Miscellany, March 2004

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The RAC/IMS has ended its joint stewardship of the London-Brighton Veteran Car Run. This popular historic event, dating from 1927, will now be organised by Motion Works on a five-year basis, if the plan is accepted. The chief executive of Motor Works is Roger Etcell, a former sales manager for Silverstone Circuits Ltd.

* * *

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu is as active as ever in vintage and historic car affairs. Last October he accompanied Douglas Hill in the 1914 Alpine Eagle R-R on the Jordan Rally.

* * *

Kenneth Day of the Alvis OC, is hopeful that the Brooklands Museum will be able to arrange a display to commemorate the work the late Kenneth Evans did in obtaining preservation orders appertaining to the Track, and who was a generous supporter financially.

* * *

The Bugatti Trust publishes a nice little magazine which adds to knowledge about these famous and covetable cars, in addition to that in the BOC’s Bugantics, as Brescia Bits also does for those owning or interested in the early eight- and 16-valve cars. The Trust’s Curator is Richard Day, Prescott Hill, Gotherington, Cheltenham, GL52 9RD. You do not have to climb the hill to see the exhibits in the Trust’s building there.

* * *

At The Shuttleworth workshop: the veteran Arrol-Johnston, which Dick Shuttleworth drove home from Dumfries after he had bought it, was prepared for the 2003 Brighton Run; an oil pump located in Switzerland is to be fitted to the Fiat Topolino; and the Museum’s very first exhibit, the Panhard-Levassor, is away for a full engine rebuild.

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For anyone who has added a commercial vehicle, steam-waggon or coach to their historic vehicle stable, the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society can be contacted on 01580 892929. It has a good magazine, Historic Commercial News, from which I note that its Pennines Rally was enlivened by two enormous Scammell Pioneers; the one with a tank on its trailer caused quite a stir!

* * *

A minor puzzle is how the monthly Newsletter of the Trojan OC, edited by Derick Graham, manages to find ‘new’ items and pictures, issue after issue. The last number, as just one example, had illustrations of some Trojan vans, not only those of Brooke Bond, who probably had the biggest fleet, but of Dunlop, Savory & Moor, G Waterman, Phillips Soles and Heels, and Liptons, these last on solid tyres.

* * *

From the journal of the Morris Register I learn of a commendable decision by Vicary’s in Battle, Sussex. In 1972, they ceased using a petrol pump outside their showrooms due to restrictions on such devices feeding petrol over a pavement. This old pump was then hidden behind a wooden panel. This has been removed so that, 30 years after supplying National Benzole when 4-star cost just under 34p a gallon, the pump can be seen again, albeit behind a showroom window.

* * *

At the well-attended New Year’s Day Verzon’s VSCC Rally near Ledbury, a Piper Cub and a Cherokee flew overhead and dipped their wings in memory of Hamish Moffatt. A passenger in the Piper was Bunty Moffatt. The oldest car present at the event was a square-radiator 1906 Rover two-seater.

* * *

The VSCC opened its 2004 season with driving tests at Brooklands. Winners of First Class Awards: H Hickling (1917 Dodge), P Rosoman (A7), S Bennett (1923 8/18 Talbot), D Marsh (1925 Bugatti), T Lark (1930 MG), P Weston (1936 Frazer Nash TT Replica), P Cobb (1928/32 Frazer Nash-Salmson) and J Baxter (1928 Frazer Nash Fast Tourer).

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The Sunbeam MCC’s pioneer run for pre-1915 machines is set for March 21, starting from Tattenham Corner, Epsom, and finishing at Madeira Drive, Brighton, from about 10am.

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Entries have closed for the MCC’s London-Land’s End Trial on April 9/10. The event will include most of the traditional observed sections: Beggars Roost, Warleggan and Blue Hills 1 & 2. Times of expected first bikes: 00.45, 08.00, 10.15; OS map180, refs 720477, 157687 and 728517/8.

* * *

The Riley Register celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year. In conjunction with the Riley RM Club and the Riley MC, it intends that Riley users will meet others at strategic points on April 25. In June there is to be a visit to Le Mans to commemorate the wonderful results Rileys had there in 1934. On July 26/27 the Club will hold the Coventry Rally, followed by a week’s motoring to appropriate venues. Contact R Vince on 01753 824136.

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A reader seeks info about an early Vauxhall — once owned by a son of S White, the famous Cowes ship-builder — the IoW Motorists’ Association from 1905 and the IoW Vehicle Register. Reply to T Sargeant, Permanden, Goudhurst, Kent (01580 211303).

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