Amongst the mags

Amongst the what? The magazines, those motor-club publications which are only normally obtainable by joining the clubs that issue them but which so often contain interesting items and are so sure a proof that the motor-club movement, whether one-make or regional, is in a very healthy state, that a glance through some of those we have received recently seems worthwhile.

Thus the Newscircular of the Southern Counties Historic Vehicles Preservation Trust has a picture from a less hectic age, of a 1910 Aveling & Porter steam waggon proceeding along Dane Valley Road, Margate, on its solid tyres towing a pantechnicon on ordinary wooden wheels, as for a horse-drawn vehicle which presumably stood up to the low speed involved, the outfit belonged to the well-known East Kent firm ot F. L. Pettman, founded in 1882. This printed magazine also has data on autocycles and cyclemotors. R. Memoranda, monthly journal of the Riley RM Club, continues to provide not only useful information and tips to users of these cars but the amount of historical data it manages to dig up about them never fails to pleasantly surprise us. The Sphinx journal, obviously of the Armstrong Siddeley OC, is backed by the very professional magazine and the 750 Bulletin arrives each month to keep one au fait with all aspects of the Austin 7 scene and 750 MC racing and competition affairs. Which reminds us that the very acceptable 1983 Year Book was incorporated with the enlarged January issue, 87 pages indispensible to those concerned with the less expensive forms of motoring fun and speed. 

More historical, the Magazine of the Austin Seven Clubs’ Association is a real treat, No. 1983A carrying a fascinating article, with photographs and specifications, about how to build an Ulster and a Chummy in pedal-propelled guise, for your children.

The Amilcar Register Newsletter for January listed all the Amilcars on its books, technical and spares hints and tips and some Sima-Violet data. The Club News circular of the flourishing Ford Sidevalve OC is full of nostalgia, some of it pictorial, for those who remember and are fond of the smaller L-head Fords and this, like the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society’s duplicated Newsletter (not to be confused with this Society’s very professional Historic Commercial magazine), and many of the other Club publications, list for sale historic cars and other vehicles in the £200 to £300 bracket, proving that bargains are still to be found in the pages of such publications. The American car scene is well covered by Multicylinder, journal of the Pre-’50 AAC, incorporating the Ford V8 Register, its back cover for February reproducing a period Willys Overland Crossley advertisement, from the time when the Willys Whippet 4 cost £198, the Willys Light Six £295, the 20 h.p. Willys-Knight saloon £395 and the 27 h.p. Willys-Knight Six saloon £650, a sliding roof being available £10 extra. Pilot Affairs, bi-monthly duplicated magazine of the V8 Pilot OC, reproduced a road-test report on a 30 h.p. Ford Pilot from The Autocar, from which one sees that this £764 saloon did 0-60 m.p.h. in 20.5 sec., 82½ m.p.h. and 17 to 20 m.p.g.

The British Salmson OC Newsletter for February had a list of British Salmsons that have disappeared, and Jowetteer an illustrated piece on a 10 h.p. four-cylinder sports tourer Jowett built in 1939, with the approval of Willys Jowett, by someone whose father’s brother was MD of the Bradford company from 1926-28.

Finally, the duplicated Railton OC magazine for February was brightened by reproductions of some Railton advertisements from the past, reminding us that Thomson & Taylor (Brooklands) Ltd. used to take colour front covers of The Autocar to publicise the Railton — “Reid A. Railton — Chief Engineer”, it proudly announced — one such ad. proclaiming T&T the Distributors for the South of England for these cars “unrivalled for performance”, and another ad.. for the Light Sports Tourer, saying they would be on Stand No. 1 at Olympia, this one showing Railton DRA 231 above a photograph of John Cobb’s Brooklands Napier-Railton. The engine used in the normal Railton was claimed to be able “to maintain its tune almost indefinitely”, one having completed over 100,000 miles without any replacement or reboring, and still giving over 1,000 miles to the gallon of oil. Yet another ad., which the Club has used for its current magazine, claims that in 1935, when the Railton chassis cost £433, the Railton “. . . has easily the best performance figures of the whole 77 cars, as it had of 71 last year”, this referring to The Autocar‘s road-tests.

These are only a few of the flourishing Club magazines that enliven the vintage motoring scene. — W.B.