It is always interesting to talk to people about the cars they have owned and why they disposed of them. The other day I chatted with Grp. Capt. Wynne, whose book “When the Middle East Was Fun,” we reviewed last month, at his house at Church Crookham.
Learning to drive and ride a horse in the desert, his first model-T Ford was-kept on the veranda of his quarters’ but his first personal car was a 1913 2-cylinder water-cooled Swift, bought after the Armistice as a car in keeping with a Flt.-Lieut.’s pay! Grp. Capt. Wynne recalls the odd noises it made, due to both pistons rising together, and an eventual broken stub-axle. It followed a Kerry motorcycle, which was succeeded by a Kerry Abingdon and many other 2-wheelers.
He then bought a new 1923 flat-twin Ariel. This developed back-axle trouble when close to the Birmingham factory, so he drove it in and everyone was all smiles as a new axle was installed— the days of real service! Next came a Rover Nine, which toured Scotland, followed by a very good 11 h.p. Clyno, although this “didn’t exactly exert itself”! After the third radiator had burst the Clyno was changed for a Bean Fourteen.
The Bean was too thirsty for petrol, apart from shaking out its engine holding-down bolts every thousand miles or so, A Standard Nine served well in India, as did a Chevrolet, which climbed to 10,000 ft. in the Himalayas.
Back in England the Grp. Capt. bought a new Riley 12/6 with triple S.U.s but it just wouldn’t go. It went back to the makers for a fortnight but they failed to increase its performance, and as it had a low-speed wheel wobble it was soon disposed of. A Standard Sixteen proved a good car, but was another which “didn’t over-exert itself,” but a Rover Sixteen was kept for 18 years, being used throughout the Second World War, supplemented by a motorcycle for his war-time journeys to Bedford each day. It was followed by a Triumph TR2, with a Morris Traveller to back it up.—W. B.