Cars In Books, June 1975

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HAVING had good service in post-war times from a 1926 Clyno, I was interested to come upon references to such a car, in use in contemporary times, in “Pack and Follow” by Joy Packer (Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1945). This Naval wife, in recounting her travel adventures, refers to their “little Clyno, bulging with luggage” in which they rattled “over the cobbled roads of Holland” on a Continental journey that took them also to Germany and Austria, in 1926/7. She says that later they “bought a Morris Six, an impersonal sort of car, which never became one of the family like ‘Tommy’ Clyno. . . .” That was in 1930/31 and this car, too, was used for Continental touring. There is also in this book mention of the habit of the Albanian Minister who, up to the attack by Mussolini, used to “sit by himself in the old-fashioned dickey seat of his two-seater car, with his head above the windscreen and his white hair blowing in the breeze, while his wife and the chauffeur sat comfortably in front”. This sight ended with the Italian invasion—but can anyone say what the car was ?

I did not expect to find a car mentioned in “G. K. Chesterton” by Dudley Barker (Constable, 1973), but I am continually being surprised on that score! When Dorothy Collins joined the famous writer as his Secretary she arrived at his Beaconsfield home with a Rover, of which she was “a skilled driver … a rarity among young women in the ‘twenties”. The Chestertons were driven everywhere they wanted to go in this car, including on the Continent, through France, Italy and Spain, where in the latter country the sight of a woman at the wheel caused surprise. As Chesterton was a very big and tall man one can assume that Miss Collins used one of the larger Rovers, and as the year of her arrival was 1926, it may well have been the complex 14/45 h.p. model, as otherwise, unless it was a much earlier car than 1925/6, it would have had to be a 9/20, which I would have thought too cramped to appeal to the famous but non-car-minded author.—W.B.