Club News, June 1951

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56

WE HEAR
H.W. Uhle of New York has acquired a 1935 K6 Hispano-Suiza drophead coupe. James G. RouIton, recently elected Secretary of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club, cherishes a 1914 Rudge-Multi motor-cycle which has a 730-cc. single-cylinder engine with a stroke of 132 mm. Some “11.9” Lagonda light car spares exist in Sussex, if anyone needs such parts. A. J. Lowe has one of the rare C-type M.G. Midgets and seeks its history-his address is “Downs View,” W. Malvern, Worcs., and the car’s numbers, engine, AA 143, chassis. CO 290, registration GT 6828. Martin Quick has made some more modilicat ion’, to his M-type M.G. Midget, including underslinging its chassis at the back but bolting on some front dumbirons, reversed, taken front anotlier M-type, fitting Rotoflo shock-absorbers, and replacing the o.h.c. engine with a Series E Morris Eight enelosed with double valve springs, Chromard cylinder liners and raised compression ratio. Front wheels are 4.00 by 19 M-type, rear wheels Standard Nine 5.75 by 16 Easy-clean, and windscreen from a “Le Mans” Singer. A Morris Eight radiator block with 6 in. removed from the core, Butler Atlantic headlamps, home-built sheet alloy body and two gearboxes in line for trials, soon to be replaced by a single four-speed box, complete an attractive specification. Quick assures us he gets about 75 m.p.h. but says road-holding and cornering are the M.G.’s strong points. Next job is to fit Lockheed brakes,

In Colombo A. E. F. Filby has rebuilt a wrecked “TC” M.G. Midget into a successful sports car. The chassis was straightened and strengthened and i.f.s. fitted by using a transverse spring and fabrirated stub-axle carriers (from sections of the original axle) and bottom wishbones. The original rear suspension was softened by removing some spring leaves, rack-and-pinion steering was installed and centre-lock wheels fitted to the old hubs, carrying 5.00 by 10 tyres at the front, 6.00 by 16 at the back. New, finned brake drums were machined up. The engine was completely overhauled and tuned to Stage 3 specification with 1 1/2-in. carburetters, large valves and 150-lb. valve springs. A Scintilla Vertex magneto was used and a new body, fully undershielded, built of 20-gauge sheet aluminium. Running on 95 per cent. methanol, 5 per cent. acetone, the M.G. won the scratch race at a Ceylon M.S.C. race meeting at Ratmalana airport last February, beating a supercharged “TC” M.G.. a 328 B.M.W., a Riley Special, a special with blown Lea-Francis engine in an M.G. chassis and a Cooper J.A.P. 500. Later in the day Filby won the racing and sports car handicap, from scratch-very good work!

The B.B.C. seems to be getting truly motor-minded. Last April the Aston Martin O.C. went on the air in the ” n Town Tonight” programme. when Brian Johnson reported on the Club’s practice at Brands Hatch for the Bal d’Or. He rode. in Ken Dace’s standard 1933 “Le Mans” two/four-seater Aston-Martin which, in the dark, and carrying two cwt. of recording apparatus, lapped at nearly 59 m.p.h. with eight other cars on the track. The broadcast included a wheel change in the dark by Jack Playford. G. R. B. Clarke is another reader who has a 1911/12 de Dion Bouton, in this ease a Type DH. In the States a Morris Minor tourer with “TD” engine (rather mysteriously quoted at 1.140-c.c.) finished elevent h in last year’s Sam Collier G.P. In view of the frequent comments heard over here about this car’s “lack of steam,” this change of engine is worth noting! E. I. Wheeler is preparing his 1922 “8/18” Talbot for a Continental tour and is restoring a 1930 Talbot 75 that had been hibernating in a field.

We were amused but saddened to receive recently a black-edged card inscribed : “Ichabod : dearly beloved Humber 12 car of F. C. Carpenter, on Friday, March 30th, 1951, at Northampton, very suddenly of broken con.-rod ; aged 26 years. Gone but not forgotten.” The Humber, which was illustrated in our February issue, was given to a passing A.A. scout, and Carpenter now runs a 1932 Sunbeam Twenty. A very nicely-preserved 1923-25 Jowett two-seater was seen in Farnham. R. F. Dunfold has a 1923 T 75 “40/50” Napier engine which he hopes to install in a Delage chassis, using a Rolls-Royce back-axle. His present. car is a Riley Nine.

