Club News, June 1950
Dr. Roland John, Frazer-Nash enthusiast, has added to his stable a 1930 20/25-h.p. Rolls-Royce with Hooper touring body, which has only been licensed for a total of five years and which has run only 46,000 miles.
In South Africa, F. C. Hartley has a Mk. IV “Brooklands” Riley Nine which has an off-set body and hydraulic brakes, and he would like to contact a reader in this country who can help with servicing problems—the address is : Hartley’s Garage, Alival North. Other interesting cars in the same stable include a Grand Sport Amilcar with Austin Seven chassis, D.K.W. radiator and monoposto body, and a slightly modified “TC” M.G. that has served admirably for 30,000 miles over fearful roads.
If you want a handy Calendar of 1950 Club Fixtures, Ernest Newton & Co., Ltd., of Faraday Chemical Works, Holt Street, Birmingham, 7, will send one free of charge on mention of MOTOR SPORT— address c/o Competition Dept. A similar calendar of motor-cycling events is also issued. Gilbert Tyrer points out that his well-known “328” B.M.W., FLM 9, remains unmodified ; it is the ex-works 1940 Mille Miglia car which has received attention. Should the Algiers-Capetown Rally happen next winter, F. Calvert, a Colonial servant who knows much of the route, would be glad to help British entrants ; his address : c/o P.W.D. Transport Section, Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika. He speaks French and Kiswahali and would like to go as co-driver to a British entrant. D. MacIver has acquired a 1926 Grand Sport Amil car.
At a Wimbledon garage a 1928 37.2-h.p. Hispano-Suiza saloon was encountered in storage recently, and several of the 27-h.p. cars of this make, in various stages of preservation, seem to have come to light recently. We get some very odd queries at these offices at times—in answer to one of them, Boddy wrote the 300,000-word “Story of Brooklands” with a No. 55 Conway Stewart fountain pen, which is still working as well as ever! Douglas Fitzpatrick has unearthed a truly exciting Edwardian racer in the form of a six-cylinder Metallurgique.
That prolific publisher, Floyd Clymer, has issued a book that tells anyone all they could possibly want to know about the 1950 Grand Canyon Economy Run, which was won by a Studebaker Champion, with 26.5 m.p.g. R. F. Collinson is rebuilding a New Orleans, circa 1900.
The Automobile Engineering Training College of Chelsea is permitting some of its students to modify an R-type M.G. for competition events ; they will probably install a hotted-up Riley Nine power unit. Claude Hill, late of Aston-Martin, is now working, in collaboration with Freddie Dixon, as Development Engineer at the recently formed Harry Ferguson Research Company. The B.A.R.C. now has over 8,000 members.
Another A.C. Six two-seater, of the later Edge era, its bonnet-sides removed, revealing the light-alloy o.h.c. engine graced a Goodwood Paddock bay during the B.A.R.C. Members’ Meeting on May 6th. Ian Connell has joined Cyril Paul at his garage at Walton-on-Naze. Cyril Mann hopes soon to have an XK 120 Jaguar. Boddy has gone into partnership with G. H. Deason over his ex-Lycett 1913 “Alfonso” Hispano-Suiza and hopes that it will appear, spick and span again, in some of this year’s Edwardian events.
Another Cooper “500” driver who has acquired a “double-knocker” Norton engine is A. E. Brown. A well-preserved Falcon-Knight taxi was encountered on Buckinghamshire rank recently.
A rather charming sight recently was A. E. Stradling’s black and yellow 1913 Georges-Richard-model Unic coupé waiting patiently beside the tin-ware in a Bayswater traffic jam. It has unique glass side extensions forward of the windscreen and a low roof to keep unwanted bodies off the glass. We all have to think in terms of smaller cars these days and it was interesting that one of the better turned-out competitors at the recent V.C.C. Biggleswade Rally was the 1,016-c.c. 1914 Morris-Oxford of the Misses Rosemary and Pamela Allen. And R. A. M. Dale of 142, Chesterton Road, Cambridge, has been motoring an 8.9-h.p. Rover air-cooled flat-twin since last summer with such success that he even contemplates a register for them. Apparently at Lulsgate the slow speed of Ashley’s Alvis was due to two keys shearing in the dynamo shaft, allowing the ignition to advance itself unduly. D. Stinson has acquired, and likes, a 1981 Morris-Cowley.
THE B.R.M. MOBILE WORKSHOP
The British Motor Clubs’ Mobile Workshop for B.R.M. is progressing very satisfactorily, the majority of the clubs having contributed most handsomely and it is particularly gratifying that the A.A. has joined in the scheme with a cheque for the agreed maximum amount from any one club, as also has the Jersey M.C. and L.C.C.
The workshop, when complete, will be equipped with 6-in lathe, self-contained generating set for power, compressor, drilling machine, storage bins and cupboards, benches and vices, etc., and will be complete in every respect, even to spray painting, for servicing the cars in this country and on the Continent. The chassis is the Seven-ton Commer Avenger coach chassis., and the body is being built by Messrs. Wilsdon of Solihull, who cater for special types of vehicles.
