A Clyno Day

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One Sunday recently I was able to sample a a 1926 Clyno four-door saloon that had not been on the road since 1947. In completely original condition, it required little fettling before being ready for the road again. Its owner, David Filsell, has been preaching the Clyno gospel to me for many years, so he took me out in this fortunate find and also showed me his Clyno 9 saloon which will be a usable companion to the bigger Clyno.

I needed no convincing of the practicality of these once-popular family cars, because I had a 1926 10.8hp tourer back in 1951, which ran well, and had exceptionally light steering and very good four-wheel brakes. So it was a pleasure to make my reacquaintance with the fine Wolverhampton product. You sit very high; I do not recall being quite so dominant in my tourer. The brakes are better than those of my car, as this late 1926 10.8hp saloon has larger rear drums. Individualities? Well, the long, lockable toolcase beneath the nis running board, window winders that lower and raise the windows with continuous forward winding, and a glass-tube petrol gauge. The body is by A Jacobs & Sons of London’s Mile End Road.

During the day we looked in on the Tebbetts’ VSCC Light Car Rally, intercepting it at the lunch stop at the Penny-farthing pub near Ross-onWye. Here a fine selection of pre-1931 small cars were assembled, in a miniature hurricane but bright sunshine. The only sadness was that Rosoman’s de Dion Bouton had to retire due to a porous petrol tank hose, after a good run with Neil Murray as one of the passengers. As the drivers left for more navigating the Le Zebre was seen to have a head-searved lady in its stemsheets, somehow reminiscent of French 1920s motoring. A Calcott left with a squeak from its clutch, while Tim Jones crackled away in the Carden he has acquired.

Almost before the event was over the results were ready, showing Paula Thorpe (A7) to have won the Lady Rachel Trophy, A Jeddere-Fisher (1913 Landia Theta) the Edwardian Award, and, out of 34 starters, C Hamilton-Gould (Morris Minor), J Stammers (Riley) and Deborah Evans (A7) to have gained First-class Awards, P Morgan (Humber) a second-class Award and C Hancock (Humber), J Talbot-Cooper (1919 Le Zebre), M Bartlett (A7), A Tongue (Morris Cowley) and D Rouse (Singer Junior) Third-class awards.

As we left for our Clynoing, down a notably narrow downhill lane, Hill wisely stopped to check the fluid level of the superior hydraulic brakes of his Triumph Super 7.