Sir Clive Edwards's R-type M.G. Midget, with a twin o.h.c. Pomeroy-McEvoy cylinder head of the type described very fully in Motor Sport for January, 1941, has recently changed ownership, its new proprietor being an R.A.F. Squadron-Leader. Then the 1 1/2-litre Alta once raced by Hugh Hunter could be bought, it seems, for about £2,000 and, up North, Charlesworth has snapped up an Amilcar Six. He and Gandhi having tired of their 1922 E-type "30/98" Vauxhall, that car is for sale, with good tyres, for £50. It is very thrilling that the 1904 Gordon-Bennett film looks like being available – that was the year, you recall, when Théry won with the big chain-driven Brasier at 54 1/2 m.p.h. In London a very fine 6 1/2-litre Big Six Bentley 7-seater could be bought for something over £100, while Derek Hawkins seeks a home for his 8-litre Bentley, a 1931 long-chassis 7-seater saloon in 100 per cent. condition and with excellent tyres. He sets its value at £220, and adds that it was built for Jack Buchanan, was subsequently Jack Barclay's demonstrator and later the property of a millionaire, and always maintained regardless of cost by Bentleys. It has done 98 m.p.h. on Pool petrol.
We hear of a very sound, re-built and modernised 3-litre Red Label open 4-seater Bentley, with h.c. pistons, for around £100. Captain Wardsouth has kindly sent a Lancia "Lambda" instruction book and maintenance notes on the Wolseley Hornet.
On the ever-green subject of veterans, Sergt. R. R. Dove, R.E.M.E. who promises us a "Cars I Have Owned" contribution, reports seeing a 2-cylinder Albion in a timber yard between Stirling and the Bridge of Allan, and he offers to help any genuine enquirer regarding the car, which is in not too deplorable condition, and is actually well shod with modern India tyres. his brother has recently joined the Veteran Car Club on the strength of having acquired a 1907 Wolseley-Siddeley tourer, which has as stable companions a 1919 Rudge Multi motor-cycle, a 1932 s.v. Ariel and a 1934 Riley Nine. The little Renault recently presented to Boddy arrived safely on a large railway truck and turns out to be the smallest of the 2-cylinder types, the 75 by 120 mm. 6.9-h.p. model. of 1911 vintage. The veteran at Cheltenham, rumoured by The Autocar to be a 1904 de Dion, is actually a 1912 8.9-h.p. Clement Bayard 2-seater; it is not for sale. A well-preserved 1912 Unic taxi still exists at Coulsdon and a veteran of unknown make is preserved at a garage in Llandudno: the latter is now being traced by the kind assistance of the Caernarvonshire Constabulary. Then A/C 2 Cecil Clutton says he hopes to share it 2-cylinder Panhard with Alex Hodsdon after the war and E. J. L. Griffiths has bought a 1900 3-h.p. Benz.
Fenn-Wiggin is still able to run his 1924 ex-200 Mile Race Alvis on duty-journeys and took F/Lieut. Donald Parker with him on one such joyous occasion recently. Harold Biggs, who is amongst our most avid readers, is doing a mighty job in trying to arrange Sydney Allard's immense collection of trials photographs and Press cuttings in chronological order, a job to which Mrs. Allard used to devote a good deal of her time. Incidentally, Biggs reminds us that we have erred yet again, the most recent addition to Allard's family being a daughter and not, as we said, a son. Biggs has just had the brakes of his Fiat 500 relined after notching-up another 20,000 miles in it, and he says the engine of his Austin Seven, to which we referred in the May issue, isn't really a "Speedy," having, in fact, a standard crankcase, from a coil-ignition engine, modified to pressure-feed; "Ulster" crankshaft, steel-timing gears, "blown Ulster" rods and pistons: "Ulster" clutch, "Brooklands" cylinder head, "Ulster" valves, springs and tappets; "Speedy" camshaft, and a special one-gallon sump. All of which will mean something only to men of the Birkett or Mallock calibre! Biggs still seeks an exchange of mechanised bicycles – offering his Ariel "Colt" for a Francis-Barnett.
Second-Lieutenant J. A. R. Grice, who has climbed most of Lakeland hills in "everything from Rudge Multi i to cutdown Phantom Rolls," earnestly seeks a touring G.N.
