VEV Miscellany, February 1986

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Mic Comber is hoping that some gaps in the history of the 1500 Super Sports Alta Romeo, which he has owned for the past 23 years, can be filled in by readers. The car was imported early in 1929, along with others, by Mr Stiles of Alfa Romeo (British Sales) Ltd, who wrote about this for MOTOR SPORT after the war. Edgar Fronteras, who was associated with Stiles, had the car. Reg No GU 9699, and it was driven in the Ulster TT by Rarnponi and in the JCC Brooklands “Double-Twelve” and the Irish GP in Phoenix Park by Fronteras, who was also the entrant on all three occasions. It was given a heavy-looking dh coupe body in 1934 and it is thought to have been owned by a lady for a couple of years, from 1936. By the time Mic Comber bought it yet another body, a doorless two-seater by Yimkins, probably put on in the 1950s, had replaced the original very light two-seater body. In 1957 a Mr A. J. D. Sims, of Streatham, had the Alfa Romeo, which today has a replica of its original body. If anyone knows more about the car, particularly its history from 1929 to 1934, when it may have done more racing, Mr Comber would like to know. Letters can be forwarded.

A 1921 10.4 hp Calthorpe is being rebuilt from parts found in the basement of a jeweller’s shop in the Welsh town of Barry and a partly-restored chassis found some years later. This year’s Ulster TT Commemorative Events will include the Craigantlet hill-climb on August 1st and 2nd and the Commemorative Run round the famous Ards circuit on August 8th, followed by a lunch the next day. This is a great occasion, not to be missed, especially for those owning actual TT cars’ or identical or other vintage/pvt vehicles, these being the categories recognised by the Ulster VCC for the occasion. The registration fee is £10. TT personalities are also welcome details from Desmond Botley, Hilltop Cottage, Drumhirk Road, Comber, BT23 5NN.

Regulations are already available for the 49th Pioneer Motorcycle Run of the Sunbeam MCC, which is scheduled for March 23rd from Epsom to Brighton. Write to: Lt-Col A. J. Ayers, 59. Beechwood Road, Sanderstead, Surrey, CR2 OAE.

We referred last month to Roger Collings project of building a sort of road-going “Chitty-Bang-Bang”, using a 27-litre Liberty V12 aero engine in a pre-1914 chain-drive Mercedes chassis, thus perpetuating a practice that was more common in the early 1920s than is sometimes realised, so that quite a few aero-engined monsters flew about the roads. Roger is just the sort of person to overcome any problems. A radiator will have to be found, but an Hispano Suiza “cooler”, bigger than that of an Alfonso model, may be adapted, but what is needed at present are carburetters for the Liberty engine. The Vintage Motor Cycle Club is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year and would like to hear from those who were members in 1946 and those early years, or from anyone who knows of any such ex-mernbers. The Club was the idea of C. E. Allen, BEM, then Col Allen. who wrote to MOTOR SPORT in December 1945 asking for support for a club for motorcycles made prior to 1931, and suggesting that there could be said to be an affinity between a Bentley and a Sunbeam, a 30/98 and a Norton, an Aston Martin and a Rudge, an Alvis and an AJS, a Riley and a Velocette, and an AC and a Scott, in terms of vintage cars compared with vintage motorcycles. The Club now has more than 5,200 members. Its opening meeting was held at the Hog’s Back on April 26th, 1946 and there is to be a similar lunch near to this location on April 27th. 1986, for founder and early members. If you can help locate any of the latter who have dropped out, please contact the Secretary, Jim Hammant, Red Oaks. Mill Road, Lower Shiplake, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 3LN 107352242821. — W.B.