V-to-C Miscellany

Our "Forgotten Makes" article last year on the Duo cyclecar has brought a letter from Ron Jacob of Auckland, New Zealand, who believes that he may have the sole survivor. After work on its engine it got up to some 70 kph and its variable-pulley belt-drive and moveable back-axle gave it "a not-bad performance up hills, but the brakes…”

The Early MG Society has its visit to the Cotswold Motor Museum on April 23. Its Welsh event on September 23/24 and will celebrate the 70th anniversary of an MG success at Brooklands on October 15. It will also join with the MGCC at Brooklands on April 2. Events Secretary: David Hutchison, 61 Maguire Drive, Frimley, Surrey.

Another anniversary: the Vintage CC of New Zealand has its 50th birthday rally on February 26/March 8 1996. This is an International event, run by a club with some 5300 members and 38 local branches. Details: PO Box 13 502, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Bentley DC has a very full list of fixtures for 1995: one hopes for calm weather for its ballooning weekend at Dunkeld on April 21/23. The Crewe Day is on April 9 and the West Wales Weekend, organised by Johnny Thomas, is to happen from May 5/8. But there are social meetings almost every day. The Club HQ is at the WO Bentley Memorial Building, 16 Chearsley Road, Long Crendon, Aylesbury, Bucks HP18 9AW.

The ex-Philip Mann/Charles Howard 1914 GP Mercedes is now in America, having been bought by George Wingard, a consulting archaeologist, of Oregon.

The VSCC's first race meeting of 1995 will be the GP Itala Meeting at Silverstone on April 8, when spectators will be admitted for £10 each, accompanied children of 15 and under free, car-parking also free. VSCC-type cars go in a special park, so that inspection will be easier. Races include the Patrick Lindsay pre-war historic racing car event, the Peter Collins race for front-engined post-war racing cars, the Itala & Lanchester Trophies vintage race and the usual scratch and handicap supporting races. The day opens with the Half-Hour High Speed Trial, and during the afternoon the pre-1941 sports cars will contest the Fox & Nichol! Trophy. A splendid fixture to look forward to, and Secretary David Franklin usually has fine weather laid on. Public admission also applies to the Curborough speed trials near Lichfield on April 30, adults £4.00; no dogs.

The STD Register (Wolverhampton Sunbeams, Roesch Talbots and Darracqs) has its National Rally at Ragley Hall on lune 10/11. It issues a useful Newsletter and a well-produced STD Journal. The membership secretary is Janet Donovan, Blackwell House, Stubbs Wood, Chesham Bois, Bucks HP6 6EY.

The 1994 Inter-Register Contest, in which one-make clubs compete against one another, was won by the Riley Register with 40 points, second place a tie between the Alvis Register and the STD Register, with 32 points each. It seems probable that this year the Jowett CC and Fiat Register will return to the fray, perhaps joined by the Amilcar-Salmson Register. The contest kicks off on April 2, with the STD event.

The Amilcar Register will stage its Spring Social in Weybridge on April 9, and the International Rally is being organised by the Luxembourg Amilcarists. The current Newsletter has a piece on the Amilcar-Riley and interesting C6 data, etc. Registrar: Len Battyll, Cleve Cottage, Cobham Way, E Horsley, Surrey KT24 5BM; subscription £10.

BMW folk are kept informed on historic matters by the glossy Bee Emm Words magazine, edited by Mark Garfitt. Last year the Aldington Trophy was won by Ken MacMaster, and the Hutchings Concours Trophy by David and Elizabeth Vine's 328, while Galley and Garfitt took the Blackburn Trophy.

The present owner of a 1930 2-litre s/c Lagonda, GF 1954, has been unable to trace its history prior to 1941, when it was sold to Derrington's of Kingston-upon-Thames for £50 10/- and bought by the enthusiastic Yorkshire farmer, Henry Coates. He installed the present s/c engine and used the car in many trials and rallies until 1951, after which he sold the Lagonda. It came south in 1963 and was rebuilt completely, but without the Zoller supercharger. It was sold again and remained with this owner for the next 19 years, until Peter Sowle purchased it. That was in 1983, only 4850 miles after its rebuild. In 1992 another blower was acquired and GF 1954, now again supercharged, is used in many events by Mr Sowle and his wife Ann. But the Lagonda CC has been unable to fill in its pre-1941 history. If anyone can help, the engine no is 2B1012 (originally 1388), it is believed to have been advertised in Motor Sport in the 1960s, and the sister car, GF 1347, competed in the 1932 RAC Rally. Letters can be forwarded.

The Daimler & Lanchester Register's International Rally on June 7/12 will be held at Southend-on-Sea.

Acourageous attempt is being made to get the Bolster Special with its two vee-twin KTOR JAP engines running again, if a problem with its Sturmey-Archer gearbox Can be overcome. This should enliven the vintage sprint and hill-climb scene! It has been hibernating for more than 45 years.

The VMCC, with more than 12,000 members, regularly and promptly, issues its 60-page monthly magazine The Vintage Motor Cycle, edited by Dr G Styles, packed with interesting articles; the February issue has an account by Jacqueline Bickerstaff of how she rode her clutchless. single-gear 1909 lightweight Triumph at some 25 mph and 100 mpg to the Estonia Rally (she had done the trip to Russia and back to England twice in 1990 on an HRD), and other fascinating stories, The Banbury Run is on June 18 among a very full fixture list, and the Manx Rally occupies from August 23/31.

