F. P. Thornpson is getting good service from a 1925 Austin “Heavy Twelve-Four” and considers that the more stolid vintage cars should receive their meed of praise. He would exchange a rather rusty model T Ford for Austin spares and knows of bits and pieces for 1913 G.W.K., Overland, Chrysler, Buick and other cars. A 2-cylinder Renault in reasonable condition is apparently for disposal near Cambridge, and J. Tite, who normally rides a 1927 350-c.c. o.h.c. Chater-Lea, is rebuilding a most interesting 1924 Barr & Stroud sleeve-valve motorcycle rescued from a farmyard scrap heap. He needs a gearbox for this bicycle, if anyone can assist. The engine, it seems, runs with no more commotion than a gentle chuff from the open exhaust. Ellis has located yet one more s.v. Aston-Martin, in Manchester, while his brother has heard rumours of another. His twin-cam Bamford and Martin car (see Motor Sport for June) is now on the road and has covered quite a big mileage. In the recent heat-wave the cooling water never exceeded 80 degrees C., while oil temperature remained at 55-60 degrees C. On Pool petrol 23 m.p.g. is realised. Incidentally, will the Mr. Bentley who wrote to Ellis please do so again, giving his address. N. H. Fowler reports some odd motor cars seen about in “agricultural Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.” They include a Rover Eight 2-seater parked in the centre of Nottingham, still in its original drab,” but with new b.e. Dunlop tyres; “10/23” and “8/18” Talbots; an Ariel “Chummy” four-up and towing a small folding caravan; an old A.C. Anzani 2-seater and a really early Austin Twelve cabriolet, both in daily use, and a 1921-2 Humber Twelve 2-seater. In the Brigg district there is a 1906 single-cylinder 6-h.p. de Dion, while a Retford motor-engineer is restoring to original condition a 14-h.p. 4-cylinder of the same make, as he was employed by the de Dion people at the time this car was a new model.
Fowler puts in a word of praise for his 1928 magneto-ignited Austin Seven “Wydor” saloon, which has yet to top the 40,000 mile mark and has one of its original Dunlop tyres on its spare wheel. It carries what its owner believes is probably the only 750 Club badge in his part of England. Capt. J. T. Thomas seeks an instruction book for a Mk. II short-chassis Aston-Martin and would willingly lend a hand to any fellow enthusiast in the London area who is servicing one of these cars. Nigel Arnold-Foster has a 1925 Anzani Frazer-Nash (engine No. SA4580, chassis 1081, Reg. No. PE2259) and would be glad of an instruction book and data. John Haining is now motoring in his re-built Alvis, which has a “12/60” engine, long-chassis “Silver Eagle” frame, close-ratio gearbox, 4.5 to 1 rear axle and an open Vanden Plas body from a Lagonda. A speciality of his is manifolding for “12/50s,” one a separate exhaust manifold for internal or external pipes, the other a separate inlet manifold to accommodate either a Solex or S.U.
It has been pointed out to us that when Patrick Green referred, in his article on Amilcars last month, to the roller-bearing Six he was probably thinking of special racing versions, because the normal Amilcar Six had plain bearings. In a recent “Ulster Sport” broadcast, C. G. Neill, Hon. Sec. of the Ulster A.C., gave a talk on his motor-racing experiences, not omitting technicalities. In his concluding statement he said that he thought the future of motoring sport in Ireland looked extremely bright. A 1912 15.9h.p. Scout is for sale in Salisbury and the veteran Charron which we illustrated recently has changed hands. A garage at E. Molesey is reconditioning a “Grand Sport” Amilcar and an Amilcar Six engine, and the former may soon be for sale. Eric Vereker, of Shepperton, is back amongst boats and, if any of you want a holiday on the Thames in a Chrysler-engined four-berth cabin cruiser, he is the man to contact. His veteran Adler is in good hands and he also has a pre-1914 Unic taxi in his care. A Meadows-engined Hampton coupé has been seen on the road, while Major Robinson has acquired a 1928 “14/40” Vauxhall tourer and D. M. Palmer is reconditioning a 1929 G.P. Salmson. Rumour of a 1 1/2-mile motor race course for Wigan is to hand.
