Clifford Banks has acquired a 1930-31 2-litre O.M. and would like to hear of a source for spares. Actually, apart from a cracked head, since welded, his car is in excellent fettle and he has cut the four-seater body away at the rear to accommodate a petrol tank from a 2-litre Lagonda, set slab-fashion. At Cubitt’s Basin some amusing old marine engines have come to light. There is a most incredible structure called a Hayles Patent, the method of functioning of which is a mystery; a single-cylinder Fay-and-Bowden two-stroke, its cylinder encased to resemble a geyser, with a sort of dish-cover over the head; and a 3-cylinder, Fairbanks Morse two-stroke of uncertain age. Austin Seven and early o.h.c. Wolseley Ten car engines are amongst those going into boats in these parts.
J. R. Cromwell-Morgan has a type “CD” single-cylinder veteran De Dion and seeks 760 x 90 tyres and tubes for it. Chandlers Ltd., of Burgess Hill, Sussex, are looking for a good steam-car for a client, and up at Angus Lieut. Ware, R.N., hopes to prepare an early Cadillac for V.C.C. events, if he can find tyres for it. Then, such is the zest for ye antique, that over in Belfast A. T. A. Clarke is refurbishing a single-cylinder 668-c.c. Peugeot and also needs tyres.
Leaving the veteran for the vintage, A. F. Gould is getting his 1929 “Grand Sports” Salmson in trim again after the ravages of war, and two “new” “14/40” Delage cars, one a saloon, and a very fine open “20” Rolls, have been seen in the Southern counties. Veteran (there we go again!) motorcycles are all the rage, and Alexander’s of Edinburgh recently staged a show of them, Gradua Zenith and A.B.C. included. There is said to be a 1908 Sunbeam landau at a Lancashire breakers, in going order. At Prescott an early o.h. inlet, s.v. exhaust, Ariel V-twin combination was noted, bright as a new pin, but rather spoilt by a non-original gearbox and aeroplanes painted on its tank.
Currie, who ran a Lea-Francis in pre-strife days and who went on the 1939 Monte Carlo Rally with Harrop and Mangoletsi, has acquired the Ford Special which Stancer Beaument used to race at Donington and elsewhere. It has a standard Ford Eight engine and also a very special racing Ford unit, linered down to 850 c.c., which Currie is fitting with a view to some more competition motoring. He would welcome any “dope” on this car. F/Lt. Randell has presented a 1919 16-h.p. Sunbeam tourer to the South Kensington Science Museum, on indefinite loan. H. Dacre Stubbs, A.R.P.S., whose work features on the cover of this month’s issue, runs a very nicely reconditioned and slightly modified 7th Series Lancia “Lambda” open tourer, with cycle-type wings.
John Dale has been busy installing sleeves, new pistons and rings, etc., in his 1924 “12/50” Alvis in the course of a £70 overhaul, in such esteem does he hold this 22-year-old car, and he has also added an Alvis “Firefly” to his stable. The “Plug and Spanner” Garage, near Staines, presided over by Peck, is now able to build coachwork to clients’ requirements. On a recent visit we noticed an S.S. chassis awaiting such attention, also an early M.G. Midget chassis with a Ford Ten power unit installed. Peck is also interesting himself in hydroplane racing on a local stretch of water and has already made up some metal hulls. At this port-of-call there are, too, plenty of fast motorcycles to be seen, and we were also shown a three-carburetter “Silver Eagle” Alvis fabric 2-seater, soon to be sent out to Ceylon. Road-equipped “3.3” G.P. Bugattis seem to be the rage. Apart from Hindes’s well-known and quite perfect specimen, Abecassis’s ex-Baron car was happily motored to and from Gransden, and Rodney Clarke is converting the ex-Craig car for “touring” purposes! May Whittet, becoming impatient of a modern British Eight, has replaced it with an old love, in the form of a Renault drophead coupé. Cecil Clutton is still getting good service from his Brough-Superior, although, as he says, “you need to get off and do things up, now and then.” Its road equipment includes cycle lamps and bell.
R. C. Hogarth, who races a Velocette motorcycle, has acquired Birkett’s Type 38 Bugatti tourer, as Birkett has decided to deport himself in a Lancia “Agusta” saloon, radio-equipped. Foulis Ltd. have reprinted yet another motor-racing book, Chula’s “Road Racing, 1936,” and Percival Marshall Ltd., 23, Gt. Queen Street, W.C.2, have launched a model-car paper under the title of “Model Car News.”
