In Somerset an N.P. chassis, with Meadows engine, has come to light. On a derelict Beardmore taxi-chassis we discerned some 815 by 120 tyres, if anyone's veteran is on its rims. F/O Peter Coleby, D.F.C., weighs in with some remarks in defence of the S. F. Edge A.C.s, having owned a 1924 two-seater Anzani-engined model, which his wife drove nearly every day of the week. He refers to it as "so beautifully light and supple," and as accessible as a stripped G.N. The arrival of a 1939 Austin Eight saloon has persuaded Coleby to dispose of his A.C. to a local policeman and he hopes one day to restore one of the Sixes to good order. Meanwhile, he backs the Austin with a 1927 two-speed Scott "Flyer." Incidentally, Coleby has a 1923 coupé A.C. which needs rebuilding, for spares, if anyone needs one. Reggie Tongue is now a Director of Arden & Bull, Ltd., of Altrincham and will in due course be resigning his Directorship of Thomson & Taylor, Ltd. J. Burton has saved the 1924 Lanchester Forty that was mentioned in these columns last year as an I.O.M. taxi and hopes to fully restore the chassis and fit a new body. News from the North — Wendell Beaumont has changed his Lancia "Aprilia" for a 1937 1 1/2-litre Riley "Lynx," F. Hollingworth has changed his 1935 Riley "Monaco" for a 1937 Riley "Merlin," and Jack Standring uses a 1931 "Silver Eagle" Alvis, while his 1934 Alvis "Firefly" is being renovated. Many sporting motorists have been associated, at some time or other, with the Royal Aircraft Establishment at South Farnborough, so it is worth mentioning that a book about the R.A.E., "Laboratory of the Air," by John Pudney, containing a certain amount of history, is available from H.M.S.O., at 3s. 6d. The various one-make Registers are flourishing and at the end of November that for "14/40" Delage cars, which, incidentally, is organised within the V.S.C.C., had fifteen entries. A. B. Price considers that the Lea-Francis is one of the more difficult vintage cars for which to locate spares and is anxious to start a register of these cars and particularly spares for them. His address is 9, Granshaw Close, Kings Norton, Birmingham, 30. D. J. Scannell's present car is an Austin A 40. The remains of one "Silver Ghost" Rolls-Royce, another with lorry body and a fairly good Rolls-Royce Twenty can be found in a yard near Manchester, if anyone requires a car or spares. G. R. Booth has rebuilt a 1922 Rover Twelve two-seater which last year successfully covered 900 miles on a holiday run, at 25 1/2 m.p.g.
There is a 1919 Rolls-Royce "Silver Ghost" tourer for disposal in Plymouth. J. Palmer is rebuilding a 1934 Lagonda "Rapier" four-seater and wonders what performance figures he should be able to attain when the work is completed, while Philip Pye has acquired a 1928 Vernon-Derby with the Chapuis-Dornier engine. Frank Woolley and his family left England for S. Africa on December 23rd as Woolley, who was Bob Gerard's team-manager, is taking up a position out there associated with heavy vehicle maintenance. The good wishes of all those who followed Gerard's racing since the war will go out to Woolley in his new venture; we understand that he will return to this country once a year and, not surprisingly, he says, "If there is any racing on at the time you can bet I shall be there." Onslow-Bartlett is contemplating a rear-engined Ford Ten trials special with independent suspension by coil springs. On January 3rd Stuart Wilton is moving to new business premises at 353, Finchley Road, London, where a comprehensive range of new cars may be inspected. Imhof expects to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally in his everyday Allard coupé, taking Ken Hutchison as his co-driver. P. E. Cohen will also drive an Allard in this event.
The Morgan Three-Wheeler Club is organising a speed event at Madresfield this summer. Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons have re-issued "The Book of the Austin Eight," at 5s., this including data on the Austin Seven and details of how the Seven changed with the passing years, information much sought after by enthusiasts for the most famous of all the baby-cars. Another book which will interest motoring historians and which should be in the possession of every member of the V.C.C. is "Early Days," dealing with the early days of automobile engineering in S. Lancashire and Cheshire. It is the work of Sam Lomax and John Norris and is issued in a limited edition by Joseph Cockshoot and Co., Ltd., of Manchester, at 2s. 6d. Such Mancunian makes as Rolls-Royce, Ford, Marshall, Belsize, Rothwell, Crossley, Horbick, Turrell and others are dealt with, besides other items of local motor history — the idea of covering the early days of the automobile by locality is one that might well be developed and we commend the idea to other ambitious organisations.
