More than 60 pre-war cars and a few motorcycles supported Mark Garfitt’s New Year’s Day VSCC meeting at The Vernon’s just outside Ledbury. About 15 A7s turned up, (including Seymour Price’s Chummy, an Open Road two-seater, and my mock Ulster) as well as a couple of Austin 12/4s. Five Alvises, a smart Frazer Nash, an Amilcar, two Lea-Francis, a 14/40 MG and a J2 helped to fill the hotel car-park, in which a GN rubbed running-boards with a sports Senechal that had the indomitable Robert’s signature on its radiator. There were two Edwardian Buicks, a Rolls-Royce, Lee’s Salmson, and Garfitt’s own Frazer Nash-BMW 319/55, The Morgan boys were out in numbers, including a pre-war 4/4, President Collins came in the Sixty Mercedes, Lagondas were represented by a 14/60, two LG45s and a 3-litre, the very clean open car bearing a notice that suggested it was about to wed one of the others!
Ron Barker had driven from Cirencester in his Renault 45, at 8 mpg, a locally-owned Speed Six Bentley put in a brief appearance, Benyon brought his Salmon-bodied 4 1/2-litre Bentley dh coupe, joined by another 4 1/2, and there were two 3 1/2-litre Derby-Bentleys, one a magnificent open tourer. Also noted were a sporting Singer, a FWD BSA three wheeler, Sir John Venable-Llewellyn’s Type 35 Bugatti, Moffatt’s Type 35B, and three Rileys, one a flat-topped aluminium Special. The landlord of The Verzon’s had given a bottle of bubbly for the car coming the greatest distance, but as Gwyn Stephens from Neath and his 4 1/2-litre Lagonda have won this twice before he sportingly stood down, suggesting that it go to the oldest car present. This, the 1903 Mercedes having departed, was John Nicholson’s rare 1912 Lancia Eta, with period saloon body. This was an interesting car, but should surely have a 50 hp ohc engine to justify its type-name? WB