It is March 1927. A 14-year-old boy has just seen the afternoon paper. His mother enters with tea things. “What’s the matter?” she asks her son. “You have gone quite pale.” “Parry Thomas has been killed at Pendine,” is the reply. The boy was me, the date one I am unlikely to forget. But last month I was made to say it was 1937…
Have I any regrets? Yes, several. One is that after all the years and miles I drove testing cars for Motor Sport I have now read somewhere that four miles as a passenger is enough to assess a car’s brakes, acceleration and good handling.
By coincidence Motor Sport‘s return to the green was marked by a trio of visits to my home. First came an engineer associated with one of Britain’s top cars, in a 4-1/2-litre blower Bentley, its driver then set off for London in rain and darkness, sans hood or windscreen. Then George Daniels in his smart everyday’ Bentley Continental, followed by a ‘hot’ late-model Fiat 500, its owner the editor of Bugatti Trust magazine.
Reader Robin Horton has written following my comment about the 1914 Isle of Man TT Sunbeams being given registrations from MN 523 to MN 526. He suggests that these were loM plates, which had ‘MN’ followed by up to four numbers until the 1920s. He adds “perhaps Sunbeam either intended to leave them on the island or fancied a bit of pre-race testing on the public roads there”. But if so, were they driven from Wolverhampton to the island untaxed?