Veteran to classic miscellany

We hear that the Coventry-Climax-engined Lotus IX, XPE 6, which Colin Chapman raced in 1955, and which Motor Sport road tested that November, spent 20 years in a complete, but dismantled state in Australia. Last year it was acquired by an American reader who is having it meticulously restored by Mike Brotherwood in this country. The car was owned for a time by the Sydney motoring journalist Graham Howard.

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The last issue of the well-contrived Journal of the Morris Register for last year has the usual interesting collection of pictures of Morrises of all ages and types, and a six-page discourse by Harry Edwards on the Morris Leon Bollee.

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A lady whose grandfather made the PDA cyclecars with two colleagues, Darby and AlIday, in 1912/13, is hopeful of obtaining more information about them than is contained in contemporary descriptions. Built at Bristol Street, Birmingham, the unusual feature of the PDA was that universal joints were dispensed with in the transmission, it was said to conserve power, but no doubt manufacturing costs were saved. This was achieved by mounting the engine, clutch and two-speed back axle on a sub-frame which was hinged to the front cross-member of the single-piece pressed steel chassis. Thus, when the back wheels lifted, the whole assembly rose, but only by 1/64th of an inch for 3" of back wheel movement. The back axle was well constructed and the gear ratios were 9.7 and 4.7 to 1, with an 11 to 1 reverse gear.

Suspension was by a front transverse spring and rear quarter elliptics. The steering was direct, with an adjustable column. The unusual transmission was patented. The idea was to use the latest 80 x 95mm 50-deg vee-twin air-cooled Blumfield engine in the 6ft 10in wheelbase chassis (one inch longer than that of an A7 Ruby), sell the PDA for 105 gns, and run one at Brooklands. Plans appear to have changed, with a 90-bore oh-inlet valve JAP engine put into the prototype, which by early in 1913 had been tested for 5000 miles. It is believed that 12 or 13 of these cyclecars were made and if any more is known we can forward letters.

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Last month we published the provisional results of the VSCC Measham Night Rally. The only change is that in the final results Parker (Alvis) gets a 3rd not a 2nd Class Award, Wilson (A7) no award, and the PVT Award was won by J Harris (LG45 Lagonda). It should be said that A Jeddere-Fisher presented the Light Car Award, won by Cattell's Riley 9.

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January's 'Forgotten Makes' article on the DFP resulted in a call from a West Country reader who has found a crated-up car of this make which it is his intention to restore and fit with a replica of the body used by WO Bentley on his 1914 TT DFP.

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Mr Jenvy of Bridgewater saw a large tile on a wall in Seville advertising a 1920s Studebaker tourer. The crazing on the tile indicates that it is original, so the premises it adorns were presumably once a car dealer's showrooms.

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Already the Haynes Publishing Group is advertising its Classic Road Run for cars from the late '40s, '50s and '60s, scheduled for May 5, starting from Longleat House. Entry fee £19.50. Details from Sparkford Motor Museum, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7LH.

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The Anglican Sporting Classic event at Wimpole Hall near Royston on June 2 will embrace the National Triumph TR Day, when the TR Register hopes to attract the majority of TR5s that are still running. Various events and displays will take place, the public can enter for one section of the Concours d'Elegance, and two leading charities will benefit from the £5.00 per car admission fee. Information from Mike Norton, on 0487 831946.

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The 1991 Mille Miglia Repro is due to happen on May 2-5.

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The award gained by the Bentley was inadvertently omitted from the table of results of the 1925 MCC Exeter Trial, published last month. To put Bentley men out of their misery, we hasten to say that WL Douglas's car did get its 'gold'! Other slips which we would like to correct are that in this year's VSCC Measham Rally Saxl drove a Dodge-6, not a Dodge with five cylinders as implied, and that it was another A7, not any of the Chummies, which had a home-made closed body. Then, reverting to the Vintage Exeter Trials' article, the picture of the Coventry-Eagle combination was taken during the 1924, not the 1934, event. In 'Book Reviews' the R-R Olympus 593 turbo-jet engine should have been described as in Concorde, this not being part of its name, and AA Rubbra's book on R-R aero engines was obviously published, not written by him, after his death!

