Compiled by WB and WPK
The Things They Say
The ‘Old No 1’ Bentley affair refuses to lie down and although, of course, it only goes to show how wrong we have all been, here is one view of the matter:
“It cannot be too emphatically stated that the car currently referred to as ‘Old No 1’, during the past four or five years both in this country and in North America, where it is now, is not the Firm’s Team Car ‘Old No 1’ which won the 1929 and the 1930 Le mans and other races.
Woolf Barnato owned the original ‘Old No 1’. When he instructed Wally Hassan to build him a 4-litre chassis with an 8-litre engine for the 1932 BRDC 500 miles at Brooklands, the Registration and Chassis numbers were transferred from ‘Old No 1’ to the new car which was built up from parts obtained from the Works. From that date the old car ceased to exist officially. The chassis was scrapped though the engine or some parts of it may still exist, but it is very doubtful if they do.
The new car was crashed in the 1932 race and was rebuilt for Barnato in coupe form for touring. When a few years ago. the coupe body was removed to make way for the present two-seater open body the writer saw the chassis and was only able to identify two parts which might conceivably have come from the old Speed Six — the much modified bulkhead and the gearbox casing.
Apart from these two minor items the present car has no relationship whatever to ‘Old No 1’.
The late Darell Berthon, then-Secretary of the Bentley DC, and author of A Racing History of the Bentley (The Bodley Head, 1956), writing in the BDC Review for January 1965.
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Later this year, the Brooklands Museum is due to open its doors permanently to visitors. The cost of such projects never fails to surprise us. This Museum is looking for £1 million to fulfil its ambitions (an overall £10 million is spoken of), which are to include facilities for business executives’ lunches, conferences, and even weddings and birthday parties, apart from motoring and aviation projects. This after Gallaher’s had restored the original Clubhouse at considerable expense and local business people have given £80,000 towards the Visitor Centre. Apparently it has been costing £25,000 a month to maintain the site as it is, without any additions, a staff of about 15 looking after it. Barbara Cartland, the romantic novelist, was asked to give her name to publicise the new Ladies’ Reading Room, and is said to be united with the MG she raced at the Track (more details, please). But we hope never to see anything so inappropriate as the Ford-engined Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on display. . . . it seems likely that a Brooklands Association will be formed to centralise these Museum ideals, which may well mark the end of the Brooklands Society, the organisation which first aimed to preserve and remember Brooklands, in 1967. However, this would be a snide response to all the hard work put in over the years by members of the Society, in clearing up the banking etc, organising the annual Re-Union, and starting and continuing to publish its excellent Brookland Society Gazette. So we hope this will not happen. Of the Museum, we shall be able to say more after its Official Opening.
To raise funds for the Brooklands Museum Trust (which last summer opened the doors of the not-yet-completed Museum to invited parties, such as car clubs, Star & Garter Home, Alton Museum, the Popular Flying Association, ornithologists, etc, numbering some 10,000 persons) prints of a charcoal drawing by the famous artist David Shepherd, limited to a run of 500, were to be sold, for £175 each (£200 framed). The drawing is captioned as depicting a scene from the 1932 BRDC 500 Mile Race at Brooklands. But unfortunately neither of the cars depicted took part in that race, nor indeed, in any others of the series of 500 Mile Races run at the Track! And what of that video which claims that one of the two racing cars in the Brooklands Museum held the Brooklands lap record, which it never did? So much for archivists!
The Brooklands Society has announced that this year’s Re-Union at the Track will take place on June 30.
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Martin Jubb, the pioneer Competition Secretary of the Historic Rally Car Register, has had to retire from the post for health reasons. His place has been taken by Rob Lyall, an authoritative and experienced rally man and the person responsible for the recently published HRCR 1991 Vehicle Regulations. Lyall is also member of the triumvirate, alongside Ron Gammons and Bill Price, which has set up the HRCR’s planned six round Historic Rally Championship for individuals.
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The BRSCC Italian Intermarque Challenge has attracted some exotic entries for the forthcoming season. Ian Giles intends to run his Lancia Stratos for most of the season which will be a welcome replacement for Terry Pellet’s similar machine which was damaged at Silverstone in 1989. Freddie Moss will continue to run the spectacular de Tomaso Mangusta and will be joined by Peter Matthews and De Tomaso Club Secretary Phil Stebbings in Panteras. Further Class A entries include Rob Giordanelli’s Maserati BiTurbo and Piero Pesaro with the immaculately prepared ex-Italian Touring Car Championship Alfa Romeo 75.
The regulations have now been expanded to include Hybrid cars to attract further Modified class entries. These cars are allowed the use of alternative engines to those fitted in production, for example a Thema Turbo 16 Valve Turbo powered X1/9 is in preparation by ex-Fiat 124 Coupe driver Brian Cowe.
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Entries opened on January 1st for the Esso Bristol to Bournemouth Vintage Vehicle Run which takes place on Sunday, June 9th. Organised by the Yeovil Car Club and sponsored by Esso Petroleum, the event is allowed to have 350 entries.
The Esso Run is open to pre-1940 cars, motorcycles and light commercials. Of the 350 entries in the 1990 event, there were 78 different makes of vehicle all of which followed the scenic route from Bristol through Avon, Somerset and Dorset to finish at Bournemouth.
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Sussex enthusiast Clive Sayer has once again teamed up with film director Bill Mason to present an evening of nostalgic motor sporting films in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice at Chichester. The films hoped to be shown are the 1955 Belgian Grand Prix, 1966 Le Mans, Years of Adventure and parts 1 and 2 of the Shell History of Motor Racing.
Tickets for the Film Show, which is being held at the Bognor Regis Centre, Belmont Street, Bognor Regis on Thursday, 7th February cost £3.50 each. The organisers are hoping to beat the 1990 total of £850 which the Film Show raised for the cause last year.
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Good news for owners of Lotus Elans, Europas and Lotus-Cortinas — the manufacture of cylinder heads for the classic Lotus-Ford twin-cam engine is to resume 16 years after the last Europa left the Hethel factory.
Lotus Cars have recently announced that they will produce ‘Weber’ twin-cam cylinder heads in conjunction with Quorn Engine Developments of Leicester. Standard cylinder heads will be available from Lotus approved dealers while QED will supply modified versions for competition use by sometime in March.