MEMORIES

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MEMORIES

Strictly speaking, turning the leaves of an enthusiast’s scrapbook is not a very satisfactory way of recalling motoring history, for very often important high lights may be missed. On the other hand, scrapbooks can revive fascinating memories and emphasise, in a manner possible in no other way, extremely interesting incidents and details that would otherwise be forgotten. That is why the ” Sideslips,” which ” Baladeur ” no longer has time to write for us, went down so well, and largely why the same writer’s Veteran Types articles are so much more interesting than a mere survey of historic cars, out of history. So there is much of interest attaching to a purely miscellaneous collection of early photographs sent to us by Mr. Donald Monro. Monro’s name is nowadays very much associated with the Invicta, but these photos show that he was once a Star enthusiast, two of his Stars being shown at Brooklands in 1929 after both had covered the half-mile at exactly 70 m.p.h. One was a 1927 12-50 fitted with a Hill Bros. two-seater body in 1928. It competed thrice at Shelsley, its best climb being 71 secs. The other (1925) had a big aluminium touring body and artillery wheels. Then there is a picture of another of Monro’s former cars—a 1925 Vinotwith a most beautiful airship tail to its almninium body, wire wheels, side panels to its screen and a big spot-light. There are some shots of the 1925 200-Mile Race, chiefly featuring the front-drive Alvis cars (Where are they now ?) and reminding us of the last-minute preparations to the blown A..C. undertaken by poor Mays, as that car’s one-piece bonnet is sitting conspicuously on the concrete, while in a later picture the car is being vigorously push-started. There is a remarkably interesting snap of the Leyland Thomas, ” J .G.P.T.” at the wheel and Ken Taylor crouching on the tail. This shows the transitional stage between the two-seater Leyland Eight which Thomas raced from 1920 to 1922 and the subsequent beautifully-streamlined Leyland-Thomas, the bonnet actually tapering to a curved section smaller than that of the Leyland radiator, while the bolt-on disc wheels are fitted. If the end of the bonnet was blanked Off this must represent one of the earliest post-war revivals of the isolated radiator. There are also two pictures of the ThomasSpecial No. 1 of 1924, known at the time as a Marlborough Thomas. It was a lowbuilt car with torsional suspension, disc wheels, a barrel-section body and a silencer like a sausage. Thomas drove it in the 1924 ” 200 ” until it broke up. Of about the same period is a 1923 Alvis 200 mile car, and this is especially interesting as the type which Won the race in that year. Streamlining, or an attempt at such, has been carried out very thor

oughly, in spite of the chassis being quite unsuited to faired bodywork, so that the tail is as high as the hood of an adjacent tourer I There is a single bonnet strap and a big cylindrical tank on the near side. The collection is completed by views of some interesting early sports-cars. There is a Salmson with which the late Clive Dunfee gained several Brooklands successes, the same driver’s sports Mors, which looks a most desirable possession, with torpedo touring body, wire wheels and four-piece V-screen, and an earlier snap of Clive’s ” Vitesse ” G.N., with. V-twin o.h. inlet engine and disc wheels. Finally, a sports 11.9 Calthorpe with tiny copper fuel tank set transversely on the tail and one of the famous” Brooklands” model sports 11.9 Hillmans of

about the same period. A picture of Dunfee’s 3-litre Ballot shows that the tail had a hinged lid in its Brooklands days, which amplifies remarks made by ” Baladeur ” in his Veteran Types article last March. Incidentally, between ownership of the Stars and his present Invictas with which we all associate him, Monro had a Speed Six M.G. and a shortchassis experimental ” Tigress” M.G.

Just before the War his father ran a Weigel saloon—the Monros are a great motoring family and take a great pride in their cars.

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