The bull-nose M.G. tourer we encountered on the last Veteran Run to Brighton was apparently owned by Ben Walker of Ascot, and was originally the late Eric Fernihough's personal means of transport, appearing as tender car at all manner of Continental motor-cycle races. Its present owner says it has given him many thousands of miles of trouble-free motoring and is still going well after 22 years service. Incidentally, Walker also has a 1909 Wolseley Fifteen. Another square-radiator Super Sports M.G. four-seater has been encountered in Aldershot.
In many homes Christmas was enlivened by the brisk lappery of the "Mighty Midget," an electrically-driven miniature racing car which runs several miles on a 4d. torch battery and, having an Ackermann steering layout, holds an admirable circular course. It is pleasing to note that in this case Britain can make it, for these models are made by Victory Industries Ltd., of Guildford, Surrey, and sell for 19s. 3d. The tiny electric motor which propels them runs up to 10,000 r.p.m., and if you haven't got one, you should pay an early visit to the local toy shop. Axel-Berg got in some Christmas motoring in the very fine, blood-red Series I 1932 -"2.8" supercharged Alfa-Romeo two-seater that he recently imported into this country — not surprising that he expressed no great regret at having disposed of a vintage F.I.A.T. Eight. Daphne Tolson, likewise, has transferred her affections from a D.I. Delage to a 2-litre Lagonda. A large pre-I914 Napier landaulette, described as just about saveable, is reported from Stourbridge, along with a quite reascinable post-1918 "Silver Ghost" Rolls-Royce limousine. Early examples of Crossley, Delage and Wolseley Twelve have been spotted in use in the same area, together with one of the rare 12-h.p. Sunbeam tourers of about 1924 vintage.
We regret to learn of the death of G. L. Grace, who found, and was restoring, a 1912 chain-driven Cottin-Desgouttes. A recent Allard achievement was that of Fernando Bellandi, whose two-seater broke the five-mile lap record for sports cars at the Interlagos circuit, San Paulo. The previous record was held by Fabrio Crespi's Alfa-Romeo. J. W. H. Pritchard, who owns a 1931 2-litre "Speed Model" Lagonda., wonders if there are sufficient vintage car owners in the Newquay area to warrant some "natters and noggins" and perhaps later a proper organisation. His address is Towan House, Fore Street, Newquay, Cornwall. The only suitable car in his district seems to be a "12/50" Alvis tourer, but he hopes owners of others will come forward.
The 2.9-litre monoposto Alfa-Romeo once raced by the late Richard Shuttleworth has been converted into an imposing sports two-seater by Charles Brackenbury's Byfleet garage to the order of Geoffrey Barnard.
S. M. Frost has acquired the " Grasshopper " Austin Seven formerly driven by R. K. N. Clarkson.
In America, Alec Ulmann has at last acquired his "Alphonso XIII" HispanoSuiza, a three-speed model with French three-seater sporting bodywork. But the apple of his eye is a 1913 model C Mercer Raceabout, which has a 300-cub. in. T-head engine, two-spark ZU4 Bosch magnetos, 32 by 4 Rudge Whitworth wire wheels, three-speed gearbox and 2.25 to 1 final drive ratio. This Mercer still covers half a mile in 42 seconds, a speed of 42.35 m.p.h., and is, according to Ulmann, the U.S. equivalent of our 3-litre Bentley. St. J. Nixon has resigned from the secretaryship of the Veteran Car Club, and as Editor of the Club's "Gazette."
Later in the season the Hagley and D.M.C. intends to run a trial for standard cars, saloons only being eligible and the sections intended to do no harm to cars, bodily or mechanically. The organisation is in the hands of Ken Wharton. J. L. Reading of Taunton hopes to run an old Riley Nine in a local club's events.
