Letters from Readers, December 1939




As a reader of MOTOR SPORT. for many years may I express my sincere thanks for the fact that you are carrying on publishing.

There must be many enthusiasts like myself who are in reserved occupations and therefore carrying on work more ,Or less as usual at home, and what would form a very welcome series of articles, I am sure, would be, notes on vintage cars, giving maintenance hints, etc., and as much technical data as possible, i.e„ valve timing, valve lift, comp. ratio– what can and cannot be got out of various machines, etc.

I have taken my cherished machine ,(G.P. Special Salmson) off the road for a thorough re-build, and am at present using an Austin Seven Special I built but with an ordinary Austin engine in plate of the more potent one, and I think that some notes such as I have suggested would he Of great interest to all, as there must be many who are seizing this enforced idleness for their ” speed machines ‘ to re-condition them. Wishing you the best of luck and looking forward to your next publication. I am, Yours etc.,

M. S. GREYHEGAN. ‘1’0 w cester

P.5.—Please keep us in touch with the Sports Spares people—they are so useful !

[Sorry, we have no time to devote nowadays to exchange of bits.—Ed.]. Sir,

I was very glad to see your October number of MOTOR SPORT and I sincerely hope that you will be able to keep going until we have put Hitler and Co. in their proper place. As a lot of us will be cut -off completely from motoring, MOTOR SPORT will be invaluable in helping us to forget the khaki for a while and to think of sane things. So please continue ! As you are likely to be hard up for news, etc., why not reprint articles from

-old numbers—say, pre-1931. Myself, and a lot of friends were too young to take an intelligent interest in those days -and we would like to hear more of vintage machinery. I’m sure that goes for a lot of people in their late ‘teems or early twenties, and I expect our elders and betters (?) would not object to memories being recalled, etc. I am, Yours etc.,

W. A. MARKHAM. .London,

N.22. [We hope to keep going with new -veteran types copy, without recourse to matter.—-Ed.) I was Very relieved to receive my monthly copy of MOTOR SPORT to-day, and to note that you were eontinuirg to publish this most excelhnt magazine : it will certainly be a pleasant diversion from the _continual War talk. My brother and I particularly enjoy reading ” General Notes,” as we also reckon to visit somewhere in connection with motor racing sport every week during the season. We had contemplated entering sprint events ourselves during the near future, but we shall have to be content now with

just day-dreaming about it. It seems impossible to believe that ” The Sport ” may be dead for a long period, before I close this rambling letter I feel I must congratulate your ” Auslander ” on his detailed exclusive foreign information he has given us during the past. I am, Yours etc.,

S. 14. ‘WALLACE. Hitchin,


I am extremely glad you have decided to carry on M ri.(),a SPORT. I have bought it for years and keep every copy. When I read your front page for this month and realised that. probably you will be short of copy for a few months, I decided to write and give y(01 lily opinions and sonic suggestions.

In the October-November 1930 issue there is a photograph of Birkin’s 14-litre supercharged Bentley I should like to have some details and more photographs of this car. I am a great ” fan ” of the old-school Bentley and. I think that a reasonably complete history of this marque would be very readable. Another history which I should greatly appreciate would be .a biography of

” Maestro ” Nuvolari. (These last two might be both made long enough for serials).

Amongst past articles which I have particularly enjoyed are ” Memories ” (January, 1937) and ” Fun for a Fiver ” (September 1938).

You might also publish some pictures of the Bentleys which came in first, second, third and fourth at Le Mans in 1929 (?).

I hope these few suggestions will help you a little and at a later date I may be able to let you have some more. I am, Yours etc.,



[We have published a racing history of the marque already. Peter RobertsonRoger has kindly prepared an article for us on his Le Mans Bentleys. which we think will comply with this reader’s requeSt,—Ed.1. Sir, I. read with interest the article headed ” Past Drivers Not Wanted ” in the October MOTOR SPORT. Despite the title I see you say that fast drivers may be wanted later on and, if anything more comes of it, I should be most interested to hear about it. I am not sure that the statement .” Past Drivers ” may not be slightly putting off to the powers that-be,

however I Anyway, I don’t know if I Come under your heading, but I have 0. fairly fast motor car ; at present laid up ; of course it may not go quite so fast as usual on Pool petrol but still, I think it would roll along alright, and l’m used to propelling it about, with very moderate success I might add, in trials, rallies, Donington, etc. It is a two-seater. Please excuse a possibly disjointed letter, but the wireless has been on all the time, I’m not good at doing two things at once. I am, Yours etc.,


Chester. Sir, ant delighted to know that MOTOR SPORT is to continue, war or no war-it is one of the few bright spots in a very

dreary world. As a reader for several years, I have always enjoyed MOTOR SPORT immensely. I like its specialisation as a journal for the out-and-out enthusiast, and I have a specially ” soft spot ” for the contributor of ” Club News I do hope he will carry on with those interesting intimate ” General Notes ” of his.

Thank you for the picture of Rolt in the E.R.A. in the October isste—in these lean times it was worth the sixpence in itself. Can we have some more pictorial reminders of happier days ? 1. am, Yours etc.,



Congratulations on your enthusiasm on managing to get out the current edition Of A,Ifn^ok SpouT. ,Although the copy I received is only a shadow of its former self, it says a lot for your spirit in a time like this.

You may wonder what possible interest I can have in the Sport up here, but since you ask for correspondence on anything, you will get it.

