The Car Recovery Service Club

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Some time ago we referred briefly to the Car Recovery Service Club. Since then we have had experience of how this useful organisation functions. It was started by Alec Woodford twelve years ago as a specialised collection service and so successful has it been that he now has more than 2,500 members. From one trailer the Club has expanded until it can cope with up to 250 stranded vehicles a day. It is a self-contained service, not an extension of a garage business. Indeed, Woodford uses four-wheeled, winch-equipped trailers built to his own specification, towed by Range Rovers. His drivers do this job and no other, and have a good knowledge of the roads of Britain. To join, you pay an annual subscription of £7.50 inclusive of VAT, which works out at less than 14p per week. In return, if the specified car breaks down anywhere for any reason it will be collected as quickly as possible and delivered to any address to which the member requires it to be taken. This could be the local garage a few miles away or a journey across the length or breadth of the country. Note that although such recovery applies only to the one vehicle, this can be recovered any number of times in one year. It is insured while in transit and the service operates day and night, the member requiring it simply ringing the Club’s headquarters by freephone (reversed charges call). The Club’s breakdown fleet is on radio call and as quickly as possible not only your stricken vehicle, but you as well, will be on the way to any destination in this country you care to name. We write “vehicle” advisedly, because apart from private cars the Recovery Service Club will deal with caravans, small boats, motorcycles and three-wheelers. This seems an excellent investment for those whose cars might stop inadvertently, and especially for wives and daughters who might otherwise be obliged to abandon a broken-down car. It ensures that an immobile vehicle can then be repaired by the owner or a garage of his choice, apart from saving the chore of the tow-in. Rally drivers without well-organised support vehicles may also find this a boon. None of the recovery work is sub-contracted, so the Club can programme all rescues through its own London Control Room. Although for the low subscription only one car is covered, special rates can be negotiated for commercial fleet operatives. It occurs to us that owners of collections of vintage and veteran cars, who are continually faced with the moving of them to the engine rebuilder, the electrician, the body-builder and the paint shop, etc., might also care to operate under this bulk-vehicle subscription scheme. We had occasion to make use of the Car Recovery Service Club when a 1951 Barker-bodied Lanchester Ten which was abandoned on an airfield in Kent would have been scrapped if not rescued. Through the CRSC it was delivered to Wales efficiently and pleasantly by a Range Rover driver smartly overalled and, incidentally, skilled in reversing his load. The service was most impressively operated, so we recommend this organisation to others. The headquarters are at Unit 10, Trumpers Way, Hanwell, London, W7 and a base was opened earlier this year in Bristol.-W.B.

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Mercedes-Benz (UK) Ltd. are sponsoring the 3rd Cavalcade of Motoring organised by the Yeovil CC at Sherborne Castle on August 18th. There will be trade stands, with some 150 varied cars on display, exhibitions of racing cars, including Alfa Romeo T33 and Porsche 917, displays of vintage and veteran motorcycles, hot-rods, etc., and displays and driving-tests in the arena. The Concours d’Elegance, for which the Editor of Motor Sport is one of the Judges, includes cars ranging from an 1897 Daimler and 1902 Mercedes-Simplex, downwards, some 220 entries being anticipated. Admission costs 40p. Details from: A. C. K. McGee, 38 Kenmore Drive, Yeovil, Somerset.

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The Scott OC National Rally takes place at Crown Meadows, Evesham, from 11.00 hours on September 8th. All ages of Scott motorcycles will take part.

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Vintage cars are included in this year’s Clun Carnival, on August 10th. Details from Supersprox, Knucklass, Radnor.

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Castrol’s Great Motoring Extravaganza, to celebrate that Swindon-based company’s 75th anniversary, takes place in the National Hall, Olympia, from Thursday, August 1st (when it will be opened by Capt. George Eyston) to Sunday August 11th. The exhibits, including many unique historic cars, are too numerous to detail here but should make a visit well worth while.

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