Aged Rolls-Royce, Humber and Sunbeam cars were espied recently at Continental Cars Ltd. From New Zealand Charles G. Black sends a picture of his 1923 Park Ward short-chassis "TT. Replica" 3-litre Bentley, which is car No. 348, now fitted with front brakes and 20-in, wheels, but otherwise in 1923 form.
A saloon "30/98" Vauxhall, with the kidney-box brakes, has been seen in the Midlands. A. G. Ryan of Co. Tipperary points out to Hugh Linton that no Maserati ran in the 1936 T.T. and that Campari, who drove only Alfa-Romeos in the T.T., was killed prior to 1936. (See October "We Hear.") In Sussex an 8-litre Bentley with Park Ward coupé de ville body has been fitted with a 28-h.p. Bedford 'bus engine and gearbox and now gives 16 forward and eight reverse ratios, besides doing 20 m.p.g. and 70 m.p.h.
Birkett is planning another trials-special, which is to have an S.U.carburetted Ford Ten engine in a chassis constructed from Austin Seven components. Tickets for the seventeenth "Rembrandt" luncheon and meeting should be ordered now, from A. F. Rivers Fletcher, 4, Eversleigh Road, New Barnet, Herts; the price is one guinea.
That Alvis Register
Quiggin's register of vintage Alvis cars is beginning to expand, a total of 69 owners having been entered therein up to November last, the number of cars actually being somewhat higher. However, many more "12/50," "12/60" and "Silver Eagle" cars must exist and their fanciers should contact Quiggin, at 6, Grantchester Road, Cambridge, for details of his interesting and useful news-sheet, at the same time quoting the Reg. No., chassis and engine numbers, type, body style, carburetter and any relevant data on their cars. The Register lists cars for sale and wanted and spares, and deals with members' news, hints and tips and technical articles, the feature for November being by Norman Lloyd on how to lower a "12/50." The thing deserves to expand.
The Races at Del Mar
In this country Edwardian racing cars have become an accepted part of many of our sprint contests and now the cult has broken out in America. Last year, at the San Diego County Fair, Ralph de Palma, the veteran racing driver, staged four races for the General Petroleum Company, who had seen the advertising possibilities in a battle between pre-1914 cars. The runners were Lindley Bothwell's 1907 90-h.p. Stearns (Barney Oldfield's famous "No. 26 "), Robert Anhalt's 1907 "Prince Henry" Benz Joe Brecklein's 1912 Stutz, which had a streamlined body and is the car that made fastest qualifying time at Indianapolis in 1918, at 98.8 m.p.h., and Mike Rosenthal's 1907 90-h.p. chain-driven Simplex, which won the 1908 Brighton 24-hour race at over 50 m.p.h. All these cars are owned by Bothwell and appear to be in beautiful condition. They apparently carried the racing numbers appropriate to their past achievements (the Benz Four, the Simplex Six, the Stutz Twelve and the Stearns naturally, No. 26) and had piles of spare tyres tied on. The Stearns used to be driven from town to town by Oldfield for the purpose of demonstrations at county fairs and is said to have been capable of over 115 m.p.h. in its heyday, while the present-day maximum of the Simplex is given as over 90 m.p.h.
The first race — they were all contested over a one-mile dirt oval — was over 10 laps. The Stearns took the lead after half a lap and led throughout, averaging exactly 60 m.p.h. from a standing start. The cars were serviced by Mobilubrication engineers and next day essayed a handicap race, after the Stutz had beaten the Benz, Simplex and Stearns, in that order, in some preliminary trials. The Benz won by two lengths from the Stutz, taking 5 sec. longer than before. The Stearns stopped to refuel and the Simplex, suffering carburetter trouble, was last.
Over 30,000 spectators came to the third race, for which a rolling start was used, Simplex and Stutz paired in front, Stearns and Benz likewise, behind. The Benz lost a rear tyre after seven laps and the Stutz won after a fine battle with the Stearns, the latter stopping for the battery to be secured. The last race was over 15 laps and a compulsory pitstop for water was included, to please the spectators. Again a rolling-start was used, Stutz and Simplex ahead of Benz and Stearns. The Stearns took the lead in the fifth lap, then lost time when the radiator cap cross-threaded at the pit-stop. Bothwell was thereafter troubled by water streaming into his face on the turns, but he lapped in less than 55 sec. and won by 40 feet from the Benz, in 14 min. 30 sec. Bothwell received a silver tea service and Anhalt silver water pitcher from the General Petroleum Corporation. It was all the greatest fun, watched by 200,000 people. How nice if our F.I.A.T., Itala, Mercédès, Lorraine and Austin veteran racing cars could have been present!
An A.C. Club?
