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WE HEAR . . . .
The demand for sports cars seems as healthy as ever, and certainly cannot be adequately met. Frazer-Nashes are in great demand, so perhaps Jenkinson did not get such a bad bargain when be acquired an early four-cylinder Powerplus-eng,ined job, with a Most ingenious hot-spot and a vertical M.L. magneto, for 27 10s. Mrs. Cowell’s Meadowsengined example is for sale for around 270, and both Gordon Woods and Teddy Worthington are rebuilding theirs. Coming to other makes, we know of a 3-litre Sunbeam, said to be in good order, going for around 235, the owner being in London, and there is a “30/98 “Vauxhall 4-seater in a London showroom. niggle, who is in the same branch of the R.A.S.C. as Jim Hall and “Mike ” Cooper, seeks a” 105 “Talbot, and Cooper has disposed of his famous ” 110″ Talbot, which used to lap at nearly 130 m.p.h., to Peter Whalley, who is contemplating rebuilding it, in which case the body may be put on to a ” 105 ” chassis and. the resulting bolide offered for sale. Cooper, incidentally, is running a f.w.d. Citroen, of which he speaks very highly indeed. Mirza has disposed of his 22-h.p. Ford V8engined Aston-Martin to a Scottish enthusiast, and has acquired a 3k-litre Rolls-Bentley, but would like to hear of a 1939 Lancia ” Aprilia.” Michael May has a hack ” 12/50 ” Alvis fabric saloon in going trim for which he has no further use and would dispose of it for 210, and Dick Caesar a 3-litre Invicta tourer, in fair nick, at around 220. Veteran cars continue to crop up. A film studio has recently disgorged a model ” T ” Ford tourer in fine order, a big Renault and an air-cooled, flat-twin Rover Eight to a breaker, and there is a nicely preserved two-cylinder Renault Voiturette for sale in Ripley at 230, C. W. P. Hampton’s brother being the late owner. There is a rumour, too, of an ” Alphonso ” Hispaato-Suiza in Surrey and a Mors in Middlesex, and definitely there is an early Alldays and Onions light car, needing some attention, but believed eligible for the Brighton Run,
for disposal for 27 10s., at a Sussex farm. Dick Caesar has his 1912 Belsize stored in readiness for post-blitz Edwardian contests, Hampton is seeking a 1913 12-h.p. Delage and may rebuild the example owned by Boddy (his father ran 10-h.p. and a 12-h.p. before the last war and Hampton says they run like a
miniature Ras), and Mike Wason has bought a 1914 Stake and Robert White (both of ” C.A.P.A.”) a yellow tillersteered Jowett, circa 1910-11. Ward disclaims recalibrating the rev.counter of his ex-Billy Cotton Riley and has had 5,700 r.p.m. in third, on ” Pool,” with more to come. An Army officer in the Aldershot area is using a very attractive small Mercedes-Benz 2-seater, in
cidentally Peck’s car is a ” 36/220 ” white 4-seater, not the bigger model, as reported. Austin Seven folk may be interested to know that Michael May’s hack ” Chummy “has an S.U. carburetter on a late-type combined manifold, which seems to work well with a scuttle tank and no petrol pump and nicely smooths out the running.
