The Right Crowd…
At the recent V.S.C.C. Silverstone meeting it was often broadcast that the paddock area was overcrowded, and therefore no further admission tickets were being issued. May I suggest that in future this situation could be alleviated by limiting the amount of passes issued to the bearded band of goons whose antics simulating the preparation for racing of a valuable historic racing car were not nearly so appetising as the commodity so blatantly advertised on the backs and breasts of their overalls?
Last Saturday, April 20th, I was at Silverstone for the V.S.C.C. April meeting. As I am not a V.S.C.C. member I was perhaps observing everything and everyone with a critical eye. I was with a member, and was therefore able to enter the paddock to obtain a closer look at the cars.
Although most of the cars were quite immaculate in preparation and appearance—the exception being the few cars which are apparently always in a state of permanent disrepair (are these owners real paupers with no time even to see that the rust is clean!) —I was extremely doubtful about the scene at the bridge end of the paddock, which appeared to have been taken from a Fair Ground! Low and behold! Here were two bright red ‘buses topped with flags and emblazoned with—was it gold leaf or good gold paint? Also masses of beards!
No it wasn’t a jazz band. Many was the person I heard say that if this “International Historic Racing Car Team” had spent more time on their Austin, Invicta and Osca, than on titivating their transport vehicles with ads. for Martini they would have done a lot better for themselves.
The point I am trying to make is: Does the V.S.C.C. really encourage such a scruffy-looking entry which appears more interested in advertising a drink than showing a turn-out good enough to uphold the standard of the V.S.C.C.?
How long will it be, I wonder, before we have the whole Club turned into a second “Coronation Street” with sausage firms competing against washing powders, and dog foods against chocolates that don’t melt in the driving seat!
Neill S. Bruce.
As a reader of your splendid journal from almost the first issue I was very interested in your photograph and letter from Mr. M. Davies, in “Vintage Postbag,” page 311, of the May issue, regarding a 1928 Mathis car.
I had a friend who had an open 4-seater tourer about 1927 or 1928. It was quite remarkable—in those days—for the quietness of its 6-cylinder engine; it sounded like a sewing machine when running, and you could balance a penny or a glass of water on it without disturbing the balance of either. Two of the “stunts” of the time, I may say.
Its top speed was about 55 m.p.h. with four up, and it would cruise all day happily at 35-40. The only trouble my friend had was with the lighting, etc. This was a peculiar and complicated French affair, and after letting a few firms in Manchester try to get it working, he finally had to sell it for “breaking price.” It was a pity, it ran so sweetly.
As regards the “Editor’s note” concerning the cribbing by Standards for their new 1927 9-h.p. model, I did hear a few rumours at that time, but don’t know if they were correct or not.
Another Silver Hawk
I was interested in the letters from Messrs. D. M. Ellis and Leslie. R. Foster in the April Motor Sport. Mr. Ellis was quite right in believing the car to be a Silver Hawk.
A friend and I shared one in 1925. This car was driven at Brooklands by the late Major Maurice Harvey before he joined Alvis Motors Ltd.; it consisted of an Eric-Campbell chassis fitted with a Sage o.h.c. (single) engine. The engine was quite good for the period, but unsuited to the Eric-Campbell chassis with wide-ratio 3-speed, very much crash gearbox, and no brakes to speak of.
Our Silver Hawk ran quite well in top, but eventually the camshaft worked loose arid the large phosphor-bronze bevel on the shaft got bent. No spares were available.
Still in service
Knowing your interest in elderly as well as modern vehicles, I thought you might be interested in this photograph of two electric vehicles, one of 50 cwt. capacity and the other of 70 cwt.
One of them was built in June 1917 and the other in February 1921, by Ransomes Sims & Jeffries Ltd., of Ipswich, and they are still in regular use for an 8-hour working day, five days a week, and are a highly reliable and economical form of transport. I wonder if these vehicles hold a record in being the oldest in regular daily use?
With reference to the photograph of a car under the caption “What is it?,” sent in by Mr. L. R. Porter, which appeared in the April issue of Motor Sport, I think is is a Chandler, probably 1926 or 1927 model 5-seater 4-cylinder saloon. As supporting evidence my family had in their possession a Chandler for about 30 years.
This is a 1927 model 7-seater 6-cylinder tourer. The car was imported to Ceylon for the Motor Show and subsequently purchased by my father.
The car carried two spare tyres on either-side behind the front wings and the wheel size was 21 in. The tyre size was 6.00 x 21. The wheels were of the drop centre type with wooden spokes. The brakes were of the external contracting type, rod operated, whilst the handbrake operated directly on the universal joint and was as efficient in stopping the car as the footbrake. The gear-lever could be locked in any position, so could the ignition and light switches, which could only be locked in the “off” position. The lubrication of the chassis was by centralised “one-shot” system, plunger operated from near the driving seat. All the door trims and upholstery were of good quality hide.
We read your magazine with great interest here at Harrah’s Automobile Collection, and Mr. Harrah noted with particular interest the photo of the unknown American car on page 248 of the April 1963 issue.
This car is a 1927-28 Chandler sedan. From only the one picture, it is impossible to tell the exact model; however, they built four models those years in which you might be interested: a Standard Six, a Special Six, a Big Six, and a Royal Eight. The car was built by the Chandler-Cleveland Motors Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio, and is now an extinct company.
Harrah’s Automobile Collection.