In South Australia David Pearse proudly maintains a 1920-22 G.N., aided by three spare i.o.e. engines and a spare chassis. Fitted with two Amal carburetters, this car, even when off colour, could hold a 5th Series Lancia "Lambda" up to about 45 m.p.h., and beat a D.I. Delage on acceleration. These cars were owned by Pearse's cousin, who now has an Amilcar. Other cars in this enthusiastic stable include a 1924 twin-cam Vulcan Twelve tourer, used for trials, and a 1915 Calthorpe with T-Ford generator, Bentley screen, Wilkinson radiator, A.C. lamps, Bean ammeter and Solex carburetter. Pearse remarks that the G.N.'s 3.85 by 27 tyres are rather a nuisance and that he badly wants to know what h.p. the early G.N. engine gave and whether anyone has a spares list. A veteran Gladiator engine, radiator and other parts have come to light in a West Country coach house and might hell) a V.C.C. member seeking such spare. C. A. Hartridge has acquired the 1925 21-h.p. Lorraine-Dietrich drophead coupé formerly owned by Major Blake.
Arising out of the paragraphs headed "Old Bean" in last month's issue, Peter M. Caporn, Rector of Eastwood, reports excellent service from a 1924 Bean Fourteen, although maximum speed is 42 m.p.h.; 40 m.p.h., however, can be maintained all day on 3/4 throttle at a fuel consumption of 20 m.p.g. on a long run, this dropping to 17 m.p.g. in town. The Rector would be glad to hear of another car or spare parts. Much interest has been evoked by the article, also in last month's issue, on an owner's modifications to a 1 1/2-litre Invicta; the enthusiast who wrote this article is Mr. F. Warburton of Mattock. Still they come — articles in the American Press about European cars. The latest we have seen is in The Pure Oil News for last December, entitled "Engines Have Style and Character." It is the sort of thing that can do our export drive a power of good, although it is amusing to see the "TC" M.G. Midget engine described as "fast enough to drive this famous sports car to nearly every World's record for its class."
A friction-drive 1923 G.W.K., in original condition, has been seen in an Ealing garage. Esmond Seal is overhauling a 5th series Lancia "Lambda" with 6th series Nardini-shortened chassis, which was at one time owned by the Editor of Motor Sport. J. A. K. Fergie has exchanged two Lancia "Augustas" for a twin o.h.c. Alfa-Romeo. A 1924-5 solid-tyred Trojan "Chummy," in saveable condition, is reported from Exeter.
P. A. Richards, who drove M.G., Aston-Martin, Rapier and Singer cars at Brooklands, Donington and in trials here before the war is now in Bloemfontein and entered a "TC" M.G. for the recent. Fairfield Handicap. He has raced a 3 1/2-litre Jaguar in East London events and reports the formation of a club in his town. He hopes to acquire an XK 120 Jaguar in due course.
We cannot resist logging the continuance of interest in vintage motor-cycles. The Christmas issue of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club's "Bulletin" lists eight new members, possessing 1914 B.A.T., 1925 o.h.v. New Hudson, 1926 Sunbeam, two 1929 Scott "Flyers," 1926 model-18 Norton, 1921 two-stroke Royal Enfield, and a 1926 Scott. This Club hopes to organise a rally at Eastbourne in the summer. Hon. Sec.: M. F. Walker, 170, Woodcock Hill, Harrow, Middlesex.
The growth of the recently formed Peterborough Motor Club is typical of the enthusiasm that, since the war, has been evident in all motoring matters. Membership approaches 120 after eight months' existence, and while the Club caters for owners of ordinary cars, it also numbers a K3 M.G. Magnette, a brace of Frazer-Nashes, a Bristol and a Ghia-bodied Lancia on the roll. Monthly meetings are held and Tony Curtis has given a film-show. A magazine is about to be produced and future plans include a dance in February, a trial in March and another rally during Annual Regatta Week in June. Hon. Sec.: J. R. L. Barrett, "The Cottage," 230, Lincoln Road, Walton, Peterborough.
