Club News, December 1940

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C.U.A.C.

t”p at C;imbridge the C.U.A.C. is by no means dead, and meetings take place at the secretary’s rooms, where all the motoring journals may be inspected-this is only right and proper, for the coming generation of sports-CRT OW11E needs to be kept properly inform «1 and to have ils enthusiasm maintained until conditions return to normal. The hon. secretary is now J. B. Jcsty, AS, New Court, St. John’s College, Cambridge. A dinner was arranged for Now mber 30th last.

J.C.C. The Junior Car Club brought out an

other issue of its bright Gazette ” recently, and another is scheduled about next month. Members are asked to send in their news to the Editor, to pass on to fellow members. The secretary is now at 19, Lime Grove, Ruislip, Middlesex.

RILEY M.G.

The secretary of the North East Centre has been trying to organise a social gathering at Harrogate–counted a safe area, by the way—which is a good sign. 750 CLUB

In spite of the bombing the secretary’s office received some time ago, on October ” Bulletin ” was issued and some fixtures arranged, including meetings of members in their cars. As time goes on we admire the spirit of this club more and more, and we only wish other dubs would consider occasional road runs—lack of petrel is a poor xcuse, for Britain is doing very nicely so far in this matter, thank yoii. POST-WAR TRIALS From a study of some of the extremely efficient vehicles now in use by the British Army—have you noticed the use of bucket seats, att.° screens, rakcd steering columns, handy fire-extinguishers and countless otla r features liand«l down from the competition car we are beginning to wonder if there will be any hills capable of defeating the modern car when trials start once again. Even if there .tire, it might be a good idea to do away with route cards and route marking in some of these events, making competitors find their way about entirdy with the aid of maps and knowledge of the locality. This sort of thing has seemed horribly tedious on the isolated occasions in which it has been used in the past, but there is no doubt that trials have handed on many useful lessons which are now of value to military personnel and map-reading is not by any means the foremost of them. If we want army backing Of post-war trials —if we do—then this would seem to be

one of the factors that would be of the greatest interest to ambitious members of the Army Stall. GENERAL NOTES The Gwynnc—which, it seems, is of Spanish origin, having been known there, we have heard, as the Victoria—is going quite nicely, and has done two journeys up to London and back from our present place of exile. One of these runs was done when it fairly teemed with rain all day, and it is surprising how happy you can become once you are entirely soaked (with rain water only, of course), which we certainly were, for although the hood was up, the top panel of the screen was open. It was in very similar conditions, and at night, that the little car completed a journey of 60 miles to salve a modern saloon that had refused to start after having been laid up for some months, a run without incident, save for one hasty entry to an escape road at an acute corner, in deference to water-logged rear brakes. And the writer was no end amused that the previously rather scornful owner of the modern ” eight” not only had to beg a tow-start from the sixteen-year-old, but got wetter than we (lid because his roof had started a bad leak—nor, let it be whispered, did he hold us through the roundabouts near Guildford! Another Sunday was spent in the luxury of a fairly recent Ford Ten saloon, with Girling anchorage and Ford’s happily high-geared steering, and yet again we reflected on what useful economy cars the modern small Fords are. In the afternoon we took in some very pretty parts of Surrey and had tea at ” Benacre ” at Milford—an old favourite—in the course of entertaining the troops and essayed a climb of Cosford, the trials hill between Milford and Hindhead. So out of practice were we that we only got up at the second ascent and the owner of the car not at all— this trials busitim is not so childish as it seems. That morning, after filling up (well, not right up) in a country town which boasts a garage in its main street that has in the window one of the finest blower 43-litre Bentleys we have ever Seen (and is reputed to house, too, a If )12Iwo-cylinder Renault), we had been able to eh( ck the Gwynne’s performance against 1Iw Ford’s speedometer (and Ford dials usually 11 ll a reasonably ac(urate tale). The easy cruising speed was found to be 46-17 m.p.h., at which speed t he speedometer said just forty, owing to the change from 710 X90 mm. to 4.50″ X 19″ tyres, and acceleration from about 10-30 m.p.h. in second gear (9 to 1) beat the Ford in top over this range. The steering ratio was checked as 13 turns, lock to lock. But performance is not the whole story, and there are many things about the Gwynne, which now lives in an R.A.F. aerodrome garage, which take one right back to the times when cars were cars and the men who ran them lived rather closer to nature than is the case to-day, scorning the elements to motor, whether in a car or on a motor-cycle, or in an atmosphere of castor oil up in the air. Airy, healthy, dirty, happy age, alas, now so

very far away It is good that we can sometimes recapture a breath of it.

This aspect was rather evident when we went across country to Henley-onThames to renew acquaintance with Forrest Lyeett’s 8-litre Bentley; for a heavy frost covered the ground, the lesser waterways were solid ice and one’s hands soon lost contact with the wheel. The run in the Bentley was most certainly an experience not to be missed and a truly remarkable one these days ; it is fully reported in the right and proper part of the paper. There was quite a. deal of military and other traffic on the road, but. very little to remind one that there was a war on; an impression strengthened by the crowded dining hall at” The Cotswold Gateway,” for uniforms are so universal at such places nowadays as to pass unnoticed. No particularly rapid cars were seen, and in any case one does not expect anything to live with the 8-litre ; but a Delahaye going in the opposite direction and a 1)6/70 Delage outside the hotel were noted. Apart from that, there was a business run to the Midlands in a 1937 Ford Eight saloon, going through Coventry after the bombing raid, where the damage was a sad reminder of the brutality of war as Germany wages it, albeit not so great as we had feared and with most of the industrial centres still happily working. On the -run up the really surprisingly extensive dump of German aircraft near Banbury was inspiring, and several Bentleys, a 2-litre Aston-Martin, a rearengined Mercedes-Benz, a ” Hyper ” LeaFrancis, a sports-bodied Lanehester Ten, an A.J.S. saloon, and, just outside Coventry, a genuine Grand Prix Bugatti, were amongst the interesting ears encountered. It was pleasant, too, to get on to the Donington road again from Red Gate Inn, and to find it usefully widened for quite a long way and, incidentally, to discover how much one forgets of a well-traversed route in a mere matter of Nixtucil months or so. Oxford was as full of life as ever and at t WO other Midland towns sports-ears were evident in numbers. At a garage at Benson, near Oxford, the 1921. Coppa

Florio Itala once own( d by E. K. II. Karslake was found derelict. its engine, too, out in the open, while the present engine is a ” 30/98 ” Vauxhall unit and huge Wheels have been fitted, obviously to gear-up the car for the bigger motor ; it was interesting that the tyres were in excellent condition and larger than those on even a ” 30/98 ” itself.