Club News, March 1946

We Hear
Martin Wells has replaced his Type 55 B.M.W. with a very fine Type 327, finished entirely in black with beige upholstery. It has a zip-divided tonneau cover for use when the head of the German-built drop head body is down, and Telefunken built-in radio is incorporated. The car was one of the last imported, and was registered in September 1939, being stored throughout the war. L/Cpl. Gaudin has saved a 2-cylinder Georges-Richardson (forerunner of the Unic), now fitted with a pre-1914 T-head Austin 4-cylinder lighting-set engine. The car has wooden wheels, contracting rear brakes and a separate gear lever for reverse. Gaudin seeks a Lagonda “Rapier” chassis, less engine. A Dutch sergeant colleague of his says his family has owned five Cyclorette 3-wheelers, which have the engine above the tiller-steered front wheel. A garage at Driffield recently had to scrap a 1907 Vauxhall and a 1916 model-T Ford because the Army had left them in the open; however, a fine T-head Belsize 4-seater is safely preserved, although 815 x 105 covers are required for it.

An early Rex 3-wheeler is reported for disposal in Nottingham, together with a 4 1/2-litre Bentley, an overhauled J2 M.G. and the remains of one of the 1924 1 1/2-litre racing Darracqs. Charles Batte still gets excellent and enjoyable service from his 1925 DISS “14/40” Delage 2-seater. Bored out .020-in. 40,000 miles ago, it. still refuses to smoke, cruises effortlessly at 60 m.p.h., doing 25 m.p.g., and is completely reliable.

After owning three Morgan tricycles, G. S. Gutteridge now has a Morgan 4/4. He has presented the Library with a 1914 Talbot handbook. Tommy Ivens, who was E.R.A. Works engineer, has opened a garage at Redbourn, and is busy putting a Blackburn Frazer-Nash into good order. Arthur Rusling says he is trying to import the ex-Everitt 1 1/2-litre 6-cylinder Maserati from South Africa.

Harold Biggs says, anent Clutton’s pointing to the “Prince Henry” Vauxhall’s firing order as unique, that the Model T Ford and 4-cylinder Riley used the same arrangement. Incidentally, Biggs isn’t selling his Model 18 Ford. Hampton has been using a 1939 2-litre Hansa, rather larger-engined than Battersby’s.Bob Cowell, he of the new firm of Cowell, Whittet and Co., motors in the ex-Waddy “Coupe des Alpes” Delahaye or his 3 1/2-litre “Competition” Delahaye, while his wife Diana has bought the ex-Richards Rover Ten Special, which she likes a lot. Of the “Competition” Delahaye, Bob says it had a new engine installed after the 1939 Le Mans race, in which it competed. This engine has now done 3,000 miles, the chassis 12,000, and it has exceeded 100 m.p.h. on synthetic re-treads! All at well over 20 m.p.g. day-to-day motoring.

John Bolster’s Edwardian Rolls-Royce turns out to be a 1911 “London-Edinburgh” model. Sam Clutton, apart from recent acquisition of a 1772 watch that has never been used(!), awaits his Type 49 Bugatti from Shortt and finds his Brough-Superior prone to lose the second gear of its 3-speed Sturmey box. The newly-formed Allard Motor Co., Ltd., has Gilson’s Allard in for conversion to hydraulic anchorage and other mods. It is to run in the “Colmore.” Hutchison now uses a special manifold with two double downdraught carburetters on his Allard. Imhof is going to Centric-blow his 1 1/2-litre Singer. Yates has altered the ex-Biggs Austin Seven into a road-cum-trials car; at present it has a Solex downdraught carburetter, but it will be supercharged later.

A well-preserved 1910 16/17 Wolseley was sold by auction recently at Saltburn and the purchaser is willing to re-sell to a good home. Derelict G.N.s are reported in the South and the North, and a single-cylinder Rover at Burnham-on-Crouch, while a Cheshire breaker has poorly-preserved examples of 1918 Unic chassis, Belsize 1920 2-seater and Lanchester 21 boat-bodied coupé.

Routledge has made excellent progress with his “Firefly”-engined A.C. Special, incorporating his own i.f.s. formed of cut-down Alvis transverse leaf springs. A friend of his has located a Morgan 4/4 and a 1939 M.G. out in Singapore and needs a distributor for the latter.

In Manchester, Brown’s Garage preserve a single-cylinder De Dion, a Butler Forecar, an Orient Buckboard and some very early motor-cycles. There is a 1924 open 3-litre Bentley on view in a Darlington showroom. M. S. MeNab, of Monaco, now runs a 1927 T.G. “12/50” Alvis sports saloon and his 1928 A.C., partially dismantled, was for sale for £25.