One of the compensations of being the Proprietor or Editor of Motor Sport is the number of greetings that pour in by every post just before Christmas, reminders of a good season completed and another not too far distant. 1948 was no exception and amongst the cards and good wishes received were a Roy Nockolds impression of dawn at Le Mans from the Bentley Drivers Club, a Brockbank woodcut of the sprint Alfa-Romeo in action from Ken Hutchison and his wife, a card depicting the 1904 Mercédès at the Vintage S.C.C. Prescott Meeting from C. R. Abbott, an applicable Brockbank racing cartoon from John and Betty Bolster, a sketch of the Formula II H.R.G. in a B.R.D.C. card from Ariel and Peter Clark, an impression of the ex-Hughes "30/98" Vauxhall at speed from Kenneth and Jo Neve, a fine photograph of the special-bodied H.R.G. going through the courtyard at Bo'ness from Bill Hoare, near-vintage M.G. Midget, Edwardian single-cylinder Rover and veteran Humber tricar on a card from S. J. Humphries, familiar racing Austin "Ulster" on J. V. Bowles' card, the G.P. Alta at Berne from a Swiss reader, a Christmas picture of a Jowett Javelin from Colin Baldwin of Jowett's, a cartoon card from H. R. Godfrey of the H.R.G. Engineering Company Ltd., the Silverstone start on cards from F. Stanley Baines and the R.A.C. Competitions Department, an impression of the Gardner Special doing 180 m.p.h. in Belgium from Lt.-Col. A. T. "Goldie" Gardner, M.C., another fine impression of the same car at the same venue from Lodge Plugs Ltd.. a fine photograph of a Meadows Frazer-Nash he once owned, from Edward Hyde. a most interesting picture of Vizcaya's Full Brescia Bugatti in the 1920 Voiturette Grand Prix on the Sarthe Circuit, just before Ettore Bugatti unwittingly caused it to be disqualified by touching the radiator cap, from Jack and Rose Lemon Burton, a view of the summit of the Susten Pass and the hope that we shall be on the top of the world in 1949, from Joseph Lowrey, a Prescott paddock scene from Rivers and Penny Fletcher and family, another B.D.C. card from Mr. and Mrs. John Morton, an impression of his Ford V8 Special on a trials hill from C. A. N. May, a speed impression from Don Pitt, another, of his Frazer-Nash, from Ronald Palmer, the familiar D-type E.R.A. from Raymond Mays, "Spider" in furious action from Basil Davenport, a fine picture of a "Speed Twenty-Five" Alvis radiator from Alton Garage, and a humorous study involving his Stanley steamer from Leonard Taylor. Not to mention a cable from Mr. Harrington in New Zealand, and cards, many of a character which made non-motoring relatives and friends goggle, from the Aston-Martin Owners' Club, Sir Anthony Starner, Bt., Dr. and Mrs. J. R. Edisbury, Joan and Ted Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. Holland Birkett, Stuart Wilton, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Hutton-Stott, Guy Griffiths and family, Alan Southon, Julian Fall, K.L.M. Royal Dutch Airlines, the Jersey M.C. and L.C.C., Martin Brunt, John Morgan of the Junior Car Club, Rodney Clarke, Mike Oliver and Guy Gale, J. E. G. Fairman, Anthony Brooke, The Car Mart Ltd., Leonard Potter, the Directors and Staff of W. D. Horrocks and Sons Ltd., John F. Snow, F. J. Findon and the Staff of the Light Car, John Barrett of the Peterborough Motor Club, Mr. and Mrs. Jack M. Reiss, W. Husband of Blue Peter Re-Treads, the Allard Motor Co., Ltd., Mr. and Mrs. H. Tymms, G. James Allday, M.B.E., of the V.C.C., C. E. Allen and family, of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club, R. M. Stratford of Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Mr. and Mrs. Bob Newton, Twink and Monica Whincop, Alfred H. Ball, Paddy Halion, Mr. and Mrs. Anning, Prima Motors, Geoffrey Smith, Reg. Phillips of the Sheffield and Hallamshire M.C., "Steady" Barker, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Peacock, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Monkhouse, Buckler's of Reading, Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth, Billie North, Alan May, Ken Wharton, Harry C. Shaw of Joseph Lucas, Ltd., the Committee and members of the West Essex C.C., the Public Relations Department of the Rootes Group, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Clymer, and Geoffrey Sykes of the Brighton and Hove M.C., as well as very fine calendars. from the Jowett Motor Co., Ltd. T. P. Breen and Co., David Brown T;sictors,, Ltd., Paul Street Garage, Ltd., the Antone Company and Jack Leeson and, Partners, and diaries from Norman, Freeman of Dunlops and Stanley Blake. Reece. Also New Year greetings from, L'A.G.A.C.I. of Paris, the Jabivers Racing Stable of Switzerland, John Hugenholtz of Holland and P.S. Motors,. Ltd.