A one-make club is imminent. It is thought that A.C. owners and owners of hybrids using A.C. engines might profit from getting together. Those interested are asked to write to B. A. Henry, B.Sc., at 20, Norfolk Crescent, Hyde Park, London, W.2, as soon as possible.
On January 29th the ever-expanding Vintage Motor Cycle Club will stage a Brains' Trust on vintage and veteran motor-cycling topics. The Question Master will be "Torrens" of The Motor Cycle , and the "Brains" H. Rem Fowler, winner of the T.T. in 1907, H. R. Davies, winner of the 1921 Senior T.T., G. S. Davison, winner of the 1922 Lightweight T.T., A. J. Ivison, who managed the British team in the 1925 Six Days' Trial, and Brig. C. V. Bennett. The meeting is being arranged by the Midland Region, at the "Wagon and Horses," Sheldon, Birmingham, at 8 p.m. Admission is free to all.
New racing tracks to be built in this country were reported even before Brooklands was constructed, and at intervals ever since. So such news is apt to be sprinkled with the proverbial pinch of salt. However, we must record that the Rotherham M.C. is planning a circuit at the Listerdale Estate, just outside Rotherham town. The present owner of the estate, Mr. C. J. Lister, is a well-known motoring enthusiast.
Can It Be?
An illustration in Australasian Post last year depicted a Hollywood garage housing cars presumably used for filming. Modern Americans predominate, but in the foreground, beside a veteran, is what looks to be one of the 1914 Grand Prix Peugeot racing cars. Now in 1915 the entire team of G.P. Peugeots was shipped to America and ran for many years at Indianapolis - Resta won the 1916 race at 83.26 m.p.h. and Wilcox the 1919 event at 88.06 m.p.h. with these cars.
It is significant that the car at Hollywood bears the racing number 29, for in the 1919 race No. 29 was' indeed, carried by a Peugeot driven by Klein. In the race this car nearly lost its exhaust pipe and finally retired when an oil-pipe broke, causing a valve to stick. There is every reason to suppose that it remained serviceable after the race, so that this may well be the car preserved at Hollywood. If this is the case, surprise may be occasioned by the fact that the No. 17 of Resta's winning car, or the No. 3 of Wilcox's, wasn't painted on when this Peugeot found its way to Film City. On the other hand, if No. 29 was on the car when it was found, that number would most likely have been repainted during restoration. The photograph certainly shows an external steering drop-arm (whereas in 1914 the drop arm passed inside the chassis side-member) and also a rather shorter drag-link, but the Peugeots are known to have been modified in various ways by their American owners. It seems probable that another "Veteran Type" has come to light. Can any of our American subscribers verify this?
The Great Fog of last month caused the postponement of a talk on Austin racing matters by Charles Goodacre, who used to drive the Austin team cars. This talk will now take place at the "Red Cow," Hammersmith, at 8 p.m. on January 5th. Recalling a previous talk on the same subject by Charlie Dodson, this should be one of the Club's red-letter occasions.
The Annual General Meeting was held on November 19th, 1948. The meeting was preceded by an informal supper, after which the prizes were presented by Mrs. Green, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Club. Owing to the absence of Mr. Raymond Mays, the Club President, the chair was taken by Mr. S. H. Statham.
For the coming season the Club intends to concentrate on a few first-class events, the two main ones to be the Concours d'Elegance to be held again in Old Amersham and a 12-hour Rally culminating in a Speed Event. This Speed Event will probably be held in co-operation with another club in the South of England.
