miscellany, August 1997

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Following our recent reference to different brands of castor oil, apart from the wellknown Castrol-R , Penrite Oil advises us that it now supplies such a lubricant, Penrite Castor R40. Suitable for pre-1939 cars, two-stroke and racing motorcycles, if not mixed with mineral or synthetic oils, it can be used with methanol fuel. Penrite R40 costs £26.82 per 5-litre bottle.

Autocar has issued the results of its resumption of the 0-100-0 mph competition, a performance target introduced by Aston Martin in the 1950s. The best time was 12.41sec, by a Caterham JPE. But a word of warning! We tried this in 1958 with a road-test V8 Facel-Vega, with a time of 32.3sec. Returning the car to the concessionaries, George Abecassis remarked that we must have done some hard braking, because we had cracked the alloy drums…

The Standard register is holding a rally for vintage and older Standards on August 9/10, based at Charlecote, Warwicks, which is to visit places after which Standard models were named, like Canley, Ktnilworth, Warwick, etc… if not quite as far distant as some other model names would imply. Hence the Catalogue Run, to include a visit to what remains of the Canley factory. Details from Brian Blackwell on 01452 302436.

The Lea Francis OC’s Coventry/ Stamford Hall weekend was the usual success again this year. 85-year-old Tom Delaney won the vintage driving tests in his well-used Hyper TT, and skilful John Fellows (1927 14/40 tourer) won overall. Over 50 cars attended, Allen Lupton’s Corsica-bodied `LeaF’ being judged most desirable. Overall Concours winner was Bill Mattingley (1927 12/40 M-type) and Robert Deeley took the prize for best recent restoration, with his 1929 Hyper 12/50.

Next, a reader’s query about a 1929 Corsica-bodied SS Mercedes-Benz two-seater, SV 6394, which is now in very good condition. The joint owners cannot trace its history from the time when Gordon Watney purchased it from M-B late in 1929 to when `Bud’ Cohn had it in Los Angeles in 1964, apparently bought from Arthur Gould in London and overhauled by LG Motors before shipment.

The editor of the VSCC Bulletin has raised the question of whether the club, which is planning a move to new headquarters in Chipping Norton, should now follow the lead of such shows as Coys and Goodwood and allow recent copies of historic cars into its meetings. He has in mind such recent creations as the 1923 GP Voisin and the Tipo 806 Fiat, so accurate as to be indistinguishable from the original cars. I found it rather droll, however, that the person suggesting this was also advertising for motoring art, stating that he was interested only in originals, not prints!

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