Veteran to classic miscellany (I)

New Badge

When we referred to the new Brooklands Club last month it was inferred that members applying to join, at £500 a year plus VAT, had to be proposed and seconded. This is apparently not required, as it was in the perhaps more autocratic days of the pre-war Brooklands Automobile Racing Club.

We also said that the new Club has a BARC car badge. In fact, this badge differs from that of the former BARC, as the illustrations show. For instance, it depicts an aeroplane and a more prominent view of the Members' bridge (a new version of which has been reinstated over the banking) and a single racing car, which is obviously practising, because it lacks a racing number. This we regard as a good thing, if it avoids confusion between those who join the new Club and those who were members of the BARC before the war and who may still wish to display the BARC badge on their cars, or who own cars entitled to wear the BARC badge. When the Brooklands Society came into being in 1967 some members of the Committee thought that, if permission could be obtained, it would be nice to use the former BARC as the car emblem of the new Society, the Brooklands Automobile Racing Club having become the British Automobile Racing Club, operating at Goodwood. I was against this, because I thought it would be unfair to those, as explained above, who had a right to display the other badge on their cars, which applied only to those who had belonged to the BARC prior to the war. Having founded the Society my view had some clout and it was agreed that a separate Brooklands Society car badge be designed, as shown above. -- WB

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Brooklands terrain is being changed. Last March the Mayor of Elmbridge officiated at the opening of the first office building to be completed by Trafalgar House Brooklands at the Brooklands Business Park, preparatory to residential development off the Brooklands Road, Weybridge. To help mark the occasion the Brooklands Museum sent their replica 1909 Bleriot monoplane, a 1937 MG and a 1922 Zenith-Bradshaw motorcycle, although it is difficult to appreciate the link between new houses on the old site and the machines which used to fly and race there. -- WB

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James Fack of the STD Register is organising a rally of all Talbot cars in the UK at Ingestre Hall, near Stafford, on July 13th, with Sunbeams and Darracqs also welcome, this house having been the seat of the Chetwynds, who later took the name ChetwynTalbot and became Earls of Shrewsbury, from 1604. The 20th Earl was founder of Clement Talbot Ltd, and he built the great Ladbroke Hall motor works in London, called after his wife's childhood home in Warwickshire. Ill health and the death of a son in the war, in 1915, caused him to sell out to A Darracq & Co late in 1919. The rally is to include a picnic, tea at the Hall, a treasure hunt and dinner, with the 22nd Earl as guest of honour, in Uttoxeter. Details from J Fack, 071-581-0650 or the local organiser. J Naylor (0782-318-247)

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It seems that we were wrong when we said that the historic hotel, The Hand & Spear by Weybridge Station, is to be demolished; it is the interior that is being modernised. We also hear that improvements are in hand at the Beach Hotel at Pendine, where many famous record-breaking drivers used to stay. There is even talk of hoping to house Babs there!

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750 MC National Austin 7 Day

On July 7th hundreds of Austin 7s of all kinds will be making their way along the pleasant highways and byways that lead to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu for the great assembly of these famous little cars. There will be a full afternoon of entertainment. Details from Ken Cooke, 26, Woomersley Road, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 1SR. (0438-354001).

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The big VSCC fixtures this month are the Shelsley Walsh speed hillclimb near Worcester, in conjunction with the MAC, on July 6th, public admission to which is £7 per head, accompanied children under 15 free, and the Mallory Park race meeting, near Leicester, a good circuit, new to vintage racing cars and with an interesting hairpin bend, which has good spectator viewing. The programme will include a repeat of the Edwardian Race which was so greatly enjoyed at Oulton Park last year. Entries have closed. Spectator admission £5 per person, including Paddock transfer.

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We regret to have to report the death, at the age of 97, in a Littlestone-on-Sea nursing-home, of George Took, who raced AC and Lea-Francis cars at Brooklands, finishing in the 1930 JCC Double Twelve-Hour race in his second Lea-Francis, with Arthur Bradwell as his riding mechanic, Palmer's of Dover having installed a 25-gallon petrol tank in the body. Mr Took also took part in many other competition events and his mind was keen to the end; in fact not long before he died he was recalling Brooklands' events and personalities, and of working with Prof AM Low at Southern Command during the war. Our condolences to his son James and family.

