V to C Out of the Past
JACK Warne, at the age of 85, remembers how he met Leslie Bouts, the driver of Sunbeam and Leyland Eight cars at Brooklands, when Bouts was working up his transport business soon after WW1, with ex-RAF Leyland lorries, at his Ilford depot. Jack stayed with Bouts until the firm was wound-up in 1935, when he had 350 vehicles at various depots. They were mainly Leylands and AECs, a profitable undertaking being the LondonManchester run with supplies of printing ink for the newspaper trade. Leyland Tiger coaches were also used on the Liverpool Street to Ongar service. When Bouts was introduced to motor racing by Kaye Don they collected the Indianapolis 4.9-litre Sunbeam from Wolverhampton and towed it behind one of Bouts’ Ballots, to London. It was a hard
ride for Warne, as Bouts drove quickly and the Sunbeam people had forgotten to slacken off the shock absorbers of this hard sprung car. Warne was thereafter Bout’s riding mechanic, another tough assignment, “the old car shaking with age but going very fast”. Warne serviced the Sunbeams, but T & Ts at Brooklands maintained them. The Grand Prix car which Bouts acquired later is remembered as having a multi-plate clutch which was apt to be difficult to disengage, as the plates stuck on the splines; at Southport Warne would sometimes change gear as Bouts grappled with the cornering. The cars would be taken to Southport on a Bouts’ truck. Today Bouts runs his Citroen agency garage in Wolverhampton. Warne retired after running his own transport business, but has recently acquired a new Ford Sierra. The Leyland Eight was disposed of to R J Munday, another haulage operator, and when he was racing it at Brooklands, the engine disintegrated and fell onto the track. WB
We regret to learn that Major C B Huddart, TD, who designed and built the Leidart 8, the “Forgotten Make” in our May 1987 issue, died last December. He was delighted his car had not been forgotten and was able to take a short drive before his death.
Another reader wants history and bodywork details of the 1172 Formula Greenwood-Ford he is rebuilding. It was first used in Worcester, reg. 61 FAB. Letters can be forwarded.