It seems that the prices of the older secondhand cars are dropping a bit, so less-affluent enthusiasts may get their chance this winter. Recently an A.C. Anzani 2-seater for £40, a coupé of the same breed at like price, a “14/40” 1924 Sunbeam, and several “12/50” Alvis have been in the market. A reader bought a little-used 1921 Crossley for less than £40, and Packman, now with B.O.A.C., found a 1927 Trojan tourer which he used while his Salmson was being repaired — that was the Trojan reported as seen at Horndean.
Eyston’s “Thunderbolt” is still in New Zealand, with its engine in place. Oliver Bertram threatens the Land Speed Record with a jet-propelled car. We encountered a flavour of the cyclecar days one misty evening in London, when a youth started up a J.M.B. 3-wheeler and disappeared in the murk to the lusty crackle of a single-cylinder engine. F/Lt. Peter Colery, D.F.C., queries what has become of the two blown Morgans owned by the late Henry Laird, and would like to hear, in any case, of a fast Morgan at not too exorbitant a price. Duncan Hamilton has acquired an R -type M.G. and is overhauling it for next season, when he will share the driving of it with Group-Capt. Leathart. Information about these cars will be gratefully received. Incidentally, Hamilton was a test-pilot, while Leathart made history during the war by flying over to occupied France to retrieve his C.O., who had been shot down on an enemy airfield, the return to England being made in an R.A.F. trainer aircraft with a dozen Messerschmidth in pursuit!
A 1912 “Silver Ghost” Rolls-Royce and 1912 Napier shooting brake were advertised recently, by the original owner, in the East Anglian Daily Times. We apologise to M. J. Lipsey for saying, in our Brighton Speed Trial report, that his “328” B.M.W. was soundly beaten by Dezsoe’s Alfa-Romeo. Apparently this was incorrect, the B.M.W., which was serviced by A.F.N., Ltd., beating the Alfa — the official results as handed to us give this on a m.p.h. basis, but the times for the course favour the Alfa by 2.48 sec. — and, as we observed last month, had the Brighton police allowed us higher up the course we should have obtained a check on the individual duels, which for no sane reason we were prevented from doing.
If you are driving into Dunstable, stop and inspect the latest E.R.A. in the window of E.R.A., Ltd., on the lefthand side of the main London road going north, just before entering the town itself. Old-school Bentleys have been seen in large numbers recently – including two “Blue Label” 3-litres, one owned by Donald Healey’s son and modified as to engine specification, and another used by Major Money, who entered an M.G. for the Brighton Speed Trials. Paul Ceresole, of Concord, Mass., in sending his subscription to Motor Sport, mentions that his stable consists of a 1931 Mercédès-Benz S.S. drophead, a Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., and a 1939 Type 57 Bugatti.
The photograph of the “blower” 4 1/2-litre Bentley published On page 230 of Motor Sport, has brought in a considerable number of requests for copies. This picture was from Rivers Fletcher’s collection and he has now arranged for copies, which he can supply to interested persons at 2s. 6d. a time. His address is “Noddings,” 4, Eversleigh Road, New Barnet, Herts. Incidentally, he has for disposal his 1,100-c.c. H.R.G., as next season he plans to drive a 2-litre, straight-eight, roller-bearing G.P. Bugatti in competition events, towing it behind a slightly “hotted” 12-h.p. f.w.d. Citroen saloon. Monaco Ltd. are progressimg very well indeed with their air-cooled, flat-four light aero-engine, and we believe Peter Monkhouse may install one in a “30/98 ” Vauxhall chassis at a later date. Lemon Burton is busy getting his magnificent “Royale.” Bugatti saloon into good trim. On its run to Proseott it proved able to climb an appreciable hill literally on one cylinder, but, naturally, in that condition it was only doing about 5 m.p.g. However, the chauffeur of the late owner mentions 14 m.p.g. — so Burton hopes for better things, or the end of rationing. Of the Edwardians, John Bolster, finding his mother’s “D6.70” Delage in need of a new windscreen and her Morris in need of engine repairs, has been using his 1911 Rolls-Royce for social occasions, with “one-man” hood erect and “storm curtains” buttoned up. John says that commissionaires outside large hotels appear to resent the obscenity of having to unbutton a car before the ladies can get out! Then Edisbury rode in Geoffrey Frank’s 1912 3.3-litre Daimler to the Manchester Cavalcade, and they did 72 miles in just over three hours, and had no troubles if you discount the loss of the whittle dynamo belt, replaced in ten minutes. Cecil Clutton’s 10 1/2-litre Delage is to be serviced by Alan Southon, ready for next season’s sprints. The single-seater Bentley Jackson is likely to be converted into a road car by Bill Shortt. John Hay has saved two 815 by 120 and two 895 by 135 covers for anyone who is in need of them. Patrick Green is getting Laystalls to restore his “blown-up” “Surbaisse” Amilcar and meanwhile uses his older “Grand Sport” engine in this chassis.