It has been pointed out to us that Johnnie Wakefield and Southby should have been noted as in the Fleet Air Arm and not the R.A.F. ; we have since heard that Southby, who made those little clockwork Altas and E.R.A.s, etc., lost his life in the “Ark Royal” disaster and condolences are offered to his many friends. Other errors which readers may, or may not, care to excuse as due to the press of war-work were that Abeeassis is a pilot, not a gunner ; that the double prop.-sbaft Alfa-Romeo would be a 2.9 and not a 2.3-litre ; and that the Worthington motor-bicycle is Barrow’s 1928 T.T. Entichi-J.A.P., not an Excelsior. Apologies to all involved ! The Hutchisons remain as keen as ever, and in the course of a recent petrol
preserving walking holiday in the Cotswolds with the Imhofs made a descent of Old Stanway on foot. Confirmation has unfortunately come in that Martin Soames and his crew were killed in action ; his brother Gordon, who used to be his passenger in trials, is likewise a bomber pilot. Caesar thinks we were a trifle optimistic in giving the weight of his Bentley’s body as 38 lb., but it was very light, nevertheless. The car is a large 4-seater tourer on the 12chassis, and the engine has Le Mans block, Speed Six camshaft, and was assembled and hotted by no less a soul than Robin Jackson. It weighs under 86 cwt. and is geared, like the ” Corniehe,” to do 97 m.p.h. at 3,500 r.p.m. It could attain 70 m.p.h. in 17 sees. and has done 105; now it is “stored in cotton wool,” its owner using a Sunbeam ” Dawn ” saloon and a hack ” 12/50 ” Alvis on official journeys. He adds his meed of praise of the Alvis, saying it wits bought to run while the Sunbeam was laid up, and now big port heads and close-ratio boxes are being contemplated. Rivers-Fletcher has been staying with Raymond Mays. He and his wife are saving the nation’s petrol by using a 1931 Austin Seven 2-seater, which does 43 m.p.g. Peter Monkhouse has the exCraig Type 55 Bugatti, which does over
100 m.p.h. on ” Pool.” J. B. Stone is an R.A.F. Flight-Lieut. and runs a 3-litre. Bentley, and Phillip Turner, who used to edit the E.R.A. Club magazine, is with the R.A.F. also. Sam Green, another E.R.A. clubman, is a Second Lieut., R.A.S.C., away in the West Country. Peter I3erthon is Very fully occupied with work for the Government, getting round in a Fiat ” 500,” and Raymond Mays makes full use of his Rover Fourteen and Sixteen sports saloons. An answer to the query ” Where do racing ears go in wartime ” is provided by the information that Tongue’s four-valve-per-pot Maserati is at T. k T.’s, Mays’s ERA. is still at Bourne, Dobson’s E.R.A. is in London and for sale, likewise Pollack’s E.R.A., the very first of the E.R.A.s, is also in London, and Ansell’s E.R.A. is believed to be near Oxford, Rivers-Fletcher concludes an interesting letter by saying that his idea of an ideal ” After-theVietOry ” sports car is an 1,100-e.e. H.R.G. There is a brand new 8-litre Bentley chassis, with several racing features, in London, but it is NOT for sale ! Neve would like to hear of a Frazer-Nash and an 1,100-c.e. Brough. Lycett’s 8-litre Bentley is to be seen in a showroom window at Bray. A.” 38/250 ” Mereedes-Benz coupe has been seen in action near Windsor, and near Warwick an early Voisin coupe, an two old Humbers, several Aston-Martins, a particularly silent Frazer-Nash, a small Invicta and a 3-litre Bentley. Yet another example of the sound motoring which an early utility car can give is provided by a 1926 12-h.p. Star, which, bought for 50/in 1937, ran 15,000 miles, many of them in Wales, with complete reliability. At the time of writing it was lying in a brickyard near Warwick Station, still with the all-weather equipment in place, but needing new tyres. The owner has since done 7,000 miles in a 1931 Morris Minor 2-seater, bought for 35/-. The Isotta-Fraschini mentioned recently has been divested of its tyres and could now be had for about £5 ; it is at Ray Mill Road, Maidenhead. There is the remains of a 4i-litre Invicta saloon at the same place. An Amilcar is reported for sale at Thames Ditton. Really, this business of veteran ears knows no limits. Mike Wilson, apart from his Stellite, has a two-cylinder Renault, less body, that is in good condition, having been in use as a stationary engine. It was successfully towed home on two-thirds of a pulleyrim in lieu of one rear wheel. Then a 1909 Panhard chassis, of about 21 li.p., which was in use as a hire car up to 1927, is available, though some work would need to be done on it Most interesting of all, a 1913 ” ” Crossley is stored in a heated room iii a Midlands town, just as it was assembled from a set of new parts before the last war. It has never been used ; there are two sets of tyres which still appear