Peter Boyce tells us that he intends to run the London to Sydney Vintage Car endurance trial again in the year 2000, the 1988 event having been so successful. Advance enquiries to: The 2000 Around The World Motor Trail, 338 Botany Road, Alexandria, NSW 2015, Australia.

The Yorkshire Classic Car Rally, a round of the ANWCC Historic Road Rally Championship, takes place on April 23, over about 150 road miles, in six classes. Details from Richard Cockin, 18 Siddal View, Halifax HX3 9BN. Tel: 01422 360 662; entry fee £55.

This year's Welsh Rally Retrospective, a part of the Historic Rally Car Register Championship, with two full days of day and night rallying and an Epynt Range section, occupies April 22/23. Hotline for regulations: "Anita" on 0792 893 800.

A new twist to the restoration business new in the Bolton Journal last February, where it was reported that Bolton's MP, having heard about the Royal Ruby 3-wheeler which was made in the town in 1927, has hopes of building a replica if sponsorship can be found, and auctioning it for charity. Royal Ruby motorcycles were made in Ancoats, Manchester, from 1909. It seems that the company came under the control of Albert Horrocks in 1927, who owned Horrockses Motor House, Singer agents, in Bradshawgate. Bolton, in 1927. He was also a Director of transport company Brownilow & Edwards. It was decided to make a 3-wheeled Royal Ruby and this may well have been designed by Maurice Edwards, who owned the transport company, and built in his works.

Few Royal Ruby 3-wheelers (which had either a single-cylinder 500cc JAP or a 350cc Villiers two-stroke engine and a complicated chain drive to the single back wheel) were made, as the venture lasted only the one year. However, it seems that in 1928 Mr Edwards redesigned it as the MEB (Maurice Edwards of Bolton) and that, with a 980cc JAP engine, it was priced at £105. Douglas Hawkes broke records at Montlhery with a 490cc MEB in 1928, at up to 74.6 mph. It is thought that some of the original drawings exist in Manchester Road College, which could help this novel charitable project along. Those who are interested were invited to ring Mr P Thumham, on Bolton 397382.

The Marauder Register is to repeat last year's successful gathering, at Dorridge on May 13, when it is expected that more Marauders, more celebrities, and more Rovers, including the single-seater raced by Frank Lockhart, will be present. Contact Ian Glass, on 01824 790 280.

The Lagonda CC is another enthusiastic club with its own glossy magazine containing history and technical hints and tips and very good pictures. The Secretary is: Colin Bugler, Wintney House, London Road, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8RN.

The Humber Register has returned to the mystery of how many 1914 TT Humbers were built and who raced which after the war, publishing two articles, one from a 1930 Motor Sport, about them; this throws no new light on the matter, but surely someone, somewhere, must have a picture of the car Bentley Motors copied in 1917-19, showing its Reg No, which would help?

To mark the formation of the Lea-Francis Company in 1895, the Lea-Francis CC is to hold a two-day meeting on June 3/4, centred on Coventry on the Saturday, with a dinner, and it is hoped an address about the Company's history, and on the Sunday a rally at Stanford Hall. Non-members welcome. Contact Peter Baston, St Mary's House, 5 Gladstone Road, Chesterfield, S40 4TE (01246 231 759).

The Dundee Courier was quick to answer a reader's query about the locally-made Dalhousie car, which was made in Carnoustie from 1906-1910, by the Anderson Grice Company, whose A G Grice designed it. A local historian, Mr Duff of the Strathmore WC, produced a photograph and glass plate negatives, and drawings exist at the Anderson Grice Company. A feature of the make was a rearward-sloping radiator and scuttle. One car was registered in Angus and it seems that Registration records for that area still remain intact.

The Louis Vuitton Concours D'Elegance is to be staged at the Hurlingham Club on June 3 (entry forms from Caroline Kemp, Louis Vuitton, 149 New Bond Street, London W1Y 9FE), followed by another in Paris on September 9/10. A special class for Brooklands-era cars is envisaged, also one for 1900-1960 motorcycles. One refreshing aspect is that cars advertised by dealers or at auctions are barred.

Coys International Historic Festival at Silverstone on July 29/30 needs no introduction. This year the overall theme is Aston Martin, but Coys will also play host to the Austin-Healey Club's International Weekend and expects 2500 cars, from Sprites to Rally 3000s, to assemble at the Becketts Corner enclosure, as well as 20 in the Club stand. AM driver Carroll Shelby will be Guest of Honour. Good luck with the traffic and the parking...

With new companies announcing special oils for the older engines, Castrol has made it plain that it does not neglect such requirements. It has its own long-established lubricants, including XL30 SAE 30 for pre-1940 cars, GP50 for the high-performance older vehicles, XL22W/ 50, RR 363 brake and clutch fluids for early Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, etc. Support the Company that has sponsored so many racing and record-breaking performances from almost time immemorial, perhaps?

The recent reference to a 7 hp Wolseley (not to be confused with the 4-cylinder ohc Ten) winning a gold medal in the 1922 Scottish Six Days Trial has reminded a reader that one of these rare Wolseleys was the first car owned by his family, purchased second-hand in about 1936, the flat-twin engine from which went into a small launch in about 1945.