Veteran-Edwardian-Vintage, December 1957

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A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters

To Brighton on Lord Montagu’s 1903 Sixty Mercedes

In spite of the fact that it is confined to cars built before 1905, the 1957 Veteran Car Run to Brighton, organised by the R.A.C. in conjunction with the Veteran C.C., attracted a record entry of 236. This annual sporting and commemorative event, which is watched by a greater number of spectators than any other motoring fixture, can be a pleasurable outing or an ordeal, depending on the weather. This year it was definitely in the latter category!

Yet I wouldn’t miss it for anything. I have been fortunate, since the commemoration run was started in 1927, in riding as passenger on a veteran on no fewer than 10 occasions, and every time I have ridden on a different make of car. This year I maintained this personal “record” through the courtesy of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who took his splendid 1903 60-h.p. Mercedes rear-entrance tonneau out of the Beaulieu Museum for the occasion. This was a particularly happy move from my point of view, because the Sixty Mercedes, of which Peter Hampton had entered his 1903 two-seater example, is one of the few — perhaps the only –veterans that has the performance of a fast Edwardian motor car!

I assisted in finding garage accommodation for the Mercedes halfway to London on “pre-Brighton” Friday and drove it part of the way to the Metropolis on the Saturday. It was ordered in 1902 by Lord Northcliffe, whose foresight obviously suggested that this advanced new Mercedes, with its honeycomb radiator, gate gearchange and channel-section frame was going to be the car of the year. Lord Northcliffe made excellent use of his new car and in 1908 it was driven in the Second Montagu Cup Race at Brooklands by H. Pyine but was unplaced. It was also entered for the 100-mile O’Gormon Trophy Race but didn’t start.

Around 1930 the Mercedes fell into disuse and was discovered recently by Lord Montagu up on blocks in a shed in the New Forest area. He acquired it and had it restored for the Beaulieu Motor Museum. This Sixty Mercedes, with its high five seater body, big mudguards and typical Mercedes brass radiator, is indeed an imposing vehicle, appropriate to the fast-driving young bloods and the aristocracy of the early twentieth century. On opening the bonnet, first impressions are, if anything, magnified, for then the vast four-cylinder 9¼-litre engine is revealed in all its glory. With its huge 140 by 150 mm. cylinders in two pairs, a maze of oil pipes draped along the off side and great exposed mangle-like pinions driving the camshafts (that on the near side for the valves, that on the other side looking after the l.t. ignition) and the auxiliaries, this is a power unit in the best sense of the term. The engine has o.h. inlet valves actuated by push-rods on the near side pinned to great rocking levers. These mechanically-operated o.h. inlet valves were another feature pioneered by Mercedes. Ignition is by a l.t. magneto driven, together with the water pump, from exposed gears mid-way along the near side of the crankcase, the plugs, with their slender push-rods operating the internal make-and-breaks, being a feature of the off side of the great power plant. The cylinders rise close to the top of the bonnet and draw their mixture from a Zenith carburetter, also on the off side. The big exposed timing gears rumble round at the back of the crankcase.

That was the engine which in 1903, when 35 m.p.h. was a good maximum speed for a sound four-cylinder car, enabled the Sixty Mercedes to achieve about twice that speed when stripped to racing trim. It was the car on which Count Eliot Zborowski was killed at La Turbie hill-climb and one of which Jenatzy borrowed after the 90-h.p. Gordon Bennett Mercedes racers had been destroyed in a fire, winning that 327-mile road race in Ireland at 49.2 m.p.h. In 1904 the 60-h.p. Mercedes sold for £1,800.

Lord Montagu’s handsome dark green tonneau-bodied specimen is shod with huge 920 by 120 Dunlop Cord tyres with the classic herringbone-pattern tread, carries enormous brass C.A.V. headlamps and big brass sidelamps, has those delightful flat double wooden mudguards at the back and a high two-pane wooden-framed screen carrying a period hand-operated wiper.

