V-E-V miscellany, July 1971, July 1971

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N. P. Blakeney-Edwards, whose wife is the new Hon. Secretary of the VSCC Light Car Section, has acquired the sole surviving example of the Mendip light car, a make built at Cutlers Green Works, near Chewton Mendip in Somerset. He has already located one of the designers, who was also responsible for the radiators and body design of the high-chassis 2-litre Lagondas, who after half-a-century, was able to make a drawing of the Mendip body, in full detail, even to timber sizes, joints, etc. Any further Mendip data would be appreciated, to aid restoration of this rare car.

The Malaysian and Singapore Vintage Car Register has recently admitted to its membership any pre-war car, whereas it originally recognised only pre-1931 and p.v.t. cars—which is, in our opinion, a pity.

The Riley Register’s annual Coventry Week-End is scheduled for July 10th/11th, at the Earl of Aylesford’s estate, Packington Park, Meriden, with a navigational rally, and Sunday driving tests and Concours d’Elegance, so if you like real Rileys you know where to get plenty of them. Details from P. W. F. Scholes, 66 Brandon Road, Binley, Coventry CV3 2TF. A Southern Area Section of the HCVC has been formed, whose Secretary is C. B. Apps, c/o Parkstone Yacht Club, Parkstone, Dorset.

A 1920 Rover Eight which was entered for last month’s Lancashire AC Daily Telegraph 9th Manchester-Blackpool veteran and vintage car run was discovered in the dining room of an old house in Liverpool, filled with rubbish. A wall was knocked down to release it and it has taken three years for its owner, Mr. Plevin, to restore.

Which make holds the record for differential of numbers built/numbers known to have survived? This question is prompted by the Rapier Register, which tells us that only about 400 Lagonda-type Rapiers were made, yet 320 have now been traced as having survived; the figure for the total output is approximate because the old Lagonda Company’s records were destroyed during the war and they had a habit, on occasion, of giving the same chassis number to more than one car, and because only last year Abbotts, the coachbuilders, threw away their records of the bodies they made for Rapier chassis. This live Register has a new Hon. Sec.—J. A. Batt, 80 Brooklands Avenue, Fulwood, Sheffield S10 4GD.

A crowd of 700 to 800 people watched a 1922 Garrett traction engine threshing on a Norfolk farm; it used some five cwt. of coal, driven by a 59-year-old enthusiast, to fill 160 two-cwt bags with straw. In the same county two Bleriot-Whippet cyclecars are rumoured to be keeping a vintage Fiat company, an ex-mechanic of Sir Henry Birkin’s is said to be restoring a 1 1/2-litre Lea-Francis, and it is reported that two hand-operated, rack-and-pinion-type petrol pumps are still in service at Meton Constable. The new Hon. Gen. Sec. of the Lea-Francis OC is D. Purdy., 54 Gresham Way, Shefford, Beds. The address of the Minerva Registrar is now 10 Fairfield Place, Ruislip, Middlesex.

Tommy Wisdom was Guest of Honour at the Whitsun International XK Day at Mallory Park, where he re-made acquaintance with the 1936 Alpine Trial SS100 in which he later lapped Brooklands at over 118 m.p.h. The car is now owned by Peter Donny. Worcestershire County Museum is staging a display of Worcestershire-made motorcycles and cyclecars, with appropriate photographs, from July 10th to September 18th. A 1930s Armstrong Siddeley is languishing in a Hampshire breaker’s yard. It is hoped that more than 100 Austin 10/4s will attend the Austin Ten DC’s 6th National Rally at Stapleford Park near Melton Mowbray on July 11th.

The Ulster TT Commemorative Committee, of which Lord Dunleath is Chairman, is to erect a memorial in memory of the 1928-36 TT races, in the form of a section of “pit-area” beside the Ards circuit, at a cost of some £5,000, for unveiling on September 11th. It is hoped that old TT drivers will lap the course in appropriate cars. It is splendid that in spite of all the troubles, motor racing thrives in Ulster, and we commend this idea of a TT memorial on the site of the original pits. The Ulster Vintage SCC is responsible and donations towards the cost of this “nest of pits” should be made to the Ulster Bank Ltd., Belfast; they will, I am assured, be acknowledged. C. H. Fredlander of this Committee concerned wishes to hear from TT drivers—the address is: 12 Lombard Street, Belfast, BT1. 1RD.

The latest firm to get on the old-car bandwagon is the Kiwi Polish Company, which is giving away prints of a 1907 Rolls-Royce and a 1929 4 1/2-litre Bentley to purchasers of their shoe polish.