Hispanos are in the news now. Apart from Peacock’s, Metcalfe has a 27-hp 1929 saloon with high-pressure boots for sale, and Lt Rayner-Green, RA, has found what appears to be a late model “37.2” or “4.5” sports 4-seater in a farmyard near Exeter. Lt DG Hart, RA, has bought a 1929 41/2-litre Van den Plas open 4-seater with only 52,000 miles to its credit and seeks data as to probable performance, etc.—he cannot quote engine and frame numbers as the data plates have been removed. Previously he had a 1926 3-litre “Blue Label” which only attained a rather weary 65 mph, so he hopes for better results now. Then Sqn/Ldr GA Johnson, RAF, writing from a BLA address, seeks a 2-litre straight-eight or “Brescia” Bugatti, with or without bodywork, condition immaterial, or a 3-litre Sunbeam, and B MacDonald Hennell, 6, Harvard House, SW15, seeks an “M”-type MG instruction book—we cannot get at the Motor Sport library edition at present. From Neutral Bay, NSW, comes news that Beal-Pritchett has put an overdrive into his “24/100” Mercedes-Crossley, making top gear 2.91 to 1 instead of 4.36 to 1. He is now honorary secretary of the Vintage and SCC of NSW, and extends an invitation to any British Servicemen enthusiasts who find themselves in or around the SW Pacific to call on his wife and himself ; he also wishes AJ Roberts to contact him, as he can lend a “38/250” Mercedes instruction book. Address : 1, Phillip Street, Neutral Bay.
Autovia and Hotchkiss taxis are to be seen in Blackpool. A late-model Cord, a “Phantom HI” Rolls-Royce, a “12/55” British Salmson saloon and a very nice 11/2-litre Alfa-Romeo dh coupe have been observed in Stockport, while in the yard of the Central Station, Manchester, Flt/Lt Donald Parker and David Gandhi could be seen changing the head gasket of the former’s AC saloon. Biggs saw a white Vernon-Derby driven by an RAF officer in London and reports Breen as having a 1925 2-litre racing Mercedes, and Great Northern Motors, of Whetstone, as using for a breakdown car an actual Show model Big Six Bentley, which still had float-shaped running boards. Ken Gilling has been laid up for a long time with a fractured leg, following a skid in the wet in his P-type MG. S/Sgt Goode, REME, now overseas, hopes to rebuild his Arab for after-the-war motoring, while, to go veteran, Denys Axel Berg has acquired a 1912 20-hp.Daimler landaulette and a 1913 Daimler staff-car, both in wonderful order, and both of which “Tubby” Smith, of the “Ely,” is adding to his collection. Then Southall has found a 3-cylinder Duryea in Birmingham, apparently a sister car to the one Mr Gardner and Kenneth Neve are so carefully restoring, further north.
The 1913 MAF advertised for sale recently is a German air-cooled 4-cylinder, and should be a good bargain for someone. Joan Richmond is now with de Havilland’s; she is in great form, and so is her “1,100” Fiat, which has been having its first rebore, after 50,000 miles. Pat Driscoll is now with Weldon-Grind, of Fulham. Capt CI Clark, RA, who wrote about his Bugattis last month, has bought a rather nice 3-litre Bentley, and hopes it won’t be long before we can use real cars again. Douglas Tubbs is contemplating disposing of his 16-valve Bamford and Martin Aston or would, if a good home could be found, but we were in error in saying that Ellis is selling all his sv cars : he may dispose of the 4-seater, but he is making an excellent job of his 2-seater, the chassis of which has been shortened, the whole car to be converted into an exact GP replica of the Lionel Martin period.
In the States Dean Fales has bought a very well-preserved 1909 4-cylinder 33/4-in by 33/4-in Buick 2-seater with sound tyres for $25.0, or approximately £6. Inman-Hunter is expecting to leave this country shortly to spend about a year in Australia. A veteran 3-cylinder Rolls-Royce is rumoured to be hiding somewhere in London. There is a Burney Streamline with Lycoming 8-cylinder engine at a Guildford breakers.
Sports Car Club of Amerca
Another informal race was planned last September. The August issue of the Sportswagen contained seven photographs and included a long article on the 1939 Le Mans race, reprinted from Motor Sport. New members announced in that issue numbered five, and the total was then 36, with 105 cars, including 16 Mercers, 14 Stutz, 12 Mercedes, 12 Packards, 7 Duesenbergs and 6 Rolls-Royce. President : TF Robertson, 37, St. Mary’s Street. Boston, 15, Mass.
The recently-announced Radcaps SCC has changed its title to the North London Enthusiasts’ Car Club. The first meeting happened on October 20th, and the next is scheduled for December 8th. Rivers and Penny Fletcher and Phillip Turner were present, and it was decided that this new war-time club would not enter too deeply into “politics,” since they felt this sphere is better left to those with wide and pre-war experience. The scheme is for a small circle of N London enthusiasts to meet to foster enthusiasm in the Sport and in motoring generally. Secretary: G Bance, 13, Selvage Lane, Mill Hill, London, NW7. (Mill Hill 2596.)
