— The Bean CC’s magazine recently carried some intriguing items relating to Police cars in vintage times. It first drew attention to a statement in the Daily Express in 1932 to the effect that a London gang had eluded police vehicles because these could not exceed 70 mph. This brought a follow-up, culled from The Motor of 1929, which described a London chase in which three criminals in a 30/98 Vauxhall were cut off by the Police in a Flying Squad 4½-litre Invicta, after they had failed to stop when signalled to do so in Victoria Street. The Invicta drew alongside at Buckingham Gate and an Inspector jumped onto the running board of the 30/98 but was hit with a jemmy and rolled off outside Wellington Barracks. After which the cars are said to have raced down Ebury Street at 70 mph (which must have been both dangerous and exciting to watch), and the Vauxhall skidded, ripped off two tyres and crashed into a wall. After a struggle all the men were arrested and after an Old Bailey trial were sentenced to penal servitude. Apparently on a previous Policepursuit their 30/98 had got away from a police car.
The Austin Ten DC has a National event at Lyme Park, Disley, Stockport over the weekend of July 7th/8th, with six classes, for chrome radiator and cowled radiator 10 hp Austin, Cambridge-type Tens, chrome and cowled radiator 12-20 hp Austins and previous winners competing in all classes. A slip of finger on the keys of the ancient Royal on which these words are produced made me call the JCC 1,000 Mile sports-car race of 1932 a one-day race, in last month’s article about Irish races. Run at Brooklands, it was of course, a two-day affair, like the “Double-Twelve” that preceded it but of reduced distance, the winner of the 1929 “Double-Twelve”, Ramponi’s Alfa Romeo, covering 1,824 miles and the car doing the greatest distance 1,953 miles, while in 1930 the victorious Bentley did over 2,080 miles, and in the 1931 “Double-Twelve” the winning Earl of March / Staniland MG Midget managing all but 1,548 miles. So the 1,000 Mile two-day race was more modest; while I am about it I may as well remind you that Mesdames Wisdom and Richmond won in a Riley 9, at 84.41 mph, from Saunders Davis (Talbot), at 95.43 mph — it was a handicap race — and the MG Midget of Black and Gibson. Should you be in Australia later this year, the VSCC of A has its Morwell hill-climb and Amaroo Historic meeting scheduled for August, to be followed by its Mighty Mount Tarrengower event on October 21st, and the Geelong sprints on October 28th. We see that in its Night Trial this Club, which was formed in 1945 as a branch of the VSCC of NSW formed the previous year, had cars less usual in our VSCC’s competitive events these days, namely an Hispano Suiza and a 23/60 Vauxhall; a Sunbeam won, beating two Bentleys and a Lancia that tied with the third-placed Bentley. The VSCC of A’s Secretary is John Lawson, 40, Hailey Street, Blackburn, 3130, Australia. In the course of a rather disjointed history of aviation, with the pilot Chauot as the narrator, on BBC1 TV, many intriguing vintage cars flitted in the background and in two shots he was seen, uncommented upon, in a twin-cylinder, two-stroke £100 Carden cyclecar. This suggests that in making its documentary on the centenary of the motor car the BBC, or ITV come to that, should run through the forgotten footage of archive film, not necessarily associated with motoring, for exciting and natural coverage — for instance, some time ago, showing coal-strike scenes at South Wales’ pits, what should scuttle across the screen than a circa-1923 solid-tyred Trojan. . . A reader who is restoring a 1938 Autovia saloon and who says he gained more information about these rare cars from a past “Fragments on Forgotten Makes” article in MOTOR SPORT than from any other source, would like any further data anyone can pass on. Letters can be forwarded. Air displays with a vintage flavour include that at Popham Air Centre near Winchester for a biplane fly-in on July 1st with another on August 12th and the British Aviation Heritage Display at Bruntingthorpe aerodrome, Leicester, on September 9th, while remaining Shuttleworth Trust Displays for this year include a flying evening on July 7th, the Military Pageant on July 29th, the Historic Transport Day on August 12th, displays on August 26th and October 28th, with another display on September 30th, while there is to be a 1930s-style Fly-In and Garden Party at Barton aerodrome, near Eccles, Manchester, by the Lancashire Aero Club, on August 18th / 19th.
Although not strictly for this essentially “pre-1940” column, the Riley RM Club has its National Rally at Top Farm Argricultural Museum, W. Hardwick, near Nostall Prior, Yorkshire, on August 10th / 12th, with at least five important trophies to be won. This Club for 1946-1955 Rileys runs a useful monthly magazine, recently elected 25 new members, bringing the total to over 1,200, and the enrolment secretary is Bill Harris, 107, Greenbank Road, Edinburgh. — W.B.