John Bateman’s letter regarding the de Havilland/ATN Special brought back memories of the 1950s, Prescott in particular.
I was walking around the paddock one day and got into conversation with someone I took to be the owner of this special, with its “reinserted’ aircraft engine in what he said was a “Q”-type MG chassis.
I asked what it was like to drive. “Don’t know”, he said, “I’ve just finished building it and haven’t driven it yet”. He then asked for a push to start it, but it refused all our efforts to get it to fire.
Then, to my delight, Ken Wharton came over. He raised the piston in the SU carb(s) with one hand, held the throttle wide open with the other and said “push” — it started straight away.
Wharton was at that time record-holder in the 2-litre R4D ERA and was doing an interview for BBC that day.
T A ALLPORT