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Apart from the annual change-about of F1 drivers, cars are changing hands within the VSCC. Chris Mann now has the Multi-Union, the Hon. Patrick Lindsay is said to be interested in the ERA-Delage, and we gather that Bernard Harding has Philip Mann’s touring o.h.c. Straker-Squire tourer in part-exchange for what sounds like a DH Fox Moth aeroplane.

***

H. G. Conway had an amusing letter in The Times not long ago, saying that his 50-year-old Bugatti gives others so much pleasure when he takes it on the highway that a subsidy from the Arts Council, if not from the MoT, would not come amiss!

***

A collection of illustrations by Bonnard, used to illustrate a book about a motor-tour of Europe in a 1904 Charron undertaken by his friend Octave Mirbeau (the book was published in 1908, in a limited edition of 225 copies) can be seen up to December 2nd at the Fine Arts Society, New Bond Street, W.1.

***

An Austin 7 adapted for a midget was among the items at an auction-sale at Shenley, near Milton Keynes, together with many rusty parts from more than 20 Austin 7s collected by 80-year-old John Mitchell since he bought his first of these cars in 1948. But two cars which didn’t sell were a Hall-Eight (see Motor Sport’s  “Fragments on Forgotten Makes” series), and a 1908 chain-drive Aries in need of restoration.

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Roger Collings in his well-known 1903 Sixty Mercedes and Jack Williamson driving the 1908 Grand Prix Itala indulged in a mock race on Pendine sands recently, for the filming of a new London Weekend Television production.

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The RAC has decreed that in future three-wheelers can take part in car competitions, which opens the VSCC to pre-war Morgans and the like and the Light Car Section of the latter to the less-hairy examples, which is good news and something the old Cyclecar Club fought hard for in 1928, following the panic ban on three-wheelers in non-ACU competitions after Ware’s accident in a Morgan three-wheeler during the 1924 JCC 200-Mile race at Brooklands.

***

The VSCC has announced a new fixture for 1979, in the form of a race meeting at Donington in May. It also intends to repeat its Brooklands Driving Test Meeting next February.

***

In connection with the above mentioned filming at Pendine, this gave Ian Wooldridge an excuse to write about the Land Speed Record for the Daily Mail ; it also showed he cannot spell Segrave’s name correctly and that he thinks, quite incorrectly, that this driver tried to take the LSR at the Welsh beach and failed, whereas Segrave succeeded, but on Southport sands. He also suggests that “Babs” was dug from its Pendine grave in 1969 “and raced again”, which should cause Owen Wyn-Owen to either smile or sigh… 

***

Brooklands News

The Brooklands Society annual dinner was moved to its new venue in Kensington in the expectation of an attendance of around 400 but, in fact, 132 members and guests sat down, with T. A. S. 0. Mathieson and his wife as the Guests-of-Honour. On show were the Multi-Union, Tim Ely’s ex-Hawthorn Riley, and Dunham’s Alvis, while John End’s Wolseley Moth attracted much interest out in the hotel foyer, to which it had been banished because no-one had told him that petrol in its tank was against fire-regulations within the building — and unlike some, End drives to meetings.

We hear that, having demolished those historic buildings at Brooklands, Oyster Lane Properties are taking down the original fencing along the outside of the embankment at Byfleet, preparatory to destroying the Byfleet banking — a farmhouse inside the perimeter has already gone. The brass plaque on the Flying Ground flight-booking office, the first building of its kind in the World, erected in 1910, on which a preservation-order has been secured, was stolen some time ago. It turned up in a Rainham, Essex, antique-shop recently and although the “Guinness Book of Records” office and the RAF Museum apparently had no idea what it was, the plaque has fortunately been restored to its proper place through the help of the Vintage Aircraft and Flying Association at Brooklands and the willing co-operation of the person who bought the plaque, not knowing it to have been stolen.

The VSCC is scheduled to hold its annual Driving-Tests at Brooklands on February 4th and has even booked February 3rd as the date for this meeting in 1980. — W.B.