It is always very irritating when you know a little history but can’t find the photographic evidence, when you know that someone out there must have it! So, then, where can I find a comprehensive set of photographs for Shelsley or the Brighton Speed Trials for the period 1932-5?
Captain Marendaz ran a supercharged 13/70 model at these events and others during the period and so far no photographs have been traced. As is well known he sold production four-seater cars from his factory in Maidenhead and although they were occasionally seen at sporting events in the hands of owners, factory supported speed events were mainly run with a stripped, supercharged, four-seater car. It was unpainted, with racing circles on the side, no trim and only two seats. The supercharger was a Zoller, driven at an angle from a crankshaft extension, in the style of Lea-Francis. This car fulfilled no other function within the factory, resting quietly within the works, until Friday afternoon when it was looked over preparatory to a weekend racing. Being a scruffy looking thing it was not used as a customer demonstrator, this function being reserved for Captain Marendaz’s own car.
Drivers at the events were the Captain and frequently a chap called Mitchell, and sometimes Kaye Don who was a good friend of the Captain. Rita Don, his sister was also sometimes a member of the Marendaz party.
So, who can help? My undying gratitude is your reward!
Graham Skillen, Tonbridge, Kent.
I read with interest your article ‘Getting it Right’ concerning some of the ladies who raced at Brooklands. In my quest to fit cars with current owners I wonder whether any of your readers could shed some light on a couple of ladies who made up one of the first Fiat Balilla teams in the 1936 LCC Relay Race at Brooklands? The ladies in question are Mrs Chaff and Mrs Lace. (The third driver in the team was Mrs Wisdom, and both she and her car are well known and documented!) I note that Mrs Chaff also drove a Fiat Balilla in the May meeting at Donington in 1936. Any information concerning these ladies or details of the cars they drove would be much appreciated.
Richard Patten, Barming, Kent. (Mrs Lace sometimes drove a 4½-litre lnvicta in other races, and a David Scott-Moncrieff Singer 9 on one occasion. If anyone has more information, it can be forwarded – WB)