November Profiles

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Six more “Profiles” arrived early in November, these 2s. publications appearing now with a regularity that almost matches the rising of the moon and the setting of the sun—and if they failed to do so, nearly as much consternation would be caused! Of the latest half-dozen, No. 31 relates to “The 6-cylinder Delaunay-Bellevilles, 1908-1914 ” by Michael Sedgwick. This well-known historian has tackled a difficult subject with his usual thoroughness, aided by information generously provided, and acknowledged, by Mon. P. H. Riches, the recognised authority on these illustrious French cars, and C. T. Delaney, who used to import them, and assemble them, in England. The illustrations aptly capture the spirit of this remote, unhurried and dignified age. Sedgwick refers to the Delaunay-Belleville compressed-air starter, an idea tried out on the Tsar of All The Russians, but omits to add the popular story that the appeal of this starter, so far as the Tsar was Concerned, was that his cars could glide away silently before the engine was commented, which was impressive and didn’t upset the ceremonial horses. But perhaps this Barbey starter didn’t have all that much power?

Profile No. 32 covers “The 30-98-h.p. Vauxhall,” the author concealed in almost complete anonymity. This deprives John Stanford of the congratulations he deserves for very effective coverage of one of the greatest sporting motor-cars of all time. The pictures support the text splendidly and one is glad to find the first page of colour drawings by James Leach depicting the 1924 Wensum owned by J. C. Broadhead. Whether the caption would have been better as 30/98 Vauxhall instead of 30-98-h.p. Vauxhall is a moot point, for although this author suggests that the obscure origins of the car’s numerical designation derives from 30 b.h.p. at 1,000 r.p.m. and 98 b.h.p. maximum, one remembers the late Laurence Pomeroy’s explanation for his father’s description of the car as a flippant reply to Mercedes’ habit of calling one of their models a 30-90. It is disappointing that no more than very superficial reference to the Brooklands’ performances by 30/98s is included and Munday’s fastest-ever lap in the “Gold Star” Vauxhall omitted altogether. But No. 32 is essential reading for all Vauxhall admirers.

Dudley Coram deals with “The Aston Martin 1 1/2-litre International” in Profile No. 33, a case of a whole publication devoted to a simple model of a famous make. The origins of the make are included but thereafter it is all “International” and the racing career of this model is usefully included. The colour illustrations are by the accomplished Kenneth Rush.

J. R. Buckley makes his claims for “The Delage D8 Series” as a fine car, second only, perhaps, to the big Hispano-Suizas, very ably in Profile No. 34. However, the title is somewhat misleading, because more than half the eight pages of text are devoted to pre-D8-series Delages. Again the pictures alone are worth two-bob, especially as Leech is in charge of the colour illustrations.

It is refreshing to find “The Cord Models 810 and 812 ” written up by an author new to us, namely William C. Kinsman, instead of one of the more usual “authorities.” That brings us up to Profile No. 35. No. 36 is the usual complete and conscientious coverage of a Jaguar, by John Appleton, this time of the famous “Jaguar C-Type.” Some of the illustrations, of competition episodes in the career of this remarkable car, are rather small. The “Profile” series is thus well-established. Cross-referencing of other relevant numbers has been started, but in oneinstance is omitted from the six issues above referred to.

Those who buy and keep all the car “Profiles” and cannot be bothered to fumble with brass-rods in plastic binders are reminded that they are being offered in attractive bound volumes, the first of which contains Nos. 1-24, and has a pithy Foreword by Cecil Clutton, Past-President of the V.S.C.C. It costs £3 3s. and is published by Profile Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 26, 1a North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, Anthony Harding being the General Editor.

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