Allen’s recent article in Motor Sport on vintage motor-cycles has aroused a lot of interest and, arising from it, Patrick Williams tells us that at Easter a 1924 350-c.c. Sunbeam, ridden by his brotherin-law, L. V. Thomas, won the mile sprint from such machines as T.T. Nortons, one of which was tuned by Francis Beart. Williams himself bought a 1924 500-c.c. Sunbeam for 30s. in 1938 and raced it at Pendine, the only conversion being to fit a “dope” piston. P. S. Motors, Ltd., have two 920 by 120 mm. tyres; if any “veteran type” requires them he should contact Ken Farley.
If the present owner of the Ulster Riley “Imp” raced before the war at Donington, Phoenix Park and Southport by Hugh Cocker will contact this gentleman, some spares and data belonging to the car (Reg. No. AVR718) are, we are told, available.
Mrs. Mavrogadato has taken unto herself a very beautifully-preserved 1926 1 1/2-litre Darracq boat-shaped tourer, while one of her husband’s latest toys is a new Vincent-H.R.D. twin motor-cycle, of the sort that does something like 60 m.p.h. in 1st and 75 m.p.h. in 2nd, 98 m.p.h. in 3rd and 110 m.p.h. in top gear on present-day petrol. N. J. Bowyer-Lowe has lots of “12/50” Alvis spares for disposal. Capt. B. H. Austin, in moving from Surrey to the West Country, took with him, for sentimental reasons, the Brescia Bugatti be used to race at Brooklands. Commander McNab, the pioneer motor-cyclist, gets very good service from a 1926 “12/50” Alvis coupé with a “12/60” engine converted to single Solex carburation. He also has a fine belt-drive Rudge Multi motor-cycle. Can anyone find a crown wheel and pinion for a 1924 12-h.p. Metallurgique? One of these cars is laid up because of axle trouble; meanwhile, its owner motors in a blue-hued flat-twin Rover Eight. Desmond Kerr’s interesting low-built “Special,” a “14/45” Talbot chassis with 3-litre twin o.h.c. Sunbeam engine, is for sale and can be seen at Stuart Wilton’s premises. We hear of odd outbreaks of enthusiasm for the restoration of touring G.N.s, and Godfrey himself has something of this sort in hand. Meanwhile, Stafford East’s example is due to appear in a period film. We hear rumours of the formation of a new Lagonda Owners’ Club.
Two s.v. Riley “Red wings” were noted recently on the road, one, alas, with “V2” in large letters on the nearside front door. A “Brooklands” 2seater version was for sale in Berkshire recently, while at the Phoenix Green Garage was to be seen the Allen-Special, which has a “12/50” Alvis engine (using two carburetters and an outside exhaust system on a small-port head) in a “Redwing” Riley chassis. Then quite a lot of interest seems to be centred in “Brooklands” Rileys, of which A. H. Ball has purchased a 1929 model. Ball owned a “Super Sports” Morgan 3-wheeler before this and says he had a very entertaining 18 months’ motoring from it. It would ascend almost any hill in top speed and do around 75 m.p.h. on that ratio and 55 in 2nd. It never seemed unstable or likely to turn over, but a close-ratio four-speed box with a 3.8 to 1 top gear, better headlamps and hydraulic brakes might well have been incorporated. W. Bailey has done some extensive rebuilding of a Lancia “Lambda,” but, although the chassis bad been slightly shortened in the Nardini days, the car will not go in its new owner’s garage. He is reluctant to sell a car on which he has done so much work, but would like to exchange it for a smaller 12-h.p. tourer. He is meanwhile using the Lancia, which sounds to be in very good trim, with mains and big-ends renewed, etc. .
Two more veterans are in safe keeping. A car we referred to as being at Footscray turns out to be a 1909 Renault of 16 h.p., with landaulette body. It has been acquired and is being put into sound order by someone who has also recently discovered, in a builder’s, shed, a 1903 6.5-h.p. Humber, which he is also restoring.
A 1921 Sizaire-Berwick, now at Oldham, needs a good home and is said to be in a remarkably fine state of preservation. Michael May now has his own Auster. John Cooper is acquiring a 1,500-c.c. Alfa-Romeo coupé and Quiggin has a 1931 “12/50” Alvis four-seater and an earlier big-port car of this type.
