V-to-C Miscellany, December 1995, December 1995

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To our recent list of club publications, never intended to be complete, can be added The Bulletin of the FIAT Register. The Spring issue contained a discourse by Dick Patten and David Venables as to the drivers who were in those excellent little Balilla Fiats in the Ulster TT races.

Those who find that anything Bentley represents the absolute spice of life’s existence may like to note that the Bentley DC (01844 208233) can still supply copies of those very erudite little publications, by Stanley Sedgwick, Twenty Years Of Crewe Bentleys — 1946-1965; All The Pre-War Bentleys — As New, with a 1982 Supplement; R-Type Continental; Where Have the BLOWERS gone; and The How And Where Of The 8-litre Bentleys, this last listing not only the first but some subsequent owners of these great cars. If interested, give the Club a ring…

It is gratifying when the smaller clubs continue to thrive; the Gwynne 8 Register managed to field five of these now-rare cars at VSCC Prescott in August. Ian Smith had the “hip-bath” G8 which he had raced at Silverstone in the ’60s, now using a Wolseley gearbox, David Woodbum’s orange sports model which also had this racing past to recall was there, as were Bill Peacock’s replica Brooklands-model Gwynne, on a trailer but soon to be completed, Registrar Ian Walker’s “hip-bath” and one other, all parked under a G8 banner. Moreover, the Woodburn G8 has been on a trip to France although it broke a front road-spring — shades of a similar happening in the diary of another G8 owner, which we summarised recently — this was quickly repaired by a Renault garage which refused payment; so the reward was a ride in the Gwynne, an International Aston Martin and Walker’s Sunbeam 14.

We hear that the centenary of the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race was commemorated by a 375-mile run from Bordeaux to Paris by eight very early cars, the oldest an 1892 Panhard-Levassor driven by Robert Panhard, the grandson of Hippolyte Panhard, and that all completed the course, including the Loders’s 1895 Peugeot, the UK entrant. Incidentally, the monument to Emile Levassor is still intact, at the Porte Maillot, Paris.

In our Obituary Notice to Dorothy Stanley-Turner we stated that she broke the Ladies’ record at Shelsley Walsh in 1939 with a works Alta. This was generally believed at the time but Denis Jenkinson tells me that, in fact, the Alta was borrowed from Bob Cowell. It was a black 1½-litre, which they towed to Brooklands the week before, behind Cowell’s mother’s Singer 10. Geoffrey Taylor, Sammy Davis and Dorothy were there and she did a few outer-circuit laps, crossing the Fork at some 110 mph. Taylor and Davis looked after her at Shelsley Walsh and she duly broke Kay Petre’s record.