V-E-V Odds & Ends., July 1981

It seems that the ridiculously high prices charged for the older vehicles may be on the wane. At a recent specialist auction-sale, of 93 lots on offer, 49 were reported as unsold, including those withdrawn or passed by. From a works power-curve for a 1930 Model-XL Trojan that has come into our possession it can be seen that a maximum of 12 b.h.p. was developed at just over 850 r.p.m. This year’s Irish Veteran and Vintage CC Gordon Bennett Commemoration Rally is scheduled for July 10th to 12th and a hill-climb for pre-1931 cars is to be held, in addition to the rally. This will take place from Stradbally to Windy Gap, which was part of the course used for the 1903 Gordon Bennett race won by Jenarzy’s Sixty Mercedes. The event is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. This usually so-enjoyable event is centred on Dublin and although entries have closed, it should be well worth going to as a spectator.

David Sewell, compiler of the excellent “British Bugatti Register” referred to elsewhere, is disposing of his well-known touring Brescia Bugatti as he has acquired an early racing Type 13. This car, Reg. No. CT 7671, was raced in the mid-1930s by R.R. Keiller, then landlord of “The Saracen’s Head” in Towcester and it has the very rare features of a special ball-bearing crankshaft and separate steering-box, as on the works Brescia of September 1921 and a few of the type sold commercially from March to December 1922, after which a production ball-bearing crankshaft was used, replacing the original plain-bearing crank. Raymond Mays’ “Cordon Rouge” was one of these rare Brescias and two survive, one in Italy and the Mones-Maury car which is now in S. Africa. Sewell wants to discover the early history of his car (no chassis number has been found but forensic tests are proceeding, the number apparently having been deliberately defaced). It carries the same CT letters as Mays’ two cars but was registered in October 1925, nearly a year after Mays had disposed of both his Brescias and the sheet-steel “rat-traps” on the crankshaft are different from those made up for Mays’ engines by Amherst Villiers in order to prevent oil bouncing from the oil scoops at high engine speeds. If anyone can help, will they either contact Sewell direct, or we can forward letters. Those who like looking at the older Riley cars are reminded that the Riley Register’s 26th Annual Coventry Rally takes place on July 4th/5th based on the Coventry Crest Hotel. The Bugatti OC’s Summer week-end is on the same dates and will include a display of Bugattis at Shelsley Walsh on the Saturday, with these cars competing, 49 years after Jean Bugatti crashed the 4WD Bugatti there, and a Donington Race Meeting on the Sunday, for the Bugatti Cup, put up by Donington Park Circuit and won last year by Nick Mason. — W.B.