"Gatso" comes to town

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On January 30th last the Publicity section of the great Ford Motor Company went into action and flew to England, from his victory in the Monte Carlo Rally, Maurice Gatsonides, his wife and two children, Peter Worledge, of Capasco, who was “Gatso’s” co-driver, and the yellow Ford Zephyr which carried them to victory. The Bristol Freighter made its customary safe journey across the waters, and at the rather solemn hour of 5.30 p.m. members of the motoring Press assembled at the Cafe Royal to welcome the Zephyr’s drivers.

The party went a bit flat, because Gatso was detained until nearly 6.30 by the B.B.C. who wished to ensure that he would be “In Town Tonight” on the Saturday. But, although we had to imbibe cocktails as we waited at a time when we infinitely prefer tea, and although Gatsonides said but few words to us and left Peter Worledge to read a rather dreary bulletin, the popular rally driver was forgiven as he drank from the huge loving-cup of victory and we from our small glasses.

It was interesting to discover that Gatsonides used a special Tyresoles snow-tyre for this year’s Rally and that his headlong Zephyr was restrained by Capasco brake linings, a make renowned in the commercial-vehicle world and now making a notable debut in the car world.

In congratulating “Gatso,” I made the point that it was nice he had won with a Zephyr, because so many owners and prospective purchasers of these cars derived pleasure from knowing one of those cars had won the Rally, whereas had he used a Ferrari or similar exotic motor car the ordinary motorist would feel it well above his head. This seemed to please him and he said it was a fine car and that, so far from finding too little adhesion of the back wheels, he had purposely loaded so as to keep the weight forward. Little Peter Worledge, too, seemed very happy, if a little shaken that the ever-thorough “Gatso” had arranged for buckets of water at a convenient point on the Col de Braus circuit so that, Capasco or not, the brakes could be well flooded before he proceeded!

The winning car, alas, was not at this party — bedecked with flags, flowers and ribbons, and far cleaner than it could ever have been during the Rally, it was already attracting crowds to the windows of the nearby Ford showroom in Regent Street — W. B.