiful she’s been doing between 2,000 and 5,000 miles a year competitive motoring. Quite permissibly (I think) she is proud of the fact that she put 54 miles into the hour on the Silverstone club circuit (last year’s ” Pomeroy “), even with the handicap of wrong-way Collins at the wheel; has muddied her skirts on the tougher V.S.C.C. events—the Northern and the Measham-7and the M.C.C. Land’s End Run; and has completed. dozens of lesser events without once failing to carry her Crew home to base. One recalls, too, with some satisfaction that at the S.T.D. Register’s Wolverhampton Rally of 1958. organised so ably by Mrs. W. Bodily. G.I’. 5043 was adjudged the best of the invited ears.
In short, looking back over the last few years of her hard-working life, Pansy reckons that she’ll take you up on this ” pansy ” stuff. She challenges you to invite any other eligible car or ears, regardless of of size, to compete with her for a special Pansy Badge. It could be worn by the winning car for a year. or until captured by another.
1. Manufactured before 1933 (or if you wish it, 1940). 2, sh least 15,000 miles a -year. 3. To compete within 12 months of March 1st in the following V.S.C.C. events :
A. Meashnin Trophy Bally.
B. Northern Trial.
C. A five-lap handicap at Silvendone.
D. A Driving Teats event.
E. Any other event of your (+Mee. Suvested System of Marking
Icednet from total of penalty marks ineurred in A. B. D. and E. 50, 25 and 10 marks, respectively, for a first, second, or third plaice in C. The car with the fewest net penalty marks to be awarded the coveted Pansy.
Exhibiting superb self-eontrof I resist the temptation (in fart, invitation) to poke fun at ” the Editorial Standard Nine.” I am, Yours, etc.,
Weyhridge. Toni). CottiNs. 1Good for you, Tony. If any car accepts P. for Pansy’s Challenge we will publish their elaims.—ED.1 •