Cars in books, June 1963

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Mr. R. B. Sutcliffe of Kensington writes:—

I have just come across something which might interest you for your feature “Cars in Books.”

The book is “Wine’s my Line” by T. A. Layton, published by Duckworth in 1955. He first mentions a 12-h.p. bull-nosed Fiat owned by an aunt, who bought it when she was seventy, but he writes that “as soon as she became a menace on the roads she more or leas gave it to me.”

He later states of the same car “… it started up one spring morning with a half turn of the handle, having been drained of water and put up since October—that wonderful car.”

He then writes (with more enthusiasm than expertise!) about Bentleys, as his father bought one and he has owned them himself since. He has apparently not heard of the Smith-Bentley carburetter but has obviously driven a long-chassis 3-litre! He writes “The Blue Label was murder to drive, sticky through the gears, wasteful of petrol and slow, while the Red Label was like a good woman dancer who responded to your touch if you could dance yourself, but if you were a bit of an amateur was so sensitive to your movements that you soon felt you were quite a performer.”

I believe that the book is out of print but copies are obtainable from either of Tommy Layton’s establishments—his Wine Bar in Duke Street, Manchester Square, W.1, or his latest venture, The Peacock Inn, Iden Green, Goudhurst, Kent (between Goudhurst and Cranbrook), where I know from personal experience that vintage cars (and their drivers) are made very welcome.