Miscellany, April 1998

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The 750 MC, formed in 1939 to encourage Austin 7s to compete against other baby cars when they were too often up against Ford V8s and Allards, etc, is active and well established. A section of the membership is concerned to use standard A7s and wish to restore their cars to original specification. Many books guide them in the matters of history and technicalities and those who need detailed data on all aspects of the original A7s will find this in ‘Original Austin Seven’ by Rinsey Mills. It gives year-by-year changes in an informative text, illustrated by colour pictures of all aspects of chassis and body work.

The book sells for £19.95.

* * *

In the TV drama about the life of Sir Oswald Mosley I saw a fleeting glimpse of a Model-T Ford tourer, a Vulcan lorry being stopped by pickets during the 1926 General Strike, and the Mosleys arriving to address the miners at that time in a 1923 14hp Sunbeam tourer. But a background Sunbeam saloon with the characteristic light waistline was, the producer might have realised, some years too modem for that scene.

* * *

The Mosley film has a tenuous association with motor racing in view of Max Mosley’s status in F1. Incidentally my name may still be ‘black-listed’ as a Fascist, for before the war some friends who took me in a 3-litre Bentley to see their Bugatti race had a mother keen on the Mosley movement, and I could hardly refuse her request that I pay 1/- join… There was an amusing sequel. The family had a radio and TV business as a sideline we used to take girlfriends to watch very brief evening pioneer TV programmes in the shop and the Blackshirts commissioned the company to equip a Bedford van as a loudhailer unit. One son took this for a test-trip which happened to take him past the Albert Hall just as the famous riot broke out. Lots of anti-Mosley protesters saw the van with its swastika insignia and fell upon it. My friend was rescued by the police and surprised when they told him not to hang about, “Just drive at the crowd…” Later the elder son did yeoman war-service with very advanced radar techniques.

* * *

The Singer OC is alive and active. Apart from its monthly meetings, its National Day will be held at Ropley Station on June 21, combining steam with petrol. Its magazine now has colour pictures, and apart from the better-known Singer Juniors, vintage ohv Tens and Seniors are being restored. The Club has unearthed a report of a bad accident to Lionel Martin’s Singer Ten in the 1914 London-Gloucester Trial, in which it overturned, but without much damage. Membership Secretary is Peter Hart, on 01920 830 19.

* * *

The Bullnose Morris Club has been investigating LAP and Chesterfield ohv heads for Morris engines for its magazine. It will be basing its Summer Tour on July 10/12 at the Palace Hotel, Buxton, when 1920s costume will be encouraged.

* * *

The Frazer Nash section of the VSCC holds its Irish Raid on August 15/16, commemorating Dudley Coley’s 1938 handicap victory in the Cork GP. Two races over the famous pre-war Phoenix Park circuit will be held, one a Frazer Nash-only contest. Details: James Parker on 0181 840 2280.

* * *

The next Rolls Royce heritage publication is an erudite discourse on supercharged aero-engines. It costs £6.00 from the Trust, PO Box 31, Derby DE24 8BJ.