To drive this fine car you climb into one of the high, close-fitting, extremely comfortable, front bucket seats which, with a pile of tyres, comprised the racing rig of the Sixty. In the case of the car on which I rode to Brighton on November 3rd, there are, of course, equally comfortable hedge-high seats behind. At the wheel, you survey the road ahead over the roofs of modern saloon cars. Before venturing to drive you study the controls. On the top of the small wood-rimmed steering-wheel, working in quadrants, are two control levers, the longer working the throttle, the other the ignition tuning. The ignition isn’t fussy but the hand-throttle is the only means of controlling the speed of the big engine, which is virtually a constant speed unit, happy at about 1,000 r.p.m. but able to vary this by some 200 r.p.m. each way for the purpose of negotiating traffic and hills. So the driver’s thumb rests constantly on this vital control. As the quadrants turn with the steering-wheel, the chauffeur has to be careful the throttle does not evade him.

The driver is confronted by three pedals on the floor, the two big ones applying the brakes, the centre one at the same time freeing the clutch, while the left-hand pedal is a conventional clutch pedal. The two signal-box brass levers on the right, easily reached as this Mercedes has no front doors or body side, are, of course, gear and, outside it, the hand-brake lever. The gear-lever works in a visible gate, going from inside back to outside back, round the corner as it were, from second to third, and forward into top from third speed. Besides these main controls the driver has an imposing row of engine and gearbox oil drip-feeds to eye, but he is exonerated from the tedious task of maintaining pressure in the tanks, two brass hand-pumps being fitted only for an initial “blowing-up,” after which the engine does these menial tasks. A Daimler pressure gauge on the dash can be disregarded. A beautiful, deep-throated, brass bulb-born, its bulb on an extension to bring it near the steering column, is the sole warning of approach, the exhaust cut-out being wired-up in deference to English law.

The Mercedes has a circular oil tank on the off-side chassis sidemember. This is matched by a similar tank on the near side containing water to cool the brakes, although this in not in use on Lord Montagu’s car, being intended only for Alpine descents. The transmission incorporates the famous, or infamous, Mercedes scroll clutch and final drive by exposed side chains. The big petrol tank at the back holds enough fuel at least for a return London-Brighton jaunt, and just below it emerges a surprisingly small-bore exhaust pipe. Outside the side control levers are strapped two spare tyres on dummy rims.

Having thus taken stock of his mount, the driver retards the ignition, switches on, and signals to his accomplice to swing the great engine on half-compression. It rotates, rattles into life, the half-compression handle is shoved home and the Sixty Horse stutters eagerly and settles down to a rumbling tick-over, lamps and mudguards vibrating violently in sympathy with its impulses.

The hand-throttle is moved up its quadrant, the engine responds slowly, and the very light clutch pedal is depressed. The clutch takes up the drive fiercely and the Mercedes leaps dramatically away . . .

The chief difficulty presented to the driver is holding the car back. Although smaller driving sprockets have been fitted, the Mercedes is still too high-geared for present-day traffic conditions. Much of the time is spent in third speed, with the driver ready to slide back the throttle and, as the engine revs. slowly sink, slip the gear-lever “round the corner” into second speed. In the low speeds a growl comes from the gears but on the rare occasions when the lever can be slipped smoothly forward into the highest speed the Mercedes gets into its stride to the accompaniment of a musical hum, its engine scarcely audible and the driving chains far quieter than on other chain-driven cars I have experienced — or perhaps on this occasion I was more insulated from them by height and weather!

The steering is high-geared and heavy but very accurate, and the brakes have ample power, although an emergency stop is accompanied by much mechanical grumbling, suggesting that the clutch is dragging. As I have observed, the Sixty was obviously built for, and craves, the open road. Even on first speed it is not happy in traffic and, short of slipping the rather temperamental clutch, it will not run slowly. As the clutch becomes exceedingly vicious to engage unless it is “dressed” at intervals of some 60 miles, the old car is happier away from built-up areas and congested roads. Under these conditions it shows up magnificently, as I shall record. Suffice it to say now that after comparatively brief experience at the wheel I handed the Mercedes back to the competent hands of Lord Montagu’s mechanic, not wishing to expose the transmission to ham-handedness on the eve of a Brighton Run.

