Cars for a General

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Sir,

In his article in the October issue, Lord Ironside wrote that Sir Geoffrey de Havilland had made a patriotic and generous gesture towards the War effort by handing over his personal Rolls with its aerodynamically-designed body as a gift to the Army for the use of the CIGS. Mr. W. F. Everett in his letter in the March issue referred to the car’s de Havilland antecedents and believed it was originally donated by HIM Forces or acquired under the requisition act in force at the beginning of the War.

I have since heard from Mr. Alan S. Butler, Chairman of de Havilland from 1924 to 1950, an extract from whose letter reads as follows: “I gave the car to Ironside when he was CIGS, and then to be passed on to all succeeding CIGS, until in fact it reached Montgomery. It was nothing to do with Sir Geoffrey de Havilland. I designed the forward sloping windscreen, etc., and as 4 matter of interest took the car over to the United States and had it evaluated by General Motors in Detroit. However, they reckoned the style change was too great although they considered it a first-class job. There is really nothing more to say about it except to repeat that it had nothing whatsoever to do with Geoffrey de Havilland.”

P. E. GORDON-MARSHALL Chipping, Sodbury,