Club News, June 1947

We Hear
Bernard Coulter informs us that the French motor paper L’Actualite Automobile, edited by Camille Lacome, has been revived. Coulter has a Type 40 Bugatti sans engine, into which he has fitted an Alvis “Speed Twenty” gearbox, the power unit still constituting a problem. Incidentally, Coulter broadcast reminiscences of “L’Ecusie du Lapin Blanc” at Le Mans, over the B.B.C. Free French Service in 1942; he wonders if there might not be some means of exchanging Whitworth for metric spanners nowadays, between British and French enthusiasts. A. G. Ryan has discovered early A.C., Lagonda and Trojan small cars in a barn near Co. Waterford. He is exchanging his 1983 M.G. “Magna” 2-seater for a 3-litre Bentley. John Bland is restoring a 1909 38-h.p. Knight-engined Daimler to good order. S. B. Palmer has acquired the 1922 “10/15” Fiat which he likes a lot but which is heavy on fuel. A 1927 Bayliss Thomas, very spick and span, runs about the Leicestershire roads. Our article on the 3-litre Bentley, published last April, has apparently helped several readers to establish the year and model of cars offered for sale and it is now being translated into Norwegian by an Oslo member of the B.D.C. for publication in Motor-Liv, the national motor journal.

Major Jackson has found a s.v. Anzani Frazer-Nash “Boulogne,” with several special features about its engine. Arthur Dodds has three volumes of Rankin Kennedy’s 1913 edition of The Motor Car for disposal. He is putting a 1927 “12/22” Lea-Francis tourer on the road. Two early 3-speed Rolls-Royce Twenties, one a tourer, the other a vast saloon, both serve in Hampshire in a state of excellent preservation, as well as several more in London, while another Lanchester Twenty-One saloon was sold by auction recently in Wiltshire. Then Luckhurst is overhauling a 1931 “18/80” Mk. I M.G. Six “Speed Model,” Stuart a 1932 “TL” “12/60” Alvis, while Tindall has found an early “Speed Twenty” Alvis coupe, engine No. 9792, chassis 9435, Reg. No. WO 6281 and would like to hear from previous owners (his telephone No. is Tem. Bar 8568). Scott Fosyth intends endowing a Vernon Derby chassis with a “G.P. Special” Salmson engine, while Monard has a British Anzani Eight V-twin o.h.v. engine which he wants to instal in an Austin Seven chassis. In Colchester someone is rebuilding a 4 1/2-litre Bentley, while Kent hopes to acquire an o.h.c. 1926 Wolseley 2-seater, and someone else has found a V-twin water-cooled gearbox-in-back-axle Coventry-Premier. Then K. C. Radburn has a twin-cam G.P. Samson, but also uses a “push-pull” Salmson as a hack. Harliss & Stokes, of Attenborough Garage, sportingly write to point out that we were incorrect in saying they are preparing the old straight-eight Talbot-Darracq for Radford to drive; they did a few mods. on this car and G. R. Stokes is still assisting with engine development, but Saxondale Motors are to do the bulk of the work. The latest Club journal to reach us is an ambitions, duplicated monthly issued by the Hartlepools and District M.C., which is a very go-ahead organisation with some good ideas, such as ladies’ nights, a junior section (which owns a motor-cycle for instructional purposes), etc.

Grosscurth has decided to renovate his vast 1922 Mors tourer, which he drove up from Bournemouth to the Grand Cup Trial. It has many endearing features. The components are line-ahead along the near side of the very clean engine, very fine small-bore pipes run back from the water-pump, the fan pulleys are unflanged (like those on overhead shafting in machine shops) the self-wrapping front brakes are highly effective, the dipstick is hidden in the centre of the sump-level tap and the polished Autovac is of streamline section. Fuel consumption is now 20 m.p.g. Another very choice car at the Grand Cup Trial was a 16 h.p. Charron coupé. Its radiator, behind the bonnet, was magnificently polished, as were its steering column, Lucas “King of the Road” gas sidelamps, and single electric headlamp. The bonnet carried an appropriate-vintage A.A. badge endowed with Stenson Cooke’s signature, a V.C.C. badge and maker’s nameplate, likewise highly polished, and the body had a yellow waistline, leather upholstery studded with buttons, strap-controlled railway-carriage windows, tiny oval quarter lights and immense leather hood. The quadrant change was right-hand and the wheels were shod with 815 by 105 covers. The pedals were quite vertical. Altogether a most choice Edwardian — we always have felt that if you motor slowly you might just as well keep dry! This Charron would progress in silence with its big wheels barely turning and altogether gave every impression of being a tractable, reliable mode of transport. Another spectator’s car at this Trial was an excellent specimen of early long-tailed Salmon, with slight-section tyres appropriate to its vintage.