On Sunday, October 15th, the London graduates of the IAE opened their 1944/5 session with an informal talk by Capt GET Eyston, MC, entitled “Motor Racing and Record Breaking.” In a talk of this description, which by its very nature is a purely personal one, it would be expected that the first person singular would be somewhat overworked. To the contrary, and with a self-effacing modesty, Capt Eyston’s narrative praised everything and everyone, except his own labours in organising the design and manufacture of the “specials” he used. Of the actual racing and record-breaking, too, his own part was constantly played down, notwithstanding that his reminiscences brought home to his audience all the trials and dangers of his high-speed exploits.
Commencing with the ”Magic Midget,” and illustrating his words with a unique collection of lantern slides, Capt Eyston progressed via Riley, Hotchkiss, Magnette and AEC Diesel to “Speed of the Wind.” After a break for welcome tea and biscuits, Capt Eyston switched to “Thunderbolt ” and the Utah salt flats, winding up with the adventure of the World’s Speed Record.
Technical points of interest were the offset engine and transmission of the “Magic Midget” necessary to accommodate Capt Eyston’s by no means small proportions and yet attain a minimum of frontal area to the car. Incidentally, Major “Goldie” Gardner’s phenomenal “Midget” consisted quite largely of this sprightly veteran. A Brooklands lap of 118 mph on a 11/2-litre unsupercharged Riley was given as evidence that even before Freddie Dixon got at them Riley’s made a very potent automobile. This particular machine in fully streamline guise was compared with a similar job prepared for long-distance records. Here profile sacrifices had to be made for the ready accessibility of units that might need attention as the hours rolled by. With the Hotchkiss Capt Eyston had hoped to provide some small degree of comfort by completely enclosing the cockpit. This, however, did not prove the boon expected, as even 5-in, of headroom proved insufficient for the surface of Montlhery, and between dodging the bumps and failing to dodge the humps, Capt Eyston had a cheerless ride. Many records eventually fell to the 2-litre Hotchkiss, which put up the most excellent performance of lapping at 122 mph un-blown, for hour after hour. Of the MG “Magic Magnette” or “Humbug,” Capt Eyston had many interesting reminiscences. Particularlyof stalling the engine during the BE Trophy race, and restarting by pushing the “Magnette,” diving head first into the cockpit to slam into gear and then scrambling into the accustomed piloting position, with the car under way.
The first oil-engined job had a standard AEC bus engine, the crew’s quarters consisting of a comparatively roomy 4-seater streamline saloon body, which Capt Eyston “happened to have around at the time”. The subsequent “Speed of the Wind” had as motive power a much-modified Rolls-Royce “Kestrel” engine. Front-wheel drive and independent suspension were featured on this model, which took many long-distance records at Utah. An original item was the “sail” of airfoil section mounted on a vertical mast adjacent to the front axle on the off side of the car, the angle of incidence of which could be adjusted to develop sufficient thrust to relieve the driver of much of the strain of keeping. the car on its ten-mile diameter circular course.
Turning to the “Thunderbolt,” the tyre manufacturers had insisted on eight wheels, and Capt Eyston had at first designed the car with four axles, the outer ones being of narrower track than the inner, to assist in obtaining streamline form. Considerations of weight, however, made it necessary to abandon this plan, and in taking one ton of weight off the car Capt Eyston expended £1 for every 1 lb weight removed, thus giving a new slant on the old saying “Tons of money.”
It is seldom appreciated that these special vehicles can have little or no testing prior to the record attempt, and Capt Eyston paid due tribute to those whose painstaking and arduous labours contributed so much to the success of what, at the best, might be termed an extremely doubtful venture.
A brief discussion followed Capt Eyston’s talk, during which several instances were remarked of development work in connection with these record-breaking cars that had direct bearing on the armoured fighting vehicles of to-day. without any disrespect in comparing the “Thunderbolt” with the ponderous “Churchill” tank.
Few votes of thanks have been so well merited as that accorded Capt Eyston at the conclusion of the meeting. He had provided 21/2 hours packed with interest to the 48 graduates and friends present and had added much to their enthusiasm for the Sport.
Some members of the Midland Motoring Enthusiasts’ Club were recently able to spend an enjoyable week-end with Raymond Mays at Bourne, examining the black ERA. A meeting took place at “The Crown,” Corporation Street, Birmingham, on November 1st, and the next, at the same venue, Service people welcome, is due on December 6th.
Out in the cold
Eric Findon. Editor of The Light Car, has written to remind us that his paper still comes out every month—we apologise to him for overlooking it when we congratulated the Motor and The Autocar, along with ourselves, on continued publication in spite of V1. In passing, let us hope that we shall all be missed by the descents of V2, and let us wish Laurence Pomeroy, Technical Editor of the Motor, a speedy recovery from his indisposition.
This month’s cover picture shows one of the ohc Austin Sevens in action on the Nurburgring course in Germany. We publish it because we believe that it will not be long before British cars are again running on this road.