“The Veteran Car Club — 50 Years Pictorial History”. by Elizabeth Nagle and Michael Sedgwick. 176 pp. 11 1/2″ X 8″. The Veteran Car Club of Great Bruain, essannne Howe, 15 High Street, Ashwell, Hero., SG7 5N L. £13.00).
The VCC of GB, founded in 1930, has celebrated its half-century with this excellent pictorial coverage of the many and diverse events it has organised, here and in Europe, and indeed all over the World, in association with aftiliated organisations. What a splendid idea this is! Although the book is anmposcd mostly of photographs, culled from many sources, 325 in all. reproduced on the highest-class glossy art-paper, the textual captions were entrusted to Elizabeth Nagle, who has an intimate knowledge of the VCC and its members as well as the veteran and Edwardian cars they operate, and Michael Sedgwick. that veritable mine of information on the history victory known make of car.
The result is a book worthy of this unique and important Club, a retninder not only of its influence throughout the World, but of the great many happy occasions at which its members have rallied to its well-organised events, and pride of place goes to the RAC London-Brighton Run for pre-1905 cars. That the book’s Index covers nearly four pages of close type and many of the entries refer to pictures of each car, is a measure of the very long time it will take those genuinely interested in the pioneer motor vehicles, whether they just browse through it or read it page by page, before they lay down this valued addition to the library or bookshelf. Veteran Car Club members will regard this as the greatest literary treat that has come their way for a very long time…
Naturally, the pictures abound in personalities and I am pleased that people like J. A. “Jackie” Masters and his wife Bee (“Jackie” is shown walking up an MCC trials hill in the picture), Stanley Sears, R. G. J. Nash, Francis Hutton-Stott, Philip Shaw, John Wylie and so many others, too numerous to refer to here, who were in at the beginning of the VCC, are given ample coverage, although I think C. S. Burney has been missed. Moreover, the influence of this Club is reflected in the photographs of HM The Queen, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the Prince and Princess of Kent at VCC functions, the last-named actually competing in the Golden Jubilee Rally on Her Majesty the Queen’s 1900 Daimler.
The late Sammy Davis, one of the Founders of the VCC, contributed the Founder’s Foreword shortly before his death at the age of 94, and is seen in his famous black poncho and in many other pictures, with his equally famous Leon-Bolide tricar. Overseas’ Forewords have been contributed by George Brooks of Australia, William Pollock of the USA, Andrew Anderson of New Zealand, R. H. Johnston of S. Africa and Paul van Leeuwen from Europe.
In referring to one of the VCC’s long-term officials and a keen user of veteran cars, Capt. J. H. Wylie, it is said that “he had his own standards and applied them, and nobody got very far without his personal approval and it was net casually accorded.” This reminds me of the time when I was passenger on Wylie’s 1898 Hurtu in the 1937 Brighton Run and we had trouble with a broken automatic. inlet-valve cotter. Monica Whincop stopped her early Austin 7 Chummy to serif she could help and went off anti brought us cups of tea. Wylie was so grateful, saying young people were not usually so thoughtful, that he invited us all to the Official Dinner in Brighton that evening, Monica, her boy-friend and met embarrassed as I was without a dinner-jacket, but typical of Wylie’s thoughtful generosity. We had started first from London and completed the course with the Hurtu’s candle-lamps alight. It goes without saying that the book is alive with action pictures of every conceivable veteran and Edwardian cars (Kent Kerslake, who has written so much erudite history for MOl’OR SPORT, is there with his 1908 Sizaire-Naudin to a Kent Messenger veteran-car run of which the VCC approved), and Elizabeth Nagle is seen beside a very impressive vintage Hispano Jean Batten, Guest of Honour at the 1937 Brighton Run, is seen having S. C. H. Davis’ Leon-Bollec explained to her, from its front seat (she rode to Brighton in Wylie’s chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, and the interest displayed in the Brighton Run by racing drivers like Prince “Bira”, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Capt. Gec.,113e Eyston, Richard Shutt few…, Phillip Fotheringtuan-Parker and others is not overlooked. As you read, and look at the pictures, in this large book it all comes back — the runs, the cars, the personalities, and the social occasions, all so nostalgic, yet continuing as actively as ever. Bravo, VCC,
The book is distributed in the UK and Overseas by Mcnoshire Ltd., 49 Churchfield Road, Acton, London W3 6AY. As it is one of the publishing events of 1981 it is recommended that you obtain a copy without delay. — W.B.