• • * Sir,
I write to correct the reference in “Vintage Veerings ” for January, 1951, to the Lorraine-Dietrich which made its first recent public appearance at the V.S.C.C. Insley Rally in November. last.
Without knowing Sturgeon personally, I imagine that he must have been quite as astonished as I was to find himself credited with the ownership of that unique vehicle. In actual fact, the Lorraine is registered in my name and is owned jointly by myself and Jack Wadsworth, who took it to Bisley. It was first registered in 1922 (not 1924) and, though it was indeed discovered under a dust sheet, the discovery was made, net at Isleworth, but at Longstanton, near Cambridge. Actually, in so far as the word ” discevery ” usually denotes knowledge recently acquired, it is not strictly accurate to describe the Lorraine as having been ” discovered” at all, since, though 1 bought it as recently as October last year, I had in fact been aware of its existence since 1940, when it was offered to me at a price which I then regarded as fantastic, but ‘Which I have now paid rather more than willingly I The “old gentleman ” to ‘whom it belonged is a University professor who would be most indignant were he ever to read the allegation that he is only 98, since he is in fact 96 and very proud of it 1 Ile bought the Lorraine secondhand in 1925 for 2500 when it had covered only 7,000 miles and he himself was a mere stripling of some 71 summers. Finding it rather heavy for his own use, he drove it only 500 miles before laying it up in his garage and succumbing to the blandishments of a small Wolseley. When one relates the mileage that he covered to the capital cost of his vehicle, his motoring appears to have been a little on the expensive side, even by comparison with British Railways’ present day charges for transport over a similar distance
The Lorraine was last taxed in 1925 and had remainedin the professor’s garage under the aforementioned dust cover, snug but idle for a quarter of ,a century, until October last when the Wadsworths and I descended on the professor in order to buy it. On the professor’s instructions, however, the engine of the car had been started and run at regular intervals during that period by Bert Wright, the proprietor of the local garage.
So far as I am aware, there is only one other example of this rare marque still on active service in this country—but perhaps some of your many readers will be able to extend my knowledge in this respect. I am, Yours, etc.,
Richmond, Surrey. HUMPITREY OLIVER.