Ashwood has a few Lea-Francis bits for disposal and seeks a set of steel con. rods for a 1 1/2-litre Meadows engine, and a reader wants badly to find a cheap 1933 drop-head Ford V 8 coupé of the sort that formed the basis of the famous "jabberwock" team. Someone else needs it McCulloch supercharger for a Ford V 8. Stanley Sedgwiek, who has "Red Label" 3-litre Bentley, is getting together an excellent motoring library and offers information on a considerable number of vintage cars, including "12/50" Alvis, Ansaldo, Bugatti, Delage, Frazer-Nash, Lagonda, Lancia "Lambda," O.M., Lea-Francis, etc., to supplement that embraced by our growing Instruction Book Library. F. W. Roberts, 2, Norton Road, Chelmsford, Essex, would like to buy or borrow a copy of Motor Sport for June, 1931, as he wants to extract some "Hyper" Lea-Francis data. A 1930 blower Bentley was motoring in Surrey last month on leave-petrol. Rowland has sold his excellent 3-litre Bentley and the ex-Billy Cotton M.G. Magnette.
We are sorry to have to record the death of F/O. Alan Perrott, R.A.F., who was a great enthusiast and who, with the late Sub Lieut. Roland Southby, Fleet Air Arm, who was killed in 1941, made some excellent car models. The Following appreciation of F/O Perrott is written by his brother, Sergt./Pilot G. A. Perrott, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy:
Your readers, being all "dyed-in-the-wool" enthusiasts, will remember those happy peace-time days before the war, at Brooklands and the Crystal Palace.
Perhaps they may remember on one occasion the special "Schoolboys' Meeting," at Brooklands I believe, when a marquee containing famous racing cars was erected in the public enclosure. At one end of this marquee was a collection of model racing cars built by three enthusiastic schoolboys.
This was the first public exhibition of these amazingly at scale-models, and each youngster became the proud possessor of a monogram "Eversharp" gold pencil, presented by the J.C.C. However, the habitués will remember them on nearly every meeting or practice day; their cars always drew a crowd although they themselves, always, were only interested in getting fresh "gen" on the "real thing" for inclusion in their models.
"Bira" may remember being shown his famous Maserati in miniature after he had received treatment for acid burns sustained in "the 500." Mays will remember the model of his 2-litre E.R.A. finished in opalescent blue. Appleton will perhaps remember sending a sample of the paint he used on his "special," whilst Mr. Milledge, of Robin Jackson's, will remember the trio haunting his workshops. They continued to turn out these real engineering jobs until the outbreak of war, constantly improving them until perfection seemed to have been reached. In between times they made very fast little cars for racing at the Olympia Garage meetings of the Model Car Racing Association.
Thus I think that many of your readers will be sorry to hear that the sccond of the trio has lost his life, my brother. F/O. Alan Perrott, having been killed on the tenth of April at the age of twenty. The first of the casualties was caused by the death in the Fleet Air Arm of Sub-Lieut. Roland Southby, in 1941, also at the age of twenty. Thus the remaining representative of a really clever band of fellows is W. Genge. also twenty years old, and himself precluded from carrying on the hobby owing to the exigencies of an R.A.F. Flight-Engineer's course.
I have been prompted to write this small tribute, and send it to Motor Sport, as I feel that your publication is always a friendly sort of issue for enthusiasts, a gathering of which the lads I write about were ardent supporters.
Another meeting was held at the "Chez August," Old Compton Street, on June 6th, outwardly to partake of luncheon, but in actual fact to discuss motor-cars; the conversation flowing, indeed, much more freely than the food and drink, for the pit-work performed by the waitresses was notoriously bad. This was very much in the nature of a club gathering and uniforms were, for once, conspicuous by their absence. Amongst those who attended were Secretary Capon, club captain Holland Birkett and his lady, Douglas Tubbs of The Motor, Harold Biggs, Mr. and Mrs. Bowles, Mr. and Mrs. Frost, Trowbridge (who runs a "Nippy" Austin and is rebuilding a Type 35 Bugatti) and his lady, Harmer and his lady, Grosscurth and a friend, Ashwood, Merrilles and Mrs. Merrilles, Denis Jenkinson, Halford and his lady, and Boddy – a goodly gathering of boys and girls. The next luncheon will happen at the same venue on Sunday, July 4th, at 1.30 p.m. Hon. Sec., S. H. Capon, 159, Upper Tulse Hill, London, S.W.2.