Those clubs which have promised donations, but have not yet forwarded them, are asked to send in their cheques as soon as possible to the Secretary, The Midland Automobile Club, 87, Edmund Street, Birmingham, 3, to enable a complete list of subscriptions to be published.
The Vintage Sports Car Club is one of the most flourishing clubs in the Country. At the recent annual general meeting it was revealed that Membership stands at 1,270, and that 60 per cent. of these members own pre-1931 cars. Although devoted to the preservation and more particularly the use of the older cars, the Club receives invitations to so many events, and admits as Associates those persons who do not own Edwardian, vintage or historic cars, that membership, at £1 per annum, is often a sound investment for persons desirous of receiving invitations to other clubs’ events. It will also secure admission to most if not all of this season’s club race-meetings at Silverstone–like the Bugatti O.C., the V.S.C.C. decided not to join the proposed Silverstone Clubs’ Association. It issues Cecil Clutton’s delightful Bulletin of vintage-car affairs about bi-monthly and at its Silverstone meeting on June 24th will, amongst other good fare, hold a 62-mile race for pre-1936 racing cars.
It has recently issued its list of members and their cars, a document worthy of concentrated study, when it will be revealed that all the classic vintage sports cars are still well represented amongst the Club’s supporters, together with many individual and rare types. In some ways it seems a pity that owners of cars like Riley Sprites, H.R.G.s, M-type M.G.s, 4 1/2-litre Invictas and 1934 Austin Sevens are admitted to full membership–“Damme, Sir, in our day you had to have a pre-1931 car and a pretty nifty one at that to qualify.” However, time marches on and as only 143 of today’s members belonged pre-war, perhaps it doesn’t matter unduly. It is also noticeable that the less-sporting vintage car, down to Gwynne Eights and Talbot Eight-Eighteens, are represented quite strongly, whereas, “Damme again, Sir,” before the war they were not especially encouraged. This we deem a good thing, in a club so large, and under the prevailing economic conditions, particularly as in competition events of the nineteen-twenties such as the J.C.C. and M.C.C. High-Speed Trials, etc., the touring and semi-sporting vehicles took their place (on the starting line at all events) beside their more exciting brethren.
The V.S.C.C., then, caters primarily for pre-1931 cars, and the better post-vintage types, with sub-divisions for pre-1914 carriages and pre-1936 historic racing cars, and an associate section for those with the right ideas but the wrong (or no) motor cars. It also has a Junior section, with ten members, and an Overseas section with 21 members. Rightly, some of its events are confined to pre-1931 cars and some remarks on its Silverstone meeting of April 29th appear in ” Vintage Veerings ” this month. Details : T. W. Carson, “Mellaha”, Park Lane, Kempshott, Basingstoke, Hants.
A MYSTERIOUS BUGATTI
We do run into motoring mysteries, don’t we ? This time C. Powell takes us mildly to task for captioning the frontal aspect of the G.P. Bugatti which graced the “Vintage Veerings” section in the April issue as a Type 35. He owns this car and says that it has a 2.3 litre, not a 2-litre engine, so is not strictly a Type 35. In fact, it is something of a mystery. Apparently one authority considers the car to be one of the first “2.3” voitures de course and explains that the 100-mm. stroke crankcase without blower mountings was made over a period of eighteen months commencing in 1923. But another authority suggests that the car has a 1924-26 G.P. chassis (it has the small brake drums) and that the engine is a “Type Targa,” date unspecified.
We obtained this picture with a wartime article submitted by D. A. Wilcocks, who ran the Bugatti for a time, on tradeplates in 1941. According to Mr. Powell it was first registered by L. G. Bachelier in 1936 and was owned successively by Messrs. North, Tremlett, Kellett, Mrs. Gatley and the late Stanley Martin. A past owner had painted it Alfa red. It came to Mr. Powell with two S.U. carburetters. The normal windcowl had been removed, a screen substituted and later replaced by square aero-screens, while the otherwise normal G.P. gearbox has a bottom ratio of 11.7 to 1. The shock-absorbers are non-standard French Hartfords and the usual air-feed pump on the top of the valve cover is omitted, presumably because the 100-mm. stroke engine is too high to clear the bonnet. The car’s registration number is EPF 761 and its engine number is 44/14613 B. Any clues?
“D. M.”, writing recently in a contemporary : “I sometimes doubt whether that vociferous minority, the Vintagents, fully appreciate their influence on the march of progress. One canon of their gospel—not, of course, expressed in so many words.—has always been that it is effete for wheels to hop up and down to speak of, relative to the chassis, with the result that the only time you get a flat ride in a typical vintage automobile is when it is an inch or two above the ground.” Ask the Lancia boys, “D. M.”! And, of course, the only time you get a flat ride in a modern automobile is along a straight road . . .