Packman was contemplating selling his Salmson when the body had been repaired, but he continues to get 38 m.p.g. and stolid daily service from his 1927 Trojan. Major Dove is getting excellent results from his 1928 LeaFrancis, which the Phoenix Green Garage breathed on some time ago and in which he motored from London to Cumberland and back last Easter with no trouble at all. Two Hispano-Suiza saloons, a Panhard-Levassor saloon, a de Dion coupe, an early Rover Twelve 2-seater, three Clynos, a very fine “10/15” Fiat 2-seater, a flat-twin Stellite and a “10/28” Talbot, were noticed in Surrey recently, while two unused 2-litre Schneider chassis are reported stored in a London garage. In Oxford two 1919 Maxwell tourers, a 1918 belt-drive Invicta motor-cycle and a Baby Peugeot are, or were, for disposal. Several early Unic vans still function in the Metropolis, one having the double cantilever rear springing which Unic’s introduced at the 1921 Paris Salon. Peter Clark has now ascertained that the rear axle ratio of his 1914 G.P. Mercédès is 2.47 to 1. It seems that for the race Mercédès prepared six alternative ratios, ranging from 2.47 to 1 to 2.86 to 1 and as there are two crown wheels in each axle, each car of the team, Peter gleefully points out, would appear to have had £500-worth of spare axle shafts! On the subject of the faster Edwardians, it is good news that Charles Dunn has procured the ex-Mills 42-h.p. 1907 Renault “Agatha.”

A Gwynne Eight 4-seater was sold not long ago by a Basingstoke breaker, and there is a 1928 Lea-Francis sans tyres and rear axle but a possible source of spares, available in Windsor. A run around the Midlands last month revealed a four-wheeled Morgan conversion, an aluminium-bodied Enfield-Alldays, and news of a 1927 18-h.p. Star — certainly price inflation has been the saviour of many interesting old cars. If anyone can use a 1982 Talbot “14/45” chassis, we heard of one for sale at £75, in Slough, while a Crossley tourer of about 1921 vintage, decently stored for the last twenty years, was also available rather farther west. We understand that A.F.N. Ltd., can now supply new timing chains for the Anzani engine. We gratefully acknowledge additions to the Library of Morris Major and 2-litre Schneider handbooks, from Shenton and John Hay, respectively. The Bishops Stortford Bookshop had a copy of Gilbert Frankau’s biography, which we reviewed last year, if anyone seeks a copy. In Reading we encountered a 1927 “14/40” Vauxhall saloon for sale for £160 with un-run-in engine, and a quantity of new “14/40” spares at the same place, while Pycroft is daily running an endearing “23/60” Vauxhall aluminium tourer located in the same area — he even braves London traffic in it. We also hear of a vintage Metallurgique being restored to fine condition down Salisbury way.

Two of R. G. I. Nash’s veterans, an 1,898 City and Suburban electric car, once used by Queen Alexandra, and an 1895 Benz, figured in a production at the Scala Theatre not long ago. Bob Porter, of Boon and Porter, Ltd., was instrumental recently in saving a pre-1914 Renault, which Denyer and Hill propose to rebuild; incidentally, Porter has a “Grand Sport” Amilcar up his sleeve, his firm having been agents for these little cars many years ago. Papworth is said to be in a position to prepare a Bugatti for any one owner of such a car. Veteran Rolls-Royce, Mercédès and De Dion and an early blown Mercédès are rotting in the open at Wimbledon, but a pre-1914 16 h.p. de Dion Houton landaulette was salvaged recently near Winchester by a Wembley garage.

