Veteran-Edwardian-Vintage

A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters

The Second V.S.C.C. Silverstone

The Vintage S.C.C. held its second Silverstone Race Meeting of the year on June 15th. It could be termed "sun-top Silverstone" and in spite of exciting racing was completed without mishap.

Racing opened with a 5-lap Handicap in which Freeman's 1951 Mille Miglia Aston Martin came through on the last lap to win at 69.95 m.p.h. from Mallalieu's 1932 2.3 G.P. Bugatti and Mudd's Monza Alfa-Romeo. Burton's Bentley lapped at 73.28 m.p.h. Ormrod's low-chassis Invicta became inflammatory and Bradley's Bentley and Noble's Alvis retired. The next race of this sort saw Barber's long-tailed Frazer-Nash stay ahead of Arnold-Forster's beautifully rebuilt Anzani-Frazer-Nash with silica polished aluminium body, to win at 55.96 m.p.h. Noble's Alvis was third, using grass and making fastest lap at 62.79 m.p.h. Murray's 1933 Mercedes saloon drew attention to its i.r.s. by astonishing wheel patter, Berrisford's Manxed M-type M.G. smote the Woodcote inner bank without harm and Mrs. Moizer gained support by holding the side of her Amilcar, 500 c.c. fashion, at the corners,

The 5-lap Vintage Scratch Race was a fierce affair, Burton's 4½ Bentley leading all the way to win at 70.94 m.p.h., with a lap at 72.54 m.p.h. McDonald's 4½ Bentley just took second place from Melville's impressively-rapid and unspoilt 30/98 Vauxhall. Elwell-Smith had "moments" in his Aston Martin. Binns' Riley won the 1,100 c.c. class, Skirrow's Frazer-Nash the 1½-litre category and Allen's A.C.-Nash the 3-litre section.

Another 5-lap Handicap resulted in another victory for Barber, at 56.55 m.p.h., Beavis' ex-van Brooklands-engined Riley second, Arnold-Forster third. Le Clair's Frazer-Nash was pressing on, lapping at 65.48 m.p.h. The three-lap Edwardian Handicap was splendidly supported by eight cars, only Fitzpatrick's monster Metallurgique non-starting, due to transmission tremors. For two laps Brooke's Prince Henry Vauxhall led, then the field swept down on it in a bunch, to a grand finish, Neve's 1914 T.T. Humber just winning, at 59.11 m.p.h., from Clutton's 1908 12-litre Itala and Dr. Pinkerton's 1910 10-litre Fiat. Jack Sears, from scratch, lapped at 64.18 m.p.h. in the ex-Segrave 1914 G.P. Opel, on modern tyres. The Edwardians slide the corners so cleanly and sound magnificent -- would that we could hear them again at sustained high speed, as on Brooklands!  All were driven to Silverstone, except for the Fiat, which was Sapphire-towed.

The big race, the 50-km. All Comers' Scratch Race, had a fine field of historic racing cars and developed into a gigantic tussle between Spero's ex-Bira Maserati and Moss' E.R.A. Moss led for four laps, Spero for the next couple, Moss passed, Spero re-passed, on lap nine Moss led again, from laps 11-14 Spero was ahead, the E.R.A. grabbed a length lead for two laps, then the 3-litre Maserati drew ahead for the last three, to win a fine race at 76.49 m.p.h. Wilkinson's E.R.A. was third, ahead of Mudd's Alfa-Romeo, and Tozer's fine little Amilcar Six was first-vintage, at 69.6 m.p.h. Spero made fastest lap of the day, at 79.08 m.p.h.

Race seven was a five-lap Handicap, Marsh's low-chassis Invicta, which shed a wheel in practice, back again. Hollis' fast 3-litre Bentley two-seater came up from scratch on the last lap to pip Batho's Riley Nine tourer on the post, winning at 68.04 m.p.h. with a lap at 69.75 m.p.h. and Durdin's ex-Binns' 30/98 also got by between Woodcote and the finish. Sowman then led for four of five laps in the All Comers' Scratch Race, the Spero Maserati winning at 73.61 m.p.h., lapping at 76.37 m.p.h., while Vessey got the monoposto 2.9 Alfa-Romeo past Terry Carson in Wilkinson's E.R.A. on lap four, to hold second place. Lyne crashed his Amilcar without hurt. The Maserati now has a roller-bearing crankshaft, installed by T. A. S. O. Mathieson's old mechanic.

Lt.-Col. Archdale's funny-looking Frazer-Nash won the next five-lap Handicap at 62.38 m.p.h. from Freeman's effective Aston Martin and Ormrod's Invicta, the A.M. making fastest lap, at 70.77 m.p.h.

The Inter-Section Handicap was won by Lisle's s.v. Amilcar at 52.27 m.p.h. for the Northern Section, Halkyard's Austin Chummy which recently got its picture in glorious technicolour in the Austin Magazine second, Hollis third. Burton lapped at 71.82 m.p.h.

