V-E-V miscellany, August 1984, August 1984

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— The lure of the Austin 7 was always strong, and continues to be. We hear, for instance, that when T. W. S. Hall left England for South Africa, leaving behind his four A7s, he felt the desire for another and was able to locate a rare 1931 Wydoor saloon, minus its floor, which he had restored after 14 months’ work and in which he and his wife have since driven some 1,000 miles. Moreover, they have become, respectively, Secretary and Treasurer of the A7 Club of South Africa — the address is: Diane Hall, 179 Blackwood Street, Arcadia 0083, Pretoria. Our correspondent tells us that it is estimated that about 300 to 400 exist still in Africa, of which some 200 are known of and others of which turn up regularly. For instance, a Johannesburg man brought three out from the UK about 20 years ago, together with a horde of spares, including a 1927 Chummy, a 1927 fabric saloon and what sounds like a Boyd-Carpenter two-seater, which have been seen recently. The President of the A7 Club of South Africa, recently elected, is Major van Riet, who raced these cars there from 1928, and who still possesses his racing A7, two others, and the correspondence he had with Sir Herbert Austin before the war. The Club is held together by an excellent magazine edited by Colin Netley.

By now a Brescia Bugatti may have been imported from Australia to the UK and this reminds me that Woolf Zeuner is slowly reassembling the ex-Smyth Brescia Bugatti. The Alpine Trial was won recently by a 3/4½-litre Bentley, by which we mean not the great event of old but that of the VSCC of Australia, the PVT winner being an M45 Lagonda, with an Alvis Firefly taking the opposite class. We see that a Ford Special made ftd in the VSCC-of-A’s Eddington speed-trials, in 14.9 sec, beatings racing A7 that clocked 17.1 sec, and a TC MG that did 17.6 sec. A Maserati 4CM took 19 sec, beaten by Alfa and a Lancia.

The Jersey Motor Museum has acquired the last 3½-litre Talbot 110 to be built at Barlby Road, the ex-Wooding Vanden Plus tourer, DXW 3, as raced at Brooklands. F. M. Wilcock would be interested to hear from anyone who knows more of the car’s history, particularly whether it was raced after the war. — W.B.