V-E-V miscellany, January 1983, January 1983

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Reverting to the reference to a Rolls-Royce char-a-banc made recently in these columns, a reader tells us that it was operated by William Pyne & Sons, not by the Yorkshire Road Car Co. It carried Reg. No. XI 4171 and had a 14-seater body. A photograph of it existed at least up to ten years ago. Incidentally, the Pyne business was taken over by a rival in December 1980 and has ceased to exist. Another reader has written about two Rolls-Royce coaches operated by the long-since defunct Rankin Brothers of Glasgow, for one-day summer tours in the early 1920s. As a boy, our correspondent noticed how much quieter these Rolls-Royces were than the Lancias run by Rankin’s. So herein something to tantalise R-R historians. Another item concerns a batch of Auburn 815 cars which used to be seen in Yorkshire in the late-1940s, these pre-war cars presumably having been registered here after importation. One was carefully rebuilt, we are informed, by a small garage behind the Market Hotel in Knaresborough and one of the batch — Reg. Nos. thought to have run from HYG 28 to HYG 33— was last seen by our correspondent in the summer of 1953, driven by a Royal Signals Officer. Does anyone else remember them and know why they bore late Registrations? Incidentally, when we were in Harrogate during the war the Cottin-Desgouttes that Horosted drove at Brooklands was to be seen in a showroom; where is that car, today?

The Eastern Daily Press published two early postcard pictures recently, one showing two Flanders 20 tourers on display at an agricultural show, circa 1912, taken by Charles Aldous of the Central Studios and the other of what appears to be the start of a timed race between a cyclist and a pre-1914 Darracq or Peugeot, with its touring body reduced to two seats for the occasion, which may have happened along the Harling Straight between Norfolk and Diss.

The Yeovil CC’s Bristol-Weymouth Vintage Vehicle Run is scheduled for May 22nd, 1983 and entry forms and regulations are now obtainable from K. McGee, 58 Kenmore Drive, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4BQ. The Mercedes-Benz sponsored Yeovil Festival of Transport follows, on August 13th11 4th — details from Chris Hicks on 0935-22319. A reader is anxious to trace the history of his 1938 Alvin Speed-25 d.h. coupe, Reg. No. DDU 152. It was originally two-tone blue, was sold from Henly’s in London, went to S. Wales in the early 1950s and after 1965 went to America. It is now being restored, the power unit having been dealt with very satisfactorily, we are informed, by Peter Woodley of Barsby, Lincolnshire. Letters can be forwarded. It is reported that an old garage in Saundersfoot, S. Wales, is for sale and had many spares dating from about 1937 in the window. In connection with S. W. Murray Threipland’s entry of a 1902 Panhard-Levassor in the Brighton Run, it is very interesting that a diary was kept of the adventures his grandfather had with this very same 7 h.p. two-cylinder Panhard in Scotland, which was delivered new, by train, to St. Boswell’s station on June 7th, 1902, having been ordered in April and promised for May 1st, from Mr. Weigel of the British Automobile Commerical Syndicate, Extracts from this interesting diary were published in the Scottish Field 15 years ago. The Panhard could not be started at first, and when Mr. Weigel failed to send a man up from London, as requested, and C. S. Rolls were slow to respond, Panhard’s London depot provided one — a Mr. Cooke — for a guinea-a-day, plus his expenses. He proved to be very expert but was at first put up in the stables and given breakfast in the servants’ hall, as “it was difficult to class him”. He was quickly’ transferred, after an interview, to the house and dining room, and after 12 days it was possible to dispense with him, so well had he administered to the car and so effective were his driving lessons, including teaching one of the ladies. In that time he had had to deal with gearbox trouble, replace a governor spring, and a flat battery, adjust the carburetter, and the car would still not ascend all the local hills fully-laden, but it did do a run of over 90 miles from Dryburgh to Fingask, using the ferry between Granion and Burntisland, in 4 hr. 36 min. running-time, and on another occasion it covered 20 miles in 40 to 45 min., and did 19 m.p.g, of petrol; the horses in the stables took little notice of it.

It is good news that Bill Lake, who has restored so many fine cars, has found the ex-Earl Howe 2.3-litre Alfa Romeo, which Millais owned in the 1960s, in a Sussex barn, where it had been for 15 years, and is hoping to have it running again by the summer. W.B.

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