A boat-bodied sleeve-valve Peugeot of about 1927 vintage is reported from Scarborough, reputed to have been raced once upon a time by a lady driver. Lee has adapted an ex-W.D. Austin Eight body to his Beverley-Barnes chassis. Alan Skerman has disposed of his “16/80” Lagonda saloon and replaced it with a 1932 open “Speed Twenty” Alvis, which comfortably copes with 300 miles’ business motoring a week. Skerman is also building up an Austin Seven Special endowed with two 3-speed gearboxes, in order to “defeat the Yorkshire snows.” W. T. Walker is getting quite a good top-gear performance from his 1930 Cozette-blown 2-litre Lagonda open tourer, in spite of it being geared to give 30 m.p.h. per 1,000 r.p.m. in this gear, and he is generally very satisfied with the car. M. D. Tooley has rather altered the layout of his “Special,” and instead of basing it largely on Riley parts, he has used a 1934 Singer i.f.s. chassis and a Meadows 4ED 1 1/2-litre engine endowed at present with a single carburetter. A Wilson pre-selector gearbox is used and a Brescia Bugatti axle provides a ratio as high as 3.42 to 1. The Singer steering layout is connected to a Riley steering box turned on its side and 16-in, wheels are used, Singer bolt-on in front and home-made knock-on wheels made from Riley hubs, Dunlop rims and M.G. outer and Morris inner spokes, at the rear. The body, of duralumin, seats three person on the bench-seat and encloses the front wheels, its weight coming out, nevertheless, at under 100 lb., excluding seat. The car is crab-tracked, and holds the road very well indeed — Tooley asks, does crab-tracking help road adhesion, as his i.f.s. M.G. Magna and his brother’s Riley-G.N. are also crab-tracked and are notably stable? The car weighs 15 1/4 cwt. with fuel, oil and water and goes very well, third being described as a fascinating gear in which an easy 50 m.p.h. is obtainable. Tooley is to be congratulated on this “special,” but business needs may result in its disposal in favour of a saloon. He favours a f.w.d. Citroen, and hopes to apply a centrifugal blower to a 15 h.p., perhaps using the 3.87 to 1 axle used for the six-cylinder 23 h.p. Citroen. These additions, to a car weighing about 20 1/2cwt. (as Tooley says, how do the French do it?) should result in a very pleasing means of transport.
G. M. Oliver is rebuilding a 12/50 Alvis with Laystall-overhauled engine, which is to have twin S.U.s and a Haining external 3-branch exhaust system. Oliver hopes to get the weight down to below 18 cwt. W. C. Avory, 55, Uxbridge Road, W.12, kindly offers to prace his extensive scrap books and cuttings at the disposal of fellow enthusiasts. Tim Carson has put a fine utility body on to his “14/40” Delage chassis. John Lloyd has been involved in an accident in his 4 1/2-litre Invicta, but the car is repairable. L. E. Shelley reports seeing a large touring Metallurgique at the S.B.A.C. flying show, a flat-twin Rover Eight in Ealing, and a pre-1914 Darracq motoring through East Sheen. He recently presented a 1912 Scott to Scott’s London Depot, to replace the 1911 example they lost in the blitz, but he would be glad to hear of gear-mounting lugs, hand oil-pump and brake pedal for his own 1911 Scott, as these parts were also lost when a V1 hit the garage in which the bicycle was being restored. The Emerys have acquired the ex-Passini straight-eight Miller racing engine.
J. S. Sherman, of Pennsylvania, has a 1928 American-built “Phantom I” Rolls-Royce, with aluminium head, which weighs 5,600 lb. and still condescends to go from a standstill to 50 m.p.h. in 18 sec. The N.Z. Sports Car Club has appointed Easterbrook Smith as its Press Secretary, and he hopes to keep us posted of activities per air mail. Their next event is a 1/4-mile speed trial on December 27th. Easterbrook Smith is running the ex-Ansell, ex-Aitkinson “12/50” Alvis and has a “Special” in hand, based on a Marendaz-Special chassis and front axle, the rear end of an Ansaldo chassis, Alvis rear axle and springs and engine and gearbox from a “Speed Six” Sunbeam. He comments: “It sounds horrible, but should be quite interesting.” Reville Motors Pty., Ltd., Queensland and N.S.W. distributors for H.R.G., have received their first shipment of these cars and say how refreshing it is to have the handling of a thoroughbred sports car again. H.R.G.s are expected to sell well in Australia, where motor-racing is described as becoming increasingly popular and money is fairly free. Apparently several 500-c.c. clubs have been formed out there, while Jean Reville has run a dirt-track car with two J.A.P. engines, and front, rear and four-wheel-drive by way of experimentation. He is now working on a “special” with three 500-c.c. engines; he says Daimler and Lanchester cars sell well in Australia, where the diesel Daimler ‘bus is also popular.
Interesting cars seen of late in London include a beautifully-preserved S. F. Edgeera A.C. Six 2-seater, a utility-bodied Hispano-Suiza and a late-model 12/35-h.p. Clyno.
