Miscellany, February 2003

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The Shuttleworth Trust at Old Warden is justifiably a popular mecca for vintage and veteran car and aeroplane enthusiasts, and Prop-Swing, journal of the Shuttleworth Veteran Aeroplane Society (membership secretary: Fred Harris, PO Box 42, Old Warden Aerodrome, Biggleswade SG18 9UZ) is a readable publication with interesting accounts by pilots who, bravely I think, fly historic aeroplanes for the Trust. The current issue has such an account by Andy Sephton of how he found the safe way to fly a circuit in the restored ABC-engined DH53 Humming Bird, one of those astonishing small aeroplanes built to compete in the 1923 Lympne competitions for motor-gliders with engines under 750cc.

At the opposite extreme, the painstakingly rebuilt racing DH88 Comet flew in 2002 but its starboard undercarriage collapsed on landing; however it should be flying again this summer. In the road transport workshops, the Locomobile steam car is being repaired, as are Dorothy Shuttleworth’s Fiat Topolino and the aged Arroll-Johnston. A period 1930’s garage is also being constructed.

* * * *

Apologies to the Triumph Owners Club for last month attributing special valve-gear to the Stag instead of to the Dolomite Sprint.

* * * *

The last VSCC event of 2002 was the Driving Test Meeting at the convenient Westcott Venture Park. Paul Baxter’s 1915 Sunbeam 16, in the class for cars of its kind, took a First Class Award. The other class winners were Harry Colledge’s 1929 Ford Model-A saloon, David Marsh’s 1923 Brescia Bugatti and Richard Houlgate’s 1930 Austin 7.

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