Congratulations to Francis Hutton-Stott, the veteran-car specialist, on his recent marriage to Miss Joan Mary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Alcock. F. Wright is building a “special” based on a Lanchester Ten and has found a 1929 “22/90” Alfa-Romeo 4-seater, in the north, for sale for about £90. Battersby is now running a Type 57 Bugatti saloon.
This time we show a veteran competitor at Shelsley Walsh, fitting reminder that as much enthusiasm as ever exists for the pre-1915 cars at present-day events. We are rather proud this should be so, because articles which first appeared in Motor Sport over fifteen years ago, describing and road-testing old cars, in E. K. H. Karslake’s inimitable style, started all this veteran enthusiasm. The “Veteran Types” series will continue to appear at intervals in future issues. The picture shows Peter Clark and his wife at this year’s Shelsley Walsh meeting, in the famous 1914 G.P. Mercédès. It climbed in 56.7 sec.
Kentish Bprder C.C.
Another link with pre-war days is contained in the announcement that the Kentish Border Car Club has come to life again. Fairly modest events will be held until fewer restrictions exist, and for 1946 the subscription is 10s. 6d. Hon. secretary: K. R. W. Shackel, 44, Burnt Ash Road, Lee, S.E.12.
Paul Holt, writing in the Daily Express of June 19th about the sad state in which present-day society bridesmaids find themselves, under the sub-heading “Bentleys are so scarce”: “Head waiters are rude, and the very few 2-litre Bentleys in circulation are always breaking down.”
The Vintage Motorcycle Club goes from strength to strength. A Bulletin is issued monthly and a rally and sporting contest was scheduled at Royston on July 21st, the prize being a fine Wooler motorcycle. The first committee meeting lasted five hours and 48 members were elected. Details from C. S. Burney, Cedar Cottage, Marlow.
Morgan Three-Wheeler Club
This club is expanding rapidly and it is nice to hear of so many V-twin Morgans still active. The club’s journal for July ran to 33 pages. Hon. secretary: S. G. Withers, 3, Knypersley Avenue, Dialstone Lane, Stockport.
The R.A.C. said it would only hold the Scarborough Rally if petrol rationing was abolished by July 1st — so, no rally. Another cancellation concerns the Poole speed trials, the West Hants and Dorset C.C. stating that insufficient fencing materials and petrol rationing make this event impractical this year. They hope, instead, to hold a motoring week-end in September, with speed event, dance and gymkhana.
The Bugatti Owners’ Club, with its ownership of Prescott Hill, has become something beyond just a club for owners of Bugatti cars. The club was formed in December, 1929, and by 1931 had over 60 members. In 1932 Eric Giles took over the secretaryship and his brother, Col. G. M. Giles, C.B.E., T.D., was elected chairman. The enthusiasm of the brothers Giles for the Bugatti car was immediately reflected in the increased scope and success of the club. Debonair, efficient and a charming person in every way, Eric Giles was an ideal man to be in charge, while Col. Giles, who held the rank of Brig.-General during this war, not only brought a distinctly military orderliness into the running of the club’s events, but frequently added himself to the ranks of competitors, driving one or other of his large late-model Bugatti cars. Increasing business calls, alas, made it necessary for Eric Giles to relinquish the secretaryship and for Col. Giles to request a search for a new chairman. This has resulted in Col. Giles being elected Vice-President and Eric Giles chairman of the council. N. S. Hyslop takes over from Eric as secretary and treasurer and, although he is unknown to many members, that the club Prescott Meeting was so successfully run under his control should satisfy everyone that Eric has selected an able successor. The club’s address remains as 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, and both Eric and Col. Giles intend to remain in the closest possible touch with club affairs. We welcome Mr. Hyslop to his new post as secretary of a club which now has well over 200 members and which owns one of this country’s foremost hill-climb courses. The next event at Prescott is a combined B.O.C. and Vintage S.C.C. meeting on August 24th.
Before the war the M.C. was one of those clubs which organised Better Events. Particularly is it remembered for its jovial and practical committee, many members of which seemed always able to run in trials and similar competitions, with characteristically cut-down Riley and Alvis cars. So it is good to know that D. P. Kirkman has returned from 6 1/2 years exile and that, largely due to his efforts we suspect, this club is trying to get going again. We only hope Kirkman’s shortest-of-the-short “12/50” Alvis is as intact as he is himself. Old members of this club are requested to contact Secretary C. S. Dewey, at 102, Havant Road, E. Cosham, Portsmouth (76550), and those who have not received any 1939 awards due to them are assured that the club is trying to locate its records and deliver the goods. The present holders of the President’s Trophy, Hunt Trophy, Cannon Cup, etc., are likewise sought, in their turn.
