VETERAN EDWARDIAN VINTAGE
A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters
UNUSUAL SIGHT.—A vintage Lancia Lambda at Wurzburg in Germany. [Photo by courtesy of scooter World.]
V.S.C.C. RALLY TO BEAULIEU (May 28th)
THE annual rally of the Vintage S.C.C. to Beaulieu was as usual divided into a Concours d’Elegance before the very pleasant lunch given in Palace House by Lord and Lady Montagu to officials and the Press, and driving tests afterwards at spacious Beaulieu aerodrome.
One of the nicest cars present was Wrapson’s 1926 Rolls-Royce Twenty with tumble-home touring body and Phillips’ fabulous 1929 S-type Duesenberg coupe de ‘silk (fully described in MOTOR SPORT for April 1960) put in one of its welcome but rare appearances. Dunn explained that his 1923 10/23 Talbot tourer was a bit dusty as it had come down from Bromley in Kent, but to us, and the Judges, Messrs. Rixon-Bucknall, Walker, Roberts and Slack, it looked pristine and was awarded the Martini Trophy as winner of the Concours. The runners-up were the Duesenberg, Marsh’s Austin Seven, Cart’s massive Speed Six Bentley 2-seater from S. Rhodesia, and Wilcock’s S.S.too, 3rd Class Awards going to Dr. Bayliss’ 1912 Bebe Peugeot, the ex-Reeves’ car with delightful bulb horn, Rushmore gas lamps but non-standard size tyres, and Quayle’s 41-litre Bentley.
For the tests Moffatt had broken his Brescia Bugatti en route and after casting envious eyes at the Museum’s Type 30 borrowed a 54/40 Vauxhall, and Bill Mason, who had been presented with a handsome silver cup for his work on that excellent film “The Heroic Days,” was a non-starter due to ignition maladies that beset his Bentley. The Duesenberg, in spite of its size, was most ably driven, Moffatt was ingenious, scattering the spectators with a sweeping reverse movement in the garaging test, Barry Clark drove neatly in his wife’s 12150 Alvis 2-door saloon—the ideal shopping car for a “vintage wife,” were the girl’s own words !but in the circle test, for which a lady marshall held• aloft a flag like a girl guide calling for reinforcements, C,att’s enormous, flamboyant and somewhat irregular Bentley would have been happier on the Outer Circle. As usual, Wilcock let off fireworks with his 1938 S.S. but it didn’t quite pay off in this circle business, Berridge’s Lancia Lambda expired early in the wiggle-woggle, and a Lea-Francis broke a half-shaft. Getley enjoyed himself with a big 1927 Star tourer having a most Edwardian-looking twin-head engine, and Clark found his 52/50 Alvis saloon in the sports class, whereas a younger Lea-Francis counted as a tourer. The Museum’s M-type M.G., to have been driven by Warne, failed to make the journey, in contrast to the President of the V.S.C.C., Kenneth Neve, who drove down from Lancashire to Beaulieu and back in the day in his modern Aston Martin.—W. B. Results t
Montagu Trophy (best aggregate) 3 Wilcock (t938 S.S.100).
Test Awards : 1st Class : Marsh (Austin), Gahagan (Bugatti), Wilcock s.too). 2nd Class : Jones (Vauxhall), Moffatt (Vauyhall), Borthvtick (Lancia). 3rd Class : Ldley (Iowa°, Quayle (Vauxhall).
Concours : Results as text. * *
An industrious vintage commercial-vehicle enthusiast might care to restore a very” far gone” 5908 Autocar mechanicaltipper lorry which has been found in Cambridgeshire with a tree growing through it.
INTERVIEW WITH A PIONEER
W. J. Brunel was 83 last May, passed fit by his doctor and still driving his 1935 Standard Ten saloon, which seems to be pretty good going.
