Last month, apart from some rather odd descriptions of the M.G.-C, including calling the steering ratio the turning circle, and the gear lever the gearbox, we ascribed the second of the Readers’ Letters to Sir Clive Thomas, Bt., when it should have been obvious that it was written by that well-known enthusiast, Sir Clive Edwards, Bt. Then John Oldham’s Rolls-Royce 74 GN was described in the text as a P. II but in the picture caption as a P. I. It is, in fact, the former. Finally, there was a classic slip of the typing finger in the announcement of the Daily Express London-Sydney Marathon, when, in drawing attention to a marathon of the 1920s which they refused to sanction, we stated that the idea was for light cars to attempt to cover 10,000 in 50 hours. This would be 200 m.p.h., as many readers gleefully pointed out! In fact, the object was to have been to attempt 5,000 miles within 50 consecutive hours, on a route taking in at least three steep gradients. It was promoted by the York & Dist. M.C., who offered a gold medal for such performances, from 1921 onwards. In 1923 The Light Car & Cyclecar decided to support these runs, offering an aluminium radiator plaque to successful drivers. The last person to comply with the conditions prior to this announcement had been Ian Macdonald, who covered a circular route from his home in Oundle and back within the time-limit. He drove a 12/20 Calthorpe and ascended the Cat and Fiddle, Shap Fell, Beattock, Amulree, Trinafour and the Grampians, returning down the Great North Road. Within a week of the aforesaid sponsorship the R.A.C. refused a closed permit for future runs, although the overall average speed was only 20 m.p.h. Reporting this, The Light Car & Cyclecar wrote: “It is to be hoped that the R.A.C. will not carry things too far in this direction, for if it be admitted that more supervision is necessary in certain cases, drastic actions should not check the sporting enterprise of the motor clubs.”
So, as we said, it is nice to know that the London-Sydney Marathon has been sanctioned, although of course the Daily Express has sensibly said that this is not a race, but a trial in which entrants compete on time, not against one another but against the sponsors. Nevertheless. . . .! We note that starters are likely to include official Ford and B.M.C. 1800 entries.—W. B.