The 750 Club deserves warm praise for going ahead with social gatherings. On Sunday, May 5th, there was a meet at Coulsdon and the club room at the Sunderland Hotel, in Sackville Street, was again the scene of a gathering of enthusiasts on May 25th. Nineteen members with nine cars attended the former, and a great deal of photography took place. There seems no curtailment of specials’ construction, and parts were eagerly bought and exchanged. After tea a brief circular-route tour in convoy was indulged in. The next fixture is a picnic lunch on June 9th, starting from Clearway’s Café, Kingsdown, at 12 noon. Members are asked to send 2/6 now to the secretary to maintain Club funds, instead of the full subscription as this becomes due. The Club badge is being disposed of at a reduced price of 3/6. The scheme of finding accommodation wherever possible in members’ cars for non-car-running members anxious to attend club meetings, continues. The 750 Club was founded on April 16th, 1939, following a suggestion by W. Roddy, primarily for Austin Seven owners. The secretary is:—P. H. Hunter, 39, Warland Road, Woolwich, S.E.18.
The “Gazette” continues to be published. That for January-February-March contained the Annual Report and Accounts, and some interesting news items. The Club is in a most healthy position, and no loss resulted from the organisation of the 1939 International Trophy race. For the war period, subscription rates are 20/- per annum for cars up to 10 h.p. and 25/- per annum for cars over 10 h.p. Car badges are reduced to 8/-, ties to 3/6, and beret badges to 2/6 while they last. News of members includes mention of Capt. B. H. Austin, M.A., now holding an important position with the Ministry of Supply; John Pares, who is looking after armaments; Miss Yeo, ambulance dicer; Austin Sowray, siren minder; A. Pearce and H. W. Greenwood, Observers’ Corps; R. M. Hardaker, A.F.S.; Mrs. Hardaker, ambulance dicer; J. Barker, C. Horner, C. D. Wilson and G. Wood, Special Constabulary; C. S. Watkinson, P.O. R.A.P.; C. E. A. Dickens, A.R.P. Casualty Service; J. Dugdale, R.A.S.C.; G. Denton, Second Lieut. Royal Corps of Signals; H. B. Everard, Lieut.-Col. 2/5 En. The Sherwood Foresters; G. E. Peachey, Chief Inspector Hove Special Constabulary; L. M. Maynard, A.R.P. Warden; L. Sandford, Balloon Barrage; Jean Pringle, A.T.S. dicer; G. W. R. Coles, G. P. Tilburn, M. S. Soarnes, and C. L. Nicholson, R.A.F.; Miss K. E. Robeson, ambulance dicer; A. I. Logette, C. A. H. Mason and A. G. Bochaton, Motor Transport Section, City of London Constabulary. Articles by Percy Bradley and Capt. Frazer-Nash are promised in the next “Gazette,” which is about due, and a social event is under consideration. Secretary:—H. J. Morgan, 14, Lime Grove, Ruislip, Middlesex (Pinner 3693).
V.M.C.C. OF AMERICA
In the March issue of MOTOR SPORT, we revealed that very considerable keenness for Edwardian and older cars exists in America. We have since had an opportunity of seeing a copy of “The Bulb Horn,” the well-produced magazine of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America, published in pica type once a month. The president of the V.M.C.C. is Vassar Pierce. The vice-president is George Crittenden; secretary-treasurer, Cameron-Bradley; New York regional director, Alec Ulmann; membership expansion governor, Raymond Stanley; bulletin editor, W. H. Leathers; ex-officio as retiring president, Dean Fales; and associate members’ representative, George C. Rand. The Club caters for all really early cars, and has a vintage section for cars made between 1910-1920—the experience of our Veteran C.C. and Vintage S.C.C. was taken into consideration in fixing these limits. Pierce is an officer of the S. S. Pierce Co., of Boston. He started motoring in 1900, on a Stanley steam car, and owns a 1904 Panhard demi-tonneau, a 1929 Stutz and an M.G. Magnette. Stanley was a passenger in a Stanley steamer in the first Commonwealth Avenue hill climb, and he now directs the advertising department of the First National Bank of Boston. Crittenden is a veteran car distributor, who owns a model 10 Buick roadster, a 1906 two-cylinder Buick tourer and a 1911 Pope-Hartford. Rand is president of the Automobile Racing Club of America and is renovating a rare Mercedes. Ulmann belongs to our own V.C.C., Vintage S.C.C. and Royal Aero Club, and is president of the Aviation Equipment and Export Company. He has a beautifully conditioned little Lion-Peugeot runabout which “truly reflects the thorough renovating of veterans practised within the British Club” [blush, Capt. Wylie, blush!—Ed.] The magazine contains reports of meetings and socials. A 1918 Franklin tourer and a 5-litre Bugatti saloon are being renovated, likewise Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. We imagine this may be Chitty II, as John Morris more or less broke up Chitty I getting out the gearbox as a possible spare for the 200 h.p. Benz, after buying her from the Conan-Doyles. The magazine contains an interesting history of the Oldsmobile, two historic advertisements of Oldsmobile and Columbia Electric cars, and some most intriguing swap columns. The last-named might be of considerable service to British enthusiasts. MOTOR SPORT for January is quoted, in reference to our own run in Heal’s 1919 Ballot, and the club claims that, barring the speed, they could stage a similar outing at any time, with 1912 Mercer, 1904 Renault, 1906 Locomobile, 1904 Panhard, 1908 Mercedes and “30/ 98” Vauxhall. Apparently these cars are not yet registered, but our account has given their owners an idea, and a run may be arranged very soon. Two early Mercedes were used as transport in connection with the Club’s inaugural New York dinner. A 1908 Mark XLVIII Columbia and a 1906 Columbia have come to light in a Massachusett’s junk yard. We are very pleased to be able to expose this American appreciation for veteran cars and we hope that the Veteran Motor Car Club of America will continue to work in co-operation with our own Veteran and Vintage clubs. The club’s address is:-510, Sears Bldg., Boston, Mass.
