Vintage-to-Classic Odds & Ends

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Chris Wiblin, who is closely connected with the Rapier Register, is seeking information about these twin-cam cars, because the Register’s Committee wants to compile a definitive history of the make, which is good news. If anyone can provide details of Rapier personalities and racing drivers such as Kevill Davis, of Kevill Davis & March, Roy and Margery Eccles, J. Granville Grenfell, D Powell, “K .O. Biarritz”, J H Scott, R H. Gibson, C.H. Pelham-Burn, D. Creed, D. Barker, Dobson who ran a garage at Staines and prepared the 1934 Le Mans Rapier, and Lord de Clifford, who went to Charles Follett’s. and anything about John Charles/Ranalah, Bertelli, Whittingham & Mitchell, Maltby, Corinthian and Eagle (Newns) who made bodywork for the (Lagonda) Rapier chassis, he would be glad to hear from them Letters can be forwarded.

The Mercedes-Benz celebrations at Stuttgart of the birth of the motor-car, especially apt in the case of this Company, went off extremely well. with 390 cars from the earliest to 1960 taking an active part Among the appropriate ones from this country were Tom Lightfoot’s well-known 1902 Mercedes-Simplex, Roger Collings’ 1903 Mercedes Sixty which made the long journey under its own power, “on wheels of its own” as someone put it, coming sixth in its class, and Lord Montagu’s recently rebuilt ex-Peter Ustinov 38/250 hp open-bodied Mercedes-Benz together with Jack Sears’ 1904 racing Mercedes.

Graham Murrell has taken over the task of producing the publications of the active AC Owners Club from John McLellan, his first being a largely pictorial edition of the Review containing many pictures of ACs in action at last season’s events, with a special article by John Atkins about Martin Colvill’s famous black 1963 Mk.II 289 Cobra. now re-registered 13 COB, which gives 452 bhp at 6,700 rpm with its Gurney-Weslake heads and in 6,000 competition miles has yet to have engine trouble. The membership secretary of this enthusiastic Club — did it not have three teams in this year’s Stanley Cup contest, — is. B.C Clark, 60 Hillcrest Road, Camberley, Surrey. The latest addition to the impressive headquarters of the Rolls-Royce EC at The Hunt House, Paulerspury, where so many historic archives are housed, will be the “Eric Barrass Building”, which is to be formally opened on September 6th, the day before the Club’s Stowe School Rally.

The Middlesborough MC is to honour Freddie Dixon, whose death occurred thirty years ago. with an exhibition in his home-town of Stockton-on-Tees which the Preston Park Museum is laying on, where it is hoped that Riley cars will turn up on August 17th on the occasion of an informal get-together to mark the opening of a display of Dixon memorabilia, including three racing Douglas motorcycles, this little show of respect to remain open until September 21st The Editor continues to research the Mystery of the 1914 TT Humber, that is to say, whether three, or four, were built and the fate of each subsequent to the race He has discovered that one of them was run as a road car for a time by the racing motorcyclist R Weatherell but we do not know what became of it after about 1923, and it would boot great help if anyone knows the whereabouts of the mechanic Martin (or his relatives) who helped Philip Rampon a former Director of Jules Duval, the wine importers, to build the Martin-Arab racing-car, with its TT Humber chassis, when Rampon, who died in 1959. was living in the nineteen-twenties at The Hall. Staines.

The Lea-Francis OC. which was the first Club to use Stamford Hall for their events and will be running their 25th rally there next year, reports that this year’s event was a great success The George Andrews Trophy for best -new” restoration was won by J. Wells 19.8. hp J-type), the Directors’ Challenge Trophy for best overall in the Concours d’Elegance by J. Allwood 114 hp Sports), and the Derrington Trophy for best performance in the Driving-Tests went to T. Bristow (1951 saloon), the President, Tom Delaney. presenting the prizes, while another pre-war Brooklands and Donington competitor. C H. Wagstaff, was also present. and still owns the single-seater -Lobster” Judy Neve came in her 12/40. three new members joined on the day. and we hear that two more Lea-Francis have been discovered, a 1949 and a 1951 saloon, the latter last heard of 28 years ago.

Having referred not long ago to a rather intriguing notice that I saw before the war on a road crossing Kenley aerodrome, ills good to know that an extremely-detailed history of this RAF airfield close to London has been written by Peter Flint and is available from Terence Dalton, Water Street, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk. for £11.95. It may not illustrate or mention that strange notice, but it covers about everything else. maps included, and is of much interest, especially to one who knew the place in say, the Gamecock and Grebe days. Incidentally, the royalties will go to the Mclndoe Centre for Medical Research at the Queen Victoria Hospital. East Grinstead, where Sir Archibald McIndoe did such good work restoring RAF aircrew who suffered severe burns during the war, and who was “adopted” by the Kenley personnel, which is a good reason for buying it, and it contains a reference to Sgt Huggett who was a director of Ex-Lax and whose splendid, if somewhat elderly. Rolls-Royce” stood outside the Mess with less ostentatious vehicles, when he was training at Kenley just before WW2.

In the Summer Rally of the VSCC Light Car & Edwardian Section, decided on regularity runs. 1st-Class Awards were won by J McEwen (Jowett), who also gained the Lady Rachel Trophy, Nancy McEwen (Riley 91, and Jenny John (Humber 8/18) who took the beaded-edge award in spite of carrying No. 13 Best Edwardian was Alan Tedder’s 1911 Riley, and a 2nd-Class Award was won by Anabel Jones, 3rd-Class Awards by Simpson’s M-type MG and Thorpe’s Swift — W B

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