Somewhere about 1895 young Brunch l spotted a book called “How to Make a Box Camera for 3d.” He bought it, and set about making his camera. This involved cutting a hole in a cigar box and when he tried to do this with a red-hot poker his mother, disliking the smell of scorching wood, suggested that he should take his problem to Johnny Needham, who lived near their Paddington home and had a coachbuilding business. Needham had built a remarkable motorcycle with a duplex wooden frame, forks made of lance wood, and a J.A.P. engine, and later this was Brunell’s introduction to motor vehicles.
His start as a photographer was made with the aforesaid homemade box camera, using glass plates that cost 3s. From this he graduated to a Thornton Piccard blind-shutter camera and, still a slip of a boy, took pictures of old inns in the London area. These came out so well that Brunel’ sold them to the Licensing World for what, in the last century and to a boy not long out of school, seemed a fortune.
W. j. Brunel!, 83 and still going strong. Note the age of his camera, which is still in use.
More good fortune came his way on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s funeral, when fog put paid to the efforts of the professionals. From Oxford and Cambridge Terrace, as the procession neared the station, young Brunel’ with his cheap camera obtained results that caused Fleet Street to flock to his door— his only problem was to turn out enough prints, done P.O.P. by sunlight, to meet the demand; he made more that day than his father brought home in three months !
Then, when Kitchener returned from the Boer War, Brunel( shot his pictures from the window of Hostelli’s, the hairdressers by the station, and an enlargement in their window resulted in a call from the Editor of the G.IF W.R. Magazine, whose own cameramen, on a special roadside platform, had got nothing like such good results. This led to a free railway pass and pictures of Cheddar from which emanated the first cheap rail excursions to Cheddar and Weston-super-Mare.
In 1911 Brunel went with his camera on Army manoeuvres In Cambridgeshire, riding a New Imperial motorcycle.
The 1914-18 War found Brunel with Vickers at Brooklands, but he soon joined the Ministry of Information on a consignment in Italy. After the Armistice he did a gruesome job in Gallipoli and then returned to ” civvy street “—actually Roseberry Avenue— where he had started the photographic department for Cycling under A. C. Armstrong (“The Owl “) of Temple Press Ltd. Brunell had frequently followed W. G. Mciviinnies of Motor Cycling to trials, etc., and to this he attributes his prowess as a rider, a prowess that enabled him to make the only ascent of Nailsworth Ladder and Warren Hill, out of over 170 who attempted it, on March 13th, 1913, the day when Crossman’s 12/16 Sunbeam resolutely refused to look at the hill. Brunell was riding a 21 Douglas and attributes his success to the special pulleys and belt he used giving the effect of clutch slip, so that he could keep the engine revving—and also to the fact that he had discovered the hill on a “recce ” for T.P. Ltd. ! He still has the silver cigarette box presented to him by unknown admirers to mark the occasion.
A difference of opinion as to his worth with Mr. Perman of T.P. Ltd. sent Brunell to the Daily Mirror under the great Alferi, when he used first a No. 12 Minimus Parmos and later an Attomiar Anschutz camera. The latter, modified to take roll-film, with its original Ross lens, he uses to this day.. . .
Finding a spell of duty in Scotland too inactive, Brunell left the Mirror and started his own business of Pictorial Publicity, being a pioneer in the use of model girls in motor-car hand-out photographs. He had good connections in the Trade, having introduced Sir Miles Thomas to William Morris (now Lord Nuffield) when a bullnose Morris had come up for test at Temple Press, for instance.
In 1925 he went with Victor Bruce on an A.C. Six from John o’Groats in the Monte Carlo Rally, and the following year took his daughter Kitty, then aged 16, with Reg Bicknell, on the Rally in a Singer Junior saloon—whereas they won in 1926, in 5927 Bicknell crashed the car and they arrived too late to qualify, but had a riotous time nevertheless.
