Party for an ex-President
A very enjoyable party was given by former VSCC president Kenneth Neve at Oulton Park circuit on June 12, to commemorate the fifty-first year of his participation in vintage motoring competitions. He has competed with 30/98 Vauxhall, Type 35A Bugatti and Rolls-Royce and, of course, the 1914 TT Humber which was present, just back from a class-win at Colerne.
Naturally, among around 130 guests were many VSCC personalities with their cars, and a little modest lappery was indulged in by some before lunch. It was fitting that the 1903 60hp Mercedes, 1908 GP Itala, 1908 GP Panhard-Levassor, and that big Edwardian Daimler tourer were in action, their drivers well-known to regular readers of these columns, and Ron Footitt was briefly exercising the AC-GN over the extended circuit.
To mention all the fine cars present would be impossible, but one was attracted by a nice Derby Bentley, three Lea-Francis, the Alvis contingent, at least two magnificent open vintage Bentleys, a Packard coupe, open and closed-bodied Lancia Lambdas, a “Chinn Gang” Frazer Nash, Averil Scott-Moncrieff in her Bugatti (my notes say “attractive”, appropriate on both counts), a single’ seater Lagonda Rapier and another GN with the Vitesse engine (which makes three GNs with the chain-drive behind the cylinder for the overhead-camshafts, if you include John Blake’s and the “Wasp”). Anthony Heal had driven his twin-cam 3-litre Sunbeam all the way from Beaconsfield.
After lunch our host made a nostalgic speech in which he praised Tim Carson for having run the VSCC so effectively during his long spell as secretary, without ever letting it get too serious. Tim and Cecil Clutton replied for the guests. You will soon be able to read about Kenneth Neve’s long association with interesting motor-cars in his forthcoming book, published by Grenville. WB
These speed trials were not open to the public, but the results were interesting. FTD went to Rodney Felton (Alfa Romeo) with 22.97 sec. Fastest vintage car was Bob Roberts’ Sunbeam “Tiger” at 23.22 sec, and fastest sports-car T Llewellyn’s vintage Bentley at 25.39 sec. Outright class winners, excluding the above, were Edwards (AM), Spires (Alvis), Dunn (Riley), Burrell (Bentley-Royce) and Margulies (4CL Maserati). Clutton’s 1908 GP Itala was the fastest Edwardian car, recording 34.84 seconds, but Kenneth Neve’s 1914 TT Humber won this class on handicap. WB
Party for a book!
When Andrew Whyte’second volume of the Jaguar Competition History was ready for release, having taken nearer eight years to write than the anticipated two, John Haynes held a notable party at the Sparkford Motor Museum in Somerset. This was partly to greet the book’s publication, but also to commemorate past Jaguar Le Mans victories. The TWR Jaguar team was given the day off and brought by coach from Coventry; past winners Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt were present, as was Win Percy who had escaped from a horrific accident a few days before in this year’s Le Mans. Flanking the speakers, who included Duncan Hamilton, was a Silk Cut Group C Jaguar lent by Jaguar Cars, Duncan’s D-type XKC 051, Martin Morris’ well-known D-type XKC 404 which won in 1954, and the 1953 Le Mans-winning C-type. In the Museum is Haynes own Jaguar collection.
Other personalities present included Walter Hassan, Harry Mundy, Jack Lee, Phil Weaver, Bob Blake, Joe Sutton, Keith Cambage, Harold Hodkinson (who developed Dunlop’s disc brakes for Jaguar) and Tom Jones, all of whom need no introduction to Jaguar followers —or to those who read this incredibly complete book! Drivers from past eras included Peter Sargent, Cyril Wick and rally driver Bobby Parkes; note that the Lister-Jaguars were not overlooked. It was splendid, too, to see all the TWR Silk Cut team present — Roger Silman, Tony Southgate, Allen Scott, Alastair McQueen, Eddie Hinckley, Kevin Lee and Paul Davis — even if they did have to give best to Porsche this year. WB
A VSCC member with an interest in narrow-gauge railways has lent us a copy of One Man’s Railway by B Snell (David & Charles, 1983), which tells the story of JEP Howey and the well-known Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, which he built in memory of his friend, Count Louis Zborowski.
The book contains new material about Howey himself and his cars and motor-racing friends, apart from a full history of the famous 15in gauge, 14-mile railway. Howey raced Bugatti, Leyland Eight and the first Chitty-Bang-Bang at Brooklands. An interesting point is that the two locos ordered by Zborowski (regarding which we were instrumental in getting his ex-LSR car “Babs” and the engine “Count Louis” together at the Fairbourne railway some time ago), can be identified by the “LZ1” and “LZ2” stamped on their con-rods and valve gear . . .
The book is well endowed with pictures, including one of the loco powered with R-R Silver Ghost engines. It is still obtainable, including a paper-back edition (for £3.95 plus postage and packing) from bookstalls at the RHDR itself, which might well be an excuse fora visit . . . WB
Jeremy Collings, the Star enthusiast who has meticulously restored the smart white supercharged Star McEvoy Special, tells us that a few more McEvoy cars have survived. These include a derelict Wolseley-Hornet Special, two-seater and four-seater Morris Minors, a 10/4 Morris McEvoy Special, a very original McEvoy-tuned BSA for which a Zoller supercharger is sought, a McEvoy Lagonda Rapier, possibly some of the McEvoy MGs and the supercharger from what was a McEvoy Daimler Special. WB