VINTAGE VEER INGS • . •
• TOPIC of June in vintage circles, but too late in the month to he aired in the July MOTOR Seoul., wa, the •,ceonil V.S.C.C. Silverstone meeting. This time it was tine and the 1601-tights were t here to enjoy. Results a ppear on another page, but -a few remarks are (Idled for. This time the vintage sports cars didn’t beat the average ,Speeds set up by the non-vintage machinery, but they went very well nevertheless-fastest ‘sports-car race was won by R. F. Peacock’s 328 B.M.W. at 0.0.92 m.p.h. for four laps and fastest Vintage sports-car race . by R. W. Illogg’s exButterworth, but resprayed, 41.-1itre Bentley four-seater, at 65.58 m.p.h. for three laps. The big events for vintage racing cars and vintage,and-historic racing ears, respectively, were the 1908 G.P. Bala Trophy Race of 18.22 miles and the 100 kilometre Seaman Trophy Race. It was simply grand to see Rowley’s 1927 11-litre G.P. Delage win the former at a rousing 76.24 m.p.h., but the latter race was spoilt by too many absentees, although it produced a very dose finish between Hartwell’s E.R.A. and Dun’s re-vamped ” 2.9 ” Maserati, the E.R.A. winning at 77.12 m.p.h. But the former race really had something, because Rowley was chased by Ilyrom’s beautiful 1980 ” 2,3 ” G.P. Bugatti, while Chit ton’s grand old V12 101-litre Deluge, which finished fourth, was doing 100 m.p.h. in third gear at the top of the bill after the start and lapped at 74 m.p.h., against Rowley’s 79 m.p.h. As the Delage had done its best to discard a cylinder in practice this is truly ereditahle and clearly Sam will get it going even faster as he becomes better acquainted with it.. Reverting to the far less ent !vatting Seaman. Tropl ty li ace. the Club is absolutely right to enc, mrage ‘• historic ” racing ears, yet somehow Hartwell’s E.B.A. floes not appeal to us as historic in the way Rowley’s Delage is ” vintage,” especially as it had Teenauto i.f.s. Nor were we alone in wondering how Stores ” 88/250 ” Mer06.desBenz four-seater, Ball’s (over-hot)” 2.3″ sports Alfa-Romeo and Pitt’s 41-litre Bentley qualified as historic racing ears. Perhaps, as a certain shrewd onlooker Put it, what the V.S.C.C. really seeks to –encourage is ” white elephants • • • •’
The Edwardian race was great fun, with a fine entry of 18, and it demonstrated the nuirked superiority of Francis Hutton-Stott’s 1913 4.8-litre 1.zitteltester over most ears of the same period. Its over mite-a-minute speed in complete silence was truly notable. John Holster’s 1911 Itolls-Royee was also exceedingly impressive, Barker’s vast 1909 sixcylinder Napier seemed surprisingly reasonable on the corners, while Cuthell, after replacing jumped timing gears that morning, got the 1012 Alfonso ” Hispano-Suiza really motoring. The handicapping was rather vague and my 1913 Hispano!Suiza, in Geoffrey Deason’s hands, hadn’t an earthly.
Incidentally, history seemed to have been made at this meeting, for the official results gave two second-places to 1Varing’s Alvis, yet this car quite definitely had a broken Crankshaft. Actually, Chevell took over Waring’s entry, driving his own special AlVis Speed Twenty,” but apparently the officials hadn’t noticed Long delays in the delivery of new automobiles, covenants, and the like, .annoy no end of people. The vintage-car enthusiast scores again, for he can reflect that these things at least help to keep interesting old-timers on our roads, which would otherwise feature an endless procession of bulbous, self-satisfied, tinware. -• • t Ile rolling nuonlerut car On the rolling English ” Perhaps the unobtainabilit y of new ears and the need to keep one’s means-of-transport, going explains a growing regard for not-sorapid, non-sporting vintage machinery. Talk about vehicles of this sort began in the local the other evening rand led one keett type to suggest one-make collections. It has to be admitted that, garages cost lug what they. do to rent or erect and with the savage tax on petrol and the grossly unfair 25s. per hp. tax on old cars, this scheme is, perhaps, more for the tap-room than for practical application. But the thought is alluring. Our conversationalist had seen that afternoon a Wolseley tourer, prol):11,1y a Fifteen, of about 1920 or 1921 vintage. Not a sports car, he admit led, but of somehow decidedly sporting .ippearance in a typically Wolselcy sun t Ilr way. You could pair that one, he wish fully imagined, with an economy Wolseley Ten with itso.h.c. engine and back-axle gearbox, adding “and there was the sports version of that Ten, with pointed-tail aluminium body and rakish V-screen, to include as well if one could be unearthed.” [Last one we heard of was in Scarborough ten years ago and it wasn’t there a couple of years later because we went to see .Another of the group remarked on the .diversity of the vhitage Rover range from the collector’s viewpoint, reminding us of the stolid Clegg-designed Twelve, the fascinating air-cooled flat-twin sometimes encountered to this day, its successor,