The charming Kitty Brunell, starting young like her father, got him to persuade Clement Talbot to let her design a body for the 14/45 chassis which could be used in the Rally and also put into production as the Sportsman’s Coupe. This car—XV 9554— was specially built at the Darracq factory in Acton, being very fully equipped, even to a sunshade to protect young Kitty’s blonde curls should the sun shine (other rain fall) in Monte Carlo. It figured in many trials, and in the photographs which Brunel’ took in 1928-30 for Edgar N. Duffield’s road-test reports in that now scarce journal The Auto, then published every Thursday, price 2d.
Besides being a notable motoring photographer W. J. Brunell took splendid pictures of the interiors of stately houses, of famous gardens at different periods of the year, and at one time illustrated George Sims’ 3-volume work “Living London,” using a Frena camera that took plates arranged like a rack of cards. Now living in semi-retirement with his second wife in a charming Surrey village near Dorking, W. J. Brunell still takes his faithful old camera to the local hunts, etc. tends his garden, and maintains his car. Not bad, not bad at all !—W. B.
The S.T.D. Register held a social outing for its members to The Vyne, Basingstoke, last month. The Register now has a WIT1Mittee to look after technical data, spares, magazine, instruction books, badges and events appertaining to pre-1936 Sunbeam, Talbot and Darracq cars. The annual subscription is £r ; Hon. Registrar, Mrs. W. Boddy, Carmel, Fleet, Hampshire.
A Daimler landaulette of 1920/21 vintage, reported to be in very good order, even to tassels on its window blinds, made what might well have been a last journey from a Cheshire stately home to a breaker’s yard. Fortunately the breaker is offering it for sale, at a realistic price, so it may go t4c) a good home.
Historic cars seem to baffle present-day reporters. We noticed that a Derby with Miller engine has been reported as being raced at Goodwood, whereas what the writer saw was the Derby-Maserati, reporters on a weekly motoring newspaper have given the E.R.A. “Remus” to Syd Day, whereas it has been raced for a considerable time by the Hon. Patrick Lindsay, and have failed to spot an X1(120 engine in a bogus S.S.roo, a 4i-litre engine in a ” hybrid ” Bentley, or the G.N. chassis of Footit’s “special,” and they gave the capacity of Clutton’s 12-litre Itala as 1,200 c.c. And a weekly motor-paper writes of an 8-litre Alfa Romeo. We are now fitting Triplex windows to our glasshouse….
The Rolls-Royce Midland Club has a rally and beauty show at Ragley Hall, Aleester, on July 9th. The Marchioness of Hutford will present the prizes at 4 p.m. 4′ *
In an obscure shed a 1930 ” Double Six 30 Daimler saloon, last used in 1938, keeps company with a splendidly-preserved 1922 Castle Three 3-wheeler and an Edwardian Simplex motorcycle with V-twin Fafnir engine, the owner of this private museum also. possessing an Edwardian yacht powered by a “Prince Henry” Vauxhall engine. Another Castle Three 3-wheeler is reported in retirement in Kent. SUNBEAM M.C.C. VETERAN AND VINTAGE RALLY
The Sunbeam Club’s 15th annual Veteran and Vintage Rally will be the first motor event ever to take place in Petworth Park, Sussex. Open to all vehicles manufactured prior to 1931, the Rally will be held on Sunday, July 23rd, and closing date for entries is July nth. Regulations are obtainable from H. L. Wilson, 8, Fairfield Way, Ewell Court, Epsom, Surrey, and third party insurance cover has been arranged for 7s. 6d. per car if required. After lunch, there will be a Demonstration Run and Concours, followed by a presentation of awards, but the main part of the competition is concerned with mileage and age. Worth investigating P Some vintage lorries and steam vehicles are reported in the West Ewell area, an old Chevrolet lorry, of unknown vintage, in use until recently, is at a garage yard in South Muskham on A t, the chassis of an old Pattisson lorry is reported to lie at Chastleton House, near Chatsworth, and a 1925 11.9 Bean 2-seater is at a garage in Derby, priced at