Those who require paint for finishing cars (or model cars, come to that) in British racing green, will find that Postans, Ltd., Trevor Street, Birmingham, can supply small quantities of their “Napier Green,” which was used for Edge’s cars and is the correct hue. The Model Car News for July contained articles on rubber- and petrol-driven model racing cars, on a tiny model of a 1903 Siddeley and on making simple but realistic model cars at home, and it strikes us as good value at 6d.
They sure do go places, get around and get going in the States. When it’s a matter of veteran cars, America can claim several organisations catering for their location, restoration, preservation and exercise. Last year one of these organisations, the Veteran Motor Car Club of America, not only ran numerous socials, rallies, competitions and indoor meets, but it put over a replica of the historic Glidden Tour, which lasted, if you please, for two weeks. Another innovation introduced recently was its Antique Auto Show, at Boston, when 35 old cars were displayed at the Horticultural Hall and the public admitted — this because the Club discovered that its funds needed boosting, be it noted. The veterans were properly displayed on stands, Edgar Roy’s beautiful hs-new 1914 Renault chassis was flood-lit in the entrance to the main hall, the p.a. system dispensed music of the appropriate era, mannequins wore period costume and an oil company gave away road-maps. The V.M.C.C. of A., whose Secretary is D. C. White, 173, Cedar St., Roxbury 19, Mass., publishes a truly excellent journal “The Bulb Horn,” quarterly, at 65 cents. That for January contains pictures of the Antique Auto Show, reports of events, an article on reconditioning a 1909 Thomas Flyabout by Richard Merrill (Boy, how they do restore ’em in the States!), a short illustrated history of the Pierce-Arrow company, and an account of the Glidden Tour by Peter Helck, who got the veteran racing man Frank Lescault to drive his Locomobile therein. Enthusiasm for veterans runs as high as ever in America. Say, bud, why you rolling so fast towards Liverpool Docks? (Because, brother, I don’t like flying!)
It may not be generally known that informal gatherings of V.S.C.C. members happen at the Phoenix Hotel, Hartley Wintney, on A30, on the first Thursday evening of each month. Cars at the last of these gatherings included Bugatti, Bentley, Frazer-Nash, “14/40” Delage, Lagonda, Mary Whittet’s smart Renault, Lancia Aprilia, flat-twin air-cooled Rover Eight, Vale Special and divers little boxes.
V.S.C.C. of A.
The The February edition of the Vintage S.C.C. of Australia’s journal, “The Vintage Car,” arrived accompanied by a list of the Club’s members, from which we find the number last February stood at 209. This includes quite a number of British members and it is worth emphasising that an overseas membership scheme operates at considerably reduced subscription rates for members of our Bugatti Owners’ Club and Vintage Sports Car Club. We should say it is worth taking advantage of if only to get the excellent articles and drawings of vintage types by R. G. Shepherd, which appear regularly in “The Vintage Car.” That for February dealt with the 3-litre Sunbeam. Shepherd should be encouraged to get his series out in book form — available here as well as in Australia, please, “R. G. S.” F.t.d. at the Gawler “accelerated 1/4-mile” was made by Harrison’s Ford-Special in 17.7 sec., best vintage-car time being 18.2 sec. by Vinall’s “30/98” Vauxhall. The class winners were Uffindell (Austin Seven), Anders (Morris), Slade (Wolseley), Burden (Lea-Francis), Pank (Chevrolet) and Harrison (Ford). An exciting Relay Race was supported by 20 cars and won by a Ford — blower Bentley — “30/98” “23/60” — and Austin Seven team, and there were knock-out match contests on handicap in addition. A nice photograph is published of Dent’s Frazer-Nash, which was judged the best car at the opening Rally, and which won the vintage section of the 1 1/2-day Mountain Trial, being fastest of all in the hill-climb at that event. We like the remark, apropos its rebuilding, that it appeared first as a chassis, then grew every time it came out, finally developing registration plates. Hon Sec.: R. Beal Pritchett, 1, Phillip Street, Neutral Bay, N.S.W.
