V-to-C Miscellany, December 1994, December 1994

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Blower Bentleys are not the easiest of of cars to use for long-distance rallies, so great credit is due to Lord Montagu for winning the prestigious Rally Monte Carlo de Voitures Anciennes, with just such a motor-car. Apart from which it is nice to know that the National Motor Museum is continuing to use its vehicles for such events, instead of retaining them solely as static exhibits. The 1930 blower-4½ Bentley won outright this Mercedes Benz dominated event, which ran from Germany into France to finish at Monte Carlo. British drivers also took the third and fourth places.

On the historic motor building front, the Automobile Place in the Welsh spa town of Llandrindod Wells has been acquired by the Development Board for Rural Wales and a Trust set up to restore the building, dating from 1909, and its facade, which includes an “Aircraft” sign denoting then-owner Tom Norton’s involvement with such projects both before and after WWI. The plan is to open the building, which was an Austin and Overland agency from the early days, as a “Time Traveller” show, demonstrating, in modern exhibition style, history from the invention of the wheel to futuristic space-travel. Cars and record-breaking scenes are visualised but sponsorship is needed; apply to Jerry Laurie, Old Town Hall, Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 5D1 (0597 822 997).

In contrast to the hopeful report on the Automobile Palace ex-garage building in Wales, we are sorry to learn that the old Argyll factory at Alexandria in Scotland, continues to deteriorate. After £800,000 in Government grants to buy this and other buildings the buyers collapsed; meanwhile, Dumbarton Council has spent over £30,000 to stop the historic listed building from destruction. A compulsory purchase order is likely. W B