Someone in Brighton has for free disposal MOTOR SPORT’ and other motor journals from 1946-61. The 1923 21-h.p. Daimler coupe presented new to the Crown Prince of Sweden has been found, in poor state, in a shed in central Sweden; our Swedish informant is rebuilding a 1.925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and knows of a 1912 Daimler tourer. In Cornwall a 1921 MorrisCowley with box body is in use on a farm and a 1934 Austin taxi has just been laid up, and a Mercedes-Benz Nurburg saloon, like that illustrated recently, lies in a caravan park in Hampshire, still with a pass for von Ribbentrop to use the Buckingham Palace Car Park in one door pocket ! From Ceylon comes news that some Robey solid-tyred steam wagons are still used by Colombo. Municipal Council. Letters can be forwarded. *
Please note ! Brook Motors Ltd. have had such a call for their vintage-car cards after MOTOR SPORT referred to these that they can now only supply to cornponie+., not to individuals. A reader seeks data arid spares for pre-war Talbot-Darracqs, in particular for his 1938 20.6-ha?. Type 15, and another reader reports. as stolen a 1931 12/50 Alvis white saloon with yellow wings and two of its wheels red, Reg. No. VC 8670, engine No. 9473, chassis No. 8930. This is apparently the third vintage Alvis stolen recently and any news of the former should be given to. us or to the police. We were incorrect in saying that B.E.A. engineers are restoring the ancient aeroplanes at London Airport. This good work is being undertaken by the Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers and the R.Aero.Soc. Apart from the aeroplanes there are several old aero-engines awaiting restoration,. including a zeppelin engine [Could this be a Maybach I saw outside a Watford yard some years ago ?—En.]. The R.A.E. flew its 1.917 S.E.5a at its recent Open Days. Finally, information is. sought about a 1938 Peugeot 402 Legere that was raced at iiroolclands in 1939, and a McEvoy-Steyr, both of which are being. rebuilt.
H.C.V.C. BEAULIEU RALLY (June Iith)
As the cars roared round the Le Mans circuit members of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club assembled in the splendid
new meadow enclosure at Beaulieu for a Concours d’Elcgunce and a series of amusing competitions, for prizes presented by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who had previously led the parade with Lady Montagu in the cab of his 1014 Albion A14 lorry.
Most of the competitors are regular entrants at these rallies but new to us was a J-type solid-tyred Thornycroft with Dodson 34-seater open-top ‘bus body. It is used for publicity purposes by the City of Portsmouth Corporation, to their credit. Thus it was adorned by modern instead of vintage posters but as these depicted alluring bathing girls, who were we to grumble ? Indeed, some there were who wished that the bikini-clad conductress who had manned this ‘bus at the Brighton Rally could have been at Beaulieu ! Weighing 4 tons ro cwt. unladen, this splendid omnibus had a long list of maintenance hints, directed at the driver, on the side of the cab. Also new to us was a pneumaticshod 1919 A.E.C. 4-ton lorry with JB4-type Tyler engine which Bruce Elles acquired recently from the Northampton Brewery Company, whose body it bears. It has a spare Simms magneto that can also serve as a dynamo and big inspection plates on the crankcase.
Steam wagons were well represented, from Sparrow’s 1916 solid-tyred Foden 5-tonner with centre-pivot front axle downwards, an immaculate ” new” steamer being Hutchins’ technically-intriguing 1933 Super Sentinel DG wincher. The only traction engine (as distinct from steam tractor) present was a very fine 1913 Burrell Showman’s Road Loco ” King George V “— 12 ton lo cwt. unladen, speed 12 m.p.h.