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A reader who has a fine silver cup awarded by JC Archer of the BMCRC to MD Whitworth for an aggregate award at Brooklands in 1936, riding it is thought the Rex-Acme in the Brooklands Museum, also possesses the plinth of another cup, awarded to Hailwood for 114.23 mph in an MG Midget, probably during the 1931 BRDC 500 Mile Race and would like the cup to unite with it. Letters can be forwarded.

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Coincidentally with mention in the May issue of a Leyland clock, the current Friends of The National Motor Museum Newsletter contains a most interesting article by Michael Ware on them, their unusual mechanism, how they were made and wound, etc, listing details about nine of them, including the one once to be seen at Shap. These Clocks are on display at the NMM, Cobham Bus Centre, and the Kendall Brewery Art Centre.

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A correspondent also recalls the Shap clock and also Swan, an Edinburgh contractor, who used Rolls-Royce chassis turned into trucks, one a 40/50 hp converted into a six-wheeler, and an uncle who had a big racing Austin (one of the 1908 GP cars?) with touring bodywork, formerly owned by Sir Ian Colquhoun of Luss.

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A Bit of a Record!

Derek Edwards of Aston Martin and AMOC fame has driven, the AMOC informs us, in 3000 races, and has won 650 awards in his 40 years of racing, 450 of them in Aston Martins. For the Club's Silverstone Meeting on June 22nd he flew back from driving in the 4000-mile Great American Race — in an Aston Martin of course, co-driven with Yasuhiko Shimazaki, to take part in his 40th St John Horsfall Trophy race that afternoon. He rushed away in the hope of remaking contact with his co-driver somewhere in N Carolina — no rules about resting between races in Club events! At Silverstone Derek was presented with a painting by the AMOC President Viscount Downe and Club founder Mort Morris-Goodall, to commemorate his drive in 40 out of 42 St John Horsfall races. Edwards began in 1952 on bikes, graduating to Aston Martins and F2 Coopers, Jaguars and Connaughts. He has won the Morris-Goodall Trophy 18 times and the VSCC Peter Simms Trophy 10 times. His June feat should encourage those of us who are approaching Octo-status because Derek's age is 75. And to think that he was once banned from driving in a VSCC race because he had forgotten his medical certificate. -- WB

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VSCC Racing Drivers Challenge Trophy

The VSCC's 1991 Championship has a prize fund of £10,000 and is divided into classes for vintage, pre-war and post-war Historic cars, the last-named including rear-engined F1 and F2 single-seaters from the pre-1961 period of racing. Last year 38 drivers entered and more should be competing for points this season, with ERA, Bentley, Cooper-Bristol, Lotus, Maserati and Bugatti historic racing cars. Already points will have been scored at Silverstone (two meetings) and Donington Park and the remaining meetings at which this Championship will be contested will be those at Mallory Park on July 7th and Donington Park on September 21st. -- WB

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VSCC Scottish Trial

The VSCC moved its activities to Scotland on May 19th, when 54 competitors took part in a trial with a dozen sections to tackle, there being but two non-starters, an Alvis and a Singer Nine. The Campbell Trophy was won by R Thwaites's A7, the Sammy Davis Cup by W Gordon's A7, and as well as these First Class Award winners those who also took firsts were P Blakeney-Edwards (Frazer Nash), G Toms (Fiat), M Holt (Ford), and D Hallam (A7). Second Class Awards were obtained by W Parker (A7), J Evans (A7), P Longhurst (Riley 9) and D Hescroff (AC), Third Class Awards by J Diffey (A7), R Winder (A7), A Jones (A7), H Spence (Lea-Francis), Miss Winder (A7), P Roberts (Riley) and P Harris (3-litre Bentley). -- WB

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A reader is hoping that someone will be able to tell him what became of a 1935 Riley Kestrel four-light saloon, Reg No JU 6479, which his father purchased from a Mr Ted Fogg of Bexley Heath in March 1956 (for £122) and sold in March 1960 to a lady in Wilmington, Kent, who used it as a second car to take her children to and from school. Letters can be forwarded.-- WB

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Castrol Progress

Things seldom stagnate, they either fade or go forwards. The affairs of Castrol (UK) Ltd are very much in the going forward category, which is good news to the editor who, for longer than he cares to remember, has made a point of using Castrol oil in his engines.