It is remarkable that amongst the 236 entries this year fresh veterans were present. Oldest car in the Run and oldest in the country, was the 1888 Roger-Benz, three-wheeler entered by C. F. Caunter, Curator of the Science Museum’s Road Transport collection, a gentleman who, like Lord Montagu, believes that old cars should be seen on the road and not confined solely to museums. J. M. Edwards entered an 1897 Soame steam cart and A. Hodsdon a French 1904 Turner-Miessie steamer built under licence near York. Francis Hutton Stott had his 1899 racing Cannstatt-Daimler ready for R. Barker and M. A. Smith to drive, a fearsome 5-litre monster from the nineteenth century once owned by Count Eliot Zborowski. Hutton Stott himself remained faithful to his 1903 Lanchester and after the Run told me he has acquired one of the first four-cylinder models of this make, which he hopes the V.C.C. will date as 1904. If they do, Francis will own half-a-dozen veteran Lanchesters, apart from Edwardian and vintage specimens. Hans Schoof brought his 1901 Benz from Germany, accompanied by Porsche-owning friends, and the French contingent included M. Henri Malartre’s 1899 Peugeot and 1901 Delahaye, while Belgium contributed Mercier Legros’ 1900 de Dion Bouton quadricycle and R. Schimp’s 1902 Ader — we are doubly sorry, for their sakes, that the weather was so bad.

On the Saturday afternoon the Mercedes and Lord Montagu’s 1903 de Dion Bouton on its four-wheeled trailer behind a Land Rover arrived safely and were garaged behind the Gore Hotel in Kensington, where his mechanic set about dressing the clutch of the Mercedes, checking the tension of its driving chains and adjusting the change-speed bands of the little de Dion. Barry Campbell was to drive the latter, taking Robert Glenton as passenger, while Campbell’s keen 20-year-old daughter was riding as passenger in a 1904 Riley tricar. Lord Montagu was taking as his passengers a French artist friend, John Bullock, the popular P.R.O. to the Rootes Group, Cyril Posthumus and your Editor. Here I would pay tribute to our host’s generosity — not only did he invite us all to breakfast before the start but he had a room laid on at The Metropole in Brighton, where we were able to change — as it turned out — from sodden into dry clothes.

Rain fell most of the night and it was rain, turning to hail and back to rain, which greeted us as we climbed into the Mercedes to drive to the start. Drenched before the Run had officially commenced for us, we sat miserably amid unnecessary congestion before setting off somewhat after our official starting time. Ahead of us, Sears and Best were aboard the racing 1903 18/22 Mercedes, beside us a cheerful Douglas FitzPatrick, with the bearded Rawlinson as passenger, coaxed his 1903 single-cylinder Archilles along. We knew that somewhere ahead, courageous Mrs. Davenport sat in the forecar of Basil Davenport’s 1902 5-h.p. Century Tandem and that his brother’s beautiful 1901 Progress voiturette, found near his home derelict behind a fish-and-chip shop, was on the road, because we had dined with them the previous evening. Indeed, on all sides familiar faces and well-known veterans were to be seen, surrounded by a surprisingly large crowd which darted about examining the cars that took their fancy as they fought umbrellas in the gale and the hail.

For a time we drove through crowds of Paris-Madrid density, but soon the roads became comparatively clear and the spectators seemed fewer than usual because they were sheltering in doorways and under bridges. We were now resigned to a thoroughly wet “Brighton” — the worst ever — but this did not hold back Lord Montagu. The Mercedes, which had steamed slightly while stationary in Hyde Park, now ran sweetly and, passing Big Ben at just after 8.20 a.m., set about devouring the 53 miles to our destination.

