By the Brighton bush telegraph
Members of the press travelled down in a 1932 33-seater ex-Paris Renault 'bus, provided for the occasion by Adams Bristow Ltd. It has a six-cylinder engine giving 67 b. h.p. at the expense of some eight or nine m.p.g.–fortunately National Benzole sponsor the Run–and does 25 m.p.h.
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In the absence of Miss Hutton-Stott's 1904 Lanchester, Ronald Barker went as co-driver in R.G. Nash's 1900 Peugeot–another car on which I once passengered. Francis Hutton-Stott was also a non-starter, a great pity, as he is a very old hand at veteran-car affairs, the very spirit of which he captured in a series of articles he wrote for the war-time issues of Motor Sport.
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As usual (how does he do it?) the first to arrive at Brighton was M.E. Davenport in his 1900 Progress voiturette. He took about 2-1/2 hours, but says it is his last run, as he feels too old at 63, after competing since 1930. However, 72-year-old P.C. Tulley drove a 1901De Dion Bouton. Second car to check-in, 20 minutes after Davenport, was Neil Corner, in whose 1901 Mors rode Motor Sport's photographer. Third to arrive was Lord Montagu's Daimler.
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Lord Montagu's 1899 Daimler averaged some 20 m.p.h., a remarkable performance. He had with him, not H.R.H. Prince Charles, as was hoped, but disc-jockey Tony Blackburn.
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R. Andrews, son of RAC Chairman Wilfred Andrews, who waited to see him arrive, completed his 18th Run in the family 1901 Benz. R.C. Green's 1903 Napoleon had been driven from Dorset to London on Saturday, and was returning that night, and John Bolster's Panhard-Levassor set off for home, as is customary, after the Run. The 1898 Stephens finished with only one speed, five belts having been changed en route, and Horton's 1899 Star also broke belts, finishing with only one. Near the finish one of the Oldsmobiles, running in company with another of its kind, experienced trembler-coil problems, successfully overcome.
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A.S. Dunning twice dismantled the engine of his 1903 6 h.p. De Dion Bouton on the way down and A. Essex arrived at the finish of the Run sans clutch, gears and compression, on his 1903 8 h.p.De Dion Bouton. P. Newens gave up trying to get his 1898 Benz to function at 2 a.m. and drove instead his Toledo steamer, which underlines the wisdom of not being content with just one veteran!
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No. 1, the previously-mentioned 1899 Benz, was dismantled and smuggled from E. Germany in pieces. Last year it broke a drive-shaft. This year it won Autocar's plaque, taking just over five hours. We were surprised to learn that the 1903 Cadillac carrying the BBC's "Blue Peter" team, although repeatedly referred to by the commentator, was not an official entry, becausewe thought non-competing Edwardian and veteran cars were frowned. And Anthony Marsh's commentary was strictly for the public. . . .
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It should be noted that of the 60 non-starters listed officially ? were Overseas entries (out of 31 such). Very welcome as such competitors are, it is a pity such a comparatively large number failed to appear, in an event restricted to 250 runners. And, as the A23 is so splendidly policed on this occasion, one wonders whether the lifting of the police ban to permit 300 cars to start on a Run so popular with the public could not be envisioned for 1971? This year there were 49 reserves, of which at least 24 stayed away.
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Nice that Vauxhall Motors Ltd. entered a car, when other big British manufacturers seem anxious to disperse theirs! But where are the racing drivers who once used to take part?
Edward Riddle has kindly sent us a clipping from a private magazine "The Family Car" which was current in the Lucas and Riddle families between 1895 and 1900, from which it becomes apparent thatRalf Lucas, who was responsible for the Lucas Valveless car and later was associated with O. North in connection with the radial-engined North-Lucas, was running a belt-driven Mors, circa 1899, which overtook a Daimler on a journey to Greenhill from Blackheath. He was working at his Blackheath factory on a change speed mechanism, using expanding belts on lattice-surfaced steel pulleys, and a two-stroke car with this single-lever transmission ("other cars usually have about six handles to do the same thing"), for a Mr. Corder, with his own "automatic liquid fuel feed.
Somewhere in a North Wales town, forgotten for years, lies a 192? 20.7 h.p. sleeve-valve Falcon-Knight saloon, a 1915 Drake & Gorham single-cylinder diesel stationary engine, a Model B Ford engine converted by means of a Johnson head to function as a two-cylinder air compressor, a 1935 Model A Ford truck unused since before 1955, a 1936 Renault Airline saloon and many Morris Cowley and Model T Ford spares, etc., not forgetting gaskets for a Wigan-Barlow 4. These, by the way, are not for sale or viewing.
Shell-Mex and BP Ltd. state that they introduced their set of 2? engraved coins depicting historic cars for distribution at their Shell petrol forecourts, after intensive market research which showed that historic cars are of greater interest than other sporting themes and even scored more points than Shell's "Man in Flight" promotional coins. The vehicles depicted range from the 1866 Benz three-wheeler to a Lamborghini Miura and include a 1909 Rolls-Royce, 1928 4-1/2-litre Bentley and 1939 V12 Lagonda. The National Vintage Tractor Club restores farm tractors built prior to 1932 and its members own Foden Ns, Allis Chalmers, John Deere, Case, International, Titan, FWD Ferguson-Brown, Minneapolis-Moline and other makes. They gathered together 50 tractors at their first rally at Twycross last September but bad weather washed out demonstrations of farming methods of a bygone era. The secretary is A.T. Condie, 14, Balhousie Street, Perth, and the Club incorporates the Fordson Vintage OC. At the Earls Court Show three vintage and post-vintage engines were displayed by Coventry-Climax, these being a 1920-29 Model-F, used in GWB and Clyno cars, a Model J-55 as supplied to Triumph for their Gloria and Vitesse models and to Marendaz Special from 1932-36, and a Model-MA engine as used in Morgan, Triumph Gloria and Crossley cars from 1933-37. In view of our recent comments about the different makes of steam wagons which are being, or have been, restored and the possibility of a run for such vehicles ((why not over that "Commercial Motor's" demonstration route?), we were interested in similar comment in the October "Newsletter" of the National Traction Engine Club, which confirms that Foden, Sentinel, Leyland, Garrett, Yorkshire,Fowler, Tasker, Robey, Thornycroft, Clayton and Wallis & Sterms waggon have been put back on the road in recent times and suggests a week-end get-together for them. A 1934 Austin 18 or 20 with ambulance body, which served the local Civil Defence during the war, on oversize tyres, languishes in a Welsh field and is for sale.
A Renault garage in France is reported to be installing an Hispano-Suiza engine in a large Bugatti chassis. Mrs. K. Horstmann, whose 1922 Horstman was illustrated in the October issue, asks us to make it clear that she is the widow of Capt. F.G. Horstmann, D.S.C., nephew of Mr. Sydney Horstmann, who designed Horstman cars.