The November Model Car News contained an excellent set of plans of the twin-cam racing Austin Seven and a description of a fine “solid” model of the single-seater ex-Birkin “blower” Bentley. Out in Australia Ted Hunter is rebuilding the old s.v. Aston-Martin in the country, and over here Mary Whittet has acquired a rare specimen of vintage De Dion Bouton.
Major Jackson has a “90” Mercédès engine for which he seeks a chassis, and is on the track of a really early Peugeot. V. C. Hunt has joined the V.C.C. on the strength of a 1914 Hillman. Seen near London on a recent fine Sunday were an H.E. Six saloon, a well-preserved F.N. tourer and a rear-engined Trojan saloon.
New Zealand Sports Car Club
The last “Bulletin” received contains a most sensible editorial calling for decent manners on the road, particularly necessary in New Zealand because sprint events are held over temporarily-closed public roads by sanction of the Transport Department, and it is rightly pointed out that in return that Department expects drivers to drive carefully of their own free will rather than be coerced into doing so — all very sensible and equally applicable, for something the same reason, over here. New Zealand emphasises that if the “Kop-ban” ever applied to her she would be badly off, not, being likely to be able to afford to build a Donington or Shelsley Walsh. (What she must think of our “loss” of Donington we cannot imagine!) The “Bulletin” also very daringly criticises the had writing found in many contributed articles. There is a long and pleasing article by R. A. Gibbous about his father’s “Speed Model” 3-litre Bentley and how it out-diced American new models over New Zealand roads down the ages.
The Paekakariki speed hill-climb, over a 2-mile course rising from sea-level to 880 ft. with every sort of bend, saw Atkinson’s very sporting 1925 “12/50” Alvis make f.t.d. in 2 min. 57.2 sec., an average of 40.6 m.p.h. Rebuilt by Ansell, it got up to 65 in 3rd on the brief straight. Second fastest was Farland’s N-type M.G. “Magnette” (3 min. 30.4 sec.) and third fastest Snell’s T-type M.G. (3 min. 32.2 sec.). Farland later did 3 min. 22 sec. Stone’s Austin Seven Special won its class and did 4th fastest time, in 3 min. 46.2 sec. The motor-cycles were far quicker than the cars, Bowe’s Ariel doing 2 mm. 35.2 sec. (53.3 m.p.h.), Wilson’s Rudge 2 min. 36.4 sec., and Gibbons’ Ariel (“in full touring trim, which, with an Ariel, means every thing but the kitchen sink”) 2 min. 48 sec. We are reminded that owners of model-T Fords used to thank Heaven when they reached the top of this climb in the old days and could ease the cramped, quivering muscles of their left legs! The event was broadcast and filmed — good show, N.Z.S.C.C.
The club had 66 members last June and is going to do useful work in publishing lists of owners of given makes of cars existing in New Zealand. Hon. secretary: T. Wickham, Box 406, Wellington, New Zealand.
The Vintage Motor Cycle Club, which continues to issue a useful bulletin every month, put over a trial in the Chilterns in October. The placings, based on age of machine and distance travelled, were: 1st, C. Quantrill (1921 s.v. Triumph); 2nd, E. Smith (1927 350-c.c. A.J.S.); 3rd, M. Walker (1928 350-c.c. Sunbeam). Oldest machines present were the winner of the trial and an A.B.C., also of 1921 vintage, and the average mileage covered to reach the start was 73.
The North London Enthusiasts’ Club had Freddie Dixon to address on October 24th, with Rivers Fletcher in the chair. Dixon not only told of some interesting experiences with Riley and Napier-Railton, but lamented bitterly the loss of Brooklands. Amongst those present were almost the whole of the N.L.E.C., Charles Brackenbury, John Horsfall, Wallington, Phillip Turner of the Autocar, and the Editor of Motor Sport. It was an interesting evening, not the least attraction of which was that of seeing the great Freddie wearing pince-nez!
For Men Only?
We were surprised and pleased to see a short article headed “Vintage Cars” in a recent issue of Men Only. It referred to such motor-cars as 3 and 4 1/2-litre Bentleys, 2 and 3-litre Lagondas, 3-litre o.h.c. Sunbeam, “30/08” Vauxhall, “12/50” Alvis, “12/40” “Hyper” Lea-Francis, “International” Aston-Martin 1 1/2-litre Frazer-Nash, “Brooklands” Riley Nine, “14,40” and “18/80” M.G., yes, even the Bamford and Martin Aston. Moreover, the author, J. O. Butler, got his technicalities correct and rightly touched on such things as big, slow-revving engines still sound after 150,000 miles, present-day inflated prices of vintage cars, their undeniable fascination, and the problem of whether wife or girl-friend will accept their “draughty heartiness” in lieu of the comfort of a modern saloon. A refreshing little bit of journalism, to be sure.
