Veteran – Edwardian – Vintage

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

A section devoted to old-car matters

“Babs runs again”

wE were present at a rather historic happening in Anglesey on June 24th—Owen Wyn-Owen, who disinterred the 27-litre Thomas Special “Babs” from its Pendine grave some time ago drove the car before an audience for the first time since Parry Thomas made his last, fatal, run in it, 46 years ago. Having remarkably and meticulously rebuilt the great car, removing all evidence of corrosion by sand and salt water, Wyn-Owen arranged to try out “Babs” at the new Llanberis By-Pass. The local Council was willing, but the police, probably wisely, refused permission.

So a Land Rover towed her, driving chains removed, to Mona Airfield, where she made a number of circuits by generous permission of the RAF, before a crowd of some 200 supporters. A tow start at first produced some alarming flames from the two forward-mounted carburetters but soon the V12 engine was running well, although only on one plug per cylinder, served by the distributor on the nose of the o/s o.h.-camshaft, the other distributor not being fitted (it was burned in the Pendine accident). Wyn-Owen only elected to use bottom and second gears but got up to some 60 or maybe 70 m.p.h. on the runway. He found starting difficult with the high first gear, and the tiny clutch with its 50 or so steel and Ferodo-lined plates, the engine having no flywheel.

“Babs” was in chassis form on this occasion but wooden formers have been made for the re-fitting of the body panels and Wyn-Owen has been meticulous in getting the dimensions, steering-rake, etc. correct. It is remarkable how much of the car is, in fact, original. The driving sprockets, for instance, the gearbox internals and the fuel and oil tanks. Incidentally, Wyn-Owen could find no trace of the indentation on one tooth of the o/s driven sprocket which Reid-Railton said had been caused by a piece of broken wheel-spoke getting under the chain . . . Dunlop tyres of the correct 33 x 5 size are fitted, the radiator has been beautifully repaired by Delaney Galley and bears both their new and their original name-plate, and the Budenbury Gauge Co. of Anglesey are currently making as new the oil and water temperature gauges which Thomas’ mechanics broke with a hammer before “Babs” was buried. So she ran with only an oil-gauge on her try-out, the pressure on the stop, as the pressure release valve has yet to be experimented with.

The steering box was unrestorable, so Wyn-Owen made a glass-fibre moulding and from it cast and machined a new one, rather as GKN rebuilt the gearbox casing, as previously described in Motor Sport. Triplex have made a new screen and a new steering wheel. The Liberty engine used by Count Zborowski was a Packard-built Model-A but the cylinders were beyond recall, so Wyn-Owen has put on cast-iron cylinders from a more recent Liberty tank engine. He has painted them blue, so that there is no suggestion of deception, against the day when he can fit the correct type of “pots” from a Liberty aero-engine he is expecting from America. He hopes then to compare its cam contours with those of Thomas’ alleged Laystall-made camshafts. The two-ring aluminium slipper-type pistons used by Thomas had no oil-control rings and so the engine was apt to trail a plume of smoke but the tank engine has such rings and ran very cleanly. It was indeed an impressive first baptism for the resuscitated “Babs”. Afterwards the engineer driver/rebuilder drove home in his 6-1/2-litre Bentley two-seater and his wife in her open vintage Delage, while Keith Knight, himself a Liberty fancier, had driven to the venue in the Wyn-Owens’ Chummy Austin. Praise, too, must be accorded to student Ronnie Roberts of Bangor, who has helped greatly with the rebuild and was in “Babs’ ” seat for the tow out to Anglesey and back to Capel Curig.—W.B.

Related articles

Related products