It must have been some 40 or so years ago that I attended a steam-car rally. It attracted, if I recall correctly, only a Doble saloon, a home-made “pot-boiler” and a Turner-Miesse. In the interim things have hotted up; thirteen steam-cars took part in the Welsh Tour, the first of its kind in the UK, organised in August by David and Diana Goddard, who themselves brought their Stanley. The route took in many Welsh places of interest, described on the route card, an idea other organisers of historic car tours (as distinct from competitions) might well copy.
Of the steamers enjoying this exercise of over 400 miles in four days were 11 Stanleys, a 1908 Model L 20hp White from Cornwall, and the “Likeamobile”, a replica Locomobile from Norfolk. From touring Ireland Don Bourdon came in his model-85 Stanley, and was able to impart useful knowledge to the other Stanley participants. A repeat, please.
Congratulations to the 12/50 Alvis Register, which has just issued a very comprehensive list of its members’ cars. Membership stands at over 500 and the cars range from a 1920 10/30 to 189 12/50s of various types and 220 12/60s, and the most popular body style is the tourer, I 74 of the overall count of cars, followed by 103 sports Beetlebacks and 23 Ducksback, and 65 saloons. The Registrar is John Willis, The Vinery, Wansborough Manor, Guildford, Surrey GU3 2LR, who would be glad to hear of any “new” pre-1934 Alvis cars, and the Register’s historian and archivist is Alan Stote, Yarhampton House, Yarhampton, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcs DY13 OXA.
The results of the VSCC Madresfield driving tests were: First-class awards: D Hescroff (AC), Rosie Shapland (Talbot), J Ghosh (30/98), T Jones (30/98), M Lemon (30/98). Second-class awards: T Tarring (Frazer Nash), Jo Moss (Invicta), J Stammers (Riley), K Stimson (Riley), R Collings (Bentley), R Marsh (A7). J Bullock (A7). Third-class awards: M Joseland (Frazer Nash), S Welch (Bentley), P Bullett (GN), M Parkin (A7), Amanda Lemon (30/98). Concours d’Elegance: M Lemon (1913 30/98). Ladies’ award: Rosie Shapland ( 10/23 Talbot).
VCC members are restoring a 1901 Locomobile, 1905 two-cylinder Ford, a 1907 De Dion twin, a 1910 20 hp Hupmobile and a 1916 Mercer, etc. The VCC Journal Veteran Car had articles recently on Britain’s first imported car, by Malcolm Jeal, and on Ronald Harris’s 1900 Daimler.
The Brooklands Society’s 25th Annual Dinner took place on November 25. The Society is anxious to find a good model of the Thomas Special “Babs”, in connection with a display of memobilia associated with Parry Thomas, or to find a model-maker who could produce one. What, then, became of the fine scale model of this famous car which C C Wakefield had made for their stand at the 1926 Olympia Show, to emphasise that Thomas used Castrol oil? The new Chairman of the Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd is the Rt Hon The Lord Tombs of Brailes, who is a Director of N M Rothschild & Son and Shell UK Ltd and who is Chancellor of Strathclyde University. What is more, he owns a pre-war Alvis, said to have had a long association with Brooklands. The Membership Secretary of the Brooklands Society is B Reynolds, 38 Windmill Way, Reigate, Surrey RH2 OJA.
At the popular Riley Register’s annual Coventry Rally, when so many of these cars support the cause, some of the prize winners were Veteran & Edwardian Class: P Cattell’s 1908 vee-twin Riley; Open vintage Rileys: G Dick’s Brooklands Riley; Closed vintage Rileys, C Baggaley’s 1926 side-valve Riley; Open pvt Rileys; P Cattell’s 1933 March Special; Closed pvt Rileys: R Clarke’s 1932 Monaco, Most Original Riley: R Farmer’s 1904 Tricar; Riley Specials: J Lyall’s 1931 tourer; Best “working” Riley: G Kingham’s 1936 Adelphi; RM Trophy: M Atkinson’s 1952 1 1/2-litre Riley. Long-distance Award: C Goodall’s 1933 Kestrel which came 264 miles from Cornwall.
The Penrite Oil LE JOG which takes place from December 4 to 7 should provide spectators and competitors with some excellent winter entertainment. For historic and classic cars, it will start from Land’s End to John O’Groats, as the title implies, with all manner of regularity tests, driving tests and time controls, with night driving, such as over the Devil’s Bridge route from Rhayader on the first night, and in Scotland on the Monday night. The route takes in Bala, the Preston area, the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales, Edinburgh and Loch Rannoch, Tayside, with tests at Ingliston and/or Knockhill. Ambitious! The winner gets the Penrite Trophy and others gain gold, silver and bronze medals, in the old MCC tradition, depending on their proficiency. The older cars have an easier route and there is a blue riband for drivers who opt for a long but primarily scenic route, and a red riband for simply driving on main roads from End to End.
Run under the banner of the Historic Rally Car Register, this is claimed to be Britain’s longest historic-car event, at 1600 miles, for cars of the 1920s to 1960s. Details from John Brown, The Town House, Leigh, Worcester WR6 5LA. Tel: 0886 833 505 or 83228, Fax 0886 833 144, mentioning MOTOR SPORT.
We queried recently what cars the writer of articles about animals and wild life, Mortimer Batten, owned after having had a 1908 TT Metallurgique and used on the road in the 1920s a 1914 TT Straker Squire. The answer eludes us but a reader does recall that later Mr Batten had a flat-twin fabric-bodied Jowett saloon, which he drove into the mid 1930s, in a somewhat ragged state.