Letters from readers, August 1940




May I beg the use of a little space to draw the attention of vintage enthusiasts to a most excellent specimen I have discovered? It is just outside Chalfont St. Peter, on the Amersham road, and is presumably to do duty as a barricade when we are invaded, and could be had, one assumes, by anyone willing to leave something on four wheels in its place.

The car itself is a two-cylinder Riley, with an open touring body arranged on the stalls, dress circle and balcony style, and an almost completely round radiator. The engine turned easily by hand, and was obviously “whole,” and the car seemed, from a fairly cursory examination, to be in quite good order, apart from lacking tyres. It has an additional transverse spring at the back, a right-hand gear change that goes forwards and backwards and not round corners, and a wonderful “master cylinder” for supplying the carbide lamps which over-adorned it. The date I should put at 1908.

If anyone who lives fairly near and has storage room for it, would care to get in touch with me, I would be glad to co-operate in salving the car and supplying the substitute; it really seems a worth while effort if anyone still has the time and inclination in these days of alarm and despondency.

I am, Yours etc.,


Chalfont St. Giles.

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Although times seem to have got worse since I received this month’s copy of MOTOR SPORT, I should be very pleased indeed to meet any enthusiast in the Services in this district—I think your suggestion an excellent idea.

I am an Austin and Bugatti enthusiast myself, and at the moment I have on the road, on basic rations, an Austin Special, which I have been building since last September! It is essentially a 1921 “Chummy,” rebuilt with a “65” body, and I intend fitting an Ulster type blower as soon as possible.

Wishing you every success.

I am, Yours etc.,


620, Foleshill Road,


[In accordance with the announcement made in the June issue, we suggest that enthusiasts in the Services who wish to meet or correspond with Mr.Titley, should write to him direct and suggest possible meeting places and times. We are sorry this correspondent is, so far, the only civilian to offer companionship to enthusiasts isolated from their friends by war service.—Ed.]

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I would very much like to obtain some M.G. parts with the help of your readers.

I would like an M.G. 1933 J.2 body shell complete with doors, if possible black in colour; also a windscreen, hood, hood frame and rear tank. The chrome on the windscreen does not need to be in good condition.

I am, Yours etc.,



Sledgate Lane,

Wickersley, Rotherham,


[Will vendors please write direct.—Ed.]

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I have a particularly good 1931 Riley Nine “Kestrel,” which is fitted with a slightly special engine, including non-standard camshafts, inlet port lay-out, and a Scintilla Vertex magneto.

After the war, I intend installing either an Arnott or Centric low-pressure supercharger system, and should be very pleased if either yourself or any of your readers could provide me with any experience of blown Riley Nines of about the same vintage as mine.

Incidentally, further to your census of cars in use, the Riley is taxed for the year, and is run with the aid of a very meagre supplementary ration.

I must end with the fervent hope that MOTOR SPORT will be able to continue to be published.

I am, Yours etc.,




Nr. Oswestry, Salop.

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Yours is a splendid effort in keeping MOTOR SPORT going for us; I hope you will be able to keep on with the good work.

The article in the June issue about racing sounds gave food for thought, and stirred many memories. Surely the most inspiring of all is that crisp blipping which drifts across the track from the Paddock on the early morning air; while the most dramatic (though unwelcome) to my mind is the actual absence of sound when there has been an accident which obstructs the track and all the cars string out in silence behind the scene of the occurrence waiting to proceed. The only complete stoppage of this nature which I have witnessed. was at Donington when Bilney’s tragic crash occurred in the Twelve Hour Sports-Car Race.

May I venture to add my M.G. Magnette to your census. It has motored fitfully about since the war began, but I have effected a change from active motoring to what may be called passive enthusiasm. When the ration is finished, the procedure is to retire to the garage and tinker; preferably in the company of a fellow enthusiast. On this system, my well-loved old motor has acquired a polish where good cars should be polished: axle, back plates, track rod, etc.; and all springs have been dismantled and the plates polished. Everything comes in for attention in due course, including alignment of ports with manifolds with even more care than usual, and balancing of wheels.

The result is gratifying, for one gradually attains that tune and condition only associated with the works entry on the starting grid while at the same time indulging in a purely motoring activity without using up coupons.

I liked “On Some Unwritten Laws of the Game” in last month’s number; but please, if I drive my sober motor about with its screen flat because I like the rush of air, may I be permitted to wear a pair of goggles? or is this taboo as well?

Can you tell me if it is still possible to obtain photographs from the Master Klemantaski? If so, how?

I am, Yours etc.,



[This plan of carrying on motoring in the garage is truly commendable. Goggles, being an essential, might be allowed, at any rate, on the open road.—Ed.]

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Like most other people, I am full of admiration for MOTOR SPORT; not only because it is carrying on in war time, but because, if anything, it is maintaining an even higher standard of excellence than before.

It is therefore most disheartening for your avid readers to have to make fruitless enquiries for “this month’s issue” for some fortnight or more after the first of the month. Indeed, I believe that a certain number of regular readers has been lost on this account.

Could it not be managed that the date of issue, in future, should coincide more closely with ”about the first of the month”?

I am, Yours etc.


London, W.11.

[While apologising for late publication, we would remind Mr. Clutton that a war is still on, and that, important as we think MOTOR SPORT is, essential Government work has to come first. The latest publishing date so far is the eighth.—Printers.]