For instance, the world-renowned Castrol GTX has developed into GTX2, with all the additives essential for effective lubrication of modern engines and that means an oil which is catalyst-friendly and able to cope properly with turbocharged power units in which the turbo rotates at up to 110,000 rpm and oil temperature may reach 300°C when the engine has just been shut down, which will bake inferior oils and cause solidified ash to block turbocharger oilways, with resultant bearing failure. Castrol GTX2 was developed and extensively tested on turbo installations to obviate this problem, as well as being well suited to other engines in which oil temperatures can reach 280°C on piston and cylinder walls and gudgeon pins, with more than 450°C transmitted from exhaust-valve heads. The additives in GTX2 prevent oil-frothing, oxidation which thickens oil into gums and laquers, and they also look after hydraulic tappets in which compressible oil is detrimental, and they chemically coat high-pressure parts such as cams and cam followers. Castrol 10 x 40 GTX2 mineral oil is now sold in 5-litre plastic packs.

Another Castrol development is semi-synthetic 10 x 40 TAT oil, for today's high-output engines, often of the twin-cam multi-valve type, operating under extremely varied road conditions from Motorway cruising to town crawling, with oil changes at 12,000 miles instead of the former 6000 miles.

Castrol's great achievements in the fields of motor racing, motor cycle racing and aviation go back to long before the First World War and they continue unabated. In fact, so long is the list of successful cars which scored in 1990 using Castrol lubricants that it is impossible to include it here. It runs through not only all kinds of motor racing but rallying, drag racing, motorcycle sport, rallycross, karting, hill climbs, and even the World Micro-light Team Championship, with Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, in World Sports Car Championship races, among the many famous teams which rely on Castrol. Castrol developments are well portrayed in a new video The Future Starts Here. -- WB

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Out of the Past

Christopher Mann, of London N1 , who is associated with Bodyshop Magazine, a journal for the paint trade which recently issued a supplement on refinish paint, of interest to those restoring cars and showing the changes which have taken place over the past few years, has sent us some interesting information about cars owned by his father-in-law, youngest son of Albert Edward Kilner of Huddersfield (1876-1952).

He was MD of the family firm of Yorkshire woollen yarn spinners and a great motoring enthusiast. One of his first cars was thought to be a Fafnir. Later came a whole series of Minervas, one of which is seen outside the family home, Roe Head, Mirfield, which had been the school where the Bronte sisters were pupils. This Minerva was converted into a motor caravan, which did nothing for its roadholding, and was eventually given to the owner of a Filey caravan site, later a Butlins Holiday Camp. Mr Mann's father-in-law and six of his brothers went to Oundle School and a fine open Minerva appears at the White Hart, Thrapston, not far from there. One of the best pictures, however, is of an Edwardian Minerva at Fold Head House, Mirfield (the family seat prior to buying Roe Head) with all the family aboard, dog and a model yacht included and a nursemaid in the background, taken around 1914. In the 1920s Mr Albert Kilner had two Isotta-Fraschinis, one with an imposing coupé-de-ville body.

The father-in-law's brother is seen photographed with a D8 Delage at the aforesaid Primrose Valley caravan site; his father gave him a Lagonda on his 21st birthday. The Delage was superseded by two Ballots, one with black fabric body and prone to catching fire, after which came a black 540K Mercedes-Benz which Albert Kilner sold for a song to Appleyards of Harrogate after being stopped three times in a week for speeding — he felt that this might have been due to the unpopularity of German cars, with war approaching. Alastair Kilner inherited his father's love of cars and for many years used a 25/30hp Rolls-Royce as family transport. Mr Mann's wife recalls hiding on the floor when being driven to school in it because it was not a normal car — as did my daughters when in vintage cars and Roger Collings' girls when taken to school in the 1903 Mercedes. This Rolls-Royce was replaced by a Phantom III which was kept until the early 1970s. Roe House was sold in the 1960s and apparently became a monastery. Which reminds me of a friend who went to Mitfield to take Holy Orders and came home with a fellow student one winters day to London in the latter's open sports Salmson, both wearing their cassocks to keep out the cold. -- WB