the ” available in sports form, the technically-exacting and long-wearing inclined 4.).h.v. ” 14/45″ Of circa 1924 and models of a somewhat later era, such as the ” Blue Train ” Six, etc. This led another tankard-wielder te crave an Austin trio—Seven, Twelve and Twenty— and to remark that a ” 14/40 ” !lumber saloon with its i.o.e. engine, pleasant gearchange, and notably quiet gears, backed by an “8/18” tourer or two-seater of the same make “for doing the shopping in,” wouldn’t come amiss. AVell, there we will leave it. Froth-blowers dreaming, maybe. * * * * * * Wlio should arrive in the Editorial ” village • I lie other evening than George Brooks, one Of I lie founder-rnembers of the Australian V.S.C.C., in his very stately ” 24/90 ” Straker-Sqtti rc touring car. He had completed reeently a truly
epic ” viztt journey.” by leaving Adelaide in March, landing in Italy, and motoring across Europe in the StrakerSquire to England, taking in such races as I lii Mille Miglia, Monaco G.P., Berne and 1.c Mans en route. He had many amazing experiences,, but no troubles other titan punctures. His normal cri &king speed was around 40-50 m.p.h., and tnel consumption seems to have averaged 41 the region of 17-18 m.p.g. ‘rite worst petrol by far was encountered in Italy.
Brooks. Straker-Squire is a most interesting car tc knows of’ onlythree other ” 24/00s,” one .seen in South London some years ago, one in Australia, but unfortunately also lost sight of, and one recently reported to be in Dublin. These cars have the 80 by 130 mm. engine With six sep.irate cylinders and exposed valve gear. the shaft-driven ” upstairs “camshaft actuating two valves per cylinder, the whole reminiscent of a Kaiser war Mercedes or Rolls-Royce ‘aero-engine and most pleasing to the eye.
We were able to take a short drive and were profoundly impressed by the steam-engine smoothness of the engine when pulling away from a crawling pace in top gear—quite uncanny, and very pleasant withal ; 40 m.p.h. is an easy Cruising speed, the car bowling along with, as Brooks observed, its front axle quite unaware of what its eantileversuspended back axle is doing. The steering is decidedly heavy, hut both front wings call be seen and the long bonnet and sharply-falling shatIders of Ike radiator forin an impressive view from the high driving seat. The righthand gear-lever is of sensible length, its grip like tlutt of a Itolls-Bentley. only of greater diaicier, and it works in a delightful exposed gate ; the hand-brake lever is even longer, with its grip and ratchetrelease cranked inwards over the top of II e gear-lever. Brooks’ car tuts the early S.C. carburetter, water-pump in tandeici Wit h lite dynamo and Bosch, magneto on the near side Intt ahead of the timing ease a nil nil v ision ihr movingt he magneto forward to take the place tetnporarily of the dynamo should the latter require rejmiring. It was fl in to see Ow vertieal radiator stoat yrs open and (lose :tat 0mat Wally under persuasion front the thermostat. It would be incorrect to describe this Straker-Squire as typieal of the better British. touring ears of the nineteen-twenties, for it has a liveliness and grace that give it an individuality all its own. We were pleased to have met it. . . .
Ilaving completed a trans-Ettrot wan journey that is definitely an epic, George Brooks set off a week later for Scotland ( “only 450 nub’s I “). there to visit Mr. Lomas, a st moult Straker-Scptire follower who daring the war contributed to MoToa Scowr almut these ears. The Ei lit or acclaim! recently a very well-preserved 1927 15 9-1t.p. Delaunay13elleville tinnily-zinc with SO-bore, dual ignition overhead-eamsha ft engine. Ile knows of allot her of I hese ears ill Staffordshire and wonders if any more are around ? Particularly would he like to discover one of the 12-11.p. models wItielt this famous French concern litanitraet
during 1922 and 1923 and any literature relating to the 15.9-It.p. ears. The collector’s urge again, you see. And now for Milne more or those letters front our vintage in-tray :