As I never get round to writing to people . . . the fact that I have eventually started this letter, prompts me to go on and to tell you of another, of which you may not have heard. It is “Grand Tour” by Patrick Balfour, published by John Long Ltd., London, the first part of which deals with motoring to India. This trip is via France, Italy, Cyprus, Syria, Iraq, Persia and Afghanistan in two Silver Ghost Rolls-Royces. The really interesting bit, however, is that one of these was converted to run on charcoal gas and had a 5 ft.-high stove mounted on the running hoard. This was the brainchild of the leader of the party, a Colonel Christmas, who set off from the RAC in Pall Mall, and, in fact, only reached Dover before he had to abandon the charcoal arrangement and revert to conventional petrol power. He explains why he is doing this, as follows: “I am endeavouring to motor to India on charcoal because if the people in India can be induced to use home-produced charcoal instead of imported petrol the country and the government will benefit. I foresee no difficulties with my gas-producing plant. Charcoal can be easily obtained and it is ever so much cheaper than petrol. I calculate that 12 lb. of charcoal is equal in power to one gallon of petrol. The charcoal costs 2d. and the petrol approximately 2s. 7d. Thus to run my car on charcoal would cost 15 times as much as to run it on petrol.” (This is not an error on my part but a true extract from the book.) [The Rolls-Royce Club should find this of great interest, surely?—Ed.]
R. P. RAE – Edinburgh.
Too late to include last month, the following readers correctly gave Cubitt as the car used by the author of “A Two-Seater to Venice”: E. C. Wilson, of Keswick, and R. Baillie, of Crowborough.
Letters from readers, January 1930
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