The Vintage Sports Car Club has issued a truly imposing list of its members as they were last October. The total of car-owning members is 794, with 153 associates, giving a grand total of 947, or if the 11 Junior Members and three Hon. Life Members without cars are included, 961. Of this total, 18 are car-owning overseas members, and out of the total cars specified 592 come in the genuine pre-1931 vintage category, 52 are either veterans or Edwardians and 150 have been accepted as suitable types although manufactured later than 1930. Some idea of which is the popular present-day cult in vintage cars is provided by an analysis of the list, which we give herewith, after making a few minor adjustments where changes of ownership are known to us. Bentleys lead with 122, followed by 47 Alvis, 45 Lagondas, 44 Bugattis, 35 Vauxhalls, 27 Sunbeams, 25 Austins, 22 Lancias, 20 Delage, 19 Rileys, 17 Lea-Francis, 17 vintage-base "specials," 14 Alfa-Romeos, 14 Rolls-Royces, 13 Frazer-Nashes, 10 Aston-Martins, 9 Invictas, 9 Mercédès, 9 M.G.s, 6 G.N.s, 5 Ballots, 5 Talbots, 4 Amilcars, 3 A.C.s, 3 Darracqs, 3 H.E.s, 3 O.M.s, 3 Morris, 2 each of Crossley, Talbot-Darracq, Gwynne, Isotta,-Fraschini, Star, Salmson, Humber and Daimler, and one each of A.B.C., Austro-Daimler, Beverley-Barnes, Bayliss-Thomas, Clyno, Citroen, F.I.A.T., Horstman, Hispano-Suiza, Lorraine-Dietrich, Lanchester, Leyland, Marendaz-Special, Mors, Renault, Sima-Violet, Swift, Straker-Squire, Stutz, Triumph, Standard "Swallow," Wolseley Ten and Singer Junior. Of the post-vintage cars permitted by the Committee, 22 are Frazer-Nashes, 18 Aston-Martins, 13 Lagondas, 12 Rileys, 11 Alfa-Romeos, and 9 M.G.s. There seems, however, to be a rather unfortunate departure from the club's former "real motor car" creed, for we find that the list includes such types as "Gamecock," "Lynx," "Sprite" and "Imp" Rileys, F.I.A.T. "Balilla," Wolseley Special, M-type M.G., "Speed Twenty" Rover, 1 1/2-litre Singer and Strang 500, as well as some modern G.P. racing cars.
De Havilland Auto Club
We have received the following news of the newly-formed de Havilland Auto Club: —
"A section of the de Havilland Sports Club has recently been formed by a number of motoring enthusiasts in the de Havilland Engine Company's factories.
We shall be known as the de Havilland Auto Club, embracing motor-cyclists as well as car owners, and we hope to provide interesting events for all classes of motorist, both family and sporting. For the winter months we have a programme of film shows and lectures by well-known motoring personalities, and as we have the use of a large club house, we hope to be able to exhibit racing motor-cycles and cars which may be the subject of talks and discussions.
Next spring we hope that a number of entrants in trials and speed events will be able to appear as representatives of the D.H.A.C., and we shall be putting on our own events of the driving-skill test, map-reading trial, and similar types, with, possibly, motor-cycle scrambles.
It Is not surprising that a company such as ours includes on its staff a number of vintage enthusiasts and, motor-cycle clubmen, foreign tourists and special builders, together with keen 'temporary pedestrians.' We hope to provide some sort of interest for them all."
Hon. sec.: T. P. Bayliss, D. H. Ltd., Stag Lane, Edgware.
On December 4th some 60 people met at the Swan at Tewkesbury and it was officially announced that a Frazer-Nash section of the V.S.C.C. had been formed. The section, limited to owners of Frazer-Nashes of the chain variety, was to organise its own social functions and the V.S.C.C. was to be the parent body and for competitions special classes or races for Frazer-Nashes would be included in that club's meetings. The following morning 18 assorted Frazer-Nashes took part in the inaugural run, the destination being Gretton, near Prescott. Among the cars present were Blackburns, Meadows, twin blown Goughs, and Specials with such engines as B.M.W. and A.C.
We have received, through the kind offices of a friend, a very beautiful catalogue dealing with the new Tipo 8C Isotta-Fraschini V8 "Monterosa" rear-engined car. With the aid of diagrams the story is told of how the "Monterosa" was evolved, with particular reference to the reasons for adoption of rear-engine and rear-drive. The specification mentions a maximum speed of 100 m.p.h. and a fuel consumption of 18 m.p.g. at 65 m.p.h. with full load. Weight distribution is given as 45%/55%, "just as required by most racing drivers." (Total weight of six-seater Sedan, under 28 1/2 cwt.) Coloured plates by F. L. Rapi show all manner of body styles, and such cosmopolitan backgrounds as the Eiffel Tower and Tower Bridge, and these plates conclude with the "Super Racer," a two-door aerodynamic saloon with racing No. (13!) on a vast tail fin above each rear wheel fairing. The English in this catalogue is somewhat lighthearted, as, for instance, "sparkling plugs"; but it was produced by Ardiv in Milan and that a catalogue in English of such a recent Italian car is available at all surely shows commendable enterprise.
The Carbon Cup
The annual motor-cycle trial, organised by Temple Press and the O.W.L.S. club, for motor or motor-cycling minded Pressmen from any paper, was held on December 12th, and resulted in a win for F. P. Heath of T.P. with Bernal Osborne of Motor Cycling as runner-up. Nearly 30 journalists braved the rude remarks of the regular competitors by "having a go" on whatever machines they could beg or borrow and after undergoing the rigours of seven observed sections and two special tests, everyone adjourned to the Chequers, near Sevenoaks, for a well-earned lunch and a vow not to ride a devilish two-wheeled device again until the next Carbon Cup in 1949.