Birkett motors in what appears to be normal 1928 Austin Seven “Chummy,” except for outsize rear tyres, until the bonnet is opened, when a downdraught carburetter, four-branch exhaust manifold and Scintilla Vertex magneto are revealed; the car also has a close-ratio four-speed gearbox. Leslie Seyd has restored to original order the 1912 “12/15” Mors tourer once owned by Shakspeare. The article entitled “Old Bean” in our January issue aroused a surprising amount of interest, and Lt. Cornish tells us he recently acquired a 1925 Bean Fourteen tourer, following ownership of an 8th series Lancia “Lambda” and a 1924 Rover tourer.
When we reported that Stuart Wilton was moving to new premises in the Finchley Road, where he would display a big collection of new cars, we intended to imply a fresh collection of used cars. As Mr. Wilton remarks: “The bulk of my customers would like rather than expect to own a new car!” The British-Salmson-engined i.f.s. Herman, which was raced at Brooklands before the war, has changed hands and is being fitted with a 1,500-c.c. F.I.A.T. engine and equipped for road work.
B. G. Duce, whose very lovely 1925 Alvis “12/50” Cross and Ellis coupé won the prize for the best-kept vintage car at a V.S.C.C. rally last September, has acquired a 1931 “12/60” “beetleback”Alvis with a 1928 big-port “12/50” engine, and says that he likes it and considers the bodywork and general handling characteristics excellent. One day he hopes to restore an Edwardian — if it is anything like his 1923 Alvis it should be one of the finest in the country. J. H. Foord has had a 1928 Chapuis-Dornier-engined Vernon-Derby for the last three years but has never made it function correctly, sa he would like to contact a fellow owner and, if possible, obtain an instruction book. His address is “Kenilworth,” Tynypare Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, Glam. In a Sussex breaker’s yard there is, or was, a 1928 Anzani two-seater with sound engine, tyres and hood, but duff final-drive, if anyone needs spares or has an axle for such a car. Ten pounds was the price asked.
Warburton Brown is rebuilding a 1922 “Silver Ghost” Rolls-Royce as a modern two-seater and hopes to fit front-wheel brakes. Out in Australia, David Pearse has acquired a side-valve Aston-Martin engine and intends to install it in a Frazer-Nash/G.N. chassis. M. Lyddall has found a 1929 Amilcar “Grand Sport” and is thinking of doing it up. The black-and-yellow A.C. Anzani coupé which we mentioned a considerable time ago as being at a Surrey garage, has been sold, and is believed to be on the road again.
Most of the daily and. evening papers reported the Monte Carlo Rally, notably the Daily Express, but, rather surprisingly, the Daily Telegraph referred to the event as the inevitable “race.”
David Clarke has had great success with his rebuilt 1929 “Surbaisse” Amilcar, getting 40 m.p.g. and an oil consumption of half-a-gallon per 5,000 kilometres. He may, however, replace the Amilcar by a 1 1/2-litre four-seater. The foreman of a garage in Kent runs a Donnet-Zedel coupé, while an aged Garner lorry is in use in London. Charles Lytle confirms our impression, expressed in the February issue, that one of the 1914 Grand Prix Peugeots rests in America. He tells us that it is the property of Arthur H. Klein. who regards it “as his most treasured pet, which will remain with him as long as he lives.” Incidentally, this was the first racing car Lytle sat in, at Beverley Hills in 1920, as “a much-impressed little boy,” and it seems that it was last run in major competitions by Frank Book in 1920, driven by Klein.
It seems that Indianapolis Speedway once had two of these Peugeots, Kaufman, of the Peugeot Auto Import Company, used to enter Dario Resta in a third, and Ralph Mulford drove a fourth. One burned at Daytona Beach and the others have vanished„ but Klein’s seems likely to be the sole remaining example. Lytle recently met John Cobb in New York and lunched with Luigi Chinetti, who firmly corrected the stupid story of his finger-nail catching in the Ferrari’s steering wheel during the French Grand Prix last year.
We learn that Lou Moore has entered two f.w.d. Blue Crown Specials and one of his last year’s cars, now with a 270 in place of its 220 cubic inch engine, for this year’s Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, in which Lee Wallard will have the ex-Horn Maserati and George Connor that Maserati from South America. It is just possible some Ferraris may be entered by American drivers.