We understand that enthusiasts will take tea at the London Zoo on Saturday, July 24th. The meeting is being handled by Rivers-Fletcher and it is expected that everyone who is anyone in motoring will get along if they can. Rivers, incidentally, really has qualified as a professional journalist, having recently interviewed Nervo and Knox for The Light Car.
What it takes
From Time and Tide reviewing "Bira's" prowess: "…when he ("Bira") got into the driving seat of a car and let in the clutch, the car, instead of remaining a piece of mechanism, became a projection of himself, so that his nerves seemed to touch the road and his blood to flow into the carburetter. This almost mystical identification of himself with the machine enabled him by the age of 22 to become the greatest racing motorist in the world." As Stuart Wilton, who draws our attention to this remarkable account, remarks it's rather hard on struggling tyros like Tazio N. and Rudolph C. – enthusiasts, no doubt, but with no real talent!
Leamington Spa club
An attempt is being made to form a club at Leamington Spa. Anyone interested is invited to contact George Sanders, 72, Hollywalk, Leamington Spa, who is at present acting as secretary.
Our cover picture
This month's cover illustration shows Whitney Straight taking the banking bend of Brooklands Mountain Circuit in the 3-litre single-seater Maserati, afterwards raced by "Bira." He is being followed by an E.R.A.; the car still holds the Class D Mountain lap record at 75.57.m.p.h., handled by the latter driver. Straight is now an Acting Air-Commodore, Royal Air Force.
Before the war the 3 1/2-litre S.S. 100 open 2-seater created a profound impression by offering a 100 m.p.h. maximum, together with a very high general performance and a striking appearance, at a moderate purchase price. Some little while ago D. S. Jenkinson was able to passenger in one of these cars which F/O. R. M. Cowell was exercising on R.A.F. leave petrol. It will be recalled that the specification of the S.S. 100 embraces a 6-cylinder 82 by 110 mm. (3,485 c.c.) push-rod o.h.v. engine with a compression ratio of 7.25 to 1, giving 125 b.h.p. at 4,250 r.p.m. The gearbox has ratios of 3.8, 4.58, 7.06 and 12.04 to 1 and the wheelbase is 8 ft. 8 ins. All this power is packed into a space only 9 ins. longer than that occupied by the Meadows H.R.G., the wheelbase being a mere inch longer. The counter-balanced crankshaft has 2 1/4 in. journals. The 13 in. Girling-operated brakes are lined with BZ Ferodo and pull the car up in 24 ft. from 30 m.p.h. Cowell's car is a 1940 model, and Jenkinson reports that a speedometer 80 m.p.h. was reached in 3rd, and 92-93 m.p.h. attained in top in a howling gale. On a number of occasions 50 m.p.h. was reached from a standstill in under 8 secs., the best figure being attained by going up to 5,000 r.p.m. in bottom gear and then snatching second. The acceleration he describes as smooth throughout, with very little "hit in the back" about it. In a strong crosswind the front of the car tended to render the steering rather vague and the front end was definitely sloppy on corners. The seating position was found to be rather too close to the instrument panel; and the seats rather too close to the door pillars for easy entry and exit. The instruments recorded steady figures at all times and appeared to be very accurate. Cowell is sufficiently impressed with the S.S. to have devoted some consideration as to how it could be improved and made into an extremely potent car indeed. His "receipt" calls for modifying the cylinder head, using special bearings and a re-designed lubricating system, and fitting forged dural pistons. This engine would be supercharged by means of a Roots blower between the front dumb-irons, driven directly from the crankshaft and drawing from two 1 5/8 in. S.U. carburetters. Cowell would then like to lighten the whole car (present weight 23 cwt.) and possibly use wishbone i.f.s. controlled by torsion bars. The rear-axle ratio would be raised to about 3.4 to 1 and a body resembling a cross between that of Aitken's T.T. Delage and the sports 2-litre Alta fitted. Certainly such modifications to the existing 3 1/2-litre S.S. 100 would be most interesting and should render the resultant car amongst the most potent on the road.