MoTont SPmer doesn’t want to keep harping on Barcelona just because it pulled off a scoop on the race there, but I his is a ” vintage city ” par excellence and as such deserves a few more words. I could have spent a week with notebook and camera hunting the old ears and not have seen t twin all. And if the town is $o prolific in vintage interest, what or the villages The black and yellow taxis would not give Scotland Yard testers a shock ; they would have heart attacks, scs we did when we rode in these worn-out veltieles. tirst we hired, an old I’lymouth with h feet of play in its Steering. had to be cranked by its cheerful driver for live minutes before it would start. An absence of braking power was compensated by almost. continual use of a wind-horn, operated by a finger-tip lever depending from the steering column. A •’

14/40″ Delage taxi was seen broken clown and early morning produces the sight of gas-producer taxis being towstarted by t heir petrol-brethren, and, no matter how bad the traffic jam or how long the wait, their drivers never stop their engines thereafter. Every sort of old Ford, FIAT. Citroen, Bianchi, Renault, and rare American is fotmd amongst these taxis. Big Twelve Citroens predominate, a type already rare in England to it extraordinarily prolific in Spain. The private ears are equally extraordinary, while I noted it very smart. ” 11.4 ” Citroen van and an old Renault van. Not a single Hispano-Suiza was apparent, except for An old, rather distinguished, lorry that ran up and down the course, but the illustrious name appeared in vast letters on one very modern radio emporium ! However, a taxi driver. tsailirrned the growing rumour that Hispano is returning to the private-car market and that the new model will have eight cylinders. Delage, Bugatt iarraeq, Peugeot, Lancia and other Continentals are there in force, nor, back to vintage, did I miss the solid-tyred lorries with round radiators like the old Paris buses. Yes, this is a motoring enthusiasts’ paradise all right.

Some time ago I spent a day riding in and driving all the way from Reading, in Berkshire; to Southampton, in Hampshire, cia kVinehester. iii a 1923 ” 40/50 ” Napier cabriolet. This car proved something of a revelation, because it possessed not. only remarkable flexibility in top gear, but. very strong accelerative powers on the same ratio. Indeed, the general performance of this outwardly staid and undoulitedly heavy car, even granting that it was the short-chassis model, was ‘mite surprising, and the quiet functioning of the overhead-camshaft engine merely served to add emphasis to this unexpected briskness. In the third gear, which emitted a pleasant, not kind, hum, 50 m.p.h. was l)bt:iirutble and the car would cruise in

top with the needle of its 60-m.p.h. speedometer bey-ond ULM ” maxiimun speed ” indication. It attained this gait quickly, after a cheek that

tin imposingly massive wings and shapely bonnet, none offers these pleasures in greater degree or more eltanaing combination tient this Cunard-bodied Napier. As much of a vintage car’s raison d’elre is individuality, I will conclude t wean on t ” 4050 ” Napier with some points noted during t his interesting day’,.; driving. The 9.2-litre o.h.e_ aluminium alloy six-eylinder engine, wide”, is quite happy about starting the car from rest, in top gear, has dual coil and Watford magneto ignition’. ‘I’t le Start er pedal first gently engages the bendix, then turns the crankshaft The live-spoked steering wheel, the thick rim of which enables you to take it real ” handful of control,” Itas above it the throttle, mixture, ignition.and pilot-carburetter levers, wItieli move delightfully anti ” stay put ” wit hind. any liersuasion from serrations on I Ile quadralit,. Both the powerful headlamp beams dip, there is an exhaust cut -(cc it., the facia tarries meters recording volts and amps., there allt soft and loud (Napier Apollo and t•leetrie Klaxon) horns, the front bucket seats lift inwards and slide exceedingly easily for purposes of adjustment, fuel feed IS by hand-pump and camshaft-driven mechanical air pAmp, the 20-gallon fuel tank has a visible gauge with removable wiregauze protector and an air-pressurerelease tap, and the very handsome radiator has the famous Napier ” water

tower ” Budge wheels Carry 895 by 135 tyres.

This Napier was introduced as a direct competitor of the Silver Ghost RpllsItoyee, Lanchester Forty and similar Iii sury ears and is an outstanding machine, surely worth every penny of the £2,100 originally asked for the chassis alone. TItat its 80-b.h.p. engine is entirely ‘• pink-free ” on 1950 ” Pool ” petrol when performing the aforementioned feat of top-gear acceleration from a crawl is surely as great a testimony to its designer as his clever blending of liveliness with luxury. * Two days after trying the Napier we riale all t he way to Bristol and back in a 1924 ” 24,140 ” Straker-Squire,, so we do praetke what we preaelt * * *

“I ci these days many of its are apt to live too fast, and to take our motoring it t lie run. It is one form of enjoyment ha. the driver to sit tensely at the steering wheel with his eyes glued to the road, constantly on the qui cue to avoid awkward situations which his own hurry may entail. It is quite another to proceed with a deliberate case calculated to avoid ea t i rely all •risk and give an opportunity to see and enjoy a change of seemly ” –from the ilidocar of May lit b, 1923. as a result of testing a I 2-20 h.p. Cah /nape.