The informal supper held at the end of April was definitely a success, some 150 members and friends getting together at Pagani’s. And some sixty applicants had to be refused tickets. A similar social is to be put over in the near future.
A Club hike was recently put over, and went off very well. A pleasant tea party followed at Lyndhurst, where the courageous walkers were joined by a handful of sports-car owners. Hon. secretary:—H. S. Pearson, 49, Raymond Road, Southampton.
The Irish Motor Racing Club’s trial of April 20th saw C. N. S. Pringle win the Experts’ Class with his Ford Ten, and R. B. S. Le Fanu head the General Class, driving his L.E.R.A. Twenty-two cars started, and the trial was run on convoy lines. Runners-up were A. H. L. Archer (Ford), P. M. Cahill (M.G.), and Dr. O’B. Gill (M.G.) in the Experts’ class, and J. Stokes (Morgan), D. O’Clery (M.G.), and P. Gill (M.G.) in the General category. H. Doran (Morgan) won the Novices’ Award. Leinster “A” team now leads for the Irish championship from Dublin University Club, “A” team and I.M.R.C. “B” team.
The Harrow Car Club continues to send out circulars, and to organise socials. A supper dance occupied the evening of April 26th.
Well, it was great to have one good week-end since the war began, at any rate. In all the luxury imparted by the modern Daimler we took the Eastbourne road on a sunny Sunday morning at elevenish, and had it very much to ourselves. Making some deviations for testing and photographic purposes, we yet came upon Pevensey in time for a quick one before lunch at a house right on the sea front. Overhead, a long line of “Lysanders” flew, just to remind us that all this sun and sparkle could not stop the folly of mankind away across the Channel. The road up to Beachy Head was taken in an exhilarating run, and sun and ozone enjoyed to the full in the quiet bay at Birling Gap, where quite a lot of cars were parked, and a few of the braver girls were bathing. At the request of the parking attendant our Daintier caused some amusement by motoring itself into the required position, while the driver walked beside it and controlled it on its hand throttle— you can perform some pretty tricks with a fluid drive which fulfils more important functions equally welll when it comes to serious driving. Thereafter the big Daimler proved quite able to tackle some rough stuff in the way of grass banks, and did not unduly perturb three charming holiday-makers to whom we offered a lift, although it was cornered very fast indeed downhill into Eastbourne. In the town, army vehicles motored at rousing velocities, and an excellent array of ordinary cars was out and about, including another Daimler, and several Standard Eights, etc. That night, cares were easily forgotten in the beauty of moonlight over the sea, but later content was changed to excitement as heavy gunfire shook the very houses. Next day, a return to London was engineered to take in some very pleasant Sussex and Kent scenery, and at Oakley’s Garage at Burwash we were able to inspect a beautifully kept 1903 single-cylinder Cadillac, now resting beneath a dust-sheet, with canvas covers over its big brass lamps. We were directed to it by a policeman who had come out in response to a telephone call to see just what we were aiming our Leicas at—we were able to reassure him that an old Ner-a-Car was the nearest to lethal machinery that we had taken. The previous evening, a tattered hood espied in a field led to the discovery of an almost complete Horstmann four-seater, the Davies tyres of which were blown up, and, truly astonishing, in the tank of which still swam some two gallons of petrol—in this rationed age! The side-valve Anzani engine seemed in good order and could be turned over on either the handle, or by the ingenious foot starter, which we now recalled to be a Horstmann feature. The scuttle was reminiscent of that of the 200 Mile racing jobs, so probably this was a sports version. The long cantilever rear springs, rear-axle gearbox and right hand brake and gear levers were interesting points and doubtless we would have sought the owner and talked change of ownership had Hitler never been born.
Lunch at the pleasant “April Cottage” at Mayfield, and tea before the bathing pool at the Longford Café at Dunton Green, and the Daimler was back in London with a most depressing reading on the fuel gauge and a burning desire on all our parts to see this war concluded so that motoring such as this may be resumed, in any kind of car . . .