The Bentley Drivers’ Club has issued its “Review,” and hopes to bring it out quarterly. The B.D.C.’s first issue contains messages from Woolf Barnato, S. C. H. Davis, F. C. Clement, Forrest Lycett, and Oliver Bertram, reports of its more recent activities, an account of the 1924 Le Mans race, news, and a most instructive list of members and their cars, quoting types and registration identities. The club numbers 166 Bentleys, made up of 70 3-litre, 52 4 1/2-litre, 7 blower 4 1/2-litre, 15 6 1/2-litre and eight 8-litre old-school cars, as well as four 3 1/2-litre and ten 4 1/4litre Rolls-Bentleys. Some members are without cars, so the total membership is higher still. Hon. secretary: S. Sedgwick, “The Cobb,” Stoke Close, Cobham, Surrey.
V.S.C.C. Of A.
Another issue of “The Vintage Car” is to hand from the Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia. It contains another of Shepherd’s excellent drawings, this time of a “24/90” Straker-Squire. Recently-elected new members include owners of “Blue Label” Bentley, Austin Seven, “14/40” Vauxhall and “12/50” Alvis cars. This club is quite obviously very much alive and its aims, achievements and atmosphere appear to tally very closely with those of our own V.S.C.C., which is definitely a Very Good Thing.
The Vintage Sports Car Club held a rally and driving tests at Bisley on July 21st to enable new members — of which large numbers continue to be enrolled — to get better acquainted with members of longer standing. Their next event is a speed hill-climb at Prescott on August 31st, which will provide an excellent opportunity for enthusiasts to drive at this famous venue with the minimum of expense. The “Bulletin” has at last been revived and another issue is due next month. This well-established club is open to owners, of vintage and veteran cars built prior to 1930, and of such modern cars as the Committee considers appropriate. There is also associate membership. Full membership costs 15s. per annum with 5s. entry fee. The trophies competed for annually include the Forrest Lycett, 1 1/2-litre, and Edwardian Annual Aggregate Awards, the John Seth-Smith Trophy and the Pomeroy Trophy. Hon. secretary: Tim Carson, 1, Downsland Court, Worting Road, Basingstoke, Hants.
The C.U.A.C. was able to hand £325 to the R.A.F. Fund for St. Dunstan’s as a result of the Gransden takings — does motor-racing serve any useful purpose?
Popular demand has decided Rivers-Fletcher to hold another “Rembrandt” meeting, on October 13th next. Very good news, this
R.A.C. Hill-Climb Championship
The Royal Automobile Club announces that it will institute a British Hill-Climb Championship for 1947 and the ensuing years, for which a suitable trophy will be offered for annual competition.
The regulations for the championship are now being formulated, and it is probable that some five or six well-known hills — in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles — may be selected for inclusion in the project. A method of marking on points for the major event held at each selected venue is being evolved, and it is thought that the introduction of such a championship will be most popular, not only with promoters and competitors, but also with the members of the general motoring public who appreciate the spectacular value of such events.
National Memorial to British Racing Drivers
It has been decided by the Royal Automobile Club to institute a permanent memorial to famous British racing drivers who have passed away. The memorial will include the names of those who participated in motor races from the earliest days.
It will take the form of a vellum-bound book, to be displayed on an oak pedestal in the entrance hall of the club. With a suitable inscription on the frontispiece, the pages of this volume will contain the names of famous British racing drivers who have, by their courage, endurance and skill, done so much to enhance the prestige of this country throughout the whole world and helped to an incalculable degree in the development of the British motor car.
A sub-committee has been appointed to select the names of those to be inseribed in the memorial which forms a “Roll of Honour” in the world of Motoring Sport.
Motor Sport has oft-times been criticiscd by those too young to possess memories or else too old to remember, as being altogether too vintage-conscious.
A decent balance is desirable in most things, of course, and in future customers will find a greater sense of proportion as more and more post-strife issues of Motor Sport are produced.
But, batting on the vintage side, we cannot overlook how Alan Mays’s 1924 “30/98” Vauxhall tied with the fastest Allard at Elstree, how well the ancient Frazer-Nash G.N. “Spider” and the Becke-Powerplus went at Shelsley Walsh, and how Alexander’s ex-McKenzie 4 1/2-litre Bentley soundly trounced such moderns as S.S. “100s”, including Cyril Mann’s well-known car, at Gransden Lodge. One must not entirely turn one’s back on such cars, we feel.
