I have recently bought the exciting ex-Brooklands Straker-Squire from Nick Howell and was very interested to read Bill Boddy’s article titled “Identity Crisis?” in the May issue of MOTOR SPORT.
However, any confusion over ‘identity’ relates to the car’s registration number (MD 7901 or CM 4404), and not the chassis number, which is clearly X2 as outlined below:
X2 engine is stamped on the nearside chassis rail, above the rear spring hanger.
The engine is stamped X2, and is numbered 5004 on the crankcase. This latter number matches the entry in the original BARC Certificate Book concerning the 1920s Brooklands records set by Kensington Moir, and the book also records the chassis number as “2”.
The bulkhead is also stamped X2. Moreover, this bulkhead shows clear evidence of the hole which was cut into it for exhaust pipe number 4 (of the six “organ” type pipes) to pass through when fitted by Mr Kensington Moir in the early 1920s. This hole was welded up by Nick Howell during his excellent rebuild of the car, and the position of its location is clear for all to see.
I have (amongst many others) a letter on file written by H Kensington Moir dated August 31, 1953 in which he states, “In the early days of the 6-cylinder car, Davidson and I drove the first two experimental cars at Brooklands, after which I took over racing at the Works, and the second experimental chassis was the basis of the car which I raced at Brooklands. To the best of my belief this was stamped X2.”
Like so many other competition cars of this period, we may never know the full story behind the “original” registration number of the car, because, as Bill Boddy points out there is evidence that these may have been swapped around during its esteemed racing career.
I am looking forward to using this evocative machine both at home and abroad in the very near future.
I am, yours, etc. Jonathan Procter, London, W2