B.O.C. SILVERSTONE MEETING
The Bugatti O.C. Silverstone Meeting on June 17th offers some unusual and enterprising racing. Therewill be four events, comprising a 12-mile handicap for all types of Bugatti cars, a 1 1/2-hour Relay Race for handicapped teams of three sports cars, a 30-minute race for standard post-war saloon cars running on pump-petrol and handicapped on a list-price basis, and a 72-mile Formula II race. The Relay Race and Saloon Car Race, in particular, should be exceedingly interesting. Racing starts at 12.15 p.m, and is open to the Bugatti, Bentley, M.G., Riley, Vintage, Midland and S.U.N.B.A.C. clubs, whose members can therefore gain admission by ticket. Entries have closed.
The Veteran C.C. Rally to Biggleswade on May 7th to see the Shuttleworth Collection of Historical Aeroplanes and Vehicles attracted an entry of 29 pre-1904 and 32 1905-1916 cars. There was only one test, consisting of accelerating over 400 yards and then stopping astride a line which, if overshot, entailed disqualification which is what happened to many of the faster cars. Barker did the job faultlessly, however, in the 1911 “16/20” Fafnir he shares with C. Chilton and in which he had covered some 400 trouble-free miles in the previous four days. The crowd got out of hand at one time and invaded the course and disappointment was felt that the 1909 Bleriot, 1911 Deperdussin, 1912 Blackburn and 1916 Sopwith Pup aeroplanes did not take the air. The Shuttleworth collection of cars includes the 1903 racing de Dietrich with replica Paris-Madrid body, an 1891 Benz, an 1895 Peugeot and the 1898 Panhard raced by Rene de Knyff.
RALLY—VETERANS.—1st: Major J. S. Taylor (1901 4 1/2-h.p. Renault). 140 miles ; 2nd: S. E. Sears (1901 Mors) ; 3rd: F. S. Rowden and H. G. Chalklen (1898 3 1/2-h.p. Star).
RALLY—EDWARDIANS.—1st: M. Brooking (1913 Darracq) : 2nd : W. F. Watson (1911 Rolls-Royce); 3rd: H. G. Hampton (1905 Renault).
DRIVING TEST.—VETERANS : 1st: H. A. Pierpont (1904 Mors); 2nd : G. J. AlIday (1903 Mercedes); 3rd : R. D. Gregory (1904 Darracq).
DRIVING TEST,—EDWARDIANS : 1st : R. Barker (1911 Fafnir); 2nd : H. O. S. Bridcutt, (1914 Daimler); 3rd : Mrs. V. N. Mawer (1909 Zedel).
As we were preparing to close this issue for Press news came in of some new records. In America, at Long Island, Gardner and Hess are reported as having broken 24 long-distance and 12 short-distance American Stock-Car Records in Class F with two A40 Austins–we cannot at the moment imagine what American 1 1/2-litre car set up records for them to break, but over 1,000 miles at nearly 65 m.p.h. for a British car of this size isn’t to be decried. Then, in France, Gregory and Sedgwick drove a 1904 Darracq from Le Touquet to Nice in 29 hours, an average speed of 25.8 m.p.h. for 748 miles but, attempting Monte Carlo to Le Touquet, broke down and were towed in behind an Austin A70–they actually left from London, crossed the Channel in a Bristol freighter aircraft, and reached Nice 35 hr. 45 min. later, which, if it can be compared with anything, compares with Jarrott’s 37 hr. 30 min. from London right to Monte Carlo in the Crossley in 1906, over inferior roads and unaided by Silver City Airways, if in a slightly younger, appreciably larger car. Jarrott actually averaged 24.2 m.p.h. for the 771.2 miles from Boulogne to Monte Carlo (not taking into account his claimed extra 100 kms. through getting lost), against the Darracq’s 25.8 m.p.h. for 748 miles. O.K., we know the Crossley was a new car, whereas the Darracq has been in use these past 45 years…!
R.Ae.S. GARDEN PARTY
Quite the most enjoyable of all air displays is the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Garden Party, held this year on May 14th. At White Waltham you are allowed to get back to the past in an atmosphere of happy informality—the display is composed of real aeroplanes, the sort that are a drowsy background to a summer’s day and not a shattering crash of sound to spoil your dreams (with apologies to the Fouga Cyclone). The high-light of this year’s party was unquestionably A. H. Wheeler’s show in the Shuttleworth 1916 Sopwith Pup, which he even looped for us.
They believe in veterans at this party, and Bullen in a Hawker Hart, Clear’s rapid 1932 Pobjoy Comper Swift, Murphy’s 1924 400-lb. Hawker Cygnet and Martin in the 1912 Blackburn monoplane also delighted us. Only the wind kept the Shuttleworth 1909 Bleriot and 1910 Deperdussin out of the sky. The public was not admitted, so if you want to go next year you should join the Society, whose address is: 4, Hamilton Place, W.1 (Tel. : Grosvenor 3515).