V to C Miscellany, February 1987

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A 1922 Type AK 32hp Minerva chassis that had been lying on a farm near Salisbury has been rescued by a reader who requires a suitable engine, gearbox and radiator to help with its restoration. He would also like to hear from other Minerva owners.

We were mistaken in saying in December that Gallahers may reap some return for the money they have spent restoring the Paddock Clubhouse and part of the banking from the rallies now possible at Brooklands. They entered into this arrangement in return for additional building land, and the site on which rallies are run is administered by Elmbridge Borough Council.

A reader, who has been following the diaries of Owen John which we have been recounting, has very kindly sent us a copy of a booklet written by OJ to announce the opening of their new House of Vincent showrooms and works in Reading in 1929. He had known William and Harry Vincent from about 1903, and reminded his readers that Vincent’s made the coach given to the Duke of Wellington by a grateful nation after he had won the Battle of Waterloo, supplied the first carriage to the Great Western Railway (it took 200 horses three days to drag it from the Bath Road works to the station), pioneered motor horse-boxes in 1912, and were agents for Rolls-Royce, Sunbeam, Austin and Humber cars. I have often passed the premises, and one day I may call in to see if much has changed.

Briggs Cunningham has sold his Museum exhibits to the son of Miles Collier, who drove the Cadillac saloon to 10th place at Le Mans in 1950, and they are expected to appear in a brand new museum in Florida in about a year’s time.

A reader who is restoring a 1922 Crossley-built 18.3 hp Overland in Surrey would like to contact others who own such a car. We have also been asked to try to trace the history of a 1913 Manchester-built Model T Ford tourer (Reg U 1729), thought to have been owned originally by a Mr Gledhill of Wakefield, who is thought to have sold it to a Mr Baxter of Harrogate in about 1948. The car, wrongly dated 1912 by the VCC at that time, was used for rallies until it was taken off the road in 1978. The 1913 date is corroborated by its flat body-panels, curved mudguards and single-piece windscreen.

The present owner craves information on its history since 1948, and promises to reply to all letters and return photographs. Yet another request comes from the owner of a 1933 Austin Berkeley saloon (Reg AME 84) who would like to know more of its past, as he can only trace it back to a Sheffield headmaster in 1938. We will forward letters for any of these readers.

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