Club News, June 1943

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We hear

S. H. Statham reports that all except himself and one other member of the Scuderia Statham are overseas; the Scuderia’s cars include J2, N and K-type M.G.s, a “Brooklands” Riley Nine, a 3-litre Invicta, a special Austin Seven and a Fiat “500.” Statham himself is down in Wales and reports seeing only three interesting cars – two T-type M.G.s and a 1 1/2-litre M.G. – in the last six months. He uses his “J2” M.G. officially and it is about the only car in this district to achieve and not exceed its “official” petrol consumption – a good argument in favour of using a sports car in wartime, says Statham, adding that he knows of an ex-Le Mans Rapier also on an O.H.M.S. licence. A streamlined Steyr, with 6-cylinder 2,260 c.c. o.h.v. engine, Centric blown, with Jensen body, is in use in Nottingham.

S/Sgt. K. M. Miles, R.E.M.E., reports seeing a fairly sound 3-litre Bentley open 4-seater and an Angus-Sanderson tourer in a breaker’s on the King’s Lynn-Wisbech road about one mile out of Wisbech – probably worth a train journey to someone! N. W. Sharratt sends his regards to all Vintage S.C.C. members and would like to hear of veteran and vintage motor-bicycles in need of good homes – address, 28, Victoria Road, St. Annes-on-Sea. He has, at present, a 1900-02 single-lung F.N., a 1912 Henderson Four, purchased from Lieut. Kentish, a 1905 racing twin-pot Minerva, and a few others. He also has his “30/98” Vauxhall, which awaits rebuilding. In Preston, the eleven veterans owned by the Bradshaws are going into a municipal museum. Several worthwhile engines, including “18/80” M.G., 2-litre Lagonda, M.G. Magna “L,” “Silver Eagle” Alvis and Rolls Royce, along with other spares and a complete £20 2-litre Lagonda, were seen by Maclagen some time ago at Hatfield Motor Wreckers, Hatfield, near Doncaster, whither “special” builders should make their way.

Maclagen, by the way, has a “Bits and Pieces” to exchange for a copy of “Wheels at Speed.” S.O.S. – a f.w.d. Alvis, once owned by Lord Howe and the property of “Scotty” Gaze until he was killed while flying, is missing and may be languishing in a breaker’s in the Chichester or Portsmouth areas. Will anyone having any information to impart as to the whereabouts of this car please communicate with Austin Partridge, 140, Highbury New Park, N.5, who will endeavour to save it.

The early Daimler mentioned recently turns out to be a 4-cylinder 1903 car with the transmission apparently missing – Hutton-Stott is doing what he can for it. Incidentally, his non-veteran motorcar is a 4/4 Morgan. From Lieut. John Neal, R.N.V.R., comes news that a single-cylinder Rover taxed up to 1931 and a White “steamer” are both rotting at dumps – the former valued at £40 and the latter not offered for sale. Can the Veteran Car Club cope, please? He has also found one of the grand old “40/50” 6-cylinder o.h.c. Napiers in a breaker’s near Southampton – a saloon with sound tyres which someone might well save – and has seen a solid-tyred, rear-engined dog-cart of unknown make at Brockenhurst. J. Pole who, with Noel, raced an 18 1/2-litre aero-engined Mercedes in the first 500 Mile Race, is in London. It was he who saved the Itala “Floretta” and he still enthuses over the veterans. Kenneth Evans is a Lieutenant, R.A., and has his monoposto Alfa-Romeo in safe storage.