R. H. Marks points out that his vintage A.C. normally does 35, not 45 m.p.g., and A. L. Butlin that he, not Utley, drove the Woodrow in the V.S.C.C. Light Car event, in which the car did not have clutch slip but wetted its magneto in the water splash. P. de H. Champion, Hill House Farm, Fressingtield, Suffolk, seeks data about “hotting-up” a B.S.A. Scout, and several readers enquire where cylinder heads can be satisfactorily copper plated. John C. Rose craves information about the London-built 1933 19.3-11.p. 72 by 105 ram. 2 1/2-litre Speed Twenty Rover which he owns. He needs a higher ratio crown-wheel and pinion than is at present fitted and also the history of this interesting car, which gives 72 b.h.p. at 3,700 r.p.m. and performance in the Allard category. His address is 22 Command Workshop, Hadley, Wellington, Salop, and the registration number AXD 669.

Those who crave a complete list and explanation of the complex range of Bugatti types will find this in Boody’s latest book, “Continental Sports Cars,” together with servicing data for many of the makes described.

Seen at Zandvoort-a Dutch-tuned 1921 flat-twin Rover Eight towing a racing motor-cycle on a trailer and, in contrast, a French rider towing his trailer behind a Type 57 Bugatti. There is a Bugatti in Brussels with a modern Vauxhall engine, installed when the original crank broke.

Michael May has asked its to appeal to the friend who borrowed his Vol. III of Motor Sport to please return it, and Sir Clive Edwards, Bt., asks Mr. Price to contact him, as he has lost his address.

Still the unearthing of old cars continues! Three veteran Daimler chassis, one thought to be the original experimental sleeve-valve car and another having belonged to Lord Harewood, an early Rover, vintage Humber and Crossley charabanc have turned up in Herne Bay, together with a Motosocoehe motor-cycle and early de Dion, while in Staffordshire a 1901 Stmbeam-Mabley has been found in a brewing cellar and a 1923 Autocrat in a dismantler’s yard. A 1908-10 Turner is reported to have been put on the road by its owner while his modern car was rebored and made several journeys front Wolverhampton to London.

EPIDEMIC

The plain-clothes police patrols or lounge-suit Gestapo in Q-Cars, introduced by the Chief Constable of Oxfordshire, will be a feature of certain roads in Essex this summer.

750 M.C.

The 750 M.C. is about the last stand of the impeeunious who wish to motor-race. Fifty-six of its members are building Austin Sevens to the 750-c.c. Formula for this purpose and look like having plenty of races in which to run them at this year’s club meetings. On August 25th the club’s own day at Silverstone will be devoted to a Six-Hour Relay Race – a revival, as it were, of the excellent L.C.C. Relay Race run prewar at Brooklands and for which Motor Sport has long been a strong advocate-in which teams of up to six ears will compete, thus running for about one hour each. This race should be splendid training for amateur racing men, a fine means of fostering the team-spirit and a very intriguing event to watch.

The club is now on a sound footing, with regular meetings at the “Red Cow,” Hammersmith, on the first Wednesday evening each month, at which famous personalities like Donald Campbell, John Bolster, Charles Goodacre, etc., expound, and where many useful items of Austin Seven lore, not to mention spare parts, are exchanged-which was the original aim of Boddy in promoting the 750 Club back in the dark ages. If you run an Austin Seven we cannot see how you can afford not to join. Sec. K. Bickle, 4, Pelham Court, Staines, Middlesex.

GARDEN PARTY

On May 6th that pleasant annual function, the fashionable garden party of the Royal Aeronautical Society, took place at White Waltharn. Although, rather damp and jaded after Silverstone, we did not take tea or stay until the end, we encountered quite a numher of motoring personalities, including Dick Caesar, Michael May, Flt.-Lt. Stoop, John (“Half-litre”) Gale, Dorothy Stanley Turner and James Watt. Although many modern light aeroplanes were demonstrated, including the smart, tricycle undercarriage Macchi-Bazzocchi M.B.308 from Italy, flown by Col. Enrico Meille, assisted by his charming lady, the vintage and veteran aeroplanes attracted most attention.   A. J. Pegg, as a change from driving Brabazons, took up the 1917-type Bristol F:2B fighter, beautifully rebuilt by its makers last year, but retaining the original 280-h.p. Rolls-Royce “Falcon III” engine. Pegg looped it and carried out other very tight aerobatics, a performance that puts him and other pilots of these veteran-types in the Farina category. R. F. Martin, blipping on the ignition button of the Le Rhone rotary engine as he taxied out, put up an equally fine display in the Shuttleworth Trust 1916 Sopwith Pup, although troubled by a petrol leak in the cockpit.