E. Russell Lloyd, who, with his brother, has had five Alfa-Romeos, recently sold his 1 3/4-litre ” Zagato ” to A. B. Hyde. Since last October he has been running the ex-Col. Giles Type 57C Bugatti fixed-head coupé. E. J. L. Griffiths has replaced his 2-litre Lagonda with a 1926 “12/50” Alvis which has been stored since 1932 and is still rather stiff. He now lives at Old Windsor and reports a 1908 40-h.p. Minerva, in pieces, locally, which the owner, who runs a 1922 Bean, is being persuaded to assemble. Griffiths also reports a modified Delaunay-Belleville at Chiswick, a White steamer and two Benz at Datchet, and a pre-1914 Napier breakdown lorry at Staines which performed such duties prior to the Kaiser War.

Besides his 1924 Lanchester 21, Alderton has a 1925 Essex Coach, which serves faithfully. The 16-h.p. 1908 Napier at Harlington Corner breakers is still for sale, for £20. Harold Pratley is removing the four cylinder blocks from the V12 Sunbeam, for de-coking. His brother is now home from India, where, he says, his Motor Sport was read many times, from cover to cover.

Imitation, ’tis said, is the sincerest form of flattery, so we were pleased to see the heading “Cars I Have Owned” in a recent issue of the N.L.E.C.C.’s magazine. Incidentally, 50 articles under this heading have now appeared in Motor Sport, and we shall welcome many more.

Bugatti Owners’ Club
The war can certainly be considered a matter of the past by members of the Bugatti Owners’ Club. In January this club issued its famous “Blue Book” of 1946 fixtures and the first post-war issue of Bugantics. The latter is as well-produced and welcome as ever and contains another article in the series “Bugatti Cars I Have Owned.” We hope for more of these articles, which convey so well the enthusiasm of individual owners and the appeal of the various Bugatti models, factors largely responsible for the success of this club.

The 1946 fixtures are worth repeating: March 20th, Annual General Meeting; April 21st, Opening Rally. May 19th, Open Prescott Speed Hill-Climb; June 23rd, Members’ Day at Prescott; July 28th, Open Prescott; Sept. 22nd, International Prescott Meeting; Oct. 19th and 20th, Welsh Trial; Dec. 6th, Dinner and Dance. The B.O.C. is to hold these events no matter how bleak the petrol situation. Membership now exceeds 230. The entrance fee is £2 2s. and annual subscription £2 2s. for Bugatti owners, or .£3 3s. in each ease for non-Bugatti owners. Hon. Sec.: E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, NV.1.

The Northern Section of the Vintage S.C.C. comes out of hibernation on March 2nd, with a rally at. the Dixon Arms, Chelford, Cheshire. Cars will assemble at 3 p.m. and tea will be served at 5 pan. Each vintage car attending will receive a plaque and prizes will be presented for the oldest car to arrive under its own power by 4.30 p.m. and for the best-kept vintage car. Hon. see.: K. Neve, “The Thatched Cottage,” Lower Whitley, via Warrington, Lanes.

Before the war the J.C.C. made a speciality of motoring film shows, in a real cinema. This pleasant form of entertainment was resumed on February 13th , at the Curzon Cinema, W.1. Incidentally, does anyone know where the film of the 1913 Hour Record is, nowadays ?

The club’s new president is His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

Bentley Drivers’ Club
Over 100 inemhers and friends attended a meeting of the Bentley Drivers’ Club on February 9th. The proceedings commcneed with a rally in Kensington Gardens, where a strip of road in front of the Albert Memorial had been made available by the co-operation of the Office of Works. The weather was dry and sunny, if a trifle cool, and by 4 p.m. no less than 31 Bentleys were presenting a truly magnificent array, drawn lip in line-abreast, their number being composed of thirteen 3-litres, nine 4 1/2-litres, nine Speed Sixes, one 8-litre and four 4 1/4-litres; and if there was any further element desirable to ensure complete stiecess to the meeting, it was provided when W. O. Bentley and Kensington-Moir appeared upon the scene in person.

Some extremely interesting and potent machinery was in evidence. There was J. Evan-Cook’s ex-Mackenzie 4 1/2-litre; it will be remembered that this car competed at the Stanley Cup meeting. in 1939 when in Mac’s most capable hands, it won both the events for which it was entered and, incidentally, it is still the fastest “4 1/2” up Lewes. Then Thomas brought the car which Glen Kidston used to race as a 3-litre. still in tremendous fettle and now fitted with a 4 1/2-litre engine. Various pit signals can yet be seen painted on the front near-side door. Obeysekere had the beautifully-clean, ex-works, blown 4 1/2 and Sidney Smith his 100 m.p.h. 3-litre, with Speed Six brake adjustment in the cockpit. Tanya Jason-Henry’s white “Red Label” was also in evidence, as was Gregory’s car with the huge 900 x 13 (ex-Bofors gun) tyres. The most beautifully turned-out Bentley in evidence was undoubtedly Goodwin’s 8-litre, rebuilt by Mackenzie. Every exterior part of the great engine has been either highly polished or plated and, kept as it is in speckless condition, it is a truly inspiring sight.