C. H. Stephenson is doing up a 4 1/2-litre Bentley and Jarvis of Wimbledon are restoring a 1910 Wolseley Twenty. Quite like old times. We hear that an Anzani Frazer-Nash, in running order but needing new bodywork, changed hands in London for £32 10s. recently — and from trader to private owner at that. The May issue of “The Model Car News” contained racing reports, descriptions of powered model cars able to accommodate a child and some “stills” from the famous “G.P. di Pozzo” film in which models were used, etc. Emmett points out that we were a bit premature in mentioning his 1913 G.W.K., as he is still tussling with the Eire Export Authorities about it. An enthusiast for early light cars, he rode recently in a noisy 1922 Rover Eight and reports a fine Trojan in Leominster.

Stuart Wilton has acquired the Pansy-Special and Stelfox F.W.D. Alvis. Charles Griffiths, who used to run a Lagonda service garage at old Windsor, is now in S. Rhodesia.

Yet another Baby Peugeot has apparently turned up, a 1913 saloon in fine order, while a really old A.C. has been found in the north. There is on the road a most absorbing Atalanta chassis with Cozette-supercharged, 16-valve, 4cylinder, 1 1/2-litre light-alloy Brooke racing marine engine and Cotal gearbox, about which we hope to say more in the future. Phillip Turner is running a “12/50” Alvis saloon. There is a 1908 Riley 4-seater, which ran in the Edinburgh Cavalcade, looking for a good home. Some Trojan spares have turned up in Hampshire.

Fixtures for June
1st. — Hagley & D.L.C.C. Welsh Twelve Hours’ Trial.
6th-8th. — Lancashire A.C. Blackpool Rally,
7th. — B.M.C & L.C.C. Allen Trophy Trial.
8th. — Southsea M.C. Cannon Cup Rally.
9th-13th. — I.O.M. Motor-Cycle T.T. week.
13th. — Yorkshire S.C.C. Ladies’ Trial.
14th. — B.M.C. & L.C.C. Social Bristol.
Chiltern C.C. Evening Trial.
N.W.L.M.C. Lawrence Cup Trial.
15th. — B.O.C. Closed Prescott Speed Hill Climb.
21st. — M.A.C. Shelsley-Walsh Speed Hill Climb.
22nd. — Berkhamsted M.C. & L.C.C. Driving Tests.
28th. — B.M.C. & L.C.C. Naish Trial.
28th and 29th. — J.C.C. Eastbourne Rally.
July 5th and 6th. — Brighton &Hove M.C. Brighton-Beer Trial.

The R.A.C. is planning to celebrate its Jubilee in a big way. Their plans embrace the Scarborough Rally, a great open-air motor show in one of London’s Royal Parks, a garden party at its country club at Woodcote Park, a great mass-dinner-dance happening simultaneously in seventeen big towns and linked by radio, and the publication of a Jubilee history-book. We particularly commend the open-air concourse to those who miss the usual show at Olympia.

Morgan Three-Wheeler Club
S. G. Withers, Chairman of the Morgan Three-Wheeler Club, has rather mis-read our remarks in “Rumblings,” in the April Motor Sport and writes to suggest that only bad handling or neglect renders a Morgan unstable and that the Morgan Club exists to encourage owners who feel they can join neither car nor motor-cycle club — it holds socials, sporting events, runs a technical department, a spares section, library and an engineering facilities department, also issuing a monthly bulletin. With these remarks we couldn’t agree more, but we congratulate Mr. Withers on getting some well-deserved publicity for his Club. By the same post came a notification that the Midland Group will continue its monthly meetings throughout the summer, non-members and prospective Morgan owners welcome — meet Stratford swimming pool, 2.30 p.m., second Sunday. The Midland Group organiser is J. H. Balleny, 11, Hallewell Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham 16.

