A Section devoted to old-car matters
Puzzle: This old photograph (q.v.) recently unearthed, shows a three-letter registration-plate, EWE3, at a time when such plates are thought not to have been in use — see letter from Mr. D. A. Peacock on page 27 (web version page 29). Is there an explanation?
V.S.C.C. Heston Driving Tests (December 14th)
Heston was again the scene of vintage-car activity on December 14th, when an entry of 72 cars belonging to V.S.C.C. members, divided into vintage tourers (which also included vintage light cars and Edwardians), vintage standard sports cars, vintage, sports cars and P.V.T. cars, assembled at this rather drab venue to undertake a series of driving skill manoeuvres. This was a splendid entry, supported by various non-vintage cars of V.S.C.C. officials and a bigger gathering of spectators’ cars than has been seen previously, proof of the interest which vintage vehicles create. Of the competing cars few were new to us, although J. R. Gray had a 1928 14/45 Talbot tourer, Pitt-Pitts a 1923 yellow Humber two-seater, Burgess a smart 1928 model-A Ford tourer with the authentic brass strips in lieu of h.t. leads. and Fergusson Wood a very resplendent 1925 l.h.d. Rolls-Royce tourer with mysterious number-plates, one function of which was to tell us that it was an “Antique Vehicle,” while A.T. Sharp brought an o.h.c. Morris Minor saloon of 1928 vintage.
Barry Clarke was the most photographed man present on account of the attraction of the ex-Jeddere Fisher M.A.G. cyclecar, which went astonishingly well, but the most genuine of the vintage sports cars was probably Dudley Gahagan’s 1926 G.P. Bugatti. Curiously, the aforesaid belt-drive, back-braked cyclecar was put in this sports class, whereas one would have expected it to rank as a vintage light car or Edwardian — does a 1914 M.A.G. engine poke out over 30 b.h.p.? In the Le Mans start test two pushers got this delightful device, which is complete even to a J.C.C. badge, quickly off the mark, Milner’s nice 1926 A.C. was sedate, Michael wisely pulled the engine of the ex-Audsley 11.9 Lagonda over once or twice before doing the test, and Huckstepp rivalled Chris Chattaway in sprinting to his rather lurid 1928 Morris-Oxford coupé. As a garaging test was going on at the same time as the Le Mans test we diverted our attention to this in time to see Huckstepp suffering from a mean steering lock, Hayward waste time engaging reverse on his 503 Fiat, Fergusson Wood stop too soon in his Rolls-Royce, Gray take a marker on the wrong side and Clements crunch the cogs in his 1926 Austin Twelve tourer. Burgess got his Ford moving fast, Clarke’s disc-wheeled Singer Junior tourer sported two big brass back-lamps, Moores’ 1929 Talbot 14/45 accelerated nicely, McKenzie drove his Humber neatly, and we admired Whitehouse’s fine Ballot saloon and its mascot. Fergusson Wood was extremely neat with the Jack Barclay 1910 Rolls-Royce, Pomeroy very cautious in the Prince Henry Vauxhall, these two, said rumour, being neck-and-neck for the Edwardian Trophy. Gahagan was fast, Bradshaw’s 1930 Lea-Francis with oversize back tyres had good brakes, Millar’s twin-cam 3-litre Sunbeam reeked of “R”, two Frazer Nashs, Peerless’ “Falcon” and Bowler’s Anzani, performed. Noble’s Alvis Silver Eagle which was once a laundry van but looks as if it has had an accident, went and sounded very fast, and Douglas-Reid’s fine 1924 30/98 Vauxhall, after borrowing a magneto from a 14/40 Vauxhall owner, elected to function, preceded by a fine “Bongo” mascot.
Spectators’ cars included a 20/60 Sunbeam with weeping radiator, the ex-Goldie Gardner Talbot 90, a Morris Isis Six saloon, a neat Standard Nine saloon, the 1930 21-h.p. 3-1/2-litre Panhard-Levassor mentioned recently in these columns, a Voisin saloon, a flamboyant D8 Delage Figoni saloon, a Lancia Lambda which seemed to have a saloon body of another make (but can this be done with a Lambda ?), the Anzani-engitied Aston-Martin “Green Pea,” an o.h.c. vintage Wolseley saloon and, venturing out because Sam Clinton wasn’t present, the Editor’s latest folly, in the form of a 12/20 Calthorpe two-seater.
First-Class Awards: M. Huckstepp (1924 Morris.Oxford), P. H. Parks (1926 Austin), D. J. Rogers (1923 Jowett), D.H. Gahagan (1926 Bugatti), P. J. E. Binns (1929 Riley), A. Charnock (1935 Alvis), and S.R. Waine (1934 Riley).
Second-Class Awards: J. K. Milner (1926 A.C.), A..D. Jones.(1926 Vauxhall), M. A. Westmacottt (1929 Riley), D. S. Bennett (1930 Alvis), R. E. B. Noble (1920 Alvis), and A..J. Gibson (1932 Frazer Nash).
Third-Class Awards: G.B. Jones (1929 Austin), D. C. McKenzie (1925 Humber), H. Fergusson Wood (1910 Rolls-Royce), J.B.B. Hull (1924 Vauxhall), M. H. Bowler (1925 Frazer Nash), J.W.T. Crocker (1937 Lagonda), and W. S. Heath (1938 Frazer Nash).
V.S.C.C. Northern Trial (November 29th)
Beat Performance: J. A. Grice (Austin Seven).
First-Class Awards: M. J. Harris (Austin Seven) and C. A. Winder (Frazer Nash).
Second Class Awards: Dr. D. P. Harris (Frazer Nash) and W. L. Winder (Humber).
Third.Class Award: Miss P. Stocken (Trojan).