After the parade, everybody adjourned (not in convoy this time!) to the “Rembrandt,” where the Annual General Meeting and the excellent cocktail party which followed it, were presided over by Woolf Barnato; and the model of Forrest-Lycett’s 8-litre, so beautifully done by Rex Hayes, was on view throughout the evening.

A Good Trial at Bristol
An opportune thaw the evening before the Bristol M.C. and L.C.C. Full Moon Cup Trial on January 5th, resulted in a difficult but sporting event, which embraced nine observed sections and two timed tests. There were 35 entries, of whom Brace’s M.G., Rowson’s Invicta, Edkin’s Alvis and French’s Austin were non-starters. Mendip, rough and slimy, failed Brymer’s Riley, which never appeared thereafter, Robertson’s M.G., Best’s M.G., C. A. N. May’s Morgan 4/4, Rayner’s Bugatti, Benett’s M.G., Slade’s Singer, Newton’s Singer, and Mosby’s D.K.W.

Ubley, in two sections, involved a stop and restart test, which the majority found easy, but Lower Burledge, hard surfaced but very slippery, took a big toll. Only Mallock’s Austin Seven, a 2-seater with Ruby-type engine, and Best’s J2 M.G., climbed the lower section, even the ex-Hutch V12 Allard failing. Butler’s M.G., Evan’s M.G. Magnette, Parker’s S.S., Bendle’s M.G. and Siddall’s Austin got up Gable End, which consisted of an awkward uphill hairpin after a water splash. Chicken Run, where Mallock failed, also started with a water splash, and was a grassy lane, while Elwell was a slimy morass, the upper reach failing all but Marshall’s M.G. and Best’s M.G. In the first special test Best and Mansell tied for best time in 26.8 sec., and Siddall’s Austin did 27.8. In the second test Mallock clocked 12.3 sec., and Burgess’s Allard 12.6 sec. Best, whose J2 bore No. 13, won the Full Moon Cup, and Butler’s M.G., the Allard and Mallock’s Austin Seven won 1st class awards. Second class awards went to Mansell (M.G.), Evans (M.G.), Delingpole (H.R.G.), Parker (Jaguar), Marshall (M.G.), and Imhof’s ex-works crab-track Singer 18 finished. The club hopes to run the Fedden Trophy trial on February 23rd, using Tin Pan Alley, Juniper, Hodgecombe, etc. Lew Parker will probably handle the Allard.

Liverpool M.G. Trial
The Invitation Trial saw the best performance by a member made by W. G. Dutton (M.G.). Warburton’s V8 Ford took the over-1 1/2-litre class from Hallmark’s J.H. Special. In the 1 1/2-litre section Bold’s Riley won for “Sunbac,” from Pilkinton’s M.G. of the E.C.C. of G.B.

Vintage Aircraft Next?
Westland Aircraft Ltd., are resurrecting G — AAGH, the first of the all-steel fuselage Westland “Widgeon Ills.” A new Cirrus-Hermes engine is to be installed and their test pilots will play with the old machine. Air Review comments: ” … it is good to hear of the preservation of this old type in these days of mass-produced sheet metal work.” A familiar ring to these sentiments, somewhere !

Cover Picture
This month — another memory of Brooklands. The 6 1/2-litre Bentley which Marker, Froy and Miss Allen handled so effectively, seen flat-out on the Members’ Banking. Unless memory plays us false, this car originally had a 3-litre engine and later a 4 1/2-litre. In 6 1/2-litre form, driven by Miss Allen, this Bentley has lapped at 122.37 m.p.h.

750 Club
A closed invitation trial is due on March 3rd, in the Puckeridge area, Sunbac, Bristol and N.L.E.C.C. being invited. The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for March 17th, and there will be a closed invitation trial in the Aldershot area held in April.

The second Annual General Meeting was held on February 5th. S. J. Humphries (who owns a 1904 Humber), R. L. Storey and D. A. Wilcocks were elected to the Committee; George Bence is hon. secretary and treasurer; J. A. Hobbs, asst. secretary and treasurer, and D. R. Phillips is magazine editor. Rivers-Fletcher continues to be chairman of this progressive club, which now has 88 members. On March 8th George Monkhouse will show the German colour and sound film to the club at Kemp Hall, Totteridge, at 8 p.m.