M.G. Car Club
At last the famous M.G. Car Club is to be properly revived. Twenty-two officers of the pre-war club met during March to discuss future plans, and such names as Robert Kay, J. F. Kemp, W. K. Ison, J. O. H. Norris, A. C. Cookson and E. H. Goodenough were heard. At present the Acting General Secretary is G. S. (Jack) Gardiner, M.G. Car Co., Ltd., Abingdon-on-Thames, Berkshire. He will be glad to hear from present and intending members.

Very interesting indeed, and quite up to pre-strife and austerity standards, was the last issue of’ “Bugantics.” It contained articles by Scott Moncrieff, Lemon Burton, and W. Buddy, Verse by Donald Monro, and some interesting data on the 1922 G.P. Bugattis, on the early days of Wimille, and on Bugattis in America, etc. During the first two months of this year 31 new members were elected. The next fixtures are the Members’ Hill Climb at Prescott, on June 15th, and the Open Summer Prescott Meeting on July 20th. The annual subscription for non-Bugatti owners is now £6 6s., with £6 6s. entrance fee, but, as is only right and proper, Bugatti types get in for £2 2s., with £2 2s. annual subscription. Sec.: A. Glassborow, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1. (May 4701.)

Southsea M.C.
This live organisation has an ambitious programme for 1947, including a Closed Rally on June 8th and an open speed event for July 5th. Hon. Sec.: C. S. Dewey, 102, Havant Road, Cosham, Hants.

B. M .C. R.C.
Before the sad demise of Brooklands Track the British Motor-Cycle Racing Club used to control the motor-cycle racing thereat, this famous Club, formed in 1909, coming to Weybridge from the old Canning Park cycle-track at the instigation of George Reynolds. At a meeting in London on March 14th last the Club was reformed — which is very good news indeed. The “Bemsee” will continue to cultivate and encourage British motor-cycle racing as it has done in the past, and will try desperately to find a permanent racing circuit in this country. At the re-union meeting ex-Secretary J. D. Ferguson proposed the Club’s revival. A £1 subscription was agreed upon and in a few minutes nearly £100 was laid on the table, while Victor Horsman and C. W. G. Lacey had offered trophies. C. A. Lewis was appointed the new Secretary and a committee was formed comprising Noel Pope, Jim Kentish, H. L. Daniell, L. Archer, Jnr., J. D. Ferguson, Francis Beart, E. C. E. Baragwanath and Capt. A. W. Phillips of the R.A.C. That this famous Club is on its feet again is excellent news and all interested in the future of British motor-cycle racing should support it. We believe the Club’s Brooklands records have gone astray, but that every effort is being made to recover them. Sec.: C. A. Lewis, Villiers Service, Weybridge Station, Surrey.

500 Club
At the end of April the first issue of the Club’s journal, “Iota,” appeared. Beautifully produced, it contained articles by Earl Howe, S. C. H. Davis, F. J. Findon, L. Pomeroy, Cooper and Colin Strang, the last-named writing most informatively on building a 500-c.c. racing car. Non-members can obtain this journal for 1s. 6d. Membership of the 500 Club costs £1 1s. a year and is not confined to owners or builders of 500-c.c. cars. Classes for 500-c.c. cars will be included in all the more important 1947 sprint fixtures. Builders of new cars number Kenneth Neve, Molyneux, Wing-Comdr. Aikens, Brandon, Bacon, Bosito, the Dutton brothers, George Hartwell Baird, Cdr. Yorke, Whatmough, Davidson, Bromley, Butler, Caesar, Fry, Clarkson, Sir Francis Samuelson, Short, Mackay, etc. They will use Aspin, J.A.P., Douglas, Norton, Triumph,or Rudge engines. Dr. J. Boucquey, hopes to form a Belgian 500 club. Hon. Sec.: J. O. H. Siddall, Milford House, Landsdown, Bath.

The Junior Car Club has got into its stride again with the Jersey Race, and has its Eastbourne Rally scheduled for June 28th-29th — this looks like being quite an open-air Motor Show. The J.C.C. is also sponsoring a Continental Rally from Aug. 18th to Sept. 3rd. Between January and March last 157 new members were elected. The Club’s Council comprises Messrs. Austin, Benstead, Burt, Dyer, Urquhart Dykes, Gordon England, Follett, Godfrey, Prof. Low, Mathieson, Frazer-Nash, Gordon Offord, Mayne, Tustain, Roberts, Sutherland, Watkinson and White, while His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon remains the Club’s President. The “J.C.C. Gazette” is published quarterly. Sec.: H. J. Morgan, Melbourne House, Aldwych, W.C.2. (Tern. Bar 4546.)

