An interview with Viscount Massereene in a back issue of The Spectator that I picked up recently caught my eye, for the noble gentleman was described as having, as an amateur rider and racing driver, driven “the leading British car in the 1937 Le Mans Grand Prix.” Which he certainly did, although the race was the 24-hours, not a Grand Prix. As the Hon J W Skeffington, Viscount Massereene had acquired the 1.5-litre Bertelli Aston Martin which had won the Rudge Whitworth Cup at Le Mans in 1935 when driven by Charles Martin and Charlie Brackenbury, and had been run in the same race by the works in 1936. It was beautifully turned-out for the following years’ Le Mans race by R C MurtonNeale, a Director of Speed Models Ltd of London, and he co-drove it with Skeffington.
They finished fifth overall, behind the winning 3.3-litre Bugatti, two 3.6-litre Delahayes and a 3-litre Delage. It all fits in nicely with the traditions of those days. Viscount Massereene and Ferrard entered the House of Lords over 30 years ago, had done some years with the Black Watch in the 1930s, owns the 70,000 acre estate of Knock on Mull and Chilham Castle in Kent. His Lordship is said to be writing his biography and 1 hope to learn from it more of his motor-racing interests and of the other cars he has owned. WB