Miscellany

So extremely popular have been MGs that a great number of books have covered their design, development, the different models and their racing and rally successes. I have 26 on my bookshelves and that is only part of it. Haynes has now included another, MGB by David Knowles. It covers the MGC and MGB GT V8, with data on each, but is mainly a vivid colour kaleidoscope on miscellaneous items, publicity pictures, show appearances, reasons for model changes, personalities, etc, with a whiff of racing and competition activities. So this book offers a different approach — including pictures of an MG dropped from a transport aeroplane. Alas, the parachute did not open. (Haynes, ISBN 1 8956 09589, £19.99).

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First published in 1995, Archie and the Listers, by Robert Edwards, with a Foreword by Brian Lister, has gone into a second edition (Haynes, ISBN 1 852604697, £19.99). It deals with the life, family and friends of Archie Scott-Brown as well as his great racing successes. All his racing results are listed from 1951 to '58, and those of Lister's competition record from 1954 to '59 and in America from 1958-59, with technical details of Lister racing cars from 1953 to '59, with owners' names, etc.

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In spite of appallingly wet weather, the Sunbeam MCC's Pioneer Epsom-Brighton Run was a success. Dating back to 1930, the run for pre-1915 motorcycles this year had 325 entries, 284 riders starting. Best performance was by Charles Smith (1914 Douglas). The award for best original, unrestored machine went to Jacqueline Bickerstaff (1909 Triumph), the greatest age/distance finisher was Wendy Read (1908 Motosacoche) who, 26, also took the Ladies' Cup, best newcomer was limo Rohrwick (1913 Triumph), 76-year-old Doug Lenner gained the combined age award on his 1906 Minerva, and the Team Award was won by the riders of an 1896 Leon Bollée, a 1907 Vindec and a 1913 Wilkinson. The membership secretary is: Peter Donaldson, 28 Lesney Park Road, Erith, Kent DA8 3DG.

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The Herts County Auto & Aero Club has issued a book by Steve Moir about its century devoted to motorsport, from 1903 to 2003. In 10 chapters this book runs from the club's beginning to the Debden race meetings. There are lists of the officers, from the Earl of Clarenden from 1903 to 1910 to the present president, Mr J D Madden, the speed events of 1904 to 2003 (123 in all) including Aston Clinton, Westwood Hay and Duxford, etc, and the 130 Challenge Trophies awarded from 1904 to 2000.

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One has to recognise that the stupendous Peking-Paris re-enactment really will happen in 2007, after the Press Launch held at the RAC in June by organiser Daniel Ward. Those who attended were offered rides round Pall Mall in a 1903 Mercedes 60, a 1907 Itala, the 1908 60hp Benz raced in Argentina by Carlo Potzi and the actual 18/20hp Spyker driven in the 1907 event by Charles Godard.

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The Northern Jug was awarded to the Bucks in their Riley 9 in the VSCC's Ashbourne Rally.

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The fastest vintage time at VSCC Curborough was made by Tom Walker's GN-Ford in 38.94sec. At Wiscombe Park, FTD was accomplished by David Morris's ERA R11B (49.46sec), best pre-war car was Duncan Pittaway's 1921 GN (50.61sec) and fastest sportscar was the 1936 Riley of Pete Candy (52.15sec). Best Edwardian was Hicky Hickling's 1911 Sunbeam.

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The VSCC has announced that it is now in partnership with Bonhams auctioneers. Commercialism has become necessary for motor racing at F1 level but l am trying to get my mind round its place in an enthusiasts' club. The word 'referendum' comes to mind, perhaps from watching too much TV. Bonhams says it is honoured to partner the long-established VSCC and promises "exciting developments ahead". Which will benefit — or will they run side by side? For the present my thoughts are for the VSCC's 70th Anniversary week at Harrogate on August 16/22 incorporating the Harewood speed hillclimb.

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On July 17 the Bluebird Supporters Club held its second open day at the Brooklands Museum. The speakers included the grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell and Ken Norris, designer of Donald Campbell's CN7 which gave him the LSR in 1964. The club exists to keep the Campbell and Bluebird heritage alive. Its address is PO Box 15, Wallington, SM5 1ZX

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Following its Edinburgh run earlier this year, the MCC will hold its traditional Edinburgh Trial for motorcycles and cars on October 2. The start will be from Moto Services on the M42, J10, at midnight, the finish at The Bull in Thom, Hurdlow on the A515 south of Buxton. Entries have been finalised.

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Julian Jane's Lancia Lambda, which was a prominent competitor in VSCC events many years ago, has been put back on the road after much work by Lambda enthusiast Gerald Batt. The camshaft had to be reprofiled and I am glad to hear that it is now tractable, with normal low-speed torque yet still quite sportive.

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It's good to know that the Danish Fano sand races, which were held from 1919 to '24, and to which Malcolm Campbell was attracted with the 350hp V12 Sunbeam, have since been commemorated in the original format at the same venue. The 80th Anniversary was commemorated there in June.

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VSCC Cadwell Park was, sadly, the scene of a fatal accident. Len Thompson was killed when his Lagonda Rapier was in collision with Pete Candy's Riley on June 13. A marshal was also injured. We offer our condolences to all concerned. Before the meeting was abandoned the winners were: Tony Seber (Wolseley Hornet), Tom Walker (GN Special), Cyril Hancock (Fiat), Candy, Tuer (Morgan-JAP), James Culver (Cooper 500 Mk10), Richard Scaldwell (Parker GN Special), Duncan Ricketts (ERA R3A) and David Fletcher-Jones (Rapier).

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In the VSCC's Eastern Rally on June 12, the Eastern and Barrett Trophies and a First Class Award were won by Richard Brown's 1935 4.6-litre Daimler, which helped to take the Team Prize with Mike Fountain's 2-litre Speed Model Lagonda and Richard Parson's Boulogne Vitesse Frazer Nash.