Vintage Postbag, April 1968

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Lamberjack as Coach Driver

Sir,
I may have a few things about Mlle. Lamberjack’s father racing motor buses in France.

In 1922 the “Automobile Club de Nice” created the “Criterium International de Tourisme Paris-Nice.”

In 1927, Lamberjack drove a Saurer motor bus he nicknamed Virginie—with 12 passengers it went 92 km. per hour in a 3 km. race in Grenoble (best performance), Lamberjack won his category (5,000 c.c. to 8,000 c.c.), he was the only competitor in this category!

In 1928 the same bus was again entered as well as another Saurer seating 20 passengers (driven by Lamberjack) — there was also a Bernard and a Renault, this Renault went 115 k.p.h. in the 3-km. race in Grenoble and was faster than the first 1,100 c.c. Amilcar in the “la Furbie” hill climb. In 1931 Virginie is there again, but Lamberjack drives a Saurer Diesel with 14 passenger body by Weymann (it only weighed 800 kg.) This was the last time a bus was driven in that race. It ended in 1939 with World War II. May I add that Mlle. Lamberjack finished 3rd in the 1936 edition of the Paris-Nice in Hotchkiss. In 1967, the Club de l’Automobiliste (4, Rue du Bac, Paris 7e), a veteran and vintage Club, organised a Paris to Nice rally with more than 40 cars. The 1968 Paris-Nice will take place in May — maybe some British amateurs will bring their buses along for a 1,000 km. rally through the Alps!

But please do not mention buses “racing” in the Monte Carlo Rally again!

St. Cloud, France. T. B. Mantoux.
* * *

Mascot Identified

Sir,
Re. a Mr. Cooke who in last month’s edition of Motor Sport I read that he is inquiring regarding a stag’s head mascot. This I may advise him is off of a Stag motor car made around about 1920 to the early 30s.

Blackheath. J. Holloway.
* * *

V.S.C.C. Driving Tests, Shrivenham

Sir,
You write “Mrs. Cattermull was inclined to be untidy in her beetle-back Alvis Silver Eagle . . .”

Indeed, no, but her husband was quite incredibly untidy in her beetle-back Alvis Silver Eagle, I am sorry to admit!

Charlton-on-Otmoor. A. R. Cattermull

[It must have been the cold!—Ed.]
* * *

Belly Laugh

Sir,
In the March issue an advertiser states that one of his clients is “not unreasonably expecting a price in excess of £500,” for, wait for it—a 1928 Austin Chummy! Thank you for is jolly good laugh.

Plymouth. J. Brown.
* * *

Data Wanted

Sir,
I would be very grateful for help in obtaining as much information as possible concerning an engine that I unearthed recently. It has an engine plate stating the following facts:—

Hercules Motor Corp.
Canton, Ohio, U.S.A.
(I think) Serial No. ZXB Engine No. 1110773
INT 006 FXH 006

Also attached, in very good condition, is a McCord radiator. Address on the plate:—

McCord Radiator & Mfg. Co., Detroit, Mich.

Any help as to the type of body used or to the use of the engine would be most helpful as I have tried various reference libraries without success.

[Letters can be forwarded—Ed.]

Aylestone. S. Pennington.
* * *

Historic Grounds

Sir,
Your open question “does the field still exist,” when referring to an aerodrome at Old Hall Farm, Withingron, Manchester, in your “Period Piece” (February Motor Sport), prompts me to reply. As a Mancunian I know a little of this area and after consulting my mother I think I am able to answer the question. The area once used as an aerodrome is now called Hough End Fields and it lies on the main road used by everyone travelling to Manchester Airport. It appears that many years back it was given in a bequest to the City conditional that it was not built upon. Albeit, the “powers that be” completely covered the field with those pre-fab houses (that were to last ten years) at the end of the last war, where they remained until last year. They have now been removed and the area is now clear again apart from the remains of the concrete foundations.

“Old Hall Farm” itself was in the corner of the area and for many years was empty. Vandals did their best (worst!) to the building and there was some talk of the Corporation restoring the buildings but these plans appear to have fallen through. Then local businessmen had the idea of making a club of the place—a casino—that idea came to naught.

During the war the Army used part of the area as a camp and later the T.A. Plans have been put forward to construct a sports stadium and running track. What will become of that idea is yet to be seen. Just prior to the last war the Royal Agricultural Show was held at Hough End Fields. As far as I know this was the one and only occasion that the event was held at that spot. During the “invasion scare” days of 1940-41, the field was covered with the, then, familiar concrete and wood posts to—ironically—prevent aircraft landing!

Members of my family recall Paulham flying from the field to land in an area not many miles away now known as Fog Lane. A brother of mine was bold enough when, as a schoolboy, he went for a “flip” in an aircraft from the field. I understand that when the airfield was used as such, the main road I mentioned earlier in this letter was but a cinder track anywhere South of the Hough End Fields and it wasn’t until the bridge was built over the River Mersey that the road was built. This was in the late ‘twenties—early ‘thirties. The answer to your question then is “yes.” In these days of high value being placed on land in the built-up cities it is surprising to find, any Saturday, local football teams playing out their matches and using the Corporation built dressing rooms on the very spot where the early aviators with names like Paulham once landed and took off in their “stringbags”!

One last thought. Where Paulham landed near Fog Lane, mentioned above, is now to be found a road called “Paulham Road.” This was where he landed at the end of the Grahame-White-Paulham duel of 1909.

Galleywood. Garry Edwards.
Club Historian and Editor,
Morris Eight Tourer Club.

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