W. A. Richards has resigned his secretaryship of the Midland Motoring Enthusiasts’ Club and his place is taken by A. O. Richards, 120, Anderton Park Road, Moseley, Birmingham, 13.
Morgan Threee-Wheeler Club
The Midland Group plans to meet on the second Sunday in each month throughout the winter at the Swimming Pool, Stratford-on-Avon. at 2.30 p.m., after which a short run will be followed by tea. Non-members are welcome. Group organiser: J. H. Balleny, 11, Hallewell Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, 16.
This month’s cover picture (by the skilled Irish photographer, Dermot P. Johnson) reminds us that we are gradually returning to normal. It shows “Bira’s” 3-litre Maserati preparing to start in the 1938 Phoenix Park scratch race, in which event “Bira” retired on his 12th lap while well in the lead from the ultimate winner, Staniland’s Multi-Union. This year “Bira” has raced again with this car, finishing 6th at Chimay and making second fastest time to Raymond Mays at the International Prescott Meeting and at the Brighton Speed Trials. And we have had a resumption of racing in Ireland.
During the war many readers submitted large numbers of photographs for our consideration, from which we could seldom use even one or two prints, due to paper shortage causing undue pressure on space. Many of these photographs are still in our possession and we are anxious to return any that we will not be able to use. Unfortunately, in the chaos of war-time some of the covering letters became detached from the packets, and we shall be obliged if readers having a grievance against us because we have retained their pictures will kindly write in identifying their property by the subjects covered, when we will do our best to return their prints. It will be better still if those concerned can call at the City Road offices and pick out their photographs.
Hants and Berks M.C.
We have received the following “handout” from the Press Secretary of the Hants and Berks M.C.: –
“Know ye, alle Charioteerf, ye Automobile Clubbe of Countief of Hampfhire and Berkfhire, will, upon the nichte of January 4th, hold a michty Trial or Tribalatioun, the lyke of never by manne beholden. By invitatioun, ye humble memberf ye Vintage Sportef Carre Clubbe, ye DCCL Motore Clubbe, ye Motore Clubbe of Southfea, and even ye Sporting Owner-Charioteerf Clubbe may pitt themselves agaynst ye High born.
“The route of ye Tribulatioun will be longe, yea and arduous, to be found only by much skille in the ufe of ye charts of Hif Surveyorf of Ordnance. Withall, ye Sectiounf will be paffable to any Gentilman’s Carriage with but a reafouable clearance from ye Earthe. Ye cheeky pointf will be sitatite in diverf strange and eerie placef; ye caftle of King Johnn, may ye Lord preserve hif Soul, ye Railwaye Statioun vifited by no mortal traine these twenty yearf, ye Roman bastioun and many another spot on blafted heath and in witch’s ride.
“Yey, ere the crackynge of ye Dawn will be held a great Feaft with much frying of Saufagef, and drinkyuge of Tea, befide ye Casket of Meade upon ye House.
” Thofe who would moture away into ye Nichte, then, to left their courage and skille in this great Tribulatioun, may send documentf to Squire Birkett, Bridge of Pondtail, in the Toun of Fleet, set in ye county of Hampfhire. Praife ye Lord.
From which we infer that a more than usually ingenious trial will take place in Hampshire on the night of January 4th/5th. Regulations from the invited clubs or from the address given above.
Ansty Aerodrome Motorcycle Road Races
On November 3rd Harold Daniell once more proved beyond all doubt his remarkable riding skill, in winning the 350-c.c. and 500-c.c. solo motor-cycle events on Nortons at the road race meeting organised by the Antelope Club at Ansty Aerodrome, near Coventry.
The course was D-shaped with the curved portion of the circuit made up of a series of flat out bends; races were over 10 laps, each lap being 1 3/4 miles in length.
In the 250-c.c. event Fergus Anderson on a Guzzi machine had things all his own way and gave a very fine “demonstration run,” his winning speed of 68 m.p.h. being 5 m.p.h. faster than the next man home, R. H. Pike on a 250-c.c. Rudge motor-cycle.
The 350-c.c. event was run in two heats and a final, and though won by A. L. Daniell, at 74.52 m.p.h. with some ease, the star rider was V. H. Willoughby, who, after being left on the line with a motor that was reluctant to start, got going half a lap to the bad and proceeded to work his Velocette through the field of 16 riders to finish 3rd, lapping, very consistently, just faster than Daniell.
In the 500-c.c. race Harold Daniell was never bothered at all and won by over 3/4 mile from A. R. Foster (Norton); the winning speed being 77.70 m.p.h.
Due to numerous retirements the sidecar race proved rather uneventful and gave E. S. Oliver a runaway win on his 596-c.c. Norton outfit.
A number of continental riders competed in the solo events, including Roger Laurent, who has done so much to help those English riders who have been over to the Continent this season.
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