Miscellany, June 2003

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There may not be many two-stroke Trojans left, but this does not deter the Trojan OC, which publishes a magazine and books on these cars. Don Williams’ The Great No 1 Factory at Kingston, Surrey, relates the story of this works at Ham where, from 1912, a former skating rink became Tom Sopwith’s aeroplane factory and where, along the years, aeroplanes, restored WWI Leyland lorries, Trojan cars and commercials, etc, were built. This little publication tells of this venture from primitive Sopwith biplanes to Hawker Harrier and Hawk fighters. It is available for £3.15, post free, from Barely Road Books, Westerham Green, Westerham, Kent (tel: 01959 561889).
* * * * *

The Brooklands Society has its annual Reunion at the Track on June 29, when cars will be able to drive along what is left of the Members’ banking and attempt ascents of the Test Hill.

* * * * *

The March issue of the Riley Register’s high-quality Bulletin contained an interesting piece about how the owner of a 1933 Riley March Special bought in 1996 has been tracing its history, having already found its first owner, now 93. Does anyone know the in-between story of BU7485? There is also an account of Sahara crossings, including one in 1932 with two Riley 9 tourers, from Accra to Dover, and in 1934 with one of the cars being driven north-south. Another feature tells of a Riley motorbike in the 1907 TT.

* * * * *

A hundred years ago to the day day that Eliot Zborowski was killed at La Turbie while driving his Mercedes 60, Roger Collings and WB, with the help of VSCC member Colin Prest, placed a wreath on his grave at Burton Lazars.

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When I suggested a vote on the best 10 motoring books I should have realised it is necessary to consider these in their period. So I abandoned the idea, and apologise to those readers who sent in suggestions. However, I have just looked again at the very complete history of Voisin cars by Pascal Courteault (Cavendish, 1991) with over 600 pictures, including those of the record-breaking and racing Voisins, and an English translation by Peter Hull. It proudly joins my other books about cars like Bianchi, etc.

* * * * *

New exhibits at the Brooklands Museum include the 1928 four-cylinder TT FWD Alms which Comdr J B Rooper, RN, raced at the Track that year, lapping at nearly 96mph, and which was later driven there by Edward Farley and in the 1931 Double-12 race by Farley and Philip Fotheringham-Parker. It has been donated by Mrs L Russell, but how nice if it could be seen in VSCC races. Then there is a 1923 30/98 Vauxhall first owned by H F Clay, who later competed with a variety of cars at Southport and in sprints, on loan by Roger Heath. And CE ‘Titch’ Allen has lent on long loan to the Museum the famous 500cc Triumph motorcycle with which Ivan Wicksteed set the Brooklands class lap record to 118.02mph on a wet and windy day in 1938, which will stand for all time.

* * * * *

One photograph with my Austin 7 piece in April was of the Gordon England Brooklands Supersports two-seater sold in the mid-1920s for £265. His barrel-shaped A7 single-seater was remarkable for its odd streamlined body and for setting five class records in 1923, the hour at 73.5mph.

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The Brooklands Society Reunion, June 29, has a ‘Best of British’ theme, with emphasis on the 100th anniversaries of Talbot, Vauxhall, Ford, the respective clubs planning to attend. The usual procedure will be followed with Test Hill ascents and runs on the restored Members’ Banking.

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It is a tribute to the Light Car & Edwardian Section of the VSCC that it obtained an entry of 69 for its Welsh weekend. Apart from the annual dinner, there was a treasure hunt in the Elan Valley and the usual trial on Sunday. Results: Overall winner: Alex Thorpe (A7). Llwynbarried Trophy: Richard Wills (jowett). Winifred Boddy Trophy: Robin Boyce (A7). Kate Hutchings Trophy: Jonathon Rishton (A7). Best Edwardian: Ben Collings (Brixia-Zust).

* * * * *

The VSCC has its two-day Cadwell Park race meeting on June 8 and its big two-day Donington race meeting on June 21/22.

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