They do say that anticipation is better than realisation, but for all that, there was nothing much amiss with a quite unexpected run one evening, in a Type 38 Bugatti up from Hampshire to a 750 Club meeting. The route was more than familiar, it is true, the car well-known to us, yet that swift drive along the good road from the West, terminating in the bustle of London traffic and the jostle of the one-way route at Hammersmith Broadway, was very much to our liking. And, if we started for home later than expected, the car was running well, so that something less than three-quarters of an hour sufficed to see us in Farnborough again, and swinging off across the common for home. Incidentally, these last few miles, no matter when or under what circumstances one covers them, always arouse thoughts of other days, when B.E.2s and S.E.5s flew lazily, mysteriously, over the Royal Aircraft Establishment, and folk went in queer cars across to Brooklands on weekend afternoons.
Curious to see model cars at Eaton Bray there was a prolonged Bank Holiday Sunday motoring there in an Austin Seven, the signposts very confusing in obscure Buckinghamshire villages, but Leighton Buzzard corning up in the end. Going home was better, because a more direct route was taken, although, even then only a lucky guess allowed us to turn sharp left at the traffic-lamps in the middle of Berkhamsted and find ourselves, as confirmed by the first crowded ‘bus we overtook, on the road to Windsor. When will a practical motorist check over our missing or misleading signposting? It was all very Public Holiday thereafter, with saloons doing 20 m.p.h. over any white lines they could find, long queues at every ‘bus stop, straggling lines of holiday traffic in Slough and endless family parties out for a walk along the sidewalks, in their Sunday-best and hoping it wouldn’t rain. At long last we came through Windsor Park (on a previous run this way we had encountered a beautifully-preserved “10/15” Fiat 2-seater in a pub-yard), crossed the main road at Ascot after leaving the race-course (horse) on our left, and drove along the pine-flanked roads leading to home. As a fitting conclusion to a Holiday Sunday, an immaculate single-cylinder De Dion, not even belonging to the V.C.C., was being motored up Bagshot Hill by its enthusiastic garage proprietor owner.
Gransden entailed an early start in a most exciting 5-litre Bugatti and, in spite of changing the rear wheels just before Staines and picking up a third member of the crew in London, we got to Royston in an almost unbelievably short space of time the average obviously very imposing indeed, and many really fast cars very easily passed on the way up. Of course, it rained, and we got very wet, and the practice laps seemed one great orgy of frenzied speed, with small cars enveloped in spray in our path and racing machinery roaring by any old how. It was, in fact, a grand day’s sport, and the run home was equally pleasing, even if we did have a broken Velocette in the back, a broken Frazer-Nash on tow and hordes of humanity all over the 5-litre. All this, you see, didn’t slow the Bugatti to any noticeable degree . . .
As a change, next week-end we got up early, and went to Prescott in the back of the Type 38 Bugatti. The run up was as enjoyable as ever, although there was fearful massacre of a newly .re-treaded rear tyre, due to the body rubbing on the wheel. So that we had to cruise through sleepy Cheltenham to a breakers in search of a spare, finding in the yard an almost complete “Blue Label” Bentley engine, a V8 Cadillac, and a curious electric vehicle with front-wheel-drive by reason of a massive electric motor slung beneath each front wheel. Coming home, the sunshine was suddenly replaced by heavy rain, but we had plenty of protection from divers coats and it was fine again after we had consumed an adequate meal at Sturt Farm. We lost the Le Mans Singer which was accompanying us and came on fast, a Triumph Tiger solo once showing brief desire for a duel, down that always pleasant route through Oxford, Maidenhead, Arborfield, Eversley and so across the Great West Road where an aerodrome now disfigures the Hartford Bridge Flats. A friend pointing out a garage on this route where he once saw a solid-tyred Trojan, we went back there at the first opportunity, for, against the advice of all our friends, we are developing a considerable interest in these comic but clever 2-stroke cars. So we went along roads that seem quite unchanged since the Kaiser War, half expecting to meet a Calcott or Carden round every corner, the third member of the crew, although but four months’ old, fully appreciating the purpose of the thing. And we did eventually trace that Trojan. It is in regular use, too . . .
What shall we do to amuse ourselves next Sunday? We shall probably go motoring . . .