Mistaken identities


I wonder if other readers find it confusing when well-known names and phrases are used in new contexts. I read of a new motoring book “E type: end of an era”, how interesting I thought, yes indeed the ill fated “E-type was virtually the end of the ERA. I wonder who has written it, someone like “Jenks” or Cyril Posthumus I expect. But no! I have got it all wrong, it is about a Jaguar!

Then again, co-incidentally re the same marque, I read that the guest of honour at the Jaguar drivers club dinner will be “well-known motoring personality Shaw Taylor”. Good, I thought! That brilliant chap that drove ERAs so well. But no! Wrong again it is another Shaw Taylor.

It reminds me of how I once read in TheRadio Times that “the famous Sammy Davis” was going to do a broadcast. I looked forward to this, and felt very angry when it seemed that some American comedian was taking advantage of the reputation of our own S. C. H. Davis! ,

In the January Motor Sport I was interested to read of John Lourie’s ex Earl Howe Fiat 500. Lord Howe owned two of these cars before the war, both in his racing colours. The two-seater (FY0892) was normally kept in London for town work, but during the war when “the old man” was stationed in Scotland in the Royal Navy, he took it with him. I have an amusing letter from him telling me how he was “enjoying driving the Fiat ‘flat out’ in the black out” to keep himself “in training”!

Lord Howe’s other Fiat 500 was the rare four-seater and this was normally kept in the country at Penn, for local shopping. In those days it was nice to have a runabout for local or town use, keeping the larger cars for real journeys. Of all his town cars his favourite was his “L” type MG Magnette continental coupe, very smart in his blue and black with a silver line and silver wheels. In Mike Allison’s excellent book “The Magic of MG” Allison describes the Continental Coupe as “Kimber’s Folly”. Perhaps it was, but Lord Howe loved it. Incidentally on another page of that book there is a good picture of Howe’s previous town car, an “F” type MG Magna outside his garage behind Curzon House, but no mention of whose car. Or the man standing beside it it is “the old Man” himself, complete with carnation in his buttonhole.