Matters of moment, February 1988

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Community edicts

Motor Sport was optimistic last month about 1988 being reasonably happy for those who mess about with cars. However, judging by the anniversaries to be celebrated and the continuing interest in older vehicles, from Veterans to Classics, many people prefer to look to the past rather than to the future!

The time appears to have come for them to heed more than a word of warning!

We have seen how the DVLC refused to permit vintage cars for which log-books were not produced before the end of 1983 to use their original number-plates. Cars which failed to keep their original numbers are issued with others thought “appropriate” by the DVLC, though not necessarily by the cars’ owners.

The DVLC seems to have realised the error of its ways, because newly-discovered vehicles are now allowed to use original numbers if they are truly historic. Alas, former ownership by a “show-biz” personality seems to matter more to Swansea bureaucrats than being a “first”, a “one-off”, or the sole remaining example of a kind. This is in any case an unsatisfactorily discriminating guideline!

Worse than all this, however, the European Economic Community does not take too kindly to older vehicles, either. By 1999 the EEC might insist on emission-equipment for all cars which will foil the use of old engines. Other probable restrictions include regulation of lighting-sets (ask the VSCC of Australia!), compulsory membership of clubs dictated to by the EEC itself, and the banning of “fun” signwriting on privately-owned vintage vans.

We know the Historic Vehicle Clubs Committee, chaired by Derek Grossmark, will do its level-best to look after the interests of owners of old vehicles, whose appearance on the roads gives so much pleasure to so very many people. It is vital, however, that every individual club involved backs the HVCC to the hilt, if eleven years from now historic cars are not to be confined to museums, race-tracks and private roads.

The things they say

We wonder what BDC members thought when they saw a reader’s photograph in Country Life which purported to show the prototype 3-litre Bentley chassis (bodyless, and with a test-driver’s wooden seat) after it had done a long run to Yorkshire from Essex in the hands of a well-known motoring journalist of the early 1920s. What the picture actually showed was the back view of a vee-twin, air-cooled AV (or Carden) discwheeled cyclecar!

Club news

Launceston and North Cornwall Motor Club’s Launceston Trial starts and finishes in that town on February 7. The secretary of the meeting, Les Consort, would be pleased to hear from anyone willing to marshal, and can be contacted at 3 Norman Close, Highweek, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 1PB.

Citroen Car Club’s annual dinner/dance weekend will be held at the Hinton Firs Hotel, East Cliff, Bournemouth on February 19-21, and places may be booked through Mrs JM Turner, 54 West Bank, Dorking, Surrey RH4 3DH.

“Wheels 88”, the second North of Scotland Motor Show, will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from April 30 to May 2, with the organisers hoping to build on the 27,000 visitors attracted in 1986. An information brochure for prospective exhibitors is available from Offshore Conferences & Exhibitions Ltd, Rowe House, 55-59 Fife Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1TA.

Dates for this year’s Inter-Register Trophy events include Fiat on May 22, Alvis on July 24, Humber on August 21, Crossley on September 18 and Austin TDC on October 16, with those of Riley and STD still to be confirmed. Last year’s trophy was won by the Humber Register.

Jowett Car Club’s newsletter Jowetteer reports that its Scottish section is active once more. Anyone interested should contact Drummond Black at 10 Newliston Road. Kirkliston EH29 9DY.

MOG 88, the annual gathering of the Morgan Sports Car Club this year being organised by its Oxfordshire Centre, will be based at the Cotswold Wild Life Park near Burford on the weekend of June 18-19. For information about this or other MSCC activities, send an sae to general secretary Barry Iles, Hollands Farm (PR2), Coombe Green, Birtsmorton, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6AB.

Features of the London Classic Car Show at Alexandra Palace on April 9-10 will include club and trade stands, autojumble, Bonhams auction, and restoration displays and seminars. The organisers are Greenwood Exhibitions, PO Box 230, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 5PU.

Veldhoven in the Netherlands will host 1988’s International 356 Weekend, on May 12-14. Porsche Club GB’s National Newsletter notes that accommodation has been booked in a former convent with few double rooms, but sees abstinence as a small price to pay for such a popular social occasion.

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