Lancia Car Club
A preliminary meeting in Birmingham on June 21st aroused much enthusiasm for a Lancia Car Club and an official meeting is scheduled at the “Haycock” Wansford, on September 7th. Provisionally the Chairman is R. L. West and the Club headquarters are at his premises at 22-24, Queen’s Gate Place Mews, London, S.W.7. An annual subscription of £1 1s. is suggested, badges to cost about 15s. AIl the advantages of a one-make club, plus a possible tool service, are hoped for and we see no reason why this Club should not be a vast success under West’s control. Enquiries and suggestions from Lancia owners are very welcome.
The V.S.C.C. scored a decidedly notable bull by running the Gransden meeting. Their June “Bulletin” contained excellent pictures of Heal, who is Club captain, in his 1924 G.P. Sunbeam at Prescott, Neve’s “30/98” Vauxhall and Chambers’ 1908 Hutton, etc. It carried excellent reports of 1947 activities. The Club’s secretary, Tim Carson, has recently changed his address, and has started a secondhand car business. His new address is: “Mellaha,” Park Lane, Kempshott, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
The Bentley Drivers’ Club really does set an example to certain other clubs whose secretaries seem as sleepy as if they had just emerged from an air-raid shelter. We mean, seven “socials” scheduled for July, at such widely scattered places as London, Harrogate, Taunton, Eaton Socon, Worthing, Church Stretton and Denham! On August 3rd some informal dicing is being laid on at Tangmere, for club members only, and later in the month aerial parties are being arranged to the Ulster and I. of M. races. Hon. Sec.: S. Sedgwick, “The Cobb,” Stoke Close, Cobham, Surrey.
Fun From the Ads.
Two jolly statements from recent used-car advertisements — not in Motor Sport. “Needs some attention. Been standing up.” And, “A few complete chassis for sale. Packing and postage extra.”
The Scarborough and District M.C. will run a series of speed trials and races on Filey Sands, on September 6th, over a course which embraces two mile-long straights. Details can be obtained from .T. Claxton, “Lancesund,” Mill Lane, Cayton Bay, Scarborough, Yorkshire.
The R.A.C. Beauty Show
Last year we were stirred by the closing of Hyde Park for the R.A.C. Cavalcade. This year, to its everlasting credit, the R.A.C. has obtained sanction to stage a great Concours d’Elegance in Regent’s Park. In the absence of the Motor Show, this Concours will rank as a great open-air Exhibition of Britain’s latest cars. Many of our leading manufacturers expressed considerable interest as soon as the event was announced. There are classes, too, for Veteran, Edwardian and Vintage cars and we believe the Bentley D.C. will be well represented in the last-named. This will be a great social gathering. The date is September 6th.
From an Editorial in the Motor World dated July 4th: “Neither the business executive nor the family man motors around the mile-a-minute Mark – 40-45 m.p.h. is the popular highway speed.” That is quite reasonable, providing it isn’t done in the middle of the road.
Some surprise was occasioned by the fact that builders of 500 c.c. racing cars, having shouted for somewhere to circuit-race, did nothing about the race arranged for them at Brough on June 28th. It now transpires that they did do something, with the following results. Bacon found himself sans mechanics and transport, Davison’s car “blew-up,” Aikens had his engine stripped in readiness for a record-attempt at Ostend, Bosisto’s Leave was cancelled, while Siddall’s van burst two tyres en route and then developed engine trouble. Oh, well!
Work To Do!
People seem to have optimistic ideas about finding old cars standing in farmyard barns awaiting new owners, and of being able to run them in competitions very soon after the discovery. Only a short time ago a contemporary wrote of enthusiasts peering through cracks in the walls of aged barns in the West Country seeking pre-1905 veterans to use in a trial for such cars due to be run off about a month ahead. Members of the V.C.C. will confirm that invariably far more than a month’s hard labour is necessary on such “discoveries” before even a trial run can be considered.
