V-E-V Miscellany, April 1985, April 1985

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The High Peak HVC is holding its annual High Peak Historic Vehicle Run on June 2nd, starting and finishing at Buxton. The route will cover about 50 miles; entry forms from J. G. Tait, 5 Somerset Close, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 9XB. The Packard AC of Australia holds its 20th Anniversary Rally at Victoria, from November 2nd-5th. All Packard owners will be welcome; details from: K. Andrews, PAC of A, PO Box 02, Villawood 2163, Australia. A reader has sent us copies of two pictures which appear in “Lytham-St Awes” by Kathleen Eyre, in which it is stated that W & H Williams’ garage collected, after the race the 70 hp Panhard-Levassor with which Henry Farman had won the 1900 Paris-Vienna for its new owner, a Mr Clifton, Walter Williams driving it in from Paris to the docks, and then to Edinburgh where the Relief of Mafeking was being celebrated, and to St Armes via Ullapool. It seems that Squire Clifton had ordered a Scottish-built racing Darracq and had appointed Williams to maintain this and other cars at his hunting lodge in Ullapool. In 1903 Clifton went off on a tour, telling Williams to bring the Panhard, his Darracq and Daimler down to St Annes, using the coachhouse, or if that was not sufficiently spacious, the stables behind the Clifton Arms Hotel. In 1904 Walter Williams and his brother Henry-founded their garage business, specialising in Vulcans before WWI. The garage is today a Fiat and Citroen agency.

It has been reported that a rare 1926 9/20 hp Rover with boat-tailed sports twoseater body, Reg No NF 2720, chassis no 50791, was stolen from Chingford last year. Arising from the recent article on the Welch overhead-camshaft engine patents, a reader reminds us that these engines were used in the big Welch cars made in Pontiac, Michigan, up to 1911 and that there are survivors in America. A 1933 11.9 hp Morris-Cowley two-seater, bought new from the Wicliffe Motor Co in Cheltenham by a lady who wanted it for an adventurous journey from London to Basra in the Middle East, is still in use in Rome. It accomplished the return run to London in 1933, through Turkey, covering in all on that trip 11,000 miles, of which a bad 28-mile stretch took eight hours, suffering seven punctures but retaining its original Dunlop tyres. The Morris had been stored with a lot of furniture for many years but has been restored by a dentist who had already restored two Fiat Topolinos — story from The Journal of the Moms Register. The Bulletin of the Morgan Three-Wheeler Club is running an account of the return to the scene of the 1934 International Six Days Trials in Germany and Austria by the owner of a Matchless MX2-engined Morgan three-wheeler that was driven as a new works car in that event by G. C. Harris, when in spite of breaking a valve rocker it completed the event. It is pleasing to learn from the first instalment that on this 50th anniversary of the Trials the Morgan ran faultlessly across the Continent from Calais to Garmish, where a taxi driver was found who remembered the 1934 event and showed them some of the original places where Harris had photographed the Morgan all those years ago… We regret to learn of the death, at the age of 51, of Sir David Gamble, Bt, who ran a 4½-litre Invicta in VSCC events. Our sympathy goes out to his widow, son and two daughters.

One of the premier events of the VMCC, for vintage motorcycles, the Banbury Run, takes place this year on June 16th. Terence Barnes has sent us a photograph of one of the vans once used by North Worcestershie Garage, which was a Vauxhall based on the same chassis as that used for the Duple-bodied four-seater open-sports Vauxhall Light Six, which sold before the war for £297 10/-. The Council for recording interesting buildings associated with the Road Transport and Aircraft Industry met late in January at the Naval & Military Club, when A. B. Price chaired a general discussion on how best to assist in the preservation or continuing use of such historic buildings. The Council has the backing of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Chairman of the Historic Buildings Commission, and support from the SMM & T and the Coventry Civic Authorities. The meeting noted that the old Fiat factory in Turin with test-track on the roof has been saved by altered useage and the Council propose to seek the support of the motorcycle industry through Bob Currie and the BAC via Hugh Conway. Those present were A. B. Price, Lord Raglan, M. W. Merrick-Taylor, and Nick Baldwin and apologies were received from W. Boddy, D. Patterson and Air-Comdr. Banks; funding will be discussed at the next meeting. It is hoped that buildings from the Talbot factory in Ladbroke Grove, London, and the Argyll factory outside Glasgow, to lesser factories, will be saved from demolition. Wolverhampton’s Millenary, or first 1,000 years, happens this year and a parade through the town happens on June 9th will include locally-made vehicles, so owners of Sunbeams, Clynos, Stars, Guys, etc may care to contact the Wolverhampton Town Council. Segrave with the 4-litre and “1,000 hp” LSR Sunbeams figure on the publicity material and, of course, the STD Register has paraded members’ cars through the town, with a police escort, for many years. — W.B .

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