miscellany, March 1999

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The Bert Hadley Memorial Championship will be contested this year at the following venues: Gunston Down (April 17), Olivers Mount (May 1). Curborough (June 13), Anglesey circuit (July 17), Llan-y-Fran (July 25), Curborough (August 8), Harewood (August 29), Thoresby Park (September 12), a mixture of speed trial and hill climb courses. The Competition Secretary of the Pre War A7 Club is Geoff Roe, 10 Marshall Road, Cropwell Bishop, Notts NG12 2DP.

Robert Elliot Pyle is rebuilding a prototype engine of four-cylinder type relating to the six-cylinder ‘Ace of Spades’ Lea Francis. Only the one was thought to have been built but now he has him from two such engines.

The aero-engined cars field is to have another of these monsters in the form of a Benz airship engine in a Benz chassis, with a gearbox based on that in ‘albs’, which also originated as a pre-WW1 Benz component.

My postbag continues to contain so much of interest. The query about a Salmson with rubber suspension has bought a response from Peter Stevens of Hitchen whose father was the accountant at the Rubber Growers Association which had modified the car (YP 3645). He bought it in 1931 for 10/- when the project flagged, reduced when a shilling was found in the gearbox! But back axle failure set in, so the unusual Salmson was replaced with an A7 in 1932/33. The Salmson had fired his son’s enthusiasm as he had been reading every issue of MOTOR SPORT from 1944.

The Invicta CC is to be reformed. I remember the original club, Donald Monro’s Invictas named after ships, and a 4 1/2-litre coupe driven fast, furled hood bouncing up and down, in then-current hill climbs. The secretary of the new venture is Marion Rendall, Stanley Hall, Selsley, Stroud, Glos GL5 5LJ, who has 105 members already and hopes other Invicta followers will join.

Renault Freres, the club for pre-1940 Renaults, had a long article from MOTOR SPORT in its winter issue of Direct Drive about my visit to H F Welham and his Surbiton Renault garage in 1963, and other historical items. The club secretary is Mrs Pam Mills, 54 High Street, Durrington.

The VSCC has published all its 1999 fixtures, its next events including the Pomeroy Trophy at Silverstone, when moderns mix it with older cars, on February 20, the John Harris Derbyshire Trial on the 27th, and the GP ltala race meeting at Silverstone on April 24th. Another early fixture list comes from the Shuttleworth Trust, whose Spring Air Show is on April 2. It is open most days of the year. Enquiries: 0891 323310.