Before we reached Purley we went slightly ahead of schedule, and as Lord Montagu had to act as host at his now traditional and very welcome cocktail party at the Metropole at 12 noon, and in view of the soaking state of our clothes, he decided to press on regardless, not observing the rather unnecessary 20-m.p.h. maximum average speed the R.A.C. imposes.

Certainly we got along magnificently and the highest tribute is due to Lord Montagu for his skilful handling of the big Mercedes, a car which killed all too many novices who extended it in contemporary times. Having handled it, I knew that this was no easy car which assists a man to appear expert behind the wheel — on the contrary. Yet now we negotiated the traffic, overtaking cars and other veterans in hundreds, and stormed along the arterial roads, without once taking a risk, experiencing a close-shave, or startling the occupants. This was splendid driving but how his Lordship managed to keep going fast along the exposed Gatwick by-pass in driving rain of the solid-water variety I do not know. On our left, mere inches away, a stream of blurred objects sailed away behind as if on a conveyor belt, and on our right, inches away from our off-side mudguards, other blurred objects approached us at speed. We continued at unabated pace. How the driver could see I do not know — and I wear glasses, which give some protection, whereas he does not, and was without goggles.

Mercedes No. 138 responded to this treatment and missed scarcely a beat. In London, the day before, I had experienced its fine acceleration in the lower gears and now, as it sped along clear roads, five-up, at 45-50 m.p.h. against a gale, vide a handsome Rolls-Royce Twenty tourer that paced us for much of the route, it was hard to remember that this was a car built 54 years ago. In fact, there was power in reserve and its owner puts the top speed at around 60 m.p.h. or more, which Peter Mowton’s more racy two-seater will certainly achieve.

The roads were well-policed as usual (only in Reigate did the police try to impede our passage along the right-hand side of the road, which makes one wonder if this is a town for motorists to boycott), and we no doubt made a better time between London and Brighton than would be possible in a 300SL on a summer Sunday. Not only did the veteran Mercedes go very fast on the level, it got up hills competently, taking the last hill in top speed, which Lord Montagu had been able to use far more frequently than last year.

Behind, the passengers disappeared under a tarpaulin in the worst of the rain, a brandy bottle was handed round and, wet as they were at the finish, they paid tribute to the traditional comfort of the seats in old motor cars. Considering how well sprung the car is and how high up one sits, the roadholding of this Mercedes is outstanding; never once, in spite of the conditions, was the dreaded sideslip imminent.

So we rolled triumphantly into Brighton at about 10.30 a.m., to be presented with a pennant and shaken by the hand by the Mayor of Brighton, Alderman Charles Tyson, who had braved the rain to greet early arrivals, On the seafront our noble forbear, the 1899 Constatt-Daimler, had already arrived safely. We had been astonished at not overtaking the 1888 Benz. Alas, it had run away down Purley hill, into another car, the front wheel being torn off and Caunter flung into the road. He was unhurt and we hope sincerely that this will not deter him and the Science Museum from entering this or another car next year. The Arnold had a wheel-bearing fail but this was changed in a hailstorm. Gee’s 1904 de Dion Bouton just got in before the control closed at 4 p.m., and, altogether, 190 veterans finished the worst Brighton Run ever.

After I had got comparatively anti-damp, I went to Lord Montagu’s cocktail party, which was attended by all manner of motoring celebrities and Gilbert Harding. To Lord Montagu I owed thanks for such hospitality and the best drive to Brighton I have had in any car. — W.B.

*

Robin Richards rode in Bolster’s 1903 7-h.p. Panhard-Levassor, which does 32 m.p.h. He did a 15-min. B.B.C. broadcast of the Run that evening, starting off with the mythical Red Flag story, mentioning the weather about twice every minute, perhaps unwisely referring to the Panhard’s lack of braking power in the rain, which enthusiasts know is comparative but the public could easily believe to be dangerous, and generally putting on a comic performance rather than a serious report — the rain damped the ardour of many reporters this year! The Daily Express still refers to veterans as “crocks” and illustrated only the Caunter crash.

