Romulus Revived

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Sir,

I refer to David L. Gandhi’s letter in the Vintage Postbag section of the July edition of Motor Sport and his comment that Romulus should be allowed to continue to rest on his laurels.

Mr. Gandhi is obviously not aware that had Romulus continued to remain as he was, he would have been very perforated and in a very sorry state within the next five years. Most proper racing cars used electron or magnesium in their construction and ERAs were no exception in this respect. Romulus’s sump, blower drive housing, gearbox casing, differential housing, bellhousing and supercharger parts are of electron manufacture and all these parts were in a serious state due to internal corrosion, so much so that both the sump and the blower drive housing were within an ace of being eaten through.

This has now been rectified but the only way to stop the process’ from starting all over again is to flush the parts regularly with fresh oil and the best way of doing this is to run him occasionally. By giving Romulus a thorough rebuild he is now back in his original and undamaged condition which is what Mr. Gandhi wants and which was not the case 12 months ago.

I might add that Prince Bira is fully aware of Romulus’s return to the circuits as are all the original “White Mouse” stable personnel. They are all as enthusiastic as ever and I believe they are very proud to still be associated and even more proud of Narisa Chaltrabongse following in her father’s footsteps and taking active steps to maintain this Island’s racing heritage.

With regard to Mr. Gandhi’s final paragraph and his opposition to people building replicas of historic cars, has he not realised that perhaps people enjoy doing this or is Mr. Gandhi one of those people who consider it a crime to enjoy oneself as so many other people appear to do when it comes to motoring matters?

Finally. I am very honoured at having been allowed to drive Romulus. I hope I have done him justice.

Leafield, Oxon. W. R. G. MORRIS

Sir,

Mr. Gandhi does not explain in his letter (Motor Sport, July) why the return of the firs ERA Romulus to racing should have upset him.

Most people who disagree with historic cars being raced do so for two reasons. The first because of the risk of wearing out a supposedly original car and the second because of the danger of it being severely damaged or destroyed.

As far as wear is concerned this is confined to the moving parts and it is unlikely that there are any historic racing cars which are original in this respect. No doubt Romulus has had various vital parts replaced during its career, particularly when considering the length of the pre-war races compared with historic _events today. What is certain now is that while it is racing it will be kept up to a very high standard of mechanical efficiency which is more than can be said for the majority of museum exhibits which are non-runners.

As far as damage is concerned, there is obviously some risk involved but how many historic cars can Mr. Gandhi think of which have been seriously damaged to the extent Of replacing chassis, body and other important original parts while racing in historic events?

When one equates the pleasure and entertainment which running such a car as Romulus gives to spectators against the dubious benefits of putting it on a pedestal somewhere, I am sure the majority of historic enthusiasts will prefer it being raced, particularly in the hands of such a competent driver/engineer as Bill Morris.

Brixham BARRY SIMPSON

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