AQUATIC BRIGHTON

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AQUATIC BRIGHTON

To natty people the Veteran Car Run from Ilyile Park, London; to the Madeira Drive, Brighton, is the most enjoyable event of the year. This time torrential rain fell throughout, yet practically all the record entry of 166 pre-1905 ears reported at the start, such is ” Brighton ” enthusiasm. Equally impressive was the number of spectators who walked across the Park to the start before 8.30 a.m. on this wet Sunday morning, the fair Rex prominent amongst them. Nor must those officials who took charge of controls along the route ancl at the finish, so denying themselves the pleasure of spectating or competing, be overlooked. Taken all round, the Bright Oil Run is an enormously important, national institution, something that this

corn ii does really well. November broke records on its own account in respect of rainfall, and weird as the clothes worn by nutny competitors were, the driving rain or the 1st!’ penetrated the most ingenious ni-ri it Us humans could devise. Yet emithilsiastic spectators lined the route,

wa cii It the veterans from beneath gaily-coeeml umbrellas, which also served to imam lady passengers in some of the ears. 11 really was all most inspirine.

Naturally, the rain caused troublebelt-slip on the ” early primitives,” ignition maladies and so on. But to those who gave up after gallant struggles under appalling conditions, equally with those who :got to the finish; the ” Brighton ” remains a great event. This year Francis I lutton-Stott kindly found mite a seat on his 1902 Type 8 -de. Dietrich, a car which. Mire m SPORT was partly responsible fir bringing to his attention Odell it was in ilaiiger of being broken-up during the war. This exciting

veteran, with its 4-litre automatic-inlet valve engine and chain-drive, was, indeed. quite a Press carriage, for it was ably driven by Ron Barker, who edits the Vintage S•C•C• Bulletin, and amongst its passengers Was D. C. Field, editor of the V.C.C. Gazette.

Although, altogether, the de Dietrich carried driver and tOur passengers through to Brighton eilieiently and as close to schedule time as we desired, the run was by no tneans devoid of incident. Hight at the start, the cone OM’ disapproving of so complete a load, bottom gear decided to act in sympathy and nasty noises emanated from the gearbox, suggestive of a brceten gear tooth. Thus Harker was laced wit Ii the prospect of doing the run on the three higher ratios, not an inviting prospect in such heavy ” weather and with IOUs ahead. So well did he overcome this unexpected handicap that only up one hill had the crew to dismount and push, and this only because traffic slowed Us to a speed at whieh it was impossible to hang onto the 6 to 1 second speed. On the other hills it was-often touch and go, as we took the extreme right-hand path to pass almost stationary Ira lie. Ifere a big laced of praise to the pollee, out in mint ithers and every one of them doing his last t t eneure a clear run for the veterans

ii l5 ii Ii conditions and past hostile tralie hots.

Our tetables were increased because the mixture was not right, and the engine took much time to regain its normal 800 r.p.m. after is check. But, nevertheless, we had 4 completely trouble-free run, replenishing neither water nor petrol, and oil only because, in my racing mechanician’s place on the step in front of Field. I plied a pluteger-pump and the tap controlling the two drip-feeds too enthusiastically and had emptied tlw little dashboard tank by half-distance. The oil was replenished while in motion.

From my lowly perch I had a wonderful view, when rain was not obscuring everything, of the mighty cylinders under the open top panel of the long bonnet, big compression taps with wooden handles, gleaming brass inlet domes and the brightly polished water and inlet piping, a tine testimony to the workmanship of the I mneville concern in A.D. 1902. Before Ote were the sole instrument dials, a brass-bound clock and a water-pressure gauge. On the final run past the pylons into Brighton the de Dietrich got going in its true Paris-Vienna style and frown all angles I think our run this year could be counted as highly stateessful. Ron Barker not only lets a way with old motor-cars, but they with him, and with such mutual understanding between man arid machine what is loss of a ratio or a bit. of an up ea in the bowels of’ the carburetter 7 Indeed, that evening Ilarker proposed td.) drive the car back to its stable at Newbury and two of the crew were disposed to accompany him. Shame on me that I crept away to the snug security of a modern ” Silvertop ” Morris Minor. Incidentally, nearing Brighton I .espied, momentarily silhouetted against the -leaden sky, the outline of a train— ghost, perhaps, of that train in which officials, having started the liorselesa Continued en page 60 L lQ(‘JTI(111iINIITON ,cuntinited front page (103

carriages on the original Emancipation Run in 1890, journeyed to Brighton to elieek in and acelaim the survivors. High lights of this year’s run included the appearance of Stirling Moss as navigator ill Gregory’s much-travelled 1904 Darraeq, and of a camera-tripod on thehack of G. .1. Allday’s rapid 1903 Mercedes. Stanley Sears came through splendidly in leis imposing 191/4 exAbbott Mercedes and Hutton-Stott reposed his trust in Itis faithful 1903 Lailekestcr, • AV. 13,