A section devoted to old-car matters
The VSCC at Silverstone again
This year’s first Vintage SCC Silverstone Race Meeting will not take place until May 1st and as we go to Press with this page we have no information about it. But it will undoubtedly be on the well-proven lines and provide as much pleasure as these races for Edwardian, vintage and historic cars always do. The Meeting is open to nonmembers on payment of admission charges and we anticipate that once again the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest will form part of this meeting, on the usual points-winning basis.
Artists with a flair for caricature at one time had motor racing personalities at their mercy. But in recent times this trend has died down, with those great drawings of “SalIon”, of the Daily Mirror, created at the behest of Shell/BP, but a pleasant memory. In horse-racing circles David Longdon remains a master of caricature but in motoring circles this seems a dead art. I was reminded of this when a reader of Motor Sport kindly sent me some old works of this kind, which used to figure in the weekly motoring papers of years back. There are colour caricatures by “The Tout” of Brooklands celebrities, which include Capt. Frazer-Nash (that’s how they spell it) arriving at the top of the Test Hill in the GN “Kim”, George Bedford, who used to race a Hillman light car, W. D. Hawkes in his tasselled cap, a cigarette drooping from his upper lip and oil from his oil-can, and Capt. D.E.B.K. Shipwright holding his pipe and looking very pleased with himself, standing beside the 30-h.p. Armstrong Siddeley “Baby Tank”, which was the only car of this make to win at Brooklands. (When I met Shipwright years afterwards he was still running one, but a post-war Witley or similar.)
These caricatures were done in 1921 and show George Duller in the guise of a racehorse, Count Zborowski, John F. Duff and Capt. M. Campbell. A second such supplement, dated 1922, was of a tall, very thin Major W. H. Oates he raced a little Lagonda), J. G. P. Thomas cranking-up, K. Lee Guinness and H.O.D. Segrave, both notably well-dressed, Kaye Don in white linen helmet, W. H. Cook bulging out of the Vauxhall “Rouge et Noir”, C. G. Brocklebank happily smoking his pipe, Kensington Moir in an obvious single-seater, the blackclad B. S. Marshall bringing M. C. Park back on the tail of his car, and E. A. D. Eldridge carrying funnel and petrol tin. These were a prelude to the Speed Championship races due to take place at Brooklands on the forthcoming Saturday and must have pleased alike the drivers depicted and readers of the magazine concerned, although the cars are only occasionally identifiable.
The reader who generously sent these to me, Mr. S. T. Robinson of Willingdon, and who went to school with Tommy Wisdom, puts back the clock in another way, for he tells me be began to drive, illegally, a year after these caricatures had caught his eye-“in those days, in rural areas, a licence wasn’t considered too essential!” The first car they had was an 11.9-h.p. Dorman-engined Autocrat. He also had rides in a Napier tourer with the anti-clockwise engine and in a two-seater 13.9-h.p. Renault with quadrant gear-change and twist-grip throttle. This reader later took to the road himself on motorcycles, Douglas, Triumph and Norton, before getting his first car, an Austin Seven Chummy. Since then, he tells me, he has had 20 cars, including a Light-15 Citroen with twin-carburetter conversion, a Fiat 1100 TV and, “best of all”, a BMW 2002. He now finds an Audi 80 adequate for prevailing conditions.—W.B.
V-E-V Miscellany.—The Midland Rolls-Royce Club has its annual Concours d’Etat at Ragley Hall, Alcester, on July 11th, by kind permission of The Marquis of Hertford. Leyland News said recently that Lord Austin worked on his first Austin car in 1902—we always thought this was in 1906? The Midlands Austin 7 Club will hold its annual Longbridge Rally at Cofton Park on June 20th. A dance is planned for the evening before and it is hoped that over 150 Austin 7s will attend. The Morris Register will have its Donington Rally at Donington Park on June 26th/27th. Last year some 150 cars attended and 250 are hoped for this year, not necessarily all of Morris make, however. A reader in Australia who owns a very well-preserved 1949 English-built Big-Six de luxe Citroen which still possesses its original magnetic dipping headlamps and 185 x 400 Michelin Pilote tyres (the latter now irreplaceable, for which reason mileage is purposely reduced) has sent us a picture of a Southern Cross. It was taken in 1935 at Geelong and soon afterwards Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, the famous aviator, with whom this make is associated, and his companion emerged from a shop, munching meat pies. The radiator badge of the car is a facsimile of the 7-cylinder radial aero-engine.