Lt. Mackay has now established that his 2-litre Lagonda was raced in the major sports-car races of 1929, Brian Lewis and the late Rose Richards driving it at Le Mans. Waring & Gillow Ltd. still operate six R.A.F.-type Leyland furniture vans which were delivered in 1916. They are the only vehicles in this fleet which draw trailers and up to the war were on regular runs between London, Lancaster and other parts of England. They do approx. 5 m.p.g. fully loaded with loaded trailers, and have been brought up to date, with pneumatic tyres and dynamo lighting. The present bodies date from about 1919. Pat Whittet is now using a Model A, 14.9-h.p. Ford coupé. M. P. Tenbosch has a Healey-Duncan 2-seater and would like to meet one or more enthusiasts and run a team in next season’s Continental sports-car races.
A fairly well-preserved 1920 Daimler Light Twenty tourer, recently discarded by a staunch user of this make, who now has a modern straight-eight in his fleet, lies in the open at Stratford-on-Avon. Stafford-East’s touring G.N. and an early Wolseley tourer add authenticity to the film “So Well Remembered.” It is good news that, following his meeting with Lt.-Col. Gallop, as reported in our last issue, F. E. Ellis has decided to re-body his 1922 Aston-Martin and bring it into correct Grand Prix trim.
Victor Doland recently received back from Lawrence his “re-born” late-type shortened 4 1/2-blower Bentley, with brand-new Van den Plas body. To celebrate the occasion Doland threw a party; S. C. H. Davis, A. F. Rivers Fletcher and Gale of Van den Plas were amongst the guests and Mrs. Doland christened the car by breaking a champagne bottle (mercifully filled with water) against a hub-cap.
An Edwardian Unic is believed to exist in Bagshot, and Dennis Clapham reports that in addition to his Calcott, which we mentioned recently, he has a 1927 24-h.p. Sunbeam in which he had a pleasant holiday last October, covering 900 miles at nearly 19 m.p.g. Incidentally, the Calcott is still hale and hearty, probably because it was laid up for 15 years, from 1931 until 1946. Rivers Fletcher’s racing M.G. is for sale.
R.M.A.S. Automobile Club
This new club has been formed at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. A successful opening rally and treasure hunt has been held, the latter being won by Capt. R. G. Bromley-Gardner, M.C. (4 1/2-litre Invicta). John Bolster addressed the Club on October 30th.
V.S.C.C. Border Section
We understand that North of England members of the Vintage S.C.C. have banded themselves together to form a Border Section. Many “12/50” and one “14/70” Alvis cars are reported in the Newcastle-Carlisle area, and their owners operate a spares pool on a non-profit-making basis. They are considering compiling a register similar to the Lagonda spares register.
V.M.C.C. of A.
Another excellent issue of the Bulb Horn, official organ of the Veteran Car Club of America, has reached us. Certainly enthusiasts in America take their hobby very seriously indeed, perhaps more so than is the case with veteran car owners over here. Their really long-distance events, two-day meets and the journeys undertaken by individual members to reach ordinary rallies, are a case in point and then there is a very concentrated interest in make-histories and how each veteran car that is unearthed fits in with such history. For example, the July issue of the Bulb Horn contains a history of the American Simplex Company by Herman Broesel and this is backed up by additional notes, by a chauffeur’s account of Mr. Satterlee’s 1915 Crane-Simplex, which has run 345,000 miles and which Jack Stack and Wm. Scott have recently acquired, by an article on Crane’s association with Simplex and by nine illustrations of these cars, many of them owned by members. This issue also contains accounts of the 1914 French Grand Prix and the 1904 “Climb-to-the-Clouds” contest. Current veteran events are also fully reported, such as the Framingham Meet, in which 58 veterans contested such events as a steam-car race, concours, hoop-spearing, coasting contest, model-T relay race and an amusing event wherein ladies acted as “back-seat drivers” and endeavoured to upset the men’s driving abilities. The detailed care which the average American veteran owner gives to restoration is indicated not only by the illustrations of rebuilt cars, but by the appeals for parts, such as lamps authentic to certain models or makes, in the advertising section.
On September 27th, the N.Z.S.C.C. held its first annual rally, the starting points being Wellington, Palmerston North, Hastings and Auckland and the destination New Plymouth, which entailed a road mileage of approximately 250 miles.
Twenty cars set out at midnight to average 35 m.p.h. to New Plymouth, marks being deducted for more than one minute’s late or early arrival at each check.
W. Housego and K. Hemus, from Auckland, preserved clean sheets to New Plymouth, as did H. Hollis from Wellington. Incidents appear to have been remarkably few, the only two reported being the fracture of a front spring on Stone’s Morris Twelve, which lost him 9 marks in the final section, and 18 minutes lost by a headlight failure on W. Easterbrook Smith’s Sunbeam, which loss he made up by some epic driving, arriving in the Wanganui check dead on time.
On Saturday afternoon a move was made to Bell Block aerodrome, where a road had been placed at the club’s disposal for a series of special tests.
