Vintage to Classic Miscellany, December 1990

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Brooklands

The Brooklands Museum Trust has been getting very good press coverage recently and the Museum itself has already opened its doors to public visits in a small way, preparatory to opening officially in April 1991. The venture centres round the 30 acre site, about all that is left of the 360 acre motor racing track and aerodrome of former times. The Brooklands Society, which originated visits to the historic site after the war, long before the Museum project was thought of, is to co-operate and if the Trust, under the patronage of HRH Prince Michael of Kent, raises the sum of money it requires, the Museum project will flourish.

The immediate aim is to raise £250,000, to facilitate the redecoration and refurnishing of the interior of the Clubhouse, which Gallahers contributed after spending a vast sum on rebuilding it, so that the place can become a commercial centre for executive lunches, conferences, etc, and for a new Brooklands social club, as it were, to be formed. This idea may not appeal to everyone, because before the war BARC members joined the Brooklands Club to see the racing and drive their cars on the Track, and while no doubt business was conducted there, that was not the primary aim of the BARC. Be that as it may, the display of Brooklands artefacts, the unravelling of the Track’s detailed history, the preservation of the famous Test Hill, and what is left of the Members’ banking, albeit including a newly laid section, and some of the pre-war Paddock sheds, etc, is a worthy undertaking. The Museum is strong on historic aircraft with Brooklands’ associations but less so on racing cars, of which the ex-Whitney Straight/RL Duller Duesenberg and a sprint AC were for a long time the only such exhibits. The public will probably expect to see some dozen or more cars which raced at the Track when the place is fully open. Meanwhile, the project is in full swing, and the Brooklands Society continues to publish its very good Gazette, edited by Rupert Prior, and to hold its annual reunion at the old Motor Course.

Congratulations to Owen Wyn Owen who has got through the first round of the Scania Transport Trust contest and is eligible for the final next year, for the restoration of the 27-litre Thomas Special ‘Babs’ which he dug up at Pendine in 1969, from the grave in which the car had been buried after Parry Thomas’s fatal accident there when in search of another LSR.

Colin Readey still has the ex-Bob Gerard/Cuthbert Harrison Riley TT Sprite with which he raced from 1960 to 1980, taking second place in the MOTOR SPORT Brooklands Memorial Contest in 1969. It was not taxed in those years but is now to be seen on the road; the difficulty is to obtain its original AVC 20 registration number.

The Citröen 2cv, now that it has ceased production, can be regarded as a classic car and those girls who drive them may care to know that Pinits Manufacturing of Windsor, SL4 3BR are making a run of 5000 2cv hand enamelled brooches, priced at £6.99 each.

A reader wants to trace the history of his 193112/60 TK Alvis beetleback, reg no JS 4061, car no 13915, eng no 9602, supplied originally by John Gott of Glasgow to EC Hounslow of Witney, who apparently passed it on to LE Baragwanath of Oxford. A new log book was issued in 1961 which lists eight owners since then, the first Baron von Maltzohn, the last D Johnson of York in 1979. The Alvis was originally black with green mudguards and replaced an 8/18 Talbot coupé. Letters can be forwarded .WB

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