The Whincops have added the “22/90” Alfa-Romeo 2-seater which we recently mentioned and a Marendaz Special to their stable, and are at present using a D-type M.G. 4-seater. Whincop carefully nurses the ex-Shuttleworth Type 51 Bugatti and Monica Whincop is planning a lowered bodyline and outside exhaust system for her Type 43 Bugatti. Fleming still has his “Monza” Alfa-Romeo 2-seater, which is not for sale. His ex-Horton 750-c.c. M.G. single-seater has not been rebuilt since Clayton went over the top of the Member’s Banking in it. A very interesting left-hand-drive Fiat was seen in London last month, driven by a foreign-looking motor trader, who said he might sell it “when the winter comes.” Said to have been built for and run in the Mille Miglia around 1932, it had a blood-red narrow 2-seater body, very flaired wings and, we imagine, a Sixta o.h.v. head. Metcalfe has sold the Aston-Martin “Razor Blade” to Kipps – with cut-about bodywork, wire in place of artillery wheels, a welded-up O.M. front axle and, we hear, an engine that is not the original. K. Hutchison still gets in a very great deal of business motoring and, to avoid those jealous questions about his petrol, does so in a Ford V8 with gas-producer, with competition tyres on the rear wheels. He has sold his 4 1/2-litre Lagonda to Lawson, the noted H.R.G. exponent, but has replaced it with the car which Allard himself used in 1939, which Abbott’s, of Farnham, have smartened up for post-war days.

The Spikins Singer Bantam single-seater is for sale in pieces and Fitt’s blown Hudson is in storage, awaiting its owner’s return from the Front. Venables has substituted a Le Mans Singer for his Austin “Arrow,” which is for sale, and Peter Clark, besides the stable referred to in “Rumblings” last month, is preserving a Type 22 16-valve Bugatti with aluminium sports bodywork reminiscent of a Westwood or a Windsor. Alas, a Brescia Bugatti was presented to the Maidenhead salvage corps at the beginning of the war because no home could be found for it. Gordon Woods is still using his Frazer-Nash Six for official duties, Grosscurth has exchanged his Lea-Francis for a Frazer-Nash, and Kenyon shares an Anzani Frazer-Nash with a friend. They averaged just under 4 m.p.h. for 16 miles pushing the last-named car home; incidentally, Kenyon has sold out his share in another Anzani Frazer-Nash and reports a recent meeting with Stapleton, who has a 3/4-seater aluminium-bodied 4-speed Anzani, so the Chain Gang is by no means disbanded. We are following up divers vague clues relating to derelict side-valve Astons, and Jack Reiss can help anyone who would like to invest about 120/- in a sound 1929 sports Salmson – the car is in Leeds and his address is “Donington,” Nursery Lane, Harrogate Road, Leeds. Cyril Peacock seeks a cheap 3-litre “Red Label” Bentley or similar car, and has presented the Editor with a 1 1/2-litre push-rod V-twin G.N. engine as a standby for the B.H.D. “Spider.” F/0 Bob Cowell has disposed of his H.R.G.. and his leave petrol now propels an S.S. 100 open 2-seater, which manages 0-50 m.p.h. in 7.4 secs.

The Instruction Book Library grows apace. F. W. Roberts has sent a book covering the “Super Eight,” “Super Nine,” “12/6” and “Southern Cross” Triumphs; Lush has weighed in with Ballot Straight-eight, Morgan 3-wheeler and A.B.C.; B. F. H. Barnes contributes manuals on the Model 501 “10/12” Fiat and Series II Morris “10/4″ and 12/4,” and A.C./1 K. Cobbings a book on the Straight-eight 40-h.p. Minerva. Hutton-Stott has sent books on the 21-h.p. Lanchester and another labelled “Description Fonctionnement, Entretien & Réglage of 15-h.p. Lorraine-Dietrich chassis léger.” Roberts, a most generous helper, also sent some very interesting cuttings from the Automobile Engineer, of veteran car descriptions and 1923 chassis, the latter including Rhode and Gwynne Eight as once owned by the Editor and also “12/40” Alvis, North-Lucas, etc. We also have to thank someone for a G.N. instruction book. Mr. Whitfield, who partners J. V. Bowles at Epping and whose Type 40 Bugatti is being turned out immaculately, has presented Boddy with a 2-cylinder 7-h.p. Renault in going order. This car is believed to be of 1908 vintage and had lived at Epping all its life, used first by a doctor and eventually by a sweep. It was laid up in 1925 but repainted and driven in the Jubilee procession of 1936, and even as these words are penned is on its way to Farnborough by train for restoration in readiness for future veteran runs. The new owner reports that although he cannot change cog with any great facility in his Alvis, he elected to go along the quadrant from top into 2nd quite skilfully during his first attempt at handling the Renault.