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Finally, the 1930 Irish GP, TT and BRDC races were won, respectively, by Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and Austin 7, not by Talbots, as stated in the Talbot 105 article.

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While we are allowing most of our historic industrial buildings associated with the Motor Industry to deteriorate, in Italy the Lingotto factory, 500 metres long, five stories high, with a test track on its roof, which Fiat occupied until moving to Mirafiori in 1982, is being restored as a scientific centre, museum and industrial block for Turin. The first large reinforced concrete building in Italy, designed by architect Giacomo Matte-Trucco and built over four years, from 1916 to 1920, it was planned so that raw materials entered on the ground floor and cars were progressively assembled until they emerged for testing on the roof track.

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The history is sought of the prototype Cooper-MG now owned by a reader in Scotland. It was used by John Cooper in the 1950s and may have been rallied by Ken Wharton. It was then registered OHA 437 but is now ??? 195 and was sold by Blakes of Liverpool around 1952/53. Letters can be forwarded.

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The Jaguar Drivers Club, the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club will both be providing cars for a Jaguar Show to be held at Chatham Grammar School for Boys on Sunday, 12th May.

Last year the show attracted over 80 Jaguars and twice as many cars of other types. This year the exhibition and show will include films and videos about Jaguars and a display of Jaguar component suppliers while all the cars will be segregated in a one-make car park.

The cost of entry to the show will be £2.50 per person with children free. A colourful programme of events will also be available.

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This Ecurie Ecosse Historic Motor Tour, scheduled to take place from Thursday, May 9th to Saturday, 11th May, is aiming to raise £40,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, specifically for a Crew Facility at lnvergordon.

This year's entries have come from all over the world including a Jaguar C type from Omaha, Nebraska, an Alfa Romeo 8C Le Mans (team car) and a 1927 Delage, both from Germany, and a Lancia from Italy.

Apart from being able to see these cars on the road, there are four venues where they can be viewed more closely. They will call for lunch at Drum Castle on Thursday, May 9th and tea will be at the Culloden Visitors Centre by Inverness. On Friday lunch will be at Inverewe Gardens and on the last day, their final tea is at the House of Dun.

For further information of the Tour, please contact John Foster, Estate Office, Craigie Farm, Leuchars, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 ODT. Tel.: 0334 839218.

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Holloway's are holding their third annual sale of Automobilia, Vintage and classic cars on Saturday, 18th May just outside Banbury. Entries of all types of items from vehicles to memorabilia related to transport are now being invited.

Catalogues will be finally prepared in early May and all enquiries should be directed to Tim Holloway on 0295 253197. There is a 24-hour message recording service and the firm can be readily reached by fax on 0295 252642.

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Fair's Fair

During the great freeze up the media implied that transport was almost at a standstill and that cars should only be used if essential. But surely praise was due to many Councils who so effectively kept roads open? The PM got to Scarborough by Daimler when a helicopter couldn't, another MP to Chester and back by road in lieu of a train, and our staff journeys including my no problems run from Surrey to mid-Wales via Cheltenham, Ledbury and Hereford.

I recalled with some relish, at a time when BR trains were delayed by frozen doors, points, signals, brakes and damaged engines, those InterCity TV ads which made snide objections to almost every facet of travel by private car. --- WB

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Those enthusiasts who find themselves in New York in the next month or so may find that a trip to the l'art et l'automobile gallery may be worthwhile. It is there that nearly one hundred years of automotive history can be traced in an extensive collection of vintage posters (from 1895-1970) and model and toy cars (1900 to present). The show will include everything from turn of the century French posters to 1930's midget racers and 1990 scratch-built Jaguar models.

The Model and Toy Exhibit and Vintage Posters will be on display until April 6th alongside one of the world's largest collections of automotive and memorabilia including books, sculptures, paintings, period posters, lithographs, toys and model cars.

A gallery catalogue is available for £20 from L'art et l'automobile gallery, 120 East 34 Street, Suite PHG, New York, NY 10016.

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Staying in America, the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has completed a $50 million expansion of their car collection, boasting 25 Duesenbergs in the toe-curling "It's a Duesie" exhibition.

The 200 car display is located on the fifth floor of the Imperial Palace Hotel.