V-to-C miscellany, July 1993, July 1993

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The Gwynne 8 Register recently had a meeting in Cornwall to meet 86-yearyoung Cyril Peacock and inspect his partially-restored Brooklands Gwynne, one of those enjoyable occasions which, the smaller organisations sometimes enjoy. Dr Hayek had been able to buy back a Gwynne 8 he owned 30 years ago; he brought it on a trailer but within an hour or so had it running again, with the help of those present. The quietest-running of these rebuilds was Dr Dyke’s very original hipbath-bodied Gwynne, from Devon. Two more cars only recently back on the road were David Woodburn’s orange Brooklands-sports model and a post-war-bodied two-seater, which made it all the way from Caterham, some 260 miles.

Ian Walker’s well-known hipbath G8 did even better, coming some 290 miles to the rally, and Ken Good’s similar model clocked up some 280 miles. Ian Smith, whose G8 wasn’t ready, came in his TT Replica Frazer Nash, had a burnt-out starter, but it was quickly and cheerfully repaired, and all returned home with no difficulty. W B
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The Newsletter of the Crossley Register is most impressive in the historical clout it encourages, the rare photographs and data it includes, and the general air of marque loyalty it conveys. And where else would you find detailed information about repairing a Hobson Telegauge and the fluids to use? Last May the Register co-operated with Manchester’s Museum of Transport with a great display of Crossley vehicles, including ‘buses and trolleybuses, cars and Crossley gas-engines. Crossley ‘buses were used to take visitors to relevant sites in Manchester and Stockport and Crossley-bodied Leyland, AEC and Guy buses were invited. How’s that for showing a one-make banner? The Register’s annual rally takes place in Leicestershire on July 10/11. The membership secretary is Malcolm Jenner, Willow Cottage, Lexham Road, Great Dunham, Kings Lynn, Norfolk (0328 701240), who will be glad to hear of any vehicles, old employees, archives, etc pertaining to the Crossley cause.

It is encouraging that old cars continue to reappear and are being restored. The latest of these include a 1914 sleeve-valve Daimler landaulette which was supplied new to the last Emperor of Korea. It seems to be a four-cylinder 20 hp car. Dry-stored in S Korea for some 70 years. this Daimler is in good order, its engine free (surprising for a sleeve-valve power unit, after so long), the gold brocade interior trimming intact, and the only missing parts apparently just the radiator cap and the petrol-pump primer. So keen are the Hyundai Motor Company of S Korea to care for this Royal car that their research engineer and six others came on a three-day visit to this country, where the Daimler & Lanchester OC was able to organise for them visits to the Jaguar/Daimler factory in Coventry, the Coventry Museum of British Road Transport, the National Motor Museum and its Library, and to a private collection of sleeve-valve Daimlers, with a ride in a 1913 Daimler shooting-brake. The Korean Ministry of Culture and Hyundai intend to put the car back into running order but still require a TR20/TS20 Daimler spares-list for 1915.

Another Coventry Victor water-cooled flat-twin three-wheeler, a 1927 model with sound engine, has come to light in Tamworth and Vauxhall Motors is restoring to running order its 1905 9 hp Vauxhall.

The Veteran Car Club of Great Britain has accepted Johnnie Thomas’ Gordon Bennett Napier (see Motor Sport, December, 1992) as a 1902 car.

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Vauxhall Motors is not included in the Gaydon Heritage Centre because it has its own collection of historic Vauxhall cars. Motor Sport described this a long time ago and drove various cars from the collection in 1965, including the 1911 “Prince Henry” tourer. Recently a new Vauxhall Heritage Centre has been opened at the Luton headquarters as part of a £50-million investment in the site. All the former historic Vauxhalls are now housed there, from the 1904 6 hp tiller-steered Vauxhall which is well-known to Brighton Run spectators, to the Company’s own 1926 OE 30/98 Vauxhall. To these older cars have been added 1950s and 1960s Vauxhalls, including a 1964 HA Viva and embracing F-type Victor, PA Velox, etc. Bedford commercial vehicles are also represented. The collection is valued at around £750,000 and most of the vehicles are in running order.

Bernard Ridgley and Ray Cooper, who have worked for Vauxhall’s for 35 and 29 years respectively, look after the cars and the 1931 Bedfords. This Heritage Centre is not open to the public but the vehicles it covers are frequently lent to Vauxhall dealers. You can buy for £3.95 a boxed set of 24 cards depicting Vauxhall history, from Vauxhall dealers. W B
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The formidable new British Motor Heritage Centre on a 115-acre site at Gaydon was opened to the public on May 1. The project cost £8 million and apart from its comprehensive collection of British cars, previously housed at Studley and Syon Park, the new building housing them is of architectural interest and the site covers not only a test-track but all manner of leisure-park facilities. The emphasis is on showing cars of all ages but mainly with Austin, Morris, Wolseley, MG, Riley, and Rover backgrounds, supplemented by exhibits of Albion, Triumph, Standard and Leyland vehicles. It would be impossible to list all 300 of them, but they range from two Herbert Austin 1896 prototype tricars to the latest Rovers, etc. The archives comprise some 500,000 photographic negatives, of which there are 15 tonnes of glass plates, and several million engineering drawings, under the care of Anders Clausager. For a £20 fee an identification certificate can be supplied applying to a great many cars, those for Wolseleys going back to 1901.

So at last Britain has a Centre where its motoring heritage is properly housed. It could hardly be under better or more impressive conditions and I congratulate Peter Mitchell, its managing director, whom I have known since the small beginning of this commendable venture at Studley and who in the past has lent me historic cars to drive for Motor Sport. The location of the Heritage Motor Centre is close to the M40, from junctions 12, 13 or 15, the distance from the first-named a three-minute drive, or from the B4100 road. It is open daily from 10am to 6pm (closing at 4.30pm after November 1.) Admission charges are £5 per adult, OAPs £3, children £3, but free if under five. The Centre will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day only; its address is Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire CV35 0JB. (0926 641188). W B

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