John Lander is now a major in the Royal Engineers, and is building up a 2-litre Lagonda which he found in pieces a long way from here. Up in Derbyshire John Jesty contrives 16 miles a day in a 1930 Lea-Francis saloon, and he is building up the ex-Potter “Hyper” Lea-Francis, using a No. 8 Cozette compressor. He sends Lea-Francis r.p.m. and power curves for the Library, and can lend an instruction book on the 1,100-c.c. Alta to anyone interested. There is, or was, a 1937 Fiat 500 chassis, less engine, at Fletcher’s, breaker, Dartmouth Street, Birmingham, if anyone seeks spares. We know of a 12-h.p. Vulcan tourer, of about 1923, with f.w.b., in good order for £7 and an “18/80” M.G. for about £50.

J.C.C. 

The Gazette for January-March, contains a tribute to the late Hugh P. McConnell, who did so much for the club in its infancy, a report of recent and regular monthly council meetings, and an article on “Modern Armour Plate,” by Professor A. M. Low. There is also news of many J.C.C. members, the majority on very active service.

Amongst those who attended the last council meeting were Charles Follett, Col. H. J. Aldington, W. H. Aldington, Capt. Harry Edwards, R.E.M.E., R. Watney and Frank Bale. Commodore Earl Howe, R.N.V.R., sent a telegram of congratulation.

Hon. secretary, H. J. Morgan, 14, Lime Grove, Ruislip, Middlesex (Pinner 3693).

750 CLUB

The meeting on April 18th at Metcalfe’s mushroom – now an incubator for motor-cars– was graced by beautiful weather and some twenty enthusiasts had an excellent time talking and inspecting cars. Metcalfe had lined up the Aston-Martin “Razor Blade,” and a 2-litre G.P. Bugatti; and F/O Cowell brought his H.R.G. on leave-petrol, departing with great elan, while a Morgan Super Sports and Derrington’s very leaky B.M.W. arrived later. Everyone basked in the sunshine and were lulled almost to sleep by Metcalfe’s inexhaustible Polyphon.

On May 2nd another successful luncheon was staged at the “Chez August,” near Shaftesbury Avenue, and an excellent gathering it prayed to be. Amongst those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Frost, Capon, Merrilees, Halford, Orlebar, Symonds, Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland-Harmer, Ashwood, Douglas Tubbs and his lady, Birkett, Jenkinson, Trowbridge and his lady, F/O Phelps, Mr. and Mrs. Bowles, Whitfield, Mr. and Mrs. Kipps, and Boddy. The next meeting at this venue is scheduled for June 6th, at 6/- per head. Those wishing to attend should let the secretary know in advance and should make for Old Compton Street, a turning off Cambridge Circus. The January, 1943, Bulletin has happened and contains articles on Gordon Brettells racing Austin Seven; C.A.P.A.; tuning Austin Sevens by J. V. Bowles, and other interesting matter, for which Birkett deserves no little credit. Hon. secretary, S. H. Capon, 159, Upper Tulse Hill, London, S.W:2 (Tulse Hill 6426).

M.C.C.

The M.C.C. held a film show in London for its members on May 14th, and many trials memories were polished up. We hope  “Jackie” Masters will manage to hold similar gatherings in the future, but must gently chide him for not sending us details of this particular function – which was, we hear, attractively announced, after the fashion of a trials announcement of those dimly-remembered peacetime days.

Enthusiasts’ gathering

We believe that the next Enthusiasts’ Gathering Rivers-Fletcher and his henchmen will organise will take the form of a tea-party at the London Zoo one summer Sunday afternoon. So we shall have yet another chance to “talk motors” in a big way, and on that day members of the British public will have additional phenomena at which to direct its gaze.

Our cover picture

This month’s cover picture shows the 4 1/2-litre Lagonda with which F. T. Stephenson and R. S. Hebeler attempted to put 1,000 miles into 12 hours running at Brooklands in 1934. Rain stopped this ambitious run but not before the Lagonda had averaged over 90 m.p.h. for several hours – an excellent, tribute to the reliability and performance of modern British sports cars.