Veteran Edwardian Vintage, January 1984

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A section devoted to old car matters

A Morris Commercial Treat

Those interested in the older Morris commercial vehicles have a treat in store if they have not already seen the excellent little soft-cover book (110 pages, 8¼ in x 5¾ in) “Morris Commercials — the first years”, issued by the Morris Register. It covers in pictures and text and well-compiled tables the history of such vehicles from 1924 to the war and later, in Harry Edwards’ usual in-depth style. The pictures are delectable, running from early “flat-noses” in rural setting, on through the many variants, to the ‘buses, ambulances, tipper-trucks, and the rest.

The only mild criticism is that these pictures vary from intriguing period shots to more modern ones, which it isn’t always possible to differentiate between, unless the latter Morrises are wearing club badges or whatever; might it not be an idea, in this and other similar publications, to put the letter “P” after captions to period photographs, and “M” after modern pictures? Otherwise, what excellent and interesting coverage this is.

It is fun seeing who used these Morris Commercials in pre-war days and, to me, a surprise to find that the Green Line express coach service employed a Morris Viceroy coach; another Morris bus labelled “Express” was the Director running to Herne Bay on the East Kent service, this Company also using big Morris Imperial double-decker Park Royal-bodied ‘buses, a contrast to the Minor and Eight vans etc. which the book also deals with. Copies are available from Regional Secretaries of the Morris Register, or direct from Harry Edwards, Wellwood Farm, Lower Stock Road, W. Hanningford, Chelmsford, CM2 8UY for £3.75 (packing and postage 50p extra), on mentioning Motor Sport.—W.B.

The Things They Say. . .

“… The glorious sounds emanating from the machine were music to my ears, but I had yet to sample the famed supercharger. The opportunity came soon enough when a stretch of straight-ish secondary road came into view and I closed in on a modern car travelling at around 50 mph. Down went my right foot, hard onto the heavy spring, and then a thousand furies were let loose. My vision blurred as the steed turned into a giant vibro-massage — my ears were rent by unearthly wailing and my knuckles whitened on the steering wheel. As the modern car receded, I let off the supercharger — some kind of normality returning like the calm after a hurricane. It must have scared the life out of our grackle-friend in his Allegro or whatever it was.” — Brian Palmer, writing of the thrill of driving the Midland Motor Museum’s ex-Sir Malcolm Campbell 38/250 Mercedes-Benz, in Thoroughbred & Classic Cars.

I was interested, because I drove this great motor-car some 300 miles from Bridgnorth to the 1982 Brook/cads Re-Union and back; I see that unfortunately Brian Palmer had to return to the Museum because “the clutch having reached the maximum of its adjustment, jammed second gear in mesh”, but after overhaul he had a brief second-session. I was more fortunate on my long day’s experience of the car, which was highly enjoyable. But was I too undramatic in telling about the engagement of the blower, I wonder? — W.B.

V-E-V Odds & Ends:—It seems that generally the 100th year of the birth of the motor-car will be celebrated in 1985 (although some favour 1986), and already we hear that a big event is being planned to take place at Silverstone over the 1985 Spring Bank Holiday, 8,000 to 10,000 vehicle exhibits being visualised, from antique motorcycles to custom cars, historic cars and commercial vehicles to racing cats Apart from static displays, vehicles will be demonstrated and paraded on the circuit. This seems quite an attractive idea provided it is not drowned by commercialism, or is seen as happening a year too soon. Rather as we used to think that in times gone by Goodwood could have staged a sort of motoring garden-party with cars of all age, going past while the guests consumed strawberries and cream and drank champagne — with no racing of any kind.

This year the Inter-Register Contest, instituted years ago as a mild form ef competition between the smaller one-make clubs, has been a tie between the Sunbenth STD Register and the Fiat Register, with the next placing going to the Humber Register. For the record, some corrections to last month’s V-E-V features follow. In the piece on the 1926 Arab, the one-time ovine, who was united with the Arab at the laO Brook/ands Re-Union was not John Parker but John Harvey, The Hon Patrirl’ Lindsay’s Crossley gas-engine came from.t house near Fir/c, not Fife, and of course h’s Rolls-Royce PII that he drove home fro. India had Autovac, not Autorac, bother, The Brighton Run Mercedes-Simplex gouls components reversed, its carburetter being, in fact, on the near-side, its water pump nod magneto on the off-side, with the air-ping and manometer’ on the left of its fascia.