Letters from Readers, January 1942




May I endorse all the nice things that have been said about the way in which you are carrying on, and even improving, MOTOR SPORT in war-time ? The discussion of ideas about design is excellent, and so are the reminiscences which have appeared in the “Cars I Have Owned” series and the articles on private ” Scuderias.” I do hope you will be able to preserve this personal element when the war is over and space is once more needed for reviews of new models and reports of events.

Nevertheless, I am afraid there is one complaint I must make. It is against your disdainful references to ” Capa ” in ” Rumblings ” last August. No doubt you wrote in all good faith, believing that you knew what you were talking about, but, judging from your remarks, it was not so ; there is a great deal more in ” Capa ” than appears at second or third hand. It is a private affair, very like a private ” Scuderia, ” in atmosphere ; most members, in fact, are grouped into ” Scuderias ” within it, whit h correspond roughly to the firms which enter teams of cars in ” real ” racing. It is as serious in aim and as true to tradition as any branch of motoring sport. There is no space here to describe it fully, but the best short definition I can give of it is to say that the ” Capa ” cult is to Grand Prix racing what the ” Special ” is to the Grand Prix car. It is as unlike ” Doodledicing ” as any form of motor racing can be.

Now for another topic which seems to have been exercising a good many minds as well as my own for some time past. Many people writing in MOTOR SPORT have deplored the lack of any English sports car at a moderate price and thoroughly up to date in design and performance ; many have girded at the manufacturers for their conservatism. But manufacturers think they know best, and from their own point of view they may be right. In any case, history suggests that they are highly resistant to girding. One or other of them may even now be preparing a surprise for us after the war, but we certainly cannot depend upon it.

So what ? Well, at the end of this war many of us will be released from national service and not all will have jobs waiting for them. Could not some of us who have this matter at heart form a company and produce this car ourselves? So long as it costs no more than its more conventional rivals and is as comfortable and reliable as they and not outlandish in appearance it could hardly fail to sell. If it lives up to our expectations it should sell exceedingly well. If this idea is not fantastic, we ought to be making plans now so that when the time comes we shall be ready. Much will necessarily have to remain in the air for the present, but, on the other hand, much

valuable preliminary work can be done, especially in the way of personal contacts. I have mentioned the idea to one or two people, notably to a former member of the Vale Company, who is most enthusiastic about it, and take this opportunity of flying my kite more publicly in the hope of getting in touch with others who may be thinking along similar lines.

I will make no suggestions now about design or policy’ that can wait. But over the door of the factory, if I have anything to do with it, -will be written the motto ” Simplificate and Add Lightness.” I am, Yours etc., R. D. CAESAR. Clapton-in-Gordano,

Somerset. [” Capa ” was kept quiet, we believe, to humour the R.A.C., who never granted it a Permit, so we can hardly be blamed for not knowing very much about it. We preferred to stay away rather than not be able to report what we saw, or report and perhaps wreck quite a sound organisation. But we still think running ” Specials ” in recognised events a better game. If anyone wishes to contact Dick Caesar about his car manufacturing scheme, letters will be forwarded.—Ed.)