The West Essex M.C. has branched out with a printed monthly magazine, “Wheelspin.” The secretary of this new club is J. Warden, 90, Pulteney Road, South Woodford, E.18. Monaco Ltd., of Watford, can now supply pure benzol front the pump at 3s. 3d. a gallon, against white-petrol coupons. Chris. Slater has recently bought a 4 1/2-litre Bentley but retains his “12/50” Alvis and his “12/50”-engined “special.” W/Cdr. J. D. Greaves writes in appreciation of the articles on vintage motor-cycles, which brought back happy memories as he read our original test report on the McEvoy-Anzani, while awaiting delivery of his first machine of this make. He owned four McEvoys in all, then went over to Aston-Martin cars, but today uses a 4 1/2-litre Bentley, a 1926 Austin Seven, which, endowed with a Bosch magneto from one of the Aston-Martins, is an unfailing starter, and a 125-c.c. motor-cycle, the while he searches for a two-speed Scott. The Bentley Drivers’ Club is holding a week-end rally at Eastbourne on April 9/10th. It is pleasing to learn that Eastbourne’s Publicity Committee is offering a 20-gn. perpetual trophy for this rally and is making available certain roads for driving tests, while a new hill outside the town may be closed for the occasion. J. M. Perkins is preparing a Type 35C Bugatti for Prescott and other 1949 sprint events.
Lagonda, Ltd., inform us that they make motor-cars, not printing machines. J. M. Walker is searching for an open touring body for his 1913 “Silver Ghost” Rolls-Royce, which has been used for some ten years, prior to which it was a breakdown vehicle.
Sqd.-Ldr. Moore is restoring to good order a 1932 non-supercharged 1,100-c.c. Alta, assisted by the manufacturers, and does not intend to modernise it in any way, and S. King, who will race the single-seater Rover he shares with G. M. Mackie, in improved form this season, uses a potent Type 40 Bugatti as a road-car, its performance improved by a raised compression ratio, twin S.U. carburetters and 50/50 fuel. A. J. Brown has saved a Locomobile steam car engine from a veteran car that was scrapped during the war, if any V.C.C. member needs one; he also has an Austin Seven Special.
P. F. Moody has acquired a 1934 Rally sports two-seater and seeks information re this make — address: 132, Fotheringham Road, Enfield, Middlesex.
Michael Willoughby has acquired that remarkable 3-litre Bentley once owned by May Cunliffe and has stripped it, literally, to the last nut and bolt, prior to assembling it with the engine overhauled by McKenzie, who promises 94 b.h.p., a synchro-mesh gearbox, modern-size wheels and hydraulic brakes. The car will be run at Prescott and Brighton and meanwhile the owner is compiling a dossier on the car and would be glad to contact previous owners. An overdrive 4 1/4-litre Bentley is being prepared for Le Mans.
J. E. G. Fairrnan is busily preparing the 2-litre ex-Jason Henry/C. C. D. Miller Riley Six as a Formula II racing car, and hopes to be ready for Easter Monday at Goodwood.
“Imitation …. “
In Australia they have Australian Motor Sports, in Germany there was Motor und Sport and, still published, Der Motor-Sport, while our namesake is published in Belgium and is threatened in America. For our part, it may be emphasised that Motor Sport was so-named as long ago as 1925, when the scope of the Brooklands Gazette was enlarged to such an extent as to warrant a change of title. Today, Motor Sport incorporates that magazine and Speed, and can claim nearly a quarter-of-acentury of publication.
“The American Invasion”
We have received from a reader a copy of a most unusual publication, bearing the above title, and believed to have been issued just after the Kaiser War by Lord Perry of the Ford organisation. The book, which bears no clue to its origin, is an answer, in verse, to the attack on the American invasion which the British motor manufacturers and Press were waging at that time. To say that Perry’s reply was scathing is a mild statement!
The book is full of parodies of advertisements for British cars: Damlieur (“Fitted with a silent and Knightly engine — don’t mind the smoke — invented by an American.”); Bumper and Bumperette (“The imitation car for the imitation motorist. All the appearance of a bassinette with none of the comfort. Once seen, never forgotten.”); Moonshine (“Latest successes — 1st, Milky Way 10,000 miles point-to-point; 1st, Catch-as-catch-can open handicap.”); Rapier (”Forget the Six; we are less sociable than we were.”); Turbot (“Excellent with sauce. Made from the recipe of a well-known peer.”), etc. The Society of Motor Makers and Agents, Auto-Auxiliary, Royal Antediluvian Confraternity, Mobilecar, Motorobile, and Carcycle are trounced in the same way, and such agents as Charles Jarrott, S. F. Edge and Letts come in for some thinly-disguised criticism. The advertisement for the 4d. car, however, is devoid of anything detrimental, although honest enough to claim that “You see them before they are gone,” and announcing that 4d. Service Depots had now been established at Ursa Minor, Corona Borealis, Sagittarius, Thetis and Camelopardatis!
We mention “The American Invasion” not for the pleasure of revealing skeletons in the cupboard or dragging up the murky past, but simply because collectors of historic motoring literature who haven’t a copy can now start searching.
