Cars in books, March 1993

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

A reader writing from Belgium has kindly contributed some extracts from Ho For The Borders by Michael Brander (Geoffrey Bles, 1964) to this now less frequent column.

The author recounts how, while exploring churches in Scotland, he called at a house to ask for the key to the church which contains four coffins of the Polwarth family, one of whom, as Earl of Marchmont and Polworth, had returned from escaped capture on the continent (to Scotland) in 1688, with King William of Orange. The minister who answered the door to Brander said that he served two parishes, using his vintage Bentley which he raced at Charterhall. He was also an internationally-known horologist.

He was none other than CW Bennett.

Brander was able to counter this by saying he normally drove a 1926 Rolls-Royce, which was at the time undergoing repairs. So here is something for the Bentley DC and R-R EC to ponder, unless all this is old hat to their historians.

Incidentally, our correspondent remarks that Polwarth is only a few miles from Charterhall circuit, which he visited in 1991 to find the perimeter track crumbling away. He says that it makes an interesting motoring tour, with the Jim Clark Room and another old airfield circuit, Winfield, not far away. The latter is still used by the Border CC for driving test events meetings.

The Country House At War by John Martin Robinson (The Bodley Head, 1989) adds very little to the motoring scene, apart from reference to a Rolls-Royce taxi in Rhyl at the end of WW2 (not surprising, because 20 hp RollsRoyces were used thus at this time, as were Austin 16s and 20s). I do not think any racing drivers’ homes are included, though there is much about the 365-roomed Wentworth Woodhouse mansion of Lord Fitzwilliam, of Sheffield-Simplex associations, and of Waddesdon Manor, the motoring affairs of which I have touched on in MOTOR SPORT.

Apart from the fascination of this period piece, it makes one want to get out the car and look at some of the great houses which played their part in the Second World War.

Just as I was about to close this column, at least for this month, I heard of two interesting motoring items in The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins by William H Clarke (WH Allen), in which we learn that Charley, the son of the author Wilkie Collins’ morganatic marriage, became chauffeur to the Earl of Orkney after leaving the Army in 1902 and drove a Vinot-Deguingand. He later opened a garage in Ramsgate and in 1907 invented a variable-speed gearbox (any information on that?). He is also said to have helped organise the SAMD, a society to look after the interests of mechanic-drivers and chauffeurs, before he died in 1911, aged 38.

W B