sound and there is a second-hand touring body that would drop on. It has the high-compression, five-bearing 80 x 130mm. 15.9-h.p. engine, and can be had for around 275. We believe that Lord Howe intends to race his Jameson two-stroke after the war. Harry Bowler, having sold his wellknown :3-litre Bentley, has been using a 31-litre Luganda. Three Enfield-Alldays of about 1922 vintage have apparently been salved from the Manchester blitz, in which their owner was killed, and are at a breaker’s ; they are 11-litre sidevalve examples, said to be in goad order. At the same place is an early four-cylinder Belsize taxi in going order and a “Lambda ” Lancia, and, it is thought, two Waverleys. A Brescia Bugatti radiator, gearbox and rear axle were available at Harrison and Chadwick’s, Reddish, Stockport. F. E. Ellis has two of the rare side-valve Aston-Martins, Nos. 1951 and 1966. The former, a 1925 small radiator car, never shows less than
30 m.p.g. or 35 m.p.g. on long runs if speed is kept down to 30-35 m.p.h. Actually, when really warm she will hold 3,750 to 3,850 r.p.m. as long as conditions permit, which, with 4 to 1 axle ratio, equals 77-78 m.p.h. She is doing about 1,500 m.p.g. of oil, the sump being refilled with Mobiloil D after this distance, running at 40 lb./sq. in. The other car is a close-coupled 4-seater with nom, 11 wings and the large radiator and, due for an overhaul, does about 24 m.p.g. fuel, 800-1,000 m.p.g. oil and 60-65 ni.p.h. Ellis hopes to save more of these Bamford and Martin Astons and is acquiring the 1923 twin o.h.e. 2-seater which R. P. 1-lichens owned (and which broke its rear axle on Fingle in an ” Exeter”), and he hopes also to get Johnson Ferguson’s well-known side-valve 2-seater and the spares that go with it. After using one of these ears for ten years, time manager of Godfrey’s repair works in London offered it for sale recently at £25. Finch, who was at Frazer-Nash’s, has the supercharged 750-c.c. single-seater M.G. which Samuels used to race and is busy rebuilding it, unblown, and with a .7-type !Jody and road equipment. H. L. Riggs is now with him, on work of national importance, at Adlards Motors, having recovered from his recent illness. Tony Needell has sold his big-port ” 12/50 “
Alvis and is seeking a 1939 Fiat cylinder block and some Austin Seven bits. A Vernon Balls Crossley Ten has been seen in London on trade plates. E. R. M. Hardie is running a 1930 Van den Plas 4f-litre open Bentley. Parnell is building up the Challenge as a hobby to occupy his limited spare time, and one of the ex-Seaman Delage engines is installed, also a Riley steering layout. Parnell has recently bought the famous ex-Ruesch i,f.s. AlfaRomeo, in Scotland, where he is said to have tried it out to the tune of 143 m.p.h. ! He also has the ex-” Bira ” Delage bits and lots of E.R.A. is another satisfied user of a f.w.d. Citroen Twelve. There is a rebuilt Wolseley ” Special,” not quite complete but in fine order, going for about £20, near Derby. An artist in the same town is prepared to do pictures Of owners’ ears, from photographs, at a guinea a time and no obligation— enquiries can be forwarded. He has just completed a study of the ” Corniche “
Bentley for Bentley’s London Sales Dept. The Editor wishes to thank all those who write to him and whose news makes possible this feature ; also to acknowledge many Christmas cards. He only regrets that he seems to be busier than ever and so can answer only a very small proportion ; such correspondence is, nevertheless, valued very highly.
