Miscellany, July 1999

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Brooklands Museum’s recent rally of Police, Fire Service, Ambulances and similar vehicles recalls the 3-litre Bentley fire truck used by the BARC, a visitor with “This is NOT a police car” in the rear window of his Ford V8 and the series of BARC ambulances beginning with Model T Ford and sleeve-valve Mors.

The Singer OC caters for all Singers, including motorcycles. Its magazine, Singer Owner, had many vintage aspects in March and announced 52 new members. Its 32nd National Rally will be in the Kendal district on June 20. A joining pack is available from Martyn Wray on 01780 762740.

The new secretary of the Midland AC, following the retirement of Mark Joseland, is Roger Thomas, a well-known competitor with his Westfield and Vision cars. The MAC has plans for a new Club Office nearer to Shelsley Walsh.

Something rather special is to happen on July 3/4. The council for Princes Risborough has agreed to close Kop Hill, just outside the town, for a re-enactment of the last official public road speed hill-climb, in 1925 (two illicit ones were held the following weekend). Pre-1926 cars and motorcycles will make demonstration runs up the famous gradient, where climbs were held from 1910. Segrave’s 2-litre GP Sunbeam made FTD at that final climb, at which a mild accident to a foolish onlooker caused the RAC to ban all such events. Although the reenactment clashes with VSCC Shelsley Walsh, some competitors intend to come to Kop on Sunday. Proper parking and spectator control is promised.

On the subject of speed on public roads, the Knuttsford Guardian had a picture recently ofJean Behra in a racing SimcaGordini which he tested on the A556 one Saturday morning in the 1950s, after a broken piston had been replaced, before it was towed to Oulton Park from Buckley Garage.

May I add my voice to those who were glad that prior to the VSCC Flockhart and Seaman Trophies meeting at Donington Park, a memorial to Dick Seaman was unveiled outside the Donington Collection. So appropriate for a driver who was probably Britain’s best, and our best ambassador, before the tragic accident at Spa, and who raced Bugatti, MG Magnette, ERA, Maserati, the Ramponi-revived 1927 GP Delage, 3.8 Alfa Romeo, FN-BMW, and W125 and W154 Mercedes-Benz at the circuit. When John Eason-Gibson and I went to Croydon Airport to see the Mercedes team arrive for the 1937 Donington GP, Seaman spotted us and came straight over to say a few words, as if glad to be back in England again…