To open its season, as it were. the South-East Section of the Veteran CC held its Spring Rally on April 10, organised by GD Smith (who, with his wife, ran a London-built 19(0 18.8 hp Straker Squire two-seater). The previous day’s wintery weather (snow had afflicted the VSCC’s opening race-meeting at Silverstone) kept some intending entries away, perhaps, but there was an impressive turnout with lunch at The Verzons near Ledbury.
Before that, a pleasant route had been covered from Worcester, after a visit to a well-known collection of old vehicles (and radiators). The roads hereabouts, in a rough triangle around Malvern, Upton-uponSevern and Ledbury, are very pleasant, as those who motor thereon will discover.
Delightful, in the sunshine on the day of the rally. Many of the runners were Edwardians, one of the most interesting being RRA Brown’s TT-type 24/30 hp IT Replica SAVA with bulbous tailed two-seater body and a very healthy outside exhaust pipe. I do not recall seing a SAVA sincelwas given a run in one from The Phoenix before the war — a bolster-tank example of these rare cars, in which the exhaust valves live above the inlet valves. Another rarity was the 1911 Brasier ‘Fifi’, found in a derelict condition and given a tourer body In the early ’60s.
This sported Lynx-Paris headlamps and ‘King of the Road’ scuttle-mounted side lamps. Unusual-looking but effective was the Franklin, with transverse air-cooled (of course!) engine behind its frontal grille, A 1910 Daimler two-seater and a 1913 40/50 hp Rolls-Royce contributed a dignified touch to the car park and there was a typical and proper veteran, in the form of the Panhard-Levassor tonneau answering to the name of ‘Henrietta’.
There was also a C-registration twin-cylinder Renault two-seater with wicker umbrella-basket and folding-seat over its boot. An impressive 1906 Talbot showed off its Lucas ‘King of the Road’ Duplex headlamps, fine snake-horn and the curly ironwork of its luggage rack. An Alldays, which looked as if it had worked hard all its days, had eight sparking plugs, but not eight cylinders…
A newly-acquired and covetable big Buick tourer, with the customary exposed push-rod overhead valves and wheels with detachable rims, completed the antique turn-out. An almost equally smart and spotless number of vintage cars joined in, such as a hooded and fully-side-curtained 12/24 hp Citroen, a T44 Bugatti drophead coupe, a fine open Roesch Talbot, a very nice Silver Eagle Alvis saloon, a smaller Rolls-Royce than the 1913 example, a ‘Chain-Gang’ Frazer Nash and the three-litre Lagonda, another open car, in which Mark Garfitt arrived, one felt that the veteran season had begun. . .