Thanks to the hard work of S. H. Capon, another extremely enjoyable meeting was possible at the ” Osterley” on December 7th. An interesting collection of ears and an (sal: Ay e? nigenial
gathering of menxbets assembled by lunch time, and generally a good time was had by all. The A.G.M. was due to take place in London on January 4th.
What seemed likely to be a fairly dull Si turday afternoon was most distinctly converted when ft seat was forthcoming in a 1924 :nitre Bentley, in which five persons contrived to insert themselves, the driver because he was going home to London for the week-end anyway, two persons for the sake of the run and beeause there were Bugattis to hunt, another in order that he could bring a Renault Twelve back on three big-ends,: awl the remaining member of this, of necessity, intimate party on business bent, although he, too, likes this sort of ride. In spite of starting some ten minutes behind it and stopping—once for petrol, where we kept company with a ” Slavin( ” 2-litre short-chassis 4-seater Aston-Martin, and once for a police person who apparently Stops ears of this sort as a hobby—a Riley Nine saloon bound for the same destination was caught some while before. Actually, the Bentley wasn’t unduly hurried, but, occasionally third was kept in longer than usual, up to 3,200 r.p.m. in fact, and on one straight bit the speedometer read just on ” 84 ” in top.
A worth-while run ! The next day a small enclosed carriage propelled itself up the same road (a return having been made by three members of the Bentley party in heavy rain, by coach, the previous evening) that the 750 (limb might be attended, and, the meeting over, propelled itself back again in the same undistinguished manner. The next spell of leave was devoted. to a spot of towing, first locally AA ii h a solo Norton 011 the string behind an ever-obliging Austin (it had wound up to 70 m.p.h. or so, and then flung away vital x-alve-gear parts), an(t then, more ambitiously, with a beautifully-conceived tow-bar, and in more and very torrential rain, that a Frazer-Nash in need of rebuilding could be taken to .11 ph cc where such work could be (and has) commenced. Next it was news of an early two-cylinder Renault which started an expedition, through some very pretty country and terminating in a most satisfying tea before it truly ample fire, in the Cedar Tea Rooms at Ripley. Moreover, the Renault was located mmmost easily, which is not always the ease when we hunt Edwardians, as long-su tie ri ng readers know only too well. Alaa, there is usually a snag ; in this instanee the price was silly, although such factors do keep the home barn in tolerably manageable shape. The day following, after unavailing endeavours to arouse one would-be member of the contingent from his slumbers, three of us set forth in an ” i ,1 00 ” ll,RG. in wet, very cold fog. The first bright spot was a garage with a famous Frazer-Nash and a very line 3-litre Bentley open to inspection, although their owners were either away or, sensibly, had yet to break open the bedclothes. Next we peered with difficulty through the windows of a small wooden Shed, wherein reposed two perfect ” 2.8 Bugattis, their owners likewise not in evidence. After which, the fog becoming grimmer, a halt was called, and warmth and as much food as a wise Government allows us was sought at what must have been the ” Red Lion ” at Crawley. Afterwards conditions got gradually better and we itenetrated, quite ripidl, into Sussex, in search of more interesting ears, meeting it ” Silver Arrow ” Matchless motor-cycle in the course Of our enquiries. When we came upon these ears they were there with a vengeance. Virst, the local parson, having carefully immobilised his box, went into the church hall and asked the children for a certain farm. Arrived there, we found our breaker-man, armed with a gun, and a stout Austin saloon. While he looked for rabbits we looked at his exhibits. As our passenger observed, it looked just as if there had been a house party and everyone had died. leaving their ears just as they were.
And then it was deemed advisable to return home before the blaek-ont, so we could not linger over tea, waiting for ” the results,” pondering on how to make the motor go better next time and planning a similar outing the very next week-end. Nevertheless., if 1942 provide as much and as varied motoring as 1941, which terminated in a brief run in the rejuvenated Gwynne, we shall not grumble. A belated happy New Year to you !