Club news, December 1942

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We hear….

Robert Waddy was in fine form last month and full of ideas for another special and for hydro-pneumatic suspension after the war. Dick Caesar still has a 3-litre Invicta tourer for sale. His special 6 1/2-litre Bentley and Edwardian Belsize are stored for the duration and he motors in two “12/60” Alvis cars, a 4-seater and a saloon. His scheme, propounded in this paper some time ago, for the manufacture of a sound sports car by a group of enthusiasts after the war is by no means shelved. Incidentally, he also has a “special,” consisting of an “Aero” Morgan with B.S.A. rear end, but the Freikaiserwagen, Kaiserwagen and Alfi-Capa were sold before the war.

Robin Jackson is now engaged on important aero-engine work in America, and Fl/Lt. Robin Hanson has been awarded the D.F.C. for successful attacks on enemy submarines with Cata-Hurricanes. The Anzani-engined G.N. Special “Red Biddy” is rumoured to be for sale in Bristol, but we do not know where. Bertie Gilmore has laid up his Lancia “Astura” in Scotland and goes about by grace of a D.K.W. when not toiling for A.T.A. L.T. Ellis would like to hear of a Frazer-Nash for sale, not earlier than 1931, to use on official journeys and sound enough to “see this war out.” Back in 1926 he owned, at the same time, a Gwynne Eight and an “8/18” Talbot, and adds words of praise for both these early small cars. Denis MacLagen, who, incidentally, has sold his Morgan, reminds us that H.M.V. market a very entertaining gramophone record of “Motor-Car Noises” (H.M.V. No. E 574), so if anyone wants to recapture the aural joys of racing cars leaving the line, there it is. Pratley has re-acquired his 1928 “Chummy” Austin Seven, and his o.h.v. J.A.P. “Aero” Morgan is, or was, for disposal at £15. News comes in that R. Johnson Ferguson, who used to motor his immaculate s.v. Aston-Martin down from Scotland to Brooklands to compete in M.C.C. and J.C.C. High-Speed Trials, is now a Captain in the Royal Artillery and was in Tobruk during the siege. H.L. Biggs is recovering but slowly from a severe illness, but is able to drive his “500” Fiat. which still gives 43 m.p.g. He is contemplating putting the compression ratio up to 8 to 1, fitting 14-mm. plugs and using a 26-mm. S.U. carburetter on a new manifold. just to see what will happen. Motor-cycling goes on apace. Sydney Allard rides a 250-c.c. O.K. Supreme, Reg Canham, who often went with him on trials. a 98-c.c. Villiers-engined Coventry Eagle, while Leslie Allard has a 1939 600-c.c. Ariel side-valve sidecar outfit. Someone in the West Country wants to exchange a Riley “Kestrel” pre-selector saloon for an open sports Riley, and Grosscurth would be glad to hear of any interesting vintage sports cars for sale, particularly 3-litre Sunbeams.

The Editor hopes to save a 1910 16-h.p. Brasier from the breaker’s hammer; do any others of the marque still exist in this country? There is an early “12/50” Alvis coupé going for around £15, in London, if anyone wants to save one of these well-esteemed vintage motor-cars; it has had a rebore and is decently shod, but seems to have the old propeller shaft. Writing of Alvis reminds us that George Foxlee uses a 1931 coil-ignition “12/50” very sober-looking 2-seater as a hack on considerable journeys of no less considerable national moment. This carriage is very happy at 50 m.p.h., slides corners very effectively, has a really quiet engine, goes 29 miles to a gallon of puddle and thrives on caravan towing. George also has his very special “12/50” 2-seater in storage under a protective layer of dust and, as he intends to do some more work on it and as it is now quite indecently fast for a vintage 1 1/2-litre, we may expect it to well uphold vintage traditions in the peace. Foxlee also has various Alvis spares and an H.R.D. motor-bicycle. “The Spinner,” organ of the Scuderia Chemvamo, is amongst the club publications to suffer at the hands of the new paper-saving order, but MacLagen hopes to send out a series of news-letters to members of this Scuderia. The 1910 26-h.p. Leon-Bollée which we described in the March, 1942, issue travelled very silently and successfully from Stockport to Hayfield, a distance of 14 miles, before being laid up for the duration. The Editor of Motor Sport wrote an article on petrol-engined model racing cars for the November issue of The Aero Modeller. D.A. Russell of that paper has completed a one-fifth scale model of his own S.S., measuring 26″ in length and powered with a 10-c.c. engine, which he hopes will achieve 60 m.p.h. Peter Hooker, Ltd., makers of the engines used in certain cars which had Parry Thomas’s blessing, appear to have gone out of business.

J.C.C.

The Junior Car Club continues to issue its “Gazelle” quarterly and thus manages to keep in touch with its extensive membership. It also holds regular Council luncheons, with a view to keeping close contact with those who will be essential to the organising side of the Sport after the war. Recent guests at these meetings have included Major S.C.H. Davis. Lieut.-Col. A.T.G. Gardiner, Capt. the Hon. Freddie Clifford, Laurence Pomeroy, Dudley Noble. W.E. Humphries, J.A. Masters, A.G. Reynolds and Major Bale. The war-time subscription is £1 per annum, or 5/- for those wishing to receive the “Gazette” but not running a car. The September “Gazette” contains an account of the origin of the famous J.J.C. “Double Twelve.” Hon. Sec.: H.J. Morgan, 14. Lime Grove, Ruislip, Middlesex (Pinner 3693).

750 Club

The go-ahead 750 Club was not, after all, able to hold a Zoo gathering on November 1st, but S.H. Capon hopes to organise further meetings in the near future. The Club also intends to continue with its “Bulletin,” being unaffected by the new paper-saving order. H. Birkett will act as editor.

Enthusiasts’ Car Club

Regular meetings on the first Sunday in each month are still a feature of the Enthusiasts’ Car Club and are announced in the weekly motoring Press. At a recent Sunday gathering that favourite topic of discussion, “Vintage versus Modern,” was debated. It is proposed to appoint a Southern representative to commence action in the Southern counties, and the issue of membership cards and buttonhole badges is under review, although the Club is, of course, run as a spare-time occupation by persons already fully engaged in finishing the war quickly. Members are asked to send the secretary a postcard outlining where their interests lie, and it is hoped to hold film shows and lectures at future gatherings. The “Bulletin” will presumably continue at intervals. The subscription is 5/- per annum. Hon. Sec.: D.L. Gandhi, 134, Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, Cheshire.

I.A.E.

The Institution of Automobile Engineers continues to hold meetings at which papers are read at various centres and to issue its “Journal” in “utility” guise.

Obituary

It is with deep regret that we learn of the passing of Mrs. L. Goold within a few days of undergoing a serious operation. Mrs. Goold was Secretary of the Women’s Automobile and Sports Association and worked extremely hard to put competition motoring on the sportswoman’s map. Trials competitors will remember W.A.S.A. events with more than usual pleasure and will be the first to admit that these events of feminine conception were by no means any less severe than those organised by other clubs. Nor were cars handled in invitation events by members of the W.A.S.A. to be in any way underrated. The success of the Association and of its events was very largely due to sheer hard labour on Mrs. Goold’s part. We can only hope that in the days to come someone else will carry on equally successfully and, incidentally, thereby do much to convince the public that women who drive cars in competitions are no less respectable than those who compete on a level with men in other healthy pastimes.