The Panhard did the Run in 3 hr. 5 min. The first car to arrive was L. A. Jackson’s 1903 de Dietrich, which took just over 2½ hours. Lord Montagu’s Mercedes took about 2 hr. 15 min. and arrived some 40 min. before schedule. But, then, the Brighton Run Is Not a Race!

_

Forthcoming fixtures of the Vintage S.C.C. are the Heston Driving Tests on December 15th and the Measham Rally on January 4/5th. The Heston frolics commence at 12 noon at Heston Airport, near Cranford, Middlesex, and are open to vintage and thoroughbred cars. Regulations from T. W. Carson, Brook Cottage, Bishop’s Green, Newbury, Berks.

_

At the Silverdale Speed Hill-Climb in New South Wales, fastest vintage-car time was made by K. Catt’s original-looking Lancia Lambda tourer. He clocked 52.16 sec., a better time than those achieved by class-winning TC M.G., Morris Minor, Volkswagen and 2½-litre Riley cars.

 

V.S.C.C. Eastern Rally (Nov. 10th)

Eastern Trophy:  J. W. Nix (Riley).

First-Class Awards:  B. M. Clarke (Austin Seven), D. W. Jopling (Humber),  N. Arnold-Forster (Frazer-Nash), and K. Gascoigne (Riley).

Second-Class Awards:  J. K. Milner (A.C.), P. M. J. Perrow (Rolls-Royce), A. T. Pugh (Frazer-Nash) and Dr. D. P. Harris (Frazer-Nash).

Third Class Awards:  M. R. Grist (Rover), J. D. Rogers(Jowett), T. N. Mackean (Austin), D. K. Brown (Alvis), P. A. Mann (Bentley),  R. L. Odell (Riley) and A. C. Baker (Riley).

Nostalgic

Rather an unusual item forms our subject this time — Mr. R. G. M. Bart, of Renfrew, sends us a book entitled “Motors and Motoring,” which he found above high-tide mark on the shore near his parents’ home in Argyllshire! He kindly dried out this sodden relic from the past and has sent the bulky remains to us. This book, very erudite yet sparsely illustrated, seems to have been published in 1912/13, and only speculation remains as to why it found itself in the sea. It may be a survival from a shipwreck, or did some keen motorist-seaman fling it overboard in disgust at its antiquity after trying to find something about his car in a ship’s library?

At all events, here it is, crisp and clean after immersion in saltwater. It contains some statements amusing to modern motorists. For instance, “manipulating the clutch to enable a car to mount the crest of rising ground without changing gear “is not exactly frowned upon, while we are reminded that a gearbox of Panhard type was “sometimes referred to as a run-through gear.” In explaining the epicyclic gear, the unknown author quotes as examples the “famous and ingenious Duryea car” and the Lanchester but, remarkable in 1912, omits the model-T Ford.

The classic A.C. of America brake test is quoted, wherein a four-in-hand coach running at 16 m.p.h. required 70 feet in which to pull up, a feat which a Panhard car accomplished in 25 ft. 4 in. — and we are reminded that the sprag was still in use as a safety measure when a car “stops on a hill which for some reason or other it can’t climb.”