Redburn’s extremely interesting F.W.D. (four-wheel-drive) lorry came in useful for assisting recalcitrant entries to get going. In all, nine vehicles were on ” solids,” including Sparshatt’s very attractive Vulcan 30-cwt. van. During the afternoon such typically English amusements as musical chairs and blind man’s buff with girls and fire-engines were undertaken and the ‘buses drove round the field trying to attract passengers of given Christian names. In this latter sport the Thornycroft and yellow 1922 model-T Ford took on some 49 passengers apiece, the 1913 type-WP3 Commer Car shooting-brake such a load that it needed a little manual assistance, and the Editor of Mc/1’0R SPORT, on the call of ” Bill’s wanted,” found himself in the back seat of a 1929 Dennis type-GL “toastrack.” A smart 1920 30-cwt. Vulcan truck and the F.W.D. won the two musical chairs classes, the commendably keen Dennis Apprentices’ 1914 Dennis the fireengine game.
Amongst the winners of the more serious prizes (see below), the Walker Electric was driven down from London by grace of a big load of batteries, the A.E.C. coach was a 30-seater ex-Green Line (No. T2.19) from the Watford-London-Reigate service, and the Commer was driven from Luton and back. If all this interests you there will be a chance to see such vehicles at the next H.C.V.C. rally, at Basildon New Town, Essex, on September loth.—W. B. Results : Best Vehicle in Concours d’Elegance—National Benzoic Trophy :
Dennis Apprentices 0929 Dennis (i-type fire-engine).
Runner-up : Harrods Ltd. (1959 Walker Electric t-ton van).
Small Commercials : Sat : Harrods Ltd. (1919 Walker Electric r-ton van).
znd: D. Ephgrave (1915 Ford model-T van).
Large Commercials : rat : A. Adams (191408 Traffic 2-ton truck). ‘Buses and Coaches : Museum of British ‘fransport (1930 A.E.C. ” Regal”
coach). Steam Vehicles : tat T. T. Broughton & Sons. (1928 Voden steam znd: Sparrow (1916 Poden 5-ton steam
Fire-Engines : tat : Dennis Apprentices (1929 Dennis G-type lire-engine). Passenger Vehicles under 3 tons : tat : L. Ci. W. Tate (1913 (‘ommer Car WP3 shooting-brake).
THE NEXT V.S.C.C. SILVERSTONE MEETING will take on
The next V.S.C.C. Silverstone Meeting will take place on July 22nd and includes the 50-kilometre Boulogne Trophy and All-Corners’ Race, the 12-lap Inter-Team Relay Race, the 5-lap Vintage Light Car Handicap and supporting 5-lap handicaps. First race, 12.30 p.m. Admission by ticket, obtainable from the V.S.C.C. Car park 5s.; no dogs. Entries close on July 7th. Details from T. W. Carson, V.S.C.C., 3, Kingsclere House Stables, Kingsclere, Newbury, Berkshire. A member of the V.S.C.C., Francis Eynon, described as owning a 1939 2.3 Mille Miglia Alfa Romeo, contributed an amusing story to the May issue of Argosy about vintage and modern cars, which, as we have seen no reference to it in the
12/50 Alvis Register’s excellent circulars, must have escaped notice. The hero’s car is a 12/50 duck’s-back, therefore known affectionately as “Mr. District Attorney.” The author goes to considerable pains to get his Alvis facts right, such as starting handle clipped to the bulkhead, outside exhaust pipe, etc., but why, then, did he turn off the ignition to preserve the battery. Surely 12/50 duck’s-backs had magneto ignition ?
The Polski-Fiat 125P
The more car-per-pound car. WHEN MOTOR SPORT talks about a road test car representing good value today we have to say it with tongue in cheek, for normally the description…
Sir, I have enjoyed your writings about Vintage cars and motoring for many years, and wondered whether you could help me with the history of my car from your extensive…
Book reviews, February 1979, February 1979
"Morgan Sweeps the Board" by Dr. J. D. Alderson and D. M. Rushton. 255pp. 9¾" X 6¾" (Gentry Books Ltd., 16, Regency Street, London, SW1 . £9.95, One of the…