General Notes
One bitterly cold Saturday there was a run some way down the Great North Road to sample a long, sports-bodied “14/40” Delage, which negotiated Doncaster’s traffic-infested streets with the dignity of good breeding one expects of a vintage car — except when we had to stop hurriedly, as the footbrake just didn’t function. On the open road the old car proved pleasant to handle, but not very brisk and suffering considerably from the clutch-slip associated with the breed. So we were not sorry to have tea and re-enter the warmth of an Austin Seven saloon, although before we had left the town we got out again to bid “God speed” to a friend in another Austin Seven who was going all the way to London.

Next, Gilberdyke proved the objective, as it had so often before, but this time we went via York to vary the monotony of that dreary route via Selby. Once again the remains of the airship station at Howden, mysterious and consequently fascinating, where Zeppelins surrendered in 1919, was investigated and finally we arrived at our destination at lunch time. Outside the garage stood a very early 3-wheeled, single-cylinder, water-cooled Humber Forecar, the exact vintage of which we could only guess. The problem was to take it home, and, beside the long, straight road, the new owner started to dismantle it, the drivers of passing lorries showing considerable interest in the veteran. Meanwhile, we drove a red Rapier 2-seater a short distance, getting somewhat mixed up over preselecting the gears, but very intrigued by the excellent steering, handling qualities and driving position, and the very potent exhaust crackle.

At last, by tea-time, the Humber engine had been stowed in the back of th “Ruby” Austin Seven saloon and the rest of the car lifted on to the roof and lashed down — a towering, indeed queer, spectacle for a winter’s night!

We had tea with the owner of the garage, during which his mother recalled actually riding in the Humber and in an even fiercer Rex Forecar, and conversation continued anent collecting Model T Fords from Manchester and about the cause of a broken gearbox in an old Argyll that stood beside the Humber — it had a separate gear lever for reverse and its driver tried one night to change down with it, going forwards!

At last we were off and in a mile or so thick fog descended. The passenger looked through the near-side window and steered; occasional pedestrians just dimly sensed the Humber aloft, and fled! Missing the route we followed a Ford up a country lane, but eventually Selby’s disgraceful Toll Bridge was crossed and we finally reached Harrogate, where we enjoyed the unusual experience of passing countless cinema-goers and Sunday-evening strollers who yelled and pointed, not at us, but above us, indicating the Humber to be still intract.

A week later we set out to collect the passenger’s basket of the Humber, as it wouldn’t fit in on the previous occasion. This time it was Wetherby and the Great North Road, as fast as the well-worn Austin Seven would go, work in the dusk to tie the thing on, and then home even faster.

The next Sunday there was a long drive over snowy roads to Driffield, where a party of enthusiasts with a very smart, blue, long-chassis 1932 Jowett 2-seater, introduced us to a pre-1914 Belsize and then conducted us on a pleasing cross-country trip, still over slippery roads, to Brough, to see a Beverley Barnes. Leaving about 3.30 p.m. we swept back via North Cave and York, ever watchful for concealed patches of ice, getting home just before it got really dark, which was as well, for the only headlamp on the Austin, although working that morning, wasn’t doing so now.

Then there was a week-day dawdle, first to see a F.W.D. Alvis chassis for sale in Leeds, then on through depressing distressed-looking areas to Wakefield, to give ten pounds to the Government for the privilege of using one Austin Seven for a twelvemonth (the inefficiency in that taxation office is unbelievable until painfully experienced), and finally, after climbing up to (curiously) less snowy parts, to consume beer and a sandwich at a very modern pub by a deserted cross-roads. We hurried a bit more thereafter and found a Boyd-Carpenter sports Austin Seven outside a garage, some real veterans in Manchester, and covered two breaker’s yards, at one of which was a curious Lacre street-sweeper, the yard, incidentally, dominated by one of those huge brick-built factory chimneys, now disused. Tea in Huddersfield, wild panic in one short patch of the thickest fog ever, and, via Leeds, we came on home.

Then, another Sunday, we set off at a decently respectable hour for Northumberland, to inspect and discuss model car matters. It wasn’t until we were half way to York that we realised we should have been aiming for Boroughbridge, but we had only to run up A1 to gain that town and sample the new bridge over the river, replacing the one which collapsed some months ago. At Catterick we wickedly paused where the police notices bade us continue (but we did hold official passes of sorts) to watch an Avro “York” run its engines up and take off majestically. Then tyre trouble intervened and a wayside garage, advertising its “super service,” took over an hour to mend a puncture. However, we did arrive eventually and so enthralling were our host’s models that it was 10 p.m. ere we motored off from his house facing the river. Even then, we went on to Heddon, sensing the presence of the Roman Wall on the right, before tackling New Newcastle and the frozen roads that lay beyond.