Solid tyres are recommended for light cars, as they cost half as much and run twice as far as pneumatics, for which a mileage of 4,000 to 5,000 could be expected before retreading was required. Redolent of its period is the space devoted in this book to how to drive a car, and we come upon the statement: ” The car should be well groomed after a run.” Alcohol and benzole as fuels are discussed in detail and a practice not seen today is that of comparing different brands of petrol — Carless Capel Standard scored in calorific value over Pratt’s, Shell, Carburine and Anglo 760 in those days, but Pratts showed not a trace or sulphur against 0.7 per cent. in some other brands. The book concludes with examination papers set by the Department of Technology of the City and Guilds of London Institute in Motor Car Engineering. If you fancy your knowledge of automobile engineering, have a go at this one: “An engine being tested with a rope brake round a 2-ft. flywheel gives a torque of 92 lb./ft., e.g., 100 lb. one end of the rope and 8 lb. at the other end. If this engine were put on a car weighing 1 ton altogether, what is the steepest gradient it could climb on the slow speed, neglecting all friction?  A 23-tooth pinion on clutch shaft in gearbox meshes with a 57-tooth wheel on Carden shaft extension, and the bevel in the back axle has 19 teeth meshing with a crown-wheel of 60 teeth, tyres 810 by 90.” That one comes from the Honours Grade examination of 1909.

 

A small “wanted” advertisement in this issue recalls one of the first professionally-built Austin Seven Specials, the Godfrey and Proctor, of which about a dozen were made in 1928 at the works in Richmond, Surrey, where H. R. Godfrey had set up in business after the demise of the G.N. company. The car had a special radiator, lengthened chassis and tuned engine. One wonders whether the advertiser will find a cylinder head as used on these cars.

Vintage commercial-vehicle fans will be interested to learn that, in The Leyland Journal for November, a picture appears of a 1926 Albion still used by the P.W.D. in Tanganyika, and that elsewhere A. & R. Thwaites & Co. of Dublin are described as having still in service a 1933 Leyland Beaver platform lorry and a 1926 Albion.

*

Another recent discovery — an early Morris-Commercial lorry in a barn “somewhere in Wiltshire.”

*

On the eve of the Brighton Run an automotive and marine firm advertised in a weekly contemporary a 1912 Belsize for £495, which they stated had “competed successfully in a Brighton Run.” Need we add that the Brighton Run is restricted to pre-1905 cars?!

*

In the rain this year we spotted fewer vintage cars than usual on the Brighton Road on the occasion of the Veteran Car Run, but we did see a broken-down Chevrolet(?) tourer, an Essex coupe, a nice Humber, two Austin Heavy Twelves, a yellow 1909 Commer stationwagon, the usual bull-nose Morris cars, a sports 11.9 A.C., and overtook that solid-tyred Dennis fire-engine going great guns. And Bolster, on the B.B.C., referred to a 1914 model-T Ford he always sees on this run.

*

“The Nottingham Evening Post.” dated October 5th, devoted some considerable space to the Binks car, which was built in Nottingham by Charles Binks, of “mouse-trap” and “rat-trap” carburetter fame, according to the article in question from 1902 onwards. The output is quoted as about 200 in the first two years, after which the Binks was re-named the Leader. These cars were built in Whitehall’s factory, the site of which is now that of the Gaumont Cinema, which should warm the seats of those enthusiasts compelled to attend a film show in Nottingham! After fire gutted the factory in 1905, production was transferred to Bobbers Mill and the name changed again, to New Leader. Soon after this Mr. Binks disagreed with the other directors and went to Manchester to found his well-known carburetter business.

*

News of Alfonso Hispano-Suiza cars in Australia continues to arrive. As announced some time ago, Mr. J. St. C. Berry is restoring a 1913 example in Tasmania and this led to the discovery of a 1914 model in Sydney, owned by Mr. A. C. Eyre, who has owned his Hispano-Suiza for almost 30 years, being the second owner and using the car daily. Mr. Max Pullman, of Perth, had a 1913 Alfonso which he drove the 2,500 miles home from Canberra immediately after buying it five years ago. The original purchaser of this car was the Baron de Bruggemann de Walsin, who also bought Mr. Berry’s car from Paris and had it shipped to London for a body to be fitted. Curious that both his cars are now in Australia, for the Baron lived in Belgium. There is another complete, but dismantled, Alfonso Hispano-Suiza in Victoria.

* * *

A French small car in the form of a 1927 10 c.v. de Dion Bouton tourer, used originally, it seems, to drive an old gentleman round the grounds of his estate, has turned up. It was overhauled just before the war and is now for sale. The difficulty is that the car is in France.

