V-to-C Miscellany, April 1994, April 1994

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V-to-t, Miscellany

Areader who owns a 1934 Alvis Firefly tourer which his wife discovered had taken part in that year’s Scottish SCC’s Winter Trial has embarked on the fascinating but very arduous task of compiling indices of entries in the major pre-war rallies, with details of drivers’ names, the cars driven, their numbers, and awards gained, etc. This painstaking hobby could be of inestimable value to future historians but the work is hampered by lack of certain programmes, particularly those covering the Lancashire AC’s 1937 Blackpool Rally, the SWAC’s 1938 Welsh Rally, and the 1930 Brighton Rally. If anyone can give, loan or sell such programmes (or entry-lists with competitors’ numbers) this will expedite the task. After which this industrious gentleman hopes to compile indices for pre-war trials, etc, so pre-war MCC details are also sought — incidentally, the Alvis has a 1934 BSA motorcycle as a companion. Letters can be forwarded.

The Bristol A7 Club (see pictures, below) held one of the first 1994 social runs on March 5/6, when 15 of its members drove a variety of A7s via Brecon to the scenic Elan Valley area of mid-Wales, where the dams feed water to Birmingham (where the Sevens originated), staying overnight near Rhayader. They were joined by three Ulster Replica and a 1930 A7 saloon from Wales.

The 750 MC has published its extremely useful 1994 Year Book, which surely must contain more data on a Club’s 1993 activities than any other such publication. Invaluable to anyone who is associated with any of the 750 MC’s main activities, including racing under its many formulae, etc, this well illustrated I12-page book is obtainable from the Club Office, Courthouse, St Winifred’s Road, Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 3HR (Mike Peck, on 0959 575812). It is free to members, which all A7 owners should be!

The Bullnose Morris Club is in full swing, with its Spring and Summer Rallies, etc (Secretary: Richard Harris, PO Box 383, Hove, Sussex BN3 4FX), and the Early MG Society (Secretary: Peter Mace, Kimber House, Hurston Lane, Storrington, W Sussex) had its visit to the Gaydon Heritage Centre on April 10. eaders were very helpful after my

query about the cars Mortimer Batten owned. I now learn that, as I thought, he competed in motorcycle events, winning a gold medal in the 1920 Scottish Six-Days Trial, riding a 31/2hp P&M, but retiring from the 1923 event when his 350cc Beardmore Precision broke its forks.

FForthcoming events of spectator as well as competitors’ interest include the MCC Land’s End Trial, on April 1/2, and the “Bentleys in Wales” event, organised by Johnny Thomas, from April 29-May 2. The VSCC GP Itala Trophy Race Meeting at Silverstone on April 9 has a programme of High-Speed Trial and 10 varied races.

The Lagonda Club’s Magazine has published the reminiscences of that long-time Lagonda enthusiast, Raymond Wickham, with a splendid picture of him with his O’Donovan-tuned Norton sidecaroutfit which he raced at Brooklands, with George Smart in the “chair”, before he took to four wheels, at first with an MG-engined 70 mph bullnose Morris-Oxford, then with a 14/40 MG, before turning to Lagondas.

The Rolls-Royce EC has again, in a two-month period, elected a remarkable number of new members, 162 in fact, many with more than one car — a member in Ohio, for example. has five Edwardian Ghosts, a Phantom II, and two Silver Spurs. In addition to R-R EC events we have already listed, a 23-day tour to celebrate 90 years of Rolls-Royce will take place from June 13/July 4, with a social/historical rather than a competition flavour. If you want to add to a membership which has risen to over 7000 from 400 when the R-R EC was formed, contact Peter Baines, The Hunt House, Paulerspury, Northants, NNI2 7NA (0327 33788). nother social event was held by the

Brooklands Club, not to be confused with the Brooklands Society, when Virginia McKenna spoke about the Born Free Foundation and her husband showed videoclips of The Green Helmet in which film he played a racing driver — but how all this relates to Brooklands is obscure. The owner of a 1934 March Special Lancia Augusta, Reg No BGH 11, is trying to trace its history. It could have been the car which took part in the 1935 ICC Meeting at Brooklands, as part of the team of the Earl of March (BGO 483), and the Hon Brian Lewis (BPT 171), the last named

Lancia now being in the USA. The owner of BGH 1 I would like to borrow or buy any relevant reports or photographs. We can forward letters.

The other day Diana Barnato was united with the 1936 41/4-litre Bentley saloon CXF 114 which she used during the war when she was an ATA pilot delivering aeroplanes to the RAF. She had been given the Bentley as a 21st birthday present, but with petrol scarce she sold it for £75 in 1943. Today she runs a Fiat Uno and a Land Rover. The Bentley. bought by a solicitor for £2000 after he found it in pieces, is now being restored.

Rover’s 75th anniversary is to be celebrated at Belvoir Castle near Grantham on August 22. Expect a fine assembly of real Rovers, as distinct from Rovondas and RMWs!

Chris Gordon is the latest to go into the auction business, with the “Gordon Bennett” Automobilia Sale, opening near Kenilworth on April 23. Entry forms: 021 449 3600.

Adisplaced line made Rubin’s DH Comet the winner of the 1934 EnglandAustralia air-race in last month’s issue. It was of course the black “Grosvenor House” Comet which won, as stated under the heading picture; the Rubin Comet was fourth.

The Pre-War Austin 7 Club, founded in 1962, and which has 800 members, is seeking to widen its scope, and announces that Clive Hadley has presented the Club with the Bert Hadley Memorial Trophy, in memory of this well-remembered racing driver. It will be contested in sporting trials. sprints and hill-climbs organised by the PWA7C. Details from G C Roe, 10 Marshall Road, Cropwell Bishop, Nottingham NC 12 3DP (0602 894091). Another LeJOG for pre-I968 cars is to be held on December 3-6, following the success of that sponsored by Penrite Oil last year. Organiser John Brown says the format will be much as before. A sponsor is being sought and regulations will be ready by April. Advance details from the LeJOG Office. The Town House, Leigh, Worcester WR6 5LA (Tel 0886 833505). W B Classic EuroSport Ltd is planning a very tempting sounding regularity rally through the Pyrenees from June 21-26. A 1500km route out and back from San Sebastian covers some excellent passes which are much less trafficked than the Alps, and rallying is confined to the mornings, though the organisers maintain that winning will still be hard. Last year’s event gained a good name for sociability and variety, and this year’s includes more mountains and less link mileage. Pre-74 cars are eligible, and the entry/ferry package is £1020; accommodation adds £350 to that. Entries by April 9 to Peter Davis, Classic Eurosport Ltd. on 0425 674444. G C

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