My letter is prompted by the reading, in your November 1975 issue, of the typically well written article on Sand Racing—very much a part of my early life at Southport— and also by the photograph of the mystery car which I recognise as one of many which were part of my family history.
In my book “Autobiography” I described how my late father’s position in the hierarchy of Vulcan Motors afforded him many “perks”. One of these was his freedom to come home in the evenings in any vehicle which happened to take his fancy. His transport varied from single and double-decker ‘buses, ambulances—on one occasion a hearsel—and, of course, Vulcan and LeaFrancis cars. One of the latter was the Hyper Sports with the 1 1/2-litre modified Meadows engine with which Kaye Don, in 1928, won the Ulster Tourist Trophy, and in which I had the personal joy of being driven—prior to Don taking the car over—at high speeds on Southport’s Marine Drive and beach by “Len” Rhodes, Vulcan’s chief tester, Halcyon days indeed!
Memory suggests that it would be in 1932 or 1933 that the car depicted in your photograph appeared outside the family home one evening, and I certainly recall the reflected glory in which I basked as my school friends stood around gazing in some awe at this splendid single-seater. But there, memory breaks down. I had always supposed this car to be a special-bodied version of the HyperSports, with the Cozette-blown Meadows engine. If, however, your memory, which has so often been more reliable than mine, suggests that the 2-litre Miller straight-eight engine powered this car, then I will settle for that.
One thing I can tell you, without, I think, fear of correction, is the name of the American who ordered this Special and thus afforded Vulcan’s craftsmen so much pleasure in its building. It was either Duvoy (certainly pronounced thus) or Duvois. Does this help?
From one Brooklands Society member to another—Salut!
Ambleside ARTHUR KNOWLES
[This would presumably be the “new” o.h.v. Vulcan driven by J. Horton that won the 10-mile race at Southport in September 1925, from a Vauxhall, Is it possible that the same chassis was used for the Purdy “Lea-Francis-Miller” of 1928? It was said to be “owned by Lea-Francis Ltd.”, but not described as actually a Lea-Francis chassis. —Ed.]