Miscellany, December 1997

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At one of the greatest wedding ceremonies of the year, Ben Collings was married to Lady Louisa Gordon Lennox on November 1 at Boxwood Priory, followed by a reception for the 360 guests at Goodwood House, home of the March family for 300 years. The magnificent village church was lit by hundreds of candles, to which the Duke and his daughter were driven by Sally Collings in the 1913 Zust, used after the marriage service to drive the bride and bridegroom back to the evening reception. The happy couple departed for their honeymoon in the family 8-litre Bentley. VSCC members lapped the circular Goodwood drive in ‘proper’ cars as the Bentley carrying the bridal couple thundered into the night, flares lighting the route out into the Goodwood Estate.

* * *

The wonderful showing of the Roesch Talbots at Coys Silverstone races was a reminder of that day in 1968 when the late Anthony Blight took his team of these Talbot 105s, GO 52, GO 53, GO 54 and the great BGH 23, to Thruxton, where they won the Team Prize in the main race, drivers Stephen Curtis, Martin Morris and Anthony Blight, and two other races, Mrs Blight the Team Manager, all the cars having been driven from Devon and back again.

* * *

Arising from the recent auction of the ex-Ford 1100cc Alta which was raced in the TT and at Le Mans in 1930, Mr Desmond Statham wonders whether this is the Alta that he purchased in 1937, although as he thinks this was car No5 and the auctioned car is apparently No. 14 (KJ 8421), perhaps not. But it is interesting that another of these rare Altas, with the skew-gear overhead camshaft drive, is remembered. Mr Statham had to replace these very worn gears and his engine, with 200 lb/sq in oil pressure, slung its lubricant everywhere. He kept his car with him when he was in the Army in 1941, until one hilarious night in Cambridge he exchanged it for James Justy’s A7 Special (fusty ran the Alta in a speed-trial after the war) but weeks after found a genuine Ulster A7, which a farmer sold to him for £2 10/- (250p).

* * *

A Talbot believed to have been imported for Lord Delamere in 1913 still exists in Nairobi and may be restored.

* * *

The STD Register reports that Torrington’s are making precision products in the old Sunbeam factory in Wolverhampton, in tool-rooms almost unchanged since cars were made there, and that the former board room is to be named the ‘Sunbeam Room’. Louis Coatalen’s office, the drawing office and the accounts office have also survived.

* * *

It seems likely that one of a brace of Lancia Aprilias which was owned by the great Bentley exponent Forrest Lycett may be the car now owned by Graham Aylett. The car, EYP 465, seems to have been bought new by Mr Lycett in 1938; in The Memoirs of Forrest Lycett which Motor Sport published in April 1941, he is not altogether complimentary to the Aprilia, but recognised the worth of 30mpg with war restrictions pending. Mr Aylett’s car was silver with a blue side-flash and had second-series wheels with blue crescents on them. The fascia carries a Metron tachometer in place of the clock, now in the glove-locker lid, and the steering has dual track-rods, apparently factory arrangements. The Aprilia was bought in 1960 From John Fenn of Taplow. Can anyone add any more?

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