Peter Clark has written us a letter which raises an important issue so far as the faster Edwardian cars are concerned. He points out that at the July Prescott Meeting his 1914 Mercédès was the only car entered in the class for cars built prior to 1915 and as you cannot run a contest with but one competitor, the class had to be scrubbed. It was the same at the Club Prescott Meeting. Clark, quite rightly, feels worried about this lack of activity on the part of owners of Edwardians. He remarks that there must be a dozen or more suitable cars which could support the class which the V.S.C.C. and Bugatti Owners’ Club, in particular, put on for them at its speed events. He names the Itala, Fiat, two 1914 G.P. Opels and another 1908 Itala, to which we would say that the Clutton/ Ewen Itala and Heal’s Fiat have nobly supported Edwardianism in the past, while we believe that the other Itala is in the Isle of Wight and is sans tyres. But Peter is right about the Opels; and what of R. G. J. Nash’s Lorraine-Dietrich, the John Morris Benz, that Cottin et Desgouttes which was unearthed during the war, Neve’s T.T. Humber, etc? — and, of course, the Alphonso Hispano-Suizas (or shouldn’t people in glasshouses throw stones?). It might be remarked, too, that pre-1905 cars of the faster sort stand an excellent chance under formula, so that Abbott’s 1904 Mercédès , the Gordon-Bennett Napier, Capt. Oliver’s 1902 Mercédès and the like might well join issue with the Edwardians. Let us hope that Peter Clark is unduly pessimistic, and that Edwardianism is not on the wane. Gransden may well have provided something of an answer, by the time this is in print. But we do feel that owners of Edwardian and veteran cars suitable for sprint events may be getting tired of being confined virtually to one course. Organisers of the smaller speed trials would surely do well to include an Edwardian class at their meetings. The reduction in entry fees and the closer proximity of such courses as Horndean, Burghfield, etc. to London (where the majority of Edwardians seem to be housed) should bring in entries, while spectators at these smaller events are mainly new to the sport and there is no denying the appeal of “giant racing cars” to such persons. In view of the fact that Edwardians are no longer seen at Shelsley Walsh and are to be encouraged only in purely racing trim at Brighton, is it too much to hope for classes for such cars, run to the Clutton formula, at our smaller speed meetings? That, we feel, would do much to promote increased activity in Edwardian circles. Meanwhile, we hope that the veteran class will return to its erstwhile glory at forthcoming Prescott meetings and that Clark’s suggested formation of an Edwardian Racing Car Club, for stimulating interest, will not be necessary.
This time we show R. D. Poore engaged in winning the Gransden Trophy Race in the ex-Ruesch “3.8” Alfa-Romeo. He led throughout and averaged 86.30 m.p.h. This excellent action shot is the work of Guy Griffiths.
The Bugatti Owners’ Club announces that it has appointed a new secretary, Lt.-Col. R. F. Hayward Browne. He lives within a few miles of Prescott Hill and the Club’s offices moved there as from July 21st. Guy Griffiths has been appointed official photographer to the Club. The May issue of Bugantics contained reports of the Opening Rally, Prescott test-days, and the Opening Prescott Meeting written by Messrs. Clutton, Giles and Lemon Burton, respectively. Future fixtures are the International Hill Climb at Prescott on September 14th, the Welsh Trial on October 18th-19th and the Annual Dinner on December 6th. Since March 55 new members have been elected. Secretary: Lt.-Col. Hayward Browne, Little Chantry, Winchcombe, Glos.
Lodge Racing Plugs
It is to the everlasting credit of Lodge Plugs, Ltd., that their new racing plugs can be used for starting a racing engine from cold, warming it up, and then extending it, without changing from one grade of plug to another during these exacting operations — no racing driver can fail to see the advantage to him of using such plugs. The new series of Lodge racing plugs is made in four heat ranges, 47, 49, 51 and 53, these being distinguished by no band, one band, two bands and three bands of red on their Sintox insulators, respectively. R47 and RL47 plugs suit sprint work; R49, RL49, 18-49 and 18L-49, short-distance racing; R51, RL51, 18-51, 18L-51, G.P. and T.T. class racing; and R53 and RL53 exceptionally fast long-distance work. L denotes long-reach, 18 denotes 18 mm. as distinct from 14 mm. The 47 and 49 plugs are available in waterproof versions for scrambles and dirt-track racing. The price of all these racing Lodge plugs is 15s. each. Users include Lt.-Col. Gardner, Raymond. Mays, “Bira,” George Abecassis, H. L. Brooke and Peter Monkhouse.
“The Light Car” Challenge Trophy for the Brooklands 1 1/2-litre Class Hour Record is now offered for the International 1 1/2-litre Class Hour Record, with Montlhèry in mind. The holder is R. T. Horton (M.G.) at 117 miles 56 yards.