Veteran Edwardian Vintage
A section devoted to old car matters
Austin 7 Diamond Jubilee
THE Editor has received the following letter from Ken Cooke of the 750 MC and the Austin Seven Clubs Association, about the Easter End-to-End Run for Austin Sevens which was part of their Diamond Jubilee celebrations (not the 75th Anniversary as inadvertently said last month).
I thought you might like this souvenir programme of the End-to-End run. I also enclose a results list, from which you will see that 101 cars started and 94 finished. At least one retirement was from "driver fatigue" rather than car failure! Dynamos and mags seemed to cause the biggest problems though one unfortunate entrant broke a crankshaft on the way to the start, spent all night fitting a new one — making the start with only seconds to spare only to break another on the way home from Land's End!
16 cars made the run in under 24 hr., including Andy Storer (Sports 65) 18 hr. 10 mm., and Jim Robinson's Pearl Cabriolet, in 18 hr. 55 min.!
Motorail proved a great success — only the second time BR had chartered a Motorail— 47 crews using it to get to Inverness.
We received great hospitality at John O'Groats — both from the local Club members and the landlord of the hotel. The new owners of Land's End estate also made an very welcome and the Cornish Club also worked hard. All of which contributed to a successful event.
I don't know if you were able to see anything of the event—we passed through the area you were "patrolling" in the small hours of Monday 'morning!
Thank you for your continued interest in the activities of our 750 Motor Club.
The results-list shows that the retirements involved Martin Prior's 1934 Opal, Robert Regan's sister model, Frank McDonald's 1934 SEW, Also Nye's 1935 Ruby saloon, and a non-listed late entry and that there were five non-starters and five cancellations, from the astonishing entry of 110. The event was not in any way a race, but times varied from the aforesaid 18 hr. 10 min. to 97 hr. 53 min. by John Kimble's 1926 Chummy Austin, which finished with assistance from the AA, run close by Raymond Edge's light van, that took 96 hr. 50 min. But we are sure everyone enjoyed themselves. . . .
The celebrations continue, with a National Rally al Luton on July 4th, a parade of selected racing Austin 7s during the VSCC Silverstone Race Meet ing in) July 10th, followed by ascents of Shelsley Walsh hill at the MAC / VSCC meeting on July 11th, leading up to the gigantic Diamond Jubilee Longbridge Rally over the August Bank Holiday week-end, at which we are striving to have an editorial entry of a 1931 saloon if only in "running but uncensored" condition. This Birmingham rally will include a parade and a visit to Lord Austin's old home, Lickey Grange, in the Lickey hills where the Austin 7 was conceived in 1921 / 22, now a school for the partially-sighted. There will be other special events as well, like the Diamond Jubilee Austin 7 race at Mallory Park on August 8th. — W.B. —