B. O. C.
The Bugatti Owners’ Club has announced its 1949 competition fixtures, which are as follows: March 19th, annual general meeting; April 23rd/24th, Opening Rally and car-testing, Prescott: May 21st, Spring Open Meeting, Prescott; June 12th, Members’ Meeting Prescott; July 17th, Summer Open Meeting, Prescott; September 11th, International Meeting, Prescott; October 15th/16th, to be announced; December 2nd, annual dinner and dance.
T. E. Lloyd was elected a member last December, on the strength of his Type 23 Bugatti. Peter Hampton has taken over the task of Editor of Bugantics, this beautifully-produced magazine appearing bi-monthly. That for January contains some excellent photographs and a really worthwhile and sensible article. one presumes by the Editor, which emphasises that while many excellent cars have been produced during the last decade, it is ridiculous to regard 1939 Bugattis as almost belonging to the Edwardian era merely because they haven’t i.f.s., two leading-shoe brakes and steering column gear-shifts, etc. The author points out that, excellent as the better American cars are, the Cadillac and Chrysler seven-seater, for example, which operate a taxi-service between Lausanne and Paris which covers the 350 miles in seven hours running time, and good as the new British best-sellers may be, it is nonsense to suggest that the private owner of a £450 modern car can put 50 and even 60 miles into the hour on long continental journeys. Strength is lent to the argument by citing a twelve-year-old 57S Bugatti with over 20,000 miles to its credit, which cruises at 75-85 m.p.h. on the Continent, several times topping 100 m.p.h., and a 1933 supercharged 5-litre Bugatti that had run 55,000 miles and averaged well over 40 m.p.h. for the 640 miles from Monte Carlo to the north of Paris, covering the last 160 miles in three hours exactly. These two Bugattis also averaged over 45 m.p.h. over the mountains from Grenoble to Digne, and the author remarks, “no Cadillac would do that.”
Club pennants for outstanding service during 1948 have been awarded to Rodney Clarke, Max Young and Mrs. Roy Taylor. Earl Howe remains the Club’s President, Col. G. M. Giles its Vice-President, and Mr. Roy Taylor has taken over from Mr. Lemon Burton the duties of Chairman of the Competitions Committee.
Hon. Sec.: Major G. Dixon-Spain, O.B.E., M.C., Prescott House, near Cheltenham, Glos.
West of England M.C. Spring Trial
This takes place on March 6th over a 40-mile course, which includes one very choice new hill. The start is half-a-mile from the Drum Bridge Cross, near Blackpool School, on the Exeter-Plymouth road. The awards list is a generous one and the event is open to members of the Southsea, S.U.N.B.A.C., N.W. London, Bristol, Taunton, Plymouth, W. Hants and Dorset clubs. Future fixtures include a novices’ standard car trial on Good Friday, open to all, a rally on June 26th, a closed one-day trial on July 10th, and the silver jubilee dinner in November.
Hon. sec.: Mrs. M. L. Anning, Tor Hill, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Devon.
A.A.C. of America
In acknowledging a complimentary reference to the Antique Automobile Club of America, which appeared in Motor Sport last December, P. S. de Beaumont, Assistant Editor of the Club’s journal The Antique Automobile makes the following characteristic observation: —
“In connection with your remarks, I thought the following might interest you: The increase in membership is most gratifying, particularly in view of the fact that we make no effort to recruit new members. The only logical conclusion is that at long last there actually is an awakening in America as to the sporting and hobby possibilities of the motor-car. We hope this may eventually lead Detroit to produce something more worthy of this interest! As for the register of members’ cars which we have been publishing, it should be mentioned that this is very far from complete, it being impossible to get more than a small percentage of some 1,200 members scattered over this vast country to report on their acquisitions. We have excellent evidence that the number of antique and interesting cars owned by our members totals at least 3,500 cars.
“All this may sound faintly impressive, but we still envy the British motor enthusiast whose hobby is a recognised one, shared by thousands of others. We are much encouraged by our growth over here, but we are still relatively a tiny group in a sea of indifference.”
The Antique Automobile for the last quarter of 1948 is as good as ever and contains a most interesting illustrated history of the Isotta-Fraschini concern by Walter Risley.
F.I.A.T. 500 Club
This club is forging ahead and has issued its 1949 fixture list. A technical discussion will be held in London or March 10th, a gymkhana and speed trial at Redhill on April 15th, together with coach outings to Goodwood and Silverstone, and a scavenge hunt north of London on May 8th. Other events will include night runs, further technical discussions, and tours to Turin and Biarritz. Earl Howe is President, Atkinson Redden, Vice-President, while Gordon Tait is Chairman.
Hon. Sec.: J. A. James, 29, The Grampians, Western Gate, London, W.6 (Shepherds Bush 3529).
N L. E C. C.
