Letters from Readers, February 1948

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36

Sir,

I am left almost (but not quite) speechless with indignation on hearing suggestions for the inclusion of one or more foreign drivers in the final B.R.M. team.

Already, too many people in the world think we are going soft. It seems to me that hiring foreign drivers for our cars would be a very good way of confirming it.

Quite apart from that angle, it is fantastic to suggest that we cannot find half a dozen residents of the British Isles who can be entrusted with a fast car.

During the war, men were needed in thousands to master from scratch things like Hurricanes, Typhoons and Spitfires. (To say nothing of Cromwells and Churchills!) I have no recollection of any foreigners being hired to handle these machines because our chaps lacked the necessary quick reactions, skill or guts.

I am, Yours, etc., J. E. G. FAIRMAN.

[We submitted the above letter to Mr. Raymond Mays, who replied as follows:]

Sir,

It was kind of you to write me on this matter. I must say that I do agree with Mr. Fairman’s remarks and that certain English drivers, given the facilities for serious training and practice on suitable cars, should be able to hold their own against the best of the foreign opposition. The whole point is, through lack of a track and the shortage of racing cars, English drivers are at a great disadvantage at the moment, but once these can be overcome. I feel strongly that we should certainly be able to produce as good as the best elsewhere.

I also strongly feel that it is our duty to try to find, “new blood” in the racing world, and as I have stated many times, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be able to produce the facilities for choosing and training young men. At the moment this is very difficult, but I am still hoping that something on these lines will be able to be arranged before it is too late. All good wishes.

I am, Yours, etc., RAYMOND MAYS.

* * *

Sir,

I was most interested to read the article in your January issue entitled “Trials Car Trend,” by your contributor “D.S.J.”

As the constructor and co-designer of the Fairley version of the Austin Seven-cum-Ford Ten, I would like to point out that this machine was first put on the drawing board in an Army workshop in Tavistock in 1940 and was the culmination of much discussion between four enthusiasts, Tony Smith, Bob Fisher, Roy Cleaver and myself.

A chassis was prepared for the engine and then the fortunes of war split up the quartette.

In February, 1946, the scheme was continued in the workshops of James Fairley & Sons Ltd., of Sheffield, and the first production model won its first trial in November 1946, the Autumn Sporting Trial of the North Midland Motor Club, against the fiercest opposition in the north .

The Wharton car first appeared with its Ford Ten engine for the Christmas Trial of the Sheffield & Hallamshire Motor Club of 1946.

The Fairley car is, in fact, now in production and is offered as a streamline two or three-seater or as a trials car. May I wish you the best of luck for 1948 and may all our trials be muddy ones.

I am, Yours, etc., H. C. W. Phillips General Manager, James Fairley & Sons, Ltd.

* * *

Sir,

Seeing your excellent magazine rush into verse lately; I wondered if you could use this: (Pause and clear throat.)

I admire the constitution of Great Britain
And look upon our Parliament with awe.
I respect each rotund, pompous politician
Who sagaciously decides my country’s law.
But by far the greatest effort of these he-men,
And of quite the greatest benefit to man,
Is the law (enforced by our great C.I.D. men)
That you must not buy your petrol in a can.

I admire the magisterial condemnation
Of the felons in the dock, who cringe and cower,
For driving, to the danger of the nation,
At thirty-point-0-0-five miles per hour.
It’s the motorist who threatens us, uncaring,
A lawless man and treacherous, to boot;
Squandering our dollar stocks by daring
To drive twelve yards from his permitted route.

Occasionally you get a daytime stabbing,
But the major crimes all happen in the night.
Who cares about a simple smash-and-grabbing
While a motor-car is parked without a light?
Don’t give these criminals a basic ration,
Tax them more. Suppress the selfish toads.
Look down on them with righteous indignation.
What right have they to use the ruddy roads ?

“Fou De l’Essense.”