Rootes L.C. & M.C.C.
A Light Car and Motor-cycle Section of Rootes Social and Athletic Club has recently been formed. Open to all and warmly supported by Rootes employees, this new organisation has its own grass track and hopes, also, to hold scrambles, trials, and in due course road races. On the other hand, social activities are regarded as of equal importance to sporting fixtures. The annual subscription is 10s. 6d. for Associates, 5s. for Ordinary members and 2s. 6d, for those under 20 years of age. The badge costs 10s. 6d. Details from Rootes Social and Athletic M.C. & I,.C.C., Humber Road, Coventry. (Cov. 5544. Exten. 67.)

The Library
We still manage to loan a considerable number of Instruction Books through the Motor Sport Library, but would again emphasise that no correspondence can be entered into in connection with this service. Lists of books held have been published in past issues and those wishing to borrow a book for the stipulated period of 3 weeks should send a large stamped envelope with their request. When the book concerned is available it will he sent out, but if borrowers retain or lose books we cannot undertake to notify those on the waiting list. If you have a book you have not returned, please send it back to us — and help fellow enthusiasts.

Lagonda Spares Register
The Lagonda Rally in April was a huge success and thereat it was decided to continue the useful Register of 2-litre Lagonda spares, formed last October by P. A. Densham. Air-Marshal Sir W. A. Coryton, K.B.E., C.B., M.V.O., D.F.C., himself a keen Lagonda owner, has kindly agreed to act as President of the new Lagonda Club arising out of this Spares Register. Hon. Sec.: P. A. Densham, National Provincial Bank, Ltd., Lime Street, E.C.3.

The Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia awarded its Vickery Trophy, for the highest total aggregate marks for the 1946 season, to Lyndon Duckett, his cars being his Anzani-Bugatti and 1916 18-litre Mercédès. John Camm (Samson) was runner-up, together with Dean (Lancia and “30/98”). In the January issue of “The Vintage Car,” Bob Shepherd’s subject is the F.W.D. Alvis

A.A.C. OF A.
We have received, we believe through the good offices of Cameron Peck , a copy of “The Antique Automobile,” official quarterly publication of the Antique Automobile Club Of America. It is well produced and contains a most interesting account of ownership of many pre-1906 cars by E. Paul Dupont, some new angles on the infamous Pennington patents, a letter of Rudyard Kipling’s criticising his Locomobile steamer, etc. Chairman of Membership Committee: S. E. Baily, 45, East Levering Mill Road, Bala-Cynwyd, Penna.

Cover Picture
This month’s cover picture depicts Leslie Johnson’s unsupercharged 4-litre Darracq, stripped for once of its road equipment, running in the Jersey race. It makes an interesting contrast to the highly-supercharged 1 1/2-litre cars shown on the two previous covers. Johnson, in company with Levegh and Archard, had covered 46 of the 50 laps when the course was closed. The picture is the work of Louis Klemantaski.

Apparently, the V.S.C.C. jumped a decimal place in the report of the Eastbourne Rally, which they sent us, as Taylor’s 1911 Stanley steamer was given slowest time in the Lewes test. In actual fact, we are assured by its passenger that the Stanley took 22.6 sec., not 722.6 sec., a very good time indeed. Apologies, sir! The N.L.E.C.C. sent in a report of the Indianapolis film which contained errors we admit we overlooked. Many readers have written in to say that the 1911 race was won by Harroun, not by Wilbur Shaw, and that no race was held in 1944.