Not only did the Brighton Run and Gloucester Trial appear on the newsreel, at one's local cinema, but the latter. event, started incidentally by Kenneth, Horne, was the subject of a television, broadcast. And a useful little article, illustrated with Motor Sport's photograph of the start of the Silverstone Grand Prix, appeared in the December. issue of the Journal of Rubber Improvement Ltd., emphasising that motor racing, has returned to Britain and that the. B.R.M. is on the way, unhampered by the Board of Trade. We particularly liked the author's suggestion that, if you are acquiring a factory-built 500-c.c. racing. car and cannot arrange to pay the purchase tax, it might be possible to arrange a spell in prison in lieu — Viva la Sport!
The very-much-alive Southsea Motors Club continues to issue its monthly magazine. S. R. H. Critchett and A. W. Finch have been elected to the Committee and a most interesting announcement concerns a proposed race meeting at Goodwood Track this year, in conjunction, with two or three other clubs and with the permission of the J.C.C. Geoffrey Ansell, the Club's President, sent a, Christmas Message to the Club's members. Hon. Sec.: C. S. Dervey, 10, Park Mansions, Magdala Road, Cosham,„ Hampshire.
V. S. C. C. A.G.M.
At the A.G.M. of the Vintage Sports, Car Club in London on January 21st, the 1948 awards were presented. John Bolster took the Lycett Trophy for his, achievements with "Bloody Mary," J. P. Maréchal (6 1/2-litre Bentley) the Proxime. Accessit Cup, F. A. Norris (Norris Special), the 1,500-c.c. Trophy and C. R. Abbott, (1904 Mercédès) the Edwardian Trophy. The Pomeroy Trophy competition was not possible because of the too little petrol, so it was awarded to Harry Bowler for his fine work as Competitions Secretary. Runners-up for the 1,500-c.c. Cup were J. V. Bowles (Austin Seven "Ulster "), and Owen Finch (Amilcar Six) while Peter Clarke (1914 G.P., Mercédès) was, placed second to Abbott for the Edwardian Trophy.
Three of the excellently-produced and, illustrated "Bulletins" were published during 1948, these being the inimitable work of Cecil Clutton. He hints at retiring from these editorial pursuits, but must be firmly persuaded from doing so. Indeed, with a little more paper about we may hope for more frequent issues of this delightful publication this year. In the last issue Clutton's report of the Earls Court Show, with particular reference to the new sports Alvis, is indeed enjoyable.
V.S.C.C. — Northern Section
A well-attended meeting was held on January 8th. After the meeting and an excellent buffet supper, a number of interesting films, kindly loaned by John Shearman, the Bugatti Owners' Club and the Veteran Car Club, were shown. Some 80 people were present and a number of interesting vintage cars were in the car park, amongst them Major Gardiner's "30/98" Vauxhall, F. E. Ellis's 1922 "Strasbourg" Aston-Martin, John Shaw's 1922 "37.2" Hispano-Suiza and K. B. Lee's Bugatti. In addition to those who had come by car, a number of intrepid "vintagents" had braved the dangers of the Iron Road, some even journeying by this means from places as far afield as Carlisle, London and Basingstoke.
At the general meeting, at which the President took the chair, W. G. S. Wike was appointed to take on the secretaryship of the Northern Section in place of Kenneth Neve, who was retiring. Neve continues, however, to represent the interests of northern members on the main committee of the club. Ashcroft was appointed as assistant secretary of the Northern Section.
