V-E-V Miscellany, March 1982, March 1982

This year’s Pioneer Run to Brighton, for veteran motorcycles, will take place on March 21st, organised, as it has been since 1930, by the Sunbeam MCC. It is an event of considerable stature in the motorcycle world and should provide almost as much spectator interest as the Veteran Car Brighton Run. The start is from Tattenham Corner on the famous Epsom (horse) race-course, the first of the paired starters leaving at 8.31 a.m. The finish is on the Madeira Drive at Brighton, where the first riders are expected around 10.45 a.m. The time control will close by 2.30 p.m. There are good viewing places along the route (A217 and A23), but please give the riders all the room you can if you encounter them while driving or riding a modern vehicle to a puking-place. Owners of vintage light cars have bees in the habit of turning out to watch the riders in this well-established event and may be expected to do so again this year. The machines taking pan in the Run have to be pre-1915 models.

The Chalk Pits Museum at Arundel, West Sussex, has issued a fixture-list for 1982 which includes a vintage-car rally on Easter Monday (the “Cobweb Run”), a display of vintage farm-tractors on April 18th, and a vintage motorcycle day on May 23rd, added to which Humber vehicles of all ages will gather there on Jane 6th, there is to be a display of stationary engines on June 20th, and vintage vehicles will join in the Anniversary Gathering on October 20th, With an array of vintage lawn-mowers being staged there on July 18th. The recession is blamed for the closure of the firm of G. W. Hodgkinson and Sons Ltd. of Buxton, according to the Buxton Advertiser. The Company was formed at the turn of the century and Mr. G. W. Hodgkinson, and his three sons ran it until 1960, a move being made from Scarsdale Place to the Shakespeare Hotel, where the new garage was formerly the hotel stables, the rings in the walls for tethering the horses still being in place, as is a wall-plaque commemorating the 80-year-old business. The late Mr. Fred Hodgkinson was a well-known rebuilder and competitor in VCC circles.

Mr. R. A. Shaw, of Shaw’s Garage, Crawley, Renault Agents, writes to say that he was the rider of the Forecar that we illustrated in the colour-pages covering last year’s Veteran Car Run to Brighton, and that it is a Rex which Mr. Shaw found in a very derelict condition in Kent in 1949. It was rebuilt by himself and two friends in time for the 1950 R. and this single-speed machine has done 31 Brighton Runs, gaining a medal every time, and has taken part in 30 Pioneer Runs, winning 30 pre.er awards. A reader in Co. Durham who has purchased a 1937 4¼-litre Bentley Park Ward sports-saloon, Reg. No. FPC 771, Chassis No. B35JY, would like to hear from previous owners of this car, which changed hands a number of times recently and which has been restored to a high standard but with the interior awaiting refurbishing, which is now being undertaken. Letters can be forwarded. The Morris Register is distressed by some unfortunate happenings last year, such as someone purchasing spares in an offensive manner from a breaker’s yard while claiming to represent the Register, when only the Spares Registrar and the Spares Secretary are authorised to do this, with the necessary identification, and of people buying spares at Autojumbles believing they are dealing with the Register, whereas this procedure is not followed by the Register except at its Stanford Hall main event, apart from Club literature at only a few other events. It points out that it otherwise supplies spares only by Mail Order, properly invoiced under the name of its trading company, Moreg Ltd.; the display of the Club’s name over an Autojumble stand or use of the Club’s badge on notepaper should not, says Frank Ashley, the President, be taken as approval by, or affiliation to, the Moms Register.

The first 1982 issue of the Magazine of the Austin Seven Clubs’ Association contains a recently-topical picture of an AA motorcycle patrol cleaning snow off the windscreen of as Austin Ruby saloon in the height of a blizzard (the car’s radiator muff being fully rolled down, which seems curious) and interesting articles on the “Grasshopper” trials Austin 7s, the 1923 “fabric” Austin 7 racing cars, etc. The STD Journal of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq Register for last January contained a fascinating account of the one-family 1930 Sunbeam Twenty Charlesworth all-weather saloon, Reg. No. GK 8560, purchased by Sir Ambrose Heal, after a visit to the Motor Show that year, which was passed on to his son, Anthony Heal, in 1946, and which is now being restored and run by his son Oliver Heal, the car, which originally cost £866 12/- now showing a reading of more than 77.000 miles. Incidentally, the STD Register has announced its provisional fixture list for 1982, which includes its Wolverhampton Week-End on June 26th/27th, the RMA Sandhurst Driving-Tests on September 18th and a possible French week-end in April / May.

J. Ellis was amused to see the photograph (by Peter Birch) in the January issue of himself driving his 1923 Gwynne Eight on a moorland road north of Patel, Bridge in Yorkshire in the 1950s, during a VSCC run. The reason his passenger is seen pushing, he says, was because the engine had had a rebore and only thus could the 1 in 4 gradient be conquered. Normally, engine power and performance were very good for the size of the car. In the early 1920s Mr. Ellis recalls that he drove many miles in an 11.9 Bean, which also had to shed its passengers on 1 in 4 Pennine hills but which on ordinary roads was “it very good, strongly built car, although Morris-Cowle, could just exceed its flat-out speed”. Another car Mr. Ellis recalls as “very good for its type” was his 1915 Calcott, but his 11.9 AC suffered the “best wheel wobble of any car I owned, and Lease had some good wobbles in my time!” The AC’s back-axle gearbox is remembered as a bad feature and its all-round ¼-elliptic springing also gave poor results. Mr. Ellis says he fears he will bore us if he continues with these reminiscences [not so! — Ed.] but he recalls that when he moved from Yorkshire to Eire he sold the Gwynne, his 1925 Isotta-Fraschini, a 1912 14 h.p. Mors “that ran as sweetly as a sewing-machine and always started first pull of the handle”, his 1926 Humber 12 tourer (“another very good car”) and the -best plum of all”, his 1937 75 h.p. V12 Hispano Suiza to Richards & Brown, most of the cars appearing at the time in photographs in Motor Sport’s advertising pages. — W.B.