This year the flat-twin Bristol “Cherub” engine of the 1924 Hawker Cygnet was in much better fettle and F. Murphy made the most of it. The 1912 Blackburn monoplane and some Cody man-carrying kites completed the “period” atmosphere, off-set by the ladies fashions and the “Edwardian” umbrellas with which they greeted the rain-drops ; next year a few veteran cars might well be included to take the pilots to their aeroplanes.

Other vintage aeroplanes that flew included a 1934 Blackburn B.2 trainer, a 1933 D.H.84 Dragon and a 1930 Hawker Tomtit, while a 1916 Sopwith Triplane, the 1926 Westland-Hill Pterodactyl and the 1928 Handley Page Gugnune were static exhibits. A 1914-18-style R-type observation balloon (used in 1923 for police traffic control after the Derby) rose to 600 feet, but the wind kept the spherical balloon down, the non-rigid 75-h.p. airship “Bournemouth” was occupied with the Festival and did not arrive. The two passengers in Twiss’ Fairey Swordfish. which had been commenced with much effort via the reduction-gear hand starter, delighted us with all manner of mad antics as they were flown around.

This garden party is such a pleasant occasion that, once again, we plead for a similar fixture in the world of cars, so that sartorial and automobile fashions may be displayed simultaneously (John Morgan would be a very good organiser. Goodwood a very suitable venue). However, should this ever come about it is open to doubt whether the ladies’ hats would attain quite the same aerodynamic eminence as some of those at White Waltham!

FINE WEATHER

Th, sudden spell of warm, sunny weather which replaced last winter’s record rainfall, seems to.have.brought out the interesting cars. At all events, having washed and polished the Editorial Morgan 4/4 one Sunday morning, we could not resist a desire to go out, and (deciding that one more gallon in all the millions sold would not undermine hopes of the Chancellor being defeated in his increased petrol-tax by diminishing returns!) after lunch we put in just one single pleasure gallon. The objective was a ford, not eight miles from home, that somehow we had never investigated previously, much as we like fords.

It proved to be a young river, so, although a Morgan 4/4’s ground clearance is not so small as many people imagine, we prudently left the car-after all, its wooden planks that serve as a floor might have floated!-and crossed by a little wooden bridge. In the village beyond we might have stepped back a quarter of a century, an illusion improved by the drone of a”Tiger Moth” in the deep blue of the sky. Rounding a corner we disturbed village youth and its bicycles, clustered about the proud owner of a 1927 Matchless motor-cycle that he was just about to ride down the village street—we suspect while the village constable dozed, for we perceived no licence in the aged holder.

A hundred yards more and we found a very passable 3-litre Bentley parked under a hedge and, not far from it, a noble Austin Twelve fabric saloon which displayed not only its current licence but those of the three preeeding years also, on its big expanse of windscreen, as if to prove that, although vintage, it was very much in regular use.

Retracing our steps we drove up is hill between a line avenue of elms to a National Trust beauty-spot, where hordes of little saloons, neatly parked, sparkled in the sun—their owners and their children enjoying that freedom which the Government seeing so anxious to curtail. Breasting the rise was a beautifully-preserved vintage model-P Triumph motor-cycle, its aged rider appropriately garbed. its sidecar occupied by his wife and sight to stir the heart of any member of the. V.M.C.C.!

A little further on, apart froin the eyesore made by a cluster of nearly-completed houses—why, oh, why must they despoil every English village ?—the country opened out in a broad panorama of green fields and tall trees, with cattle browsing in the warmth, the boundary of two counties marked mid-way across a stone bridge over a gently-flowing river. Further exploration took us to a particularly sleepy shire town, the walkers in their Sunday-best, the children secure in Sunday-school, so that, coming suddenly on a van with “E.R.A.” and “MASERATI” inscribed on its sides amongst brightly-coloured fuel and oil advertisements, we were ever so slightly shaken. Here we talked with a garage Mechanic who owns a “12/50” Alvis and belongs to the Alvis Owners’ Club.

Later a car was spotted in the mirror which, passing, proved to be a 3-litre Bentley ocupied by three Parachute-Regimeat officers. Ee gave chase and, for all its lorry-like build, emphasised from our viewpoint by the wide brake drums standing proud of the centre-lock wire wheels of the broad chassis, that Bentley went. Putting our speedometer needle to “sixty” only just sufficed to hold it, and the road wasn’t an easy one. By the way the old car jerked after a re-start, we guessed it had the cone clutch, but whatever the year and type it made our blue and silver Morgan seem somewhat removed from the “racer” that certain of the folk we encounter invariably proclaim it! When we gave up the chase to return home some of that expensive gallon purchased is couple of hours earlier still remained. Good fun!

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