International Alvis day will be held at Brooklands on Sunday June 14, not on the date we published in April. Celebrating the original 1923 Alvis Day at the Track, it also marks the 75th Anniversary of the 200-mile race when an Alvis beat the GP Fiats. The organisers would like owners of any Alvises which raced at Brooklands to contact Charles Mackonochie (01892 832118) to help assemble a static display. Full details on 01737 245339.
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The Alvis fraternity may not know that in 1923 the thriller writer Edgar Wallace had two Alvises, presumably 10/30s or 12/40s, and wrote in high praise of them. I used to read his books as a boy but all I now remember was the sentence “Squeaker, you’ll squeak no more!” after a gangster had shot an informer dead! Wallace wrote more serious works, of course, like Saunders of the River. But it wasn’t long before I found I preferred Conan Doyle and I have been a Sherlock Holmes advocate ever since.
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The current issue of the Humber Register’s Newsletter contains a description of how a 1923 8/18hp Humber was made in the 1950s into a racing version. Nothing new at an MCC Brooklands meeting in 1923 someone raced just such a Humber, screen removed and with wire wheels, which is being rapidly overtaken by a Bugatti in a contemporary photograph.
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Today we may marvel at timing F1 cars to one 1000th/second, but at least one 1920s speed trial, although the time-keepers sat in a furniture van, the results were worked out with what was known as a Comptometer…