At the A.G.M., Rivers Fletcher resigned after four years as Chairman, due to pressure of work, but was persuaded to become the Club’s President. The present Committee comprises Messrs. Bance, Hobbs, Ford, Render, Wood, Meish, Denhard, Bacon and Wilson. The subscription has been raised by 2s. 6d. to improve finances. This Club runs an active programme of socials, talks, visits and simple competitive events and has an Open Trial under consideration. It also issues a duplicated magazine. Hon. Sec.: G. Bance, 7, Queen’s Avenue, Muswell Hill.
Astong-Martin Owners’ Club
This club issues a useful news-sheet and has a good fixture list drawn up. On March 19th there will be a rally at “The White Lion,” Warlingham, Surrey, at 12 o’clock, and again for tea at 4.30 p.m., tickets on application. Car badges are ready. The club had hoped to stage a meeting at Goodwood this year, but the B.A.R.C. has not been able to give permission.
Hon. Sec.: Dudley Coram, 554, Limpsfield Road, Upper Warlingham, Surrey (Telephone: 2551).
In reading the article on the 6 1/2-litre Bentley, which appeared last month, you may have noticed that the text described the Bentley owned to-day by J. D. Percy as the “Speed Six” which won at Le Mans in 1930, but that the captions to two of the illustrations stated that Percy’s is the car that came in second in that race. We were misled by captions to pictures in the B.D.C. Review, written before the true identity of Percy’s car had been established — it did win the 1930 Le Mans race, so our text was correct, the illustrations’ captions incorrect. In a reprint, the B.D.C. is issuing to 6 1/2-litre owners this has been put right.
Prestige Through Competition Work
At the 20th A.G.M. of Associated Motor Cycles, Ltd., it was stated that “they had continued to maintain the high reputation of their Matchless and A.J.S. motor-cycles by active competition in reliability trials, scrambles and races. Perhaps the most outstanding success had been achieved when they sent one of their A.J.S. racing machines to the Montlhèry Racing Track, near Paris, and succeeded in recapturing for Great Britain no fewer than 18 world’s records, which had been in foreign hands since before the war.”
Lagonda Car Club
The Lagonda C.C. is holding a night trial on March 19th/20th, starting from Beaconsfield at 9 p.m. and finishing about 3 a.m. the following morning, with real eggs and bacon for breakfast.
Hon. Sec.: Mr. Lewis, 58, Hotspur Top Lane, Beaconsfield, Bucks.
Amongst those who expressed public disapproval of the J.C.C.’s change of title to that of the British Automobile Racing Club were Earl Howe and A. C. Armstrong, the latter responsible for the alteration in name from Cyclecar Club to Junior Car Club in 1919. The membership of the club has increased by leaps and bounds, over 250 new members joining during the last quarter of 1948.
Sheffield & Hallamshire M.C.
At the annual general meeting held on January 27th, Mr. E. S. Sneath was elected President of the club for the ensuing year. The Norton Hotel, Woodseats, Sheffield, is to remain the club’s headquarters.
Car-section meetings are to be held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month and at the first meeting, held on February 2nd, the following were elected: Chairman, F. W. James; Trials Secretary, K. G. Settle; Captain, A. M. Beardshaw; Committee: H. E. Clarke, F. E. Needham, R. W. Phillips, T. C. Harrison, R. Maltby, F. N. Holdsworth; Press Secretary, A. M. Beardshaw.
The club reports: “At all our recent meetings dissatisfaction has been expressed towards the attitude and workings of the R.A.C. Competition licences for all permit events is the latest bone of contention and this club seriously questions the necessity for this, particularly in the case of closed-to-club events.
“We shall vigorously support the Association of Northern Car Clubs in their fight against these new R.A.C. rulings and do all in our power as an individual club to have this further obstacle to motor sport removed. Unless this is done, we feel that a great deal will be lost by our “ordinary” members, who are concerned with one or two main-road events per year.”
The February Quiz-picture did not prove so difficult as anticipated. It showed the chassis of the oil-engined 9-litre A.E.C. record-breaking car with which Capt. G. E. T. Eyston reached 100 m.p.h. on Brooklands with a streamlined closed body, later taking the hour-record for c.i. cars at 103 m.p.h., before it was fitted with more normal coachwork.
The first correct solution came from V. C. Tait of Harlesden, N.W.10 and others who were correct were: Ronald Buxton of Enfield Wash, G. E. Lucas of Wimbledon, Harold Beach of Ruislip, Vic Barlow of Elmdon, R. Small of Beeston, A. Thomson of New Malden, Frank Skeen of Belfast and J. D. Scheel of Berne, Switzerland. Incorrect solutions embraced such cars as Cottin-Desgoutte, Hotchkiss, Darracq “Bluebird,” Rocket-Schneider, Barnato-Hassan, Chrysler and Beverley-Barnes.
Motor-Cycle Racing — April 3rd
The B.M.C.R.C. will hold a meeting of three and six-lap motor-cycle and three-wheeler races at Haddenham on April 3rd, commencing at 1.30 p.m.