General Notes
Motoring is, in some ways, returning to pre-war form in this country. One Sunday we went from Hampshire over to Bedfordshire, noting slow-moving family saloons en route to picnic and later, near Dagnall, parked off the road for this very purpose, in quite the pre-1940 manner. This run embraced a varied route, up the Great West Road for a while, turning off at Bagshot at the railway bridge which Earl Howe once tried to demolish with a Mercédès-Benz’ then out through wooded country to Ascot and into Windsor via the Great Park. Windsor was full of Boy Scouts ebbing from the sleepy Great Western Railway station, and sightseers disgorged by a constant arrival of “Green Lines” and local ‘buses. Proceeding, we went by way of Slough, Amersham, Berkharnsted and then along lanes in close proximity to Dunstable Downs, a varied enough route in all conscience, and every pedestrian seemingly in his or her Sunday best, as we returned in the early evening.

Next, a friend lured us into his 5-litre Bugatti for a day. That day’s motoring, commencing at 8.45 a.m., ended about 1 a.m. the next morning, but it did embrace a circular tour from Hampshire up to Leamington, Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton and home again. A gale, combined with something like 90 m.p.h. down a long straight, resulted in a greater buffeting from the air-stream than we ever experienced round Brooklands, or so it seemed, for we occupied a little bucket seat behind the bench type front seat, well above screen-level. In Leamington we found Adams re-assembling his twin-cam Anzani-Bugatti after practice at Prescott. At Birmingham it was A. T. Norton who was hard at work, on his astonishing Mephistophalgatti. Thereafter non-motoring matters occupied us, but from Nottingham to Northampton we averaged something like 53 m.p.h. including negotiation of Leicester and Market Harborough, the Bugatti cruising deceptively fast without fuss of any kind — far less any noise — its brakes, too, being well up to the performance. A pause to load up with a truly prodigious weight of spares and we came home in the dark, satisfyingly, through once-familiar places like Stony Stratford, Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

On another Sunday we had, perforce, to journey to Bournemouth and back, appreciating to the full the scenery and fine roads from Odiham to Romsey, but not thinking much of the outskirts of the New Forest or the country immediately round Ringwood. It is high time signposting between London and Bournemouth was properly carried out, the latter town sometimes appearing, sometimes not, on otherwise standardised signpost arms, while the signs on the maze of by-pass roads round Winchester (where one side of a stretch of such roadway was blocked by a fall of chalk in a cutting) are most confusing and, later, we took the wrong road at a fork and again at a roundabout on account of a confusion of badly-placed signboards. Incidentally, this run out and home, of some 140 miles, served as a confirmation of that old query — where do the sports cars get to when they are not at Prescott and Shelsley Walsh? Apart from a 3-litre Bentley, an “Ulster” Austin Seven and a “12/60” Alvis actually in or near our destination, nothing rapid was encountered. Odd cars there were in numbers, however, notably a Trojan tourer at a garage near Bournemouth, a coupe-bodied “Family” Morgan outside a pub., an early Triumph Super Seven and, finally, a delightful “Bull Nose” Morris-Cowley 2-seater motoring towards Odiham.

Then there was the refreshing time with the Jowett Javelin, a grand reminder of just how safely-fast a good modern car is about the place, and fun because this was a car not yet in production, so that one felt that one was projecting oneself into the future, quite apart from the advanced technical aspect of the car. Coming off that on to a modern Austin Ten was sufficient contrast, yet this stolid saloon went very nicely, cruising at 45-50 m.p.h. and going round bends quite reasonably in its own comfortable way. This varied motoring was rounded off one spring evening in the fine country that flanks A 32, and from which run lanes just asking to be explored — down one of them we found an early o.h.c. Wolseley derelict beside the road, one tyre and two plugs still amongst the “removable” items not appealing to scavengers. As we looked it over, the latest thing in gliders soared overhead, from Lasham airfield nearby.

The following week-end saw us off to Prescott, the run down being made in that exhilarating 5-litre Bugatti, good for 90 m.p.h. and averaging a round 60 m.p.h. for 35 miles. We returned, again as passenger, in the Cowell Lea-Francis, admiring its practicability, its very fine cornering qualities and the forward visibility. Looking over one’s shoulder it was amusing to see the top of the offside rear wheel beneath its helmet-type wing. And the run in company with a 3-litre and 4 1/2-litre Bentley, two Bugattis and the 1908 Itala was stirring beyond words!