*

Further evidence which suggests that old cars will continue to come to light at least during our lifetime is the discovery of a 1923 10/23 Talbot tourer in a shed on the outskirts of London — a one-owner car which was put into storage some thirty years ago because part-exchange allowances on new vehicles were unfavourable when it became due for replacement — and news of a well-cared-for 1914 12/16 Sunbeam landaulette at an Oxfordshire riverside town which hasn’t made an appearance since the S.M.M.T. Cavalcade runs of some ten years ago. This, too, is a one-owner car. It was bought new from Wolverhampton in May, 1914, is in original condition, and has run 350,000 miles.

*

This year we have seen races for old cars held in France and Belgium (at Le Mans and Spa), countries which previously have not shown much enthusiasm for vintage and veteran motoring. If this interest develops, many suitable cars are likely to be brought out of retirement — a sad thought for those who still harbour the hope of one day combing the Continent for interesting vehicles. There is proof that one collector in France has been busy. A French magazine recently devoted a colour supplement to the cars of M. Malartre, of Lyon, whose collection is said to total 150. One picture alone showed a Benz Ideal, alleged to be 1894, an 1895 Rochet-Schneider, 1896 Panhard-Lavassor, 1897 Delahaye, 1898 Peugeot, 1899 de Dion Bouton, 1900 Milde, 1901 Luc Court, 1902 Gladiator, 1903 Chenard-Walcker, 1904 Cottereau, 1905 Brasier, 1906 Richard, 1907 Peugeot, 1908 Panhard, 1909 Clement-Bayard, 1910 Gregoire, 1911 Darracq, 1912 Pilain, 1913 Mercedes, and 1914 Rolls-Royce. The dates and makes are as quoted, but the French caption writer apparently cannot spell some makes correctly and, under another picture, confuses a 1912 La Zebre with a La Philos. However, this supplement incorporates some excellent pictures of different parts and components of the automobiles down the years and flashbacks to French cars of the nineteen-twenties, including a 1925 Citroen with very suspect modern wheels, and contemporary shots of theatre celebrities in their 16 c.v. Berliets, a boat-decked 8.3 Renault three-seater, a 10 c.v. Citroen and a nice little two-seater captioned as a bebe Peugeot but in reality a La Pearl or something similar. There is also a big colour-plate of a Peugeot said to have been the property of the Bey of Tunis in 1892.

*

The Society for the Prevention of Accidents sells a set of veteran-car cards for pasting in a book containing road-safety slogans.

*

Does wet weather bring out the better vintage sports cars? Driving into London one wet Tuesday morning late in October we encountered a very fine, badge-wearing, open 4½-litre Bentley braving the elements on the twin-track arterial road into Chiswick, and almost immediately it was followed by a strikingly-original Type 43 open Bugatti, hood in this case erect.

*

To be given away. A Coventry enthusiast offers a 1929 Armstrong-Siddeley Twelve tourer free to anyone who cares to take it away. It is rough but restorable. Letters in stamped envelopes, enclosing ditto, can be forwarded.

*

A vintage Dennis with open 19-seater charabanc body, bringing a party of enthusiasts from Exeter to see the Brighton Run, unfortunately broke down near Sutton Scotney. It was used formerly to carry sightseers to the Little Orme and Glanwydden. It is said that three more such Dennis coaches are for sale in Llandudno.

*

A picture in the November issue of Christophoris, the beautifullyproduced Porsche magazine, proves that one of the 1922 1,100-c.c. Austro-Daimler “Sascha” racing cars is still in existence near Salzburg. One or more of these cars was imported into England by Mr. Luther of the Beardmore Company in the mid-‘twenties, and a 1½-litre version was driven by Malcolm Campbell and others at Brooklands and in sprints. As far as can be seen, the car at Salzburg has been modified, with a fairing over the front dumb irons, and radiator and a large windscreen.

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