Vintage Miscellany, August 1964

Kenneth Ball of Autobooks Ltd. is restoring a vintage Cierva autogyro and would be pleased to hear from anyone who flew, owned, or was in any way associated with these machines. The circa 1927 Dennis lorry seen in Surbiton Station goods-yard is likely to be restored by its owners. Morris Motors have acquired the red ex-Brooklands Morris-Oxford “Red Flash,” raced originally as the Wellsteed in 1926, in which Cyril Paul lapped at 78.43 m.p.h. in 1928; it has recently been displayed in the showrooms of B.M.C. agents.

Not in “Doyles.” – It is always intriguing to come upon a make of car not listed in “Doyles.” Mr. N. G. Carden has sent us a brochure dealing with just such a car – the British, made apparently by The British Motor & Eng. Co., Ltd. of Reading and shown on stand No. 137 at the 1906 Olympia Show. Made in 7-h.p. 2-cylinder, and 10-12 h.p., 14 h.p. and 18 h.p. 4-cylinder versions, all British cars for 1907 had 3-speed and reverse gearboxes, with a gate-change for all except the model-A twin-cylinder, which had a quadrant change, the gears being in constant-mesh. Gear-driven water pumps were fitted with an eye on the Indian market, there were three brakes and  “Antoloc” controls on the steering column. Prices ranged from £90 for a 2-cylinder chassis to £273 for a model-C 18-h.p. tourer. The person who lent the catalogue remarks that his uncle decided on an Aster in preference to a British!

Discoveries. – Readers report a source of bullnose Morris spares, soon to be scrapped, in Derbyshire, a 1925 7.5-h.p. Citroën Cloverleaf with rod through the side in a Manchester garage, some old cars, including a Humber and Dodge lorry rotting in Jersey, and a 1934/5 Horch saloon in a Somerset scrapyard. Information is wanted about a 1926 Willys Knight saloon which is being restored in Durham, and someone has found a 1929 Citroën taxi in very good order, also a just-restorable 1923 Morris. Finally, very exciting, the remains of the racing Halford Special and a complete s.v. Aston Martin chassis have come to light in Durham and data is sought. We have also heard that the chassis and cab only of a 1933 24-h.p. 6-cylinder Austin 20, used for some years as an ambulance, are for disposal in the Welwyn Garden City area. Transmission and engine believed sound, five good tyres, ideal for spares. Letters can be forwarded, when Britain again has a reliable postal service.

Some Vintage Fixtures. – Among the vintage fixtures for August, don’t forget the Bentley Drivers’ Club Silverstone meeting on August 1st, the Veteran Car Club’s Ashwell Park Rally on August 15th, the Vintage Sports Car Club’s Prescott Hill-Climb on August 16th, the Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s Windsor Run also on August 16th, and the Graham Walker Memorial Run to Beaulieu on August 30th.


To many people, the highlight of the M.C.C. Meeting at Silverstone on June 27th was the appearance of the Morgan 3-wheeler entry for the half-hour High-Speed Trial. No less than 18 “Moggies” were to be seen on the grid, which is reputed to be the greatest gridful of Morgans ever to have been seen in the whole history of these remarkable cyclecars. Ages of the vehicles varied from the 37-year-old ex- R. T. Horton and Robin Jackson Brooklands car to the 14-year-old F-types, the average age being around the 30 mark.

Of the 18 starters, 13 finished, all within the period qualifying for awards. The five retirements arose from two displays of un-wished-for spectacle at Woodcote, two sets of mechanical failure, and retirement of the Brooklands car due to it being overgeared and suffering with suspect timing.

From the “off” the 2-speed J.A.P. of Roger Edmunds shot into the lead, shortly to be overhauled by the 1934 Matchless Super Sports of Mike Guess, very closely chased by the similar car of Paul Turner, who after two laps became the first to succumb to mechanical maladies. The chase was then taken up by Mike Birch’s 1934 Super Sports and the 2-speeder J.A.P.s of Mike Duncan and Roger Edmunds.

Guess continued to establish a lead of up to 40 sec. until, on lap 53, he came round very much on one cylinder due to break up of a cam follower and was gradually overtaken by his pursuers, giving a finishing order at the end of 16 laps of Birch, Duncan, Edmunds and Guess, all these four qualifying for first-class awards.

Dishonourable mention may be made of Nigel Burke, although his exit at Woodcote is thought to have been preceded by king-pin failure, and Clarrie Coombes, whose over-exuberance at Woodcote was only matched by superb effort in keeping the car the right way up whilst mowing the lawn opposite the pits. It is interesting to note that the lap times of some of these cars, complete with passengers, are getting down below the 1 min. 40 sec. mark for the club circuit, which possibly explains the reluctance of the V.S.C.C. to let the Moggies loose amongst the Spero Trophy competitors!