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A very sound suggestion

In the issue of its “Gazette,” which it circulated for July, August and September, the Junior Car Club puts forward the following very sound suggestion:—

In London, for the entertainment and interest of troops on leave, war workers and others, there are theatres, cinemas, restaurants, art shows, clubs, museums and what-not. In the crowds of people who are in town on any one day of the week there must be quite a number who are interested in motor sport, and who would be only too glad of the opportunity of whiling away half an hour or so in a motor sport atmosphere.

Is there room, therefore, for a permanent motor sport exhibition in London?

The kind of place we have in mind would be set up in the West End, and would not be under the auspices of any one motor firm, who might be suspected of advertising motives.

There would be several racing cars, trials cars and veterans on view. There would be a big selection of Gordon Crosby, Brian de Grineau, Rey Nockolds and other paintings, and an even bigger selection of photographs covering all aspects of motor sport during recent years. One section would be set aside for the portraits of leading racing motorists and trials drivers of recent years. There might even be daily cinema shows, for quite small audiences, at stipulated times.

There would be a comfortable lounge where all the motoring papers would be on view, with bound volumes of the technical papers over recent years, and keen motorists would be invited to lend other publications of interest. There might be a small admission charge to this motor sport exhibition, but preferably it would be free. It could be established and supported with the assistance of the wealthy motor and allied industrial firms – if they were willing.

Motor sport took a complete knock with the outbreak of war, Whereas other forms of sport survive in restricted form. If such an exhibition were established it would help to offset this state of affairs. Many visitors, not previously interested in motor sport, would he encouraged to attend, and perhaps the appeal of the sport would begin to enter the minds of those previously disinterested.

The men who are most proficient in piloting the planes, and driving the tanks and lorries, were those who took part in the car and motor-cycle races and trials before the war.

Maybe, if a motor sport exhibition were established, the eyes of the public, would be opened to the importance of the pastime in this age of the internal combustion engine.

While we think it unlikely that any thing so ambitious will be possible in war-time, certainly it is to be sincerely hoped such an exhibition will be staged in the days of peace, even if a proper museum of historic and educative motoring exhibits is still not deemed to be a national asset and necessity. Quite apart from an exhibition of this sort, open to John Citizen and his wife, let us have a motor sportsmen’s club in London open to enthusiasts, where they can talk motor-cars without disturbing their wives and girl-friends. Even a modest room on the lines of that operated for a while off Trafalgar Square by the Motor Sports Club would be better than nothing. And, actually., something very much more ambitious ought to be started. Meanwhile, let us avidly hope, if the 750 Club does not resume its monthly war-time gatherings, that someone in the South will throw his house open to periodical enthusiasts’ preamblings, as certain persons do in the North, for the relaxation of members of the Enthusiasts’ Car Club.

The tyre census

Grant that the rubber situation is likely to become serious and the shortage of this commodity liable to hamper Britain’s war effort, and it is not easy to complain of the possible hardships resulting from the National Tyre Census. Nevertheless, considerable ill-feeling is arising. It is centred around the Government’s failure to guarantee priority in replacement after the war, and is responsible for one young soldier correspondent writing that: “We in the Forces of the enthusiastic brand have already given 3 1/2 years of our youth to war and I’m dashed if I see why anyone should help themselves to our motors….” And requisitioning tyres with no priority replacement of them after the war is equivalent to requisitioning an entire car, apart from old cars which may be requisitioned as scrap or suitable newer ones taken for military transport. Irrespective of its unfortunate failure to arrange for fair replacement of requisitioned property after the war, the Government has allowed the Civil Service mind to expose itself in the layout of the census forms. No note of tyre condition is called for, presumably because only a Government expert can determine whether or not a tyre is of any use for further service or for salvage. Car types are grouped as coupé, tourer, box or saloon, so presumably the 2-seater is regarded as a less distinct type than these and only fit to be grouped with the other “tourers.” The census would provide us with a most interesting check on the location of veterans, and of vintage and modern sports cars, but we doubt if the Government will provide facilities to use it for this end. Doubtless certain blackcoated clerks will be mildly surprised at the numbers of really early cars still carefully preserved, even to having tyres, and if such tyres, or racing-type covers, are requisitioned against an owner’s will, we can only hope that he will take steps to ask the A.A. and R.A.C. whether they made any attempt to obviate such a happening – one which the most biased persons could hardly advance as having any appreciable influence on the outcome of the war.