What became of Cupid?
What did ‘Cupid’ Hornsted do at Brooklands, as Captain L G Homsted, after his mercurial drive there before WW1 in the 200hp Blitzen Benz, as described in May? When the track reopened he was there with a 1914 GP Opel which had remained in this country during hostilities. Hornsted had it made into a single-seater, but after it had lost to a Vauxhall it was bought by Segrave. Hornsted then turned in 1921 to selling pre-war Dodge cars converted into 75mph sports jobs, his 3-litre Dodge, said to have been rescued from a watery grave in the Rhine, giving him a third place.
A customer having by now been found to race the Dodge, Hornsted drove a four-seater 21’4-litre Benz in a 1921 handicap. None of this having been successful, he took on one of the mysterious Summers, a 1 1/2-litre car of Germanic origin, but it never finished any of its races. The Big Benz also fizzled out.
Before 1925 was over Hornsted had been reduced to competing with a sports Mathis in the JCC High Speed Trial at the track, and his last race appearance there was in 1933.
There was, by the way, a slight glitch in May’s Benz piece. The two-way LSR rule not having come in until 1910, Hemery was able to take his at Brooklands one-way but found taking the bankings that way at such a speed was difficult. It was Homsted who had to negotiate them both ways on his 1914 LSR run. And it was the Barlow’s Benz which was described before it appeared in 1922 as a brand-new hush-hush car, when in fact it was the pre-war Hornsted car. Zborowski, who drove the old ex-Hemery Benz, was not the sort to make such a false claim. And if I tied to decarbonise the camshaft instead of the head of my 1922 ohc Rhode I’m a bigger ‘spanner-fool’ than I thought…