V-E-V Miscellany, March 1978, March 1978

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We hear that John Blake is rebuilding a rather special Salmson, the actual car, it seems, which was driven in the 1921 Le Mans Race and the 1921 JCC 200-Mile Race by Andre Lombard and on the latter occasion crashed into the pits and broke both its n/s wheels, but was able to resume and finish second to Archie Frazer-Nash’s GN. It was later raced by O. Wilson-Jones. It then seems to have languished in Harpenden for around a dozen years, after which it was acquired by that great enthusiast, Capt. Ivy, ex-DR and RFC, who used to build up special Salmsons and run them in the MCC Trials, notably the Land’s Ends, as he lives in Cornwall. It was from Capt. Ivy that Blake acquired this historic Salmson and he is now engaged in finding out as much as possible about how it looked back in 1921, so that he can build a proper replica body for it. A garage in Wales has imported from the Argentine two 1927 Ford tourers and a 1927 Chevrolet tourer, with the intention of restoring them. One of the rare twin-cam 2-litre sports Ballots is being rebuilt in Australia. More readers, including Lew 13alderson of Georgia and Richard Langworth, in America, have written to assure us that Brooklands Track preceded Indianapolis Speedway! It is now clear that the 24-hour record made in 1905 by a 40-h.p. National was set up at a dirt horse-race track at the Indiana State Fair Grounds, before the Speedway was constructed. Mr. Balderson tells us that he believes there still exists a Fair Grounds track at Indianapolis which is used for USCA sprint and midget cars but he is not sure whether it is the one used in 1905; Mr. Langworth says that there was a grandstand, holding at least 1,500 spectators, at this track, and that the distance which the National established was 1,094 and 3/16th miles, Edge’s Napier bettered this in 1907, covering more than 1,581 miles in 24 hours, at Brooklands Track in 1907.

The Sheffield toolmakers, F. Parramore & Sons (1924) Ltd., are reintroducing their old-style tools, including the “Perfect” screwdriver, which should be of interest to those who wish to equip vintage cars with period-type tools. This move follows the take-over of Parramore’s by W. H. Clay, specialists in craftsman-made screwdrivers, etc. Ted Woolley is restoring an 1894 Benz Velo, amongst other ancient cars, and he would be glad to hear from anyone who can supply rear wheel spokes for it. Mr. Cudburton has sent us some pages from The Dalesman referring to the late Dr. John Kirk, written by the Doctor’s daughter. The Doctor bought a Minerva motor cycle and basketwork trailer before 1903 and followed this with two De Dion Bouton cars, the second of which, around t 904, was used to help return the local Conservative member. A third De Dion Boon was acquired in 1907 and used for a tour of France, of which a very complete record still exists. He then bought the 15-h.p. Clement-Talbot which had finished fifth in its class in the 1908 2,000-Mile International Trial, which he drove in the Saltburn Sand races, which he attended since 1906. Apparently the Talbot, named “Old Reliability”, took part in all the local Yorkshire speed events, and was also driven at Shelsley Walsh, Aston Clinton and in 1911 at Brooklands, the Doctor captaining the Yorkshire team at the Track in an inter-club contest. The Talbot climbed Rosedale Chimney and was used in Spain and Italy, the Doctor’s dog Spot always riding with his master.

Apart from the article in Motor Sport last year about the sole-surviving Parry Thomas-designed Leyland Eight, and the extremely interesting follow-up provided by Mr. Stanley Sears, who, with his Mother, had run these cars on the road, this subject has been in the news again recently. A reader has sent us cuttings from I.ancs Evening Post about interviews this newspaper had with Newton Iddons, who worked with Thomas on the Leyland Eight and was responsible for the restoration of the surviving car, after we had drawn Mr. Spurrier’s attention to it and he had acquired it for the Leyland Museum. These interviews brought a letter to the newspaper from someone who remembered Parry Thomas allegedly using a disguised radiator emblem on the experimental car which, when looked at closely, by those anxious to know what make of car they had enountered, read “Don’t Ask”! Chelsniford Round Table No. 132 is organising what it expects will be one of the largest transport extravaganzas ever held in the S.E. of England, with all classes of vehicles catered for, even to hot-air balloons, helicopters and the RAF Harriers. Cars of 1920 to the mid-1950s will be welcome at this event on July 22nd/23rd and those interested should contact MG and Jensen owner P Rushden, 20 Roswell Road, Chelmsford, Essex. The Spares Register of the Standard Register Trust is David Richardson, Holinside, Hambledon Road, Denmead, Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The Marendaz Special reported as burnt out in Essex turns out to be the 13/70 car used in trials in 1933/34 by Mrs. Alfred Moss (Stirling’s Mother) before she acquired her better-known short-chassis white 15/90 Marendaz Special in 1935. The car has a second gearbox mounted behind the standard gearbox, apparently to give Mrs. Moss a set of low gear-ratios for trials’ work. The wreck is being rebuilt by M. Morton. The NW Club for Pre-war Austin Sevens has a pair of two-gallon petrol cans stamped, respectively, B.V. & Co., and BW., and they wonder if anyone can identify the companies concerned? Incidentally, their collection of’ motoring items is housed at present with a building society and a County library but new premises are sought in the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire. A very sad 16 h.p. Dorman-engined Vulcan tourer, which had been in the open for many years, is being restored by a reader in Suffolk. The car appears to be a 1920 model, because Dorman’s supplied the engine to Vulcan’s in that year and the spring-leaves are stamped 1920. The chassis appears to be a mixture of VB and WRD models but has the longer wheelbase of the latter model. Help would be appreciated from other Vulcan owners. Another reader, .a trader living in Worcester, USA, wants to find the 1937 328 BMW which he owned in London in 1956. It was one of the Ranter cabriolets, white with red seats, Reg. No. DOM 777. Letter,: Will be forwarded.