It was first-class racing promising well for the V.S.C.C. Oulton Park races on August 5th. The vintage atmosphere persisted on the run home, when we came upon a Wallis & Steevens traction engine rattling down the straight into Henley on iron wheels, bound for Maidenhead. "Jenks" said the heat must have brought it out. It stopped in Henley, with police permission, to take on water from the Thames before puffing manfully on up the slope and over the bridge. For some hours afterwards we wanted nothing so much as to take the road in our own steam traction engine, steering from a high perch behind the flywheel with strings of cars waiting patiently behind for an opportunity to pass, without hooting -- W. B.

Silverstone Shorts

Well, not only shorts but sun-tops! Which reminds its that a vintage artillery-wheeled A.C. two-seater in the officials' car park attracted much attention. Was this due to the rarity of the model or the splendid sun-tan displayed by the young lady owner?

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A solid-tyred Dennis fire-engine complete with ladder and bell was another attraction.

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For the first time J. S. French's Austin Seven "Simplicity" experienced expensive engine failure.

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When Jack Williamson was driving the 1908 ltala it shed a rear tyre. It stopped safely and was soon driveable again.

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On August Bank Holiday Monday, the Vintage S.C.C. is holding its Oulton Park Race Meeting. We refer to it in this issue because entries close on July 15th. The races will include the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies Race over 100 km. for vintage and historic racing cars and there is to be another Grand Parade of vintage vehicles, which proved such fun last year and which may be televised this time. Marshals are required. Details from T. W. Carson, Brook Cottage, Bishops Green, Newbury, Berkshire.

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Classes for veteran, Edwardian and vintage cars are included in the Rochdale Cavalcade of Motoring, which embraces a six-mile parade starting at 2 p.m. on July 13th after cars have been inspected by the Mayor and Mayoress. There may also be aquatests! Details from: N. Jedson, Duke Street Garage, Rochdale, Lancs.

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The Sunbeam S.T.D. Register announces a Surrey Navigational Run-cum-Treasure Hunt on July 28th and its annual Wolverhampton Rally over the week-end of August 17/18th. It is combining with the 12/50 Alvis, Fiat and Humber Registers in holding a team contest within events organised by these four one-make organisations, the Humber Register Northern Rally on August 4th, and driving tests at Wolverhampton on August 17th to count. Details from the Hon. Registrar, Mrs. W. Boddy, Carmel, Wood Lane, Fleet, Hampshire (Fleet 831).

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For decorating home or office Heals of Tottenham Court Road are offering 48-in. printed cotton depicting in picture and caption the history of the Grand Prix racing car, from 1906 to the present day.

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Those who feel that as old-car enthusiast usually take pains to restore their cars to original condition they should appreciate vintage-car events based on original routes and regulations will be glad to know that the Humber Register is holding its annual Midland Rally on August 4th, embracing hills used in the 'twenties for the Colmore and Victory Cup Tria's. It also has a rally at Wicksteed Park, Kettering, this month.

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Nice to see, and also to hear, a Type 40 Bugatti making a daily appearance along A30 out of Staines on those mornings when we drive to the office along that road.

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Serving as light lorries are an Austin Heavy Twelve and Rover 10/25 encountered recently.

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A small town in Hampshire still employs horizontal gas-engines burning sewage-gas at its pumping station. Spotlessly clean, they employ Lt. ignition and the only make of magneto that stands up to their requirements is -- Bosch.

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Two one-make rallies took place in Hampshire on May 25th, 36 members of the Sunbeam S.T.D. Register congregating at the Registrar's home in Fleet for a bun-fight in Sunbeam, Talbot and Darracq cars, while that evening over two dozen Alvis cars, including one f.w.d., congregated at the "Phoenix," Hartley Wintney, for the annual drinking party of the 12/50 Alvis Register. The Lagonda Club had held a rally at Heston earlier that afternoon; that an Alvis savaged a 2-litre Lagonda outside the "Phoenix" must be put down to confusion rather than antagonism, under the circumstances!

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"Cassandra," in the Daily Mirror of May 21st, told a humorous story around a 1928 Sunbeam, which he described as "a stately vehicle which was built with the solidity of a heavy freight locomotive."

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On a country road near Chobham recently an early baby Austin was "on location." Which film will it appear in? Your guess is as good as ours!

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An intriguing cutting has reached us from a reader. It comes from the Christian Science Monitor of April 8th, and tells of how a photograph was found in an old box in a cabin at Alaska, purporting to be of the first motor vehicle to penetrate into the Arctic. The story is that Figaro and The Klondyke Review sent the car by steamer and train and under its own power 12,000 miles to the gold fields. The driver was E. J. de Lemare and after arriving at Skagway from Paris he drove "over the ice for several thousand miles," towing gasoline and spares on a sled. We are told that melting ice put the "burner" almost continually in water. When repairs had to be made it was "impossible to turn the machine over," so a hole was cut in the ice for the mechanic to lie in. This sounds improbable, because although the make isn't quoted, from the reproduced picture, this adventurer of 1900 was almost certainly a Leon-Bollee tricycle, and they weren't exactly heavy!

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A garage in Hanger Lane uses a vintage Chrysler 70 as a breakdown vehicle.

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Still they come! In dismantling a mansion in Hertfordshire a side-valve Straight-Eight Mercedes-Benz, possibly just vintage, came to light and a gentleman of 80, living in Buckinghamshire, has recently given up driving his 1929 35-h.p. Minerva, which seeks a new home.