V-E-V Odds and Ends

When I referred editorially last month to a veteran Benz still being in regular use into the nineteen-twenties I confess memory tricked me, and that I was thinking of a 1901 4 1/2 h.p. model that was still serving in 1910, although it is possible that others of this primitive breed (an 1899 model of which Richard Smith is even now driving on the Land’s End to John O’Groats route for charity funding), did continue in use after WW1. Certainly one very early 3 1/2 h.p. Benz was not scrapped until 1916 and then its single-cylinder engine was put to good use, as were others, in driving a band-saw. The Benz I was actually trying to recall last month was a one-owner 1901 model used among the Cornish hills, it was giving about 38 m.p.g. in 1910, running at about 16 m.p.h., and the only recurrent trouble was occasional breakage of spokes in the 36″ back wheels. A single acetylene headlamp had been fitted, and an ingenious starting-handle, operable from the lofty driving seat. The early Panhard-Levassor likewise mentioned in last month’s Editorial had done some 36,000 miles in the care of Abbe Gavois in Picardie between 1893, when he bought it, and 1912, and it was driven by him to the Panhard factory in Paris in 1921. It was a two-cylinder model with a brush-type clutch, probably an 1892 model and may even have been the first Levassor car to be made. In its 18 active years the only serious trouble reported had been a lost bolt from the steering-gear.

The death at the age of 98 of Mrs. Margaret Milward, wife of the designer of the later Hampton cars, has resulted in Press references to this Stroud-built light car. For instance, Mr. W. F. Shaylor, who left the RFC/RAF to join Daimler’s in Coventry, wrote a long and accurate piece about the car for the Stroud News & Journal, recalling that Mr. Milward came from the Charron-Laycock Company. The Sales Manager at Hampton’s was Mr. Lithgow, and Mr. Paddon was the General Manager. After the first financial decline Mr. Milward formed the Stroud Mfg. Co. for which he designed the 17.8 h.p. straight-eight Hampton. It had a German Ruhr engine and was rebuilt with a Rover 4-speed gearbox by a Mr. Adams, after WW2, who painted its open 4-seater body red, and fitted an external exhaust system. Only one was made. John Leno, son of comedian Dan Leno, was Hampton’s Sales Manager, joining the Company from Stewart & Arden’s. In the Birmingham Post a 93-year-old ex-RFC man has recalled how he was stationed at Brooklands during WW1, at the Wireless School, when he used to do paintings in Harry Hawker’s autograph book, to amuse the great test-pilot’s lady friends, the Wireless School being beside the Sopwith assembly sheds. The East Midlands Section of the Rover Sports Register is holding its 4th annual rally at Melton House, Grantham on June 19th-21st, open to the older Rovers but also to all makes of vehicle. Details (s.a.e. requested) from: M. T. Couldry, 5 Holme Lane, Radcliffe Road, Bassingfield, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Notts. A reader tells us that the Chrysler C-24 Imperial referred to by Gary Coxall was in Shaunavon in Saskatchewan in the summer of 1940. Whatever the present predicament of Vauxhall Motors, the Vauxhall OC continues to recruit new members, not only with post-war but with pre-war models. These include a 1937 DY saloon with only 8,000 miles on its odometer and a 1935 DY coupe in its original bright green paintwork, owned by the wife of the Membership Secretary, in which the pair are planning a journey after its restoration to Toulouse. This year’s Singer National Day will be at Stanford Hall on June 14th. The present owner of the 1934/5 MG Magnette Reg. No. CGJ 295 wants to trace the history of the car, which he has owned for two years. The log book suggests that it was previously NAO 517, one of the NE TT-team-cars, driven in the race by Hamilton and is thought to have been in the Reading area in the mid-1960s in very poor condition and possibly wearing a pre-war fibre-glass body. Letters can be forwarded.

Mr. Miles Fenton, who used to drive the V.W. Derrington workshop truck to race meeting in the 1950/60 period, and who worked before that with the Andre shock-absorber concern in Putney, is now in British Columbia. The Bullnose Morris Club has its spring tour of N. Yorkshire and the Lake District from May 4th/9th. A VSCC member has sent us a notepaper heading of The Garage, Ambleside as it was run by John H. Dobson in 1915. He advertised that he was a coachbuilder and stockist for Dunlop, Prowodnik and Continental tyres, and the accompanying picture shows a line-up of cars outside the 30-car garage which includes the inevitable Wolseley tourer, an early Lanchester etc. Mr. Dodson wrote personally to possible clients, for example saying he had a Ford landaulette and an open 30 h.p. Daimler for hire. Today the garage is an “on call” Ambulance Station. The Bean CC’s National Daffodil Run takes place on April 26th. This year’s Inter-Register contests, which attract mainly the older cars, are: Alvis, April 19th; Fiat, May 17th, Austin, June 7th; STD, July 19th; Humber, September 20th and Triumph, October 18th, some dates provisional, but a combination of driving tests, trials, etc. Last year the Fiat Register beat the STD and Humber teams.

Among the restoration projects being undertaken by Ministry of Defence apprentices at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Nottingham, is a 6-cylinder Brough Superior saloon tor Nottingham’s Industrial Museum. We regret to learn that Alan Dussek, Norton rider at Brooklands and H.R.G.’s first customer, died last January. He had long been Honorary Treasurer and Spares Custodian of the H.R.G. Association and he had read Motor Sport since the first issue. Our condolences to his son Ian, Secretary of the HRG Association. — W.B.