The first was a slow-running test over a distance of 100 yards. Slowest time was wade by Stone, in 2 mins.15 sec. Other times which exceeded 2 minutes were made by J. McIntosh (Vauxhall) in 2 mins, 5 secs, and E. Vogtherr (Riley) in 2 mins. 2 secs.
This test was followed by an acceleration test over the same distance, fastest time being made by A. S. Farland (N-type Magnette) in 8 secs. Close behind him were Hollis (Type TA M.G. Midget) with 8 2/5 secs., and Hemus (30/98 Vauxhall) and R. Clapperton.(Model A Ford), both of whom recorded 8 3/5 secs.
Brakes were the next item to be tested, the cars being accelerated over 50 yards and braked to a standstill, times being taken from the start to finish of the test. McIntosh demonstrated his Vauxhall’s brakes to the time of 7 secs., beating Farland by 1/5 sec. W. Cope registered 7 1/5 secs. in his Ford V8, while Easterbrook Smith (Sunbeam), Thomson (M.G.) and Clapperton (Ford) all started and stopped in 7 2/5 secs.,
The final test entailed accelerating over 30 yards, braking to a standstill, and reversing back to the starting point, and as the road was sealed care had to be exercised not to disrupt the rear axle and gearbox vitals. As an added difficulty, and to test ease of access and starting, engines had to be stopped and competitors outside their cars at the start.
F. Pierson put up an amazingly fast time in this test, his Singer Nine recording 14 4/5 sees. Next fastest were Hollis and Farland, both of whom took 16 1/5 sees., while M. L. Page took 16 2/5 secs. in his Morris Eight and Miss Cooper, who had driven her Hillman Minx with complete confidence in all the tests, took 16 3/5 secs.
All competitors, whether successful or not, seemed very happy, and the event was unanimously voted as the most enjoyable ever held by the Club.
1st: A. S. Farland, 18 marks lost.
2nd: A. Thomson, 24 marks lost.
3rd: E. Vogtherr, 30 marks lost.
The team prize was won by the Manawate club team, with the Hawkes Bay Club team second.
Rivers Fletcher is organising another enthusiasts’ gathering at the “Rembrandt,” of the kind that helped so much to maintain motoring morale during the war-period. The date is February 14th next year. Details later — and let us hope for “basic,” even if in small measure, before then.
The following is taken from the Sunday Express dated October 26th:
Eternal Silence for Strachey
The Minister of Food hoped that his house-hunt might end at 18-room, 16-acre Lambourne Place, Abridge. But it is reported that he is worried that Stapleford Tawney airfield, nearby, might become a motor-cycle or motor-car track, “as this would make life almost unendurable at Lambourne Place.”
The “500” Club held a meeting at Towcester, on October 25th, when the two Coopers, Stromboli, the G.S.I., the Monaco, a Marwyn-J.A.P. and two new Class I cars were on view. The newcomers were the rear-engined Cowlan, using J.A.P. engine, B.S.A. gearbox, transverse leaf i.f.s., and 1/4-elliptic rear suspension, and Millington’s Norton-engined tubular chassis car with Morgan-type i.f.s. and independent leaf-spring rear suspension. By permission of Lord Hesketh cars could be tested along a road on Towcester Racecourse.
The first two post-cards to arrive relating to last month’s Quiz Picture contained perfectly correct solutions. They came from J. Fisher, of Edinburgh, and Patrick Malan, of Ludlow. Both these readers appreciated that our picture depicted the little Jameson Two-stroke, which had a 480-c.c. supercharged two-stroke engine at the rear and was built for sprint events in this country, appearing about 1936. Our photograph showed it at the Southsea Speed Trials of 1936, when it was driven by W. T. Page and clocked 26.6 sec. for the s.s. third of a mile. It folded up on one of its later runs and was lifted from the course by two men. Although this Jameson cannot be said to have pioneered the 500-c.c. racing car, for Class I record-breaking had commenced much earlier, it was certainly one of the first cars of this size to be constructed for sprint events, and, as such, preceded by ten years the present 1/2-litre trend. Other correct solutions came from M. F. Matthews (aged 16), of Weston-super-Mare, D. H. Peters, of Hove, A. F. Waoff, of S. Croydon, J. V. Bowles, of Epping, B. Browning, of Fareham, K. N. Teasdale, of Birmingham, J. R. D, Beagley, of Sutton Coldfield, and D. H. Mateer, of Kingston, L. N. Cole of Leicester, Patrick Green, of Amersham, C. Posthumus, of Sunbury, B. N. Clarke, of Southall (who asked “Wot! Another 2-stroke!”), F. Steen, of Belfast, V. B. Stone, of Hampstead, who took the photograph, although he does not give us the car’s name, Jack French, of Elmore, K. Harper, of Stourbridge, and V. Barlow, of Birmingham. Only one incorrect solution came in, so obviously we must find you chaps something harder next time.
Also Without Comment
Civilian domestic motoring ceased as from November 30th, “basic” coupons being invalid after September 30th, but Forces leave-petrol coupons can be used up to December 31st. The daily Press has confirmed that British private motorists in the British Zone of Germany continue to receive 16 gallons of “basic” each month.