At the coalface

T G Moore, Chairman and Editor 1928-36

My own association with the paper dates back only 20 years, but the first bound volumes on my bookshelf take me back to an earlier period, when grand prix racing was the high-spot of the sport, and the Sunbeam team a power to be reckoned with.

Bugatti and Alfa Romeo had their innings after that, and then around 1926-28 came the heyday of sportscar racing.

At that time the paper had fallen to a low ebb and might well have disappeared altogether. Luckily, a friend of mine, Mr W S Braidwood, later the first Editor under the new regime, had the foresight to realise the possibilities of the journal and bought up the copyright. In 1929, working together, we relaunched it in a more ambitious form, and for a time widened its scope to include aircraft and motorboat sections.

Health reasons forced me to give up the editorial chair (rather a hard one, ill remember rightly) in 1936. Perhaps I might be allowed to sum up my impressions of seven years of change and progress.

As regards sportscars, a boom period was 1928-30, in which a great number of firms tried their luck in this tempting market. Then came a slump which cut spending to the bone, many firms falling out. It was a hard time for the paper, too, but a big chance for the small economical model, as typified by the MG Midget. After that came a big revival, with larger English cars such as the 4.5 Lagonda and the new Bentley, and a similar revival on the continent, led by the Type 57 Bugatti, various Delahayes and the Talbots.

GP racing regained its former prestige when the 750kg Formula came in. The first appearance of the new Mercedes and Auto Unions was a great thrill, but in the following years, when they had overcome their teething troubles and were mounting up in speed and power, one rather wondered whether racing was producing a crop of juggernauts.

In a short time these new problems of road-holding and braking were solved, and the technical knowledge thus gained is reflected in the stability of the high-speed 1.5-litre bolides of today. The first 25 years of the paper's life have seen great advances in fast motoring, and 25 years more may cover even greater changes.
July 1949 (taken from the 25th Anniversary issue)