The Amilcar-Salmson Rally is expected to survive and to take place again on the Continent, next September. The Traction-section of the Citroen Car Club has published a very nicely-produced, printed magazine, Floating Power, to encourage more detailed attention being given to pre-war and post-war front-drive Citroens. Details from: The Traction OC, North Cottage, Mongers Farm, Barcombe, Near Lewes, Sussex. It is reported that a 1906 Model-10 fiat-twin Autocar and a 1911 Model-59 Overland have been discovered in fine order in Canada and have been imported to England, together with a foot-long working scale-model of a 1907 Stanley steam-car. We confess to be mystified by a newspaper clipping saying that a Mrs. Ottolene Valerie Hole, who died recently, aged 84, once posed as a man in order to establish motorcycle records at Brooklands. Does this mean anything to anyone? A BSA Scout is being rebuilt in Wales.
The Austin Seven “Fabric” Register, affiliated to the A7 Clubs Association, has 24 fabric-bodied Austin 7s on its books and would like details of others, while its Secretary, Ian Moorcraft, 73, Troopers Hill Road, St. George, Bristol, B55 8BW, wants to trace the history of the 1929 fabric saloon, VX 1672, first registered in Chelmsford, which he has restored. On May 9th the Ipswich Transport Society will hold its 6th annual Ipswich-Felixstowe Road Run, which the Mayor of Ipswich will start, at 11.30 a.m., from the Elizabethan Mansion; Christchurch Park. The first Shuttleworth Flying Day of 1976 will happen on Bank Holiday, April 19th; admission is £3 for a car and all its occupants, and it is expected that among the aeroplanes flying will be the Royal Navy’s only remaining Fairey Swordfish, MercedesBenz (UK) Ltd. are again sponsoring the ambitious charity rally, of the Yeovil CC; which is to be held at Barwick Park on August 22nd. details from A.C.K. McGee, Dalkeith, 38, Keitmore Drive, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4BQ. Ian Dussek and Neill Bruce are sorting out HRG history and would like to know whether a prototype HRG built in 1966, and last heard of in Chertsey, still exists–its Reg. No, was VX 490.
The second Prix Martin race meeting and rally for he Older cars will take place May 7th to 9th, we are informed, with “longer and better stretches of racing through streets” Details from. J. Komischke, c/o Martin Hotels and Conventions Centres. 6. Frankfurt Main, Germany. Ulmenstrasse 25.
From Norway comes news of a 1932 six-cylinder 23.4-hp Rockne, now, beautifully restored by enthusiasts Truls Sundt and Odd-Arne Johnsen. It was a product the Norwegian Skabo Railway Wagon Co., using a Studebaker chassis. This rare example was found in 1945 at the Department of Enemy Ownership and possessed a machine-gun mounting, suggesting German usage during the war. The car’s name is thought to have come from that of a man from West Norway who emigrated to America and became famous in football circles; he was associated with Notre Dame, from which a link with Studebaker may have arisen. Our informant says that, apart from number of pre-war American cars, Norway has few vintage vehicles but that there is plenty of interest. In Sweden you apparently have to pay bat a “scrapping certificate” if you want to take a car off the road and this isn’t obtained and paid for you are obliged to go an paying tax and insurance on a car you no longer intend to run! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
The 1976 Rallye Monte-Carlo des Voitures Anciennes for cars of 1925 to 1939 and occupying six days, from July 6th to July 11th, sounds like high adventure. It is organised by the AC de Monaco 23 Boulevard Albert 1st Monaco. the book “Early motoring in South Africa”, reviewed recently in Motor Sport, is available from Patrick Stephens Ltd., Barr Hill, Cambridge for £7.95. The Bean CC annual “Beano” will start from Bean’s Engineering at Tipton at around 11am on may16th and the STD Register’s Wolverhampton weekend is scheduled for July 10th/11th, with their Spring Rally on April 24th, based on Laycock Abbey.