I started at a very early age when recovering from an illness, with a Meccano set, and a pal and I spent our time building and designing cars to climb grassbanks in our respective gardens. About 1921 my father bought a LagOnda, 11.9 push-rod o.h.v., with exposed rockers, and it was my job to

fill up the oil cups every morning, and from that I started my real motoring. Various cars followed, a Cowley, and then .a 13.9 1928 Oxford, which I learned to drive. I always remember my difficulty over changing down, I read up all about ‘double clutching, and one day put the theory into practice, and ever since, have got better on all makes of gearboxes. After this, a chap showed me how the racing change -down went, without using the clutch, but it would only work on non-synchro. boxes.

Progressing from the Oxford to another and then a Morris raniily ” Eight,” with a lovely habit of breaking front springs, which after a little practice I could put in a new one in about 45 mins.

At present I use a Series I Morris .” Eight ” for business, which involves travelling all over the South West of Scotland, with odd trips further afield. My longest non-stop run on business is 17 miles, and I have just run in a new .engine in the ” Eight.”

There used to be a bit of sport when the Arrol. Johnston an I ArrOl Aster works -were running, but now it is dead.

I will always remember meeting E. R. Hall early one morning on the DumfriesMoffat road when he was trying out one of the 1930 Or ’29 Arrol Aster T.T. jobs. I never went into a ditch -so quick in all my life.

My pal used to live in the town, and run a Clyno and then a Cowley, and later left for Loughborough, and turned up now and again with a new model to try out. One of these was a 75 Chrysler Roadster, which gave us a lot of fun, and one glorious time when he arrived with a supercharged F.W.D. four-cylinder Alvis with Which we did a bit of dicing. The next interesting type was a homebuilt Austin, with a 14-6 engine in a Twelve chassis minus wings, screen and practically no body.

I usually went over for the A.C.U. T.T. Races, every year, but one year, when the R.A.C. ran the Mannin Beg and Mannin Moar, I went over for them, and saw for the first time some of the racing cars and drivers I had only read about. One highs-pot was meeting Freddie Dixon. after his great win in the Mannin Beg after the Magnettes all packed Up with transmission trouble.

There used to be a club in Dumfries, which ran trials, hill climbs and sand races, but it went the way of forgotten things, and now, the town has lapsed into its usual sleepy self.

Wishing you every success with MOTOR SPORT in the future. I am, Yours etc„


Dumfries. Sir, It will probably be of no little interest, to hear how various makes of sports cars perform on ” Pool ” petrol. No doubt, a lot of people are already wrapping their motors in cotton wool for the duration and not even giving this ” Pool ” a fair

trial. Perhaps my own experiences will serve, at least, to bring a few of those ” sporty ” jobs back on the road, for that few miles which is surely better than none. My own 1k-litre Le .Nlans Singer has been tuned and tuned until it would clock the ” hundred ” when ” asked.” The only alteration carried out was to move the ignition control in to a more

” getatable ” position. For ordinary town work the motor is run fully retarded but when opening up the ignition can be fully -advanced at about half throttle.

I am sure that, any of your readers, who are doubtful may let their motors off the jacks when I say that, last week coming down the Purley Way, we had a nice little 92 m.p.h. on ” Pool.” I am, Yours etc., H. F. I-IART,

Beckenham, Kent. Sir,

As there are going to be no races to comment on during the ensuing unpleasantness could you possibly print reports of races starting, from say, 1924 just as they appeared in the current numbers ? This may sound. escapist but I am sure there are a large body of readers about my own age (23) who have only heard of these races commented upon from a modern point of view and would look forward to them with the same anticipation as if it was the normal calendar

for 1940. And think how pleasant it would be to look forward to a report of the French G. P. after being relieved of the vacant possession of a freehold shell hole somewhere near the Nurburg Ring. I am, Yours etc., EvERARD

Wigan. Sir,

As a reader of MOTOR SPORT I would like to bring your attention to the fact that the famous Leyland Thomas is about to be broken up in a yard in 1,ewes. The price this breaker is asking is L23, and as I cannot, unfortunately, afford to buy it, I thought that you may know of someone who will. I consider it a crime for these veterans to meet this fate. Trusting that you will be able to do something towards it. If I can be of any help I will. I am, Yours etc.,


Near Lewes, Sussex. LATE NEWS The Seven-Fifty Club will curtail, but not suspend activities, for the ” duration.” The BULLETIN will be continued and special attention will be given to the club’s scheme of exchange of Austin Seven spares, as it is felt that mach reconstruction work will be undertaken by members during the war. It may be possible to arrange brief club runs soon and to offer seats to those who are now

motorless. A social will be held on December 11th, at Lyon’s Corner House, Strand, at 0.30 p.m.

A few new members have been elected since September, but their subscriptions will not be demanded until greater activities take place with the arrival of peace. Hon. Secretary : P. H. limiter, 39

Warland Road, S.E.18. Telephone : Woolwich 0523.


Readers may have been wondering how we propose to fill the pages u,i MOTOR .SPORT now that racing is confined to a few neutral States and trials have finished.

Actitally, copy is coming in very wells° well that we are not at the moment in need of articles by outside contributors —and we have every confidence that, by using articles of general interest to enthusiasts, written by well known drivers and motoring personalities, we shall be able to retain the former appeal of this paper, even though it may gradually assume rather more reseml A alice to a journal, and less that of its former role of outspoken newspaper, until ci 01ditions return to normal. However, we are loath to till its pages with entirely historical articles, though much of the available space may have to be utilised thus as the war drags on and news and articles on topics of general interest are less easy to come by. Probably the first article on purely past activities will be a review of recent 11-1itre racing, enabling readers to assess the British E.R.A.at its true value. And we hope to publish something on the ” Trend of Racing Car Design,” dealing with the development of the 3-litre and 1,-litre cars up to the advent of war, in a future issue.

The Editor, wishes to thank those readers and advertisers, and those voluntary contributors, who have made possible the continued existence of MOTOR SPORT under war conditions.