So many fine veteran, Edwardian and vintage cars exist in pristine order in America that one is never very astonished to learn of new discoveries. But a car referred to in The Antique Automobile for the third quarter of 1948 is of more than passing interest. It is one of the odd-looking rear-engined Rumpler streamlined "Tropfen Autos" or saloons, which C. R. Tydings hopes to restore. The car bears a plate on the engine dated October 22nd, 1918 and was apparently bought in St. Petersburg. It was found at Mount Dora, Florida, where it seems to have been last licensed in 1926. It has a four-cylinder Buda engine with Schebler carburetter and 12-volt Bosch starting and lighting system, in unit with which are the wet plate clutch, the gearbox and the differential housing, universals inside the rear housing taking the drive to the drive shafts of the independently-sprung rear axle. The body is beautifully made, of wood, with central headlamp in the nose and short horizontal wings, the rear ones deflecting air to the engine cooling fan. The nose is of sheet steel (safety first?) and the streamlined tail of sheet aluminium. These advanced cars, similar to the 1923 rear-engined Benz racing cars designed by Prof. Rumpler, have been illustrated from time to time in the British motoring press, usually in conjunction with articles on the development of streamlined bodywork.
Another interesting article in the same issue of The Antique Automobile gives details of the fine work done by motor fire pumps at the great fire at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1914.
Gosport Automobile Club
The above recently-formed Club held its first get-together at Gosport in January. The high spot of the evening was a film show by Anthony Curtis.
The Club has about 60 members and a good programme for the year, and has been officially recognised by the R.A.C.
A welcome awaits new members.
Hon. Sec., L. B. Stalhmeed, "Tudor Flats," High Street, Lee-on-Solent, Hants.
The Association of Northern Car Clubs
The seventh meeting of this Association was held at the Royal Victoria Hotel, Sheffield, under arrangements made by the Sheffield and Hallamshire Car Club. We have received from the Association the following report: —
"Perhaps the most important business before the delegates was the compilation of a calendar of 1949 fixtures. As was the case last year, co-operation between clubs helped considerably and an attractive list of fixtures was prepared ready for R.A.C. approval.
It was agreed to hold a special meeting early in February, at which the draft Supplementary Regulations for Trials, prepared by Mr. J. F. Kingham, would be discussed. At the meeting, it is hoped to agree on definite recommendations which can be forwarded to the R.A.C. in the hope that they will help them to issue National Supplementary Regulations.
Whilst the meeting was pleased to observe that the R.A.C. had reduced their scale of permit fees for closed events, a measure which the Association suggested to them a few months ago, there was strong condemnation of the new competition licence for all competitors, which the R.A.C. had suddenly, without any warning or reference to clubs, made a condition of issue of permits for all closed events and closed invitation events. Strong disapproval was expressed by many members. A suggested point in favour of licensing, in that refusal to license could be used as a threat to regulation-breaking competitors, was countered by the thought that if such 'gentlemen' could not be adequately dealt with by the clubs themselves, it was a pretty state of affairs and, in any case, why should every other competitor in the country have to suffer further 'taxation' as a result?
It was unanimously agreed that the Association should write to the R.A.C. protesting strongly against this new regulation. It is hoped that due regard will be given to this protest, coming, as it does, from the leading clubs in the North of England."
The D.K.W. Again?
The news that a Dutch company, Nederlandsche Automobilfabrik is said to be interested in re-introducing the D.K.W. car, making engines at the Motosacoche factory in Geneva and the chassis and bodywork in Holland, reminds us of a description of a very smart-looking D.K.W. that appeared in Motor Schon of February, 1938. This car retained the expected two-stroke engine, but it was a V-four, with three cylinders to each block of the vee, the additional cylinder in each block being an oversize, double-acting pumping cylinder feeding mixture from the carburetter to each of the working cylinders. Ignition was by a conventional distributor driven from the nose of the front of the crankshaft, on the near side. This engine was located conventionally, not transversely, in a chassis with rear-wheel drive, the independent front suspension being by a transverse leaf spring and wishbones and the normal rear axle being sprung by a high-set transverse leaf spring. A long bonnet and smart radiator grille were used and the body was a modern two-door saloon. Quite a different D.K.W., in fact, from the front-drive car we know in this country.