Getting it right

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Sir,

Come off it! KV 5392 never won the Index of Performance in 1933 (your report on the Spero trophy Race – October’s Motor Sport).

These sort of statements confuse history and make it increasingly difficult to prevent errors creeping in as original material gets scarcer. KV 5392 won the Index of Performance in 1934 and took, for Rileys, the Rudge Whitworth Cup (biennial award).

Dr. Birmingham’s book on Riley history is also incorrect on this point. KV 5392 was driven in the 1933 Le Mans by Sebilleau and de la Roche. Von (not Van) de Beck and Peacock drove VC 8304 to win the Index that year. KV retired after 14 hours with a seized cam follower.

It is interesting to note that this same ’33 engine was taken as the spare in 1934. The engine fitted to KV misbehaved on the drive (yes, drive) to Le Mans and the spare was fitted. Thus, the car ran at two successive Le Mans on the same engine.

The engine was later used for testing and KV 5392 was fitted with an Ulster engine before being sold by the works in 1936 to Briggs (your “History of Brooklands”, page 297). This engine is still fitted and has never been rebored (unless John Melville has been up to things I don’t know about).

GERALD F. HENNINGS – BFPO 39.

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