Humber Centenary Rally

The Humber Register is organising a rally at Coventry to celebrate the centenary of Humber business and 60th anniversary of the Humber works in Coventry. Open to all pre-1931 Humber cars, motorcycles and bicycles, it will take place on May 18th-19th next year and non-members of the Humber Register are welcome. Details from J. C. Tarring, 9 Magdelen Close, Byfleet, Surrey.


Bluebell Line

The week-end of October 22nd/23rd was Vintage Transport Weekend at that unique institution, The Bluebell Railway, which runs vintage trains, by private enterprise, between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes in Sussex. The Sunday was a day of clear blue skies, so that, except that the bluebells weren’t out, it might have been June instead of late October. There was an engine breakdown in the morning but by putting on a “special” in the afternoon the delay was made up and a very large number of passengers was carried during the day. I rode on this special train, hauled by the 92-year-old 0-6-0 tank loco “Stepney,” which, although dwarfed by the old L.B. & S.C. coaches it had to pull, got along very well indeed. The creak of the carriages running over the points, the “clack-clack” of the wheels over the metals, with the subdued but persistent sound of a steam engine somewhere up front, was ample compensation for the 5s. return-fare charged for this short journey through some very beautiful Sussex landscape, which, however, would have been better seen from the observation-car (6d. extra) provided on “The Blue Belle Limited.”

Vintage cars attended in appreciable numbers, from Cole’s immaculate and very “Brooklands” Aston Martin to later models, while steam was represented by an Aveling & Porter showman’s road locomotive generating current for its coloured lamps, a Wallis & Steevens traction engine and a Fowler steam-roller. The Morgan 3-Wheeler Club was out in force, with fine examples of Aero, Family and Super Sports models, although I was sorry to see modern “crinkly” waterhoses on some of their very naked engines. These cyclecars were backed up by vintage motorcycles, these including a quite immaculate Scott, Rudge, Ulster, vee-twin Matchless, B.S.A., o.h.c. Humber, Levis, a tatty Triumph, and a very rough Kingsbury two-stroke which had patently just been unearthed. For the children there was a working model of a vintage solo, powered by a small vee-twin Zundapp engine driving by belt to the transmission countershaft.

The 1917 Titan 10-20 tractor was performing and a new attraction, representing the latest restoration craze, was a display of ancient stationary engines. These numbered a 1918 Lister 1½-h.p. petrol/ paraffin two-stroke, a 2½-h.p. Associated Manufacturer’s engine of 1915-18, and a 1924 Bradford gas-engine with fearsme trip-cam governor. These were just set down on the grass, to run smoothly and quietly, cooled by water in the jackets surrounding their cylinders. On a trailer two more stationary engines were in action, a 6-h.p. Ruston-Hornsby and a big Lister cooled by a belt-driven car-type water pump feeding from an adjacent tank.

There is plenty going on at Sheffield Park station on these occasions. I recommend a visit—the next meeting billed is for Boxing Day.—W. B.


Historic Car Racing at Brands Hatch (October 29th)

One of the attractions at the disastrous B.A.R.C. Guards Motor Show 200 Race Meeting at Brands Hatch was the 10-lap Nuvolari Cup Race for historic racing cars. Fortunately it was run before the rain fell. But it was wet for practice, and Lindsay crashed his Maserati 250F and damaged it, so that he took Remus away from Waller and drove this E.R.A. in the race; Kain had crumpled the tail of his Type 35 Bugatti, but started with the car in a manxed condition. Corner drove the Maserati 250F he has bought from Spero and St. John was entrusted with Sir Ralph Millais’ Type 59 Bugatti.

On the opening lap of the race Lucas spun at Druids when in the lead and the entire field went by before he had restarted his Maserati 250F. This lent interest, as Lucas had the task of working his way back to the head of the race, which Crabbe was now leading until Wilks passed him on lap 3. Lucas, who had come from a F.3 race and so knew where the circuit went, was back in front after four laps and just ran away, winning by 23.6 sec. from Corner, who had passed Wilks, who finished third, on lap 5. Lucas, who had set a new historic racing-car lap-record for the G.P. circuit of 82.81 m.p.h., and had averaged 80.52 m.p.h. for the race, was presented with the Nuvolari Cup by Stirling Moss, who demonstrated a V16 B.R.M. during the meeting. Wilks, who drove his Lotus 16 Climax, had not driven at Brands Hatch since 1959. Crabbe eventually came in fourth, Derisley in a Lotus 16 Climax was fifth, Pilkington’s Cooper-Bristol sixth, and Kergon in Hanuman II finished seventh, first of the E.R.A. drivers, the others being Lindsay and Marsh. Thirteen starters completed the full distance, five covered nine laps, while Boorer, Brown and Rippon retired and Kitchener of Vintage Racing Autos lasted a pathetically short distance, after a late start, in a Connaught.


V.E.V. Miscellany.—A 1937 Packard Super 8, requiring some attention to its steering gear, is looking for a new home; it is garaged in Surrey by someone who has acquired a Mk. 6 Bentley. J. St. George has taken pity on “the cars nobody wants” and now has a collection of eight Armstrong Siddeleys, comprising two 255, four 579, and a couple of 129, not counting a 1.6 sold recently to a good home, or his own Star Sapphire. He particularly wants to trace his old Siddeley Special AUV 4. He knows of a good 17-h.p. drophead coupe in Wales, a vintage Fourteen in Rugby, and a large model of this make in Worcestershire. The ex-Hutchinson Siddeley Special which formed the subject of the first “White Elephant” article in Motor Sport is now in use in the Cotswold area. According to a story in the Sunday Express a Devon farmer found an 8-h.p. Celer two-seater in a shed where it had been laid up in 1920, and now, two years later, has restored it and entered it for the Veteran Cat. Run to Brighton. Although there is no reference to this make in “Doyle’s,” it is said to have been made, probably as a one-off, in Nottingham around 1904, and Dennis Field is said to have expressed the opinion that “an enthusiast might pay more than £2,000 for it.” This naturally prompted the newspaper to head its story : “Discovered in the shed : a £2,000 car “!

Sleeves and a piston are urgently required to repair a Chief Constable’s 1932 Daimler 16/23—can any reader help? The very rough remains of a Palladium, reported to have run since the war, and of a Fiat 501, are mouldering on a Scottish moor.

It appears that the Delaunay-Belleville coupe once owned by Walter Norton is about to leave this country for America. The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Industrial Archaeology Group at the College of Further Education, Southampton Road, Salisbury, have issued a booklet entitled “The History of Scout Motors of Salisbury,” by Jeremy P. Farrant. It covers the period 1902-21, with illustrations, and costs 5s. The Middlesex Chronicle last month published an item on what was possibly the first car used by the Metropolitan Police for combating crime and traffic offences. From the illustration the car could be a Bean or a Cubitt. Any comments?

V.S.C.C. Northern Trial (November 4th)

First Class Awards: C. A. Winder (1926 Frazer Nash Anzani), N. Arnold-Forster (1925 Frazer Nash Anzani), M. S. Oddie (1939 B.W.M. 328) and J. I. Phillips (1925 Jowett 7/17).

Second Class Awards: R. G. Winder (1930 Austin Ulster), R. J. Clark (1936 H.R.G.), R. P. Bennett (1932 Riley Plus Ultra) and D. R. Bell (1924 Alvin 12/50).

Third Class Awards: B. Clarke (1929/34 Austin Ulster), K. Bowman (1926 Frazer Nash Anzani), R. L. Heath (1929 Alvis 12/50) and J. A. McEwen (1935 Riley Falcon).