The National Motor Museum’s workshop has been busy. The blower Bentley has been given a reconditioned radiator and its two magnetos have been overhauled, while even more work was required on the 1922 14-seater Maxwell charabanc before it went on last year’s HCVC Brighton Run. It needed new master front spring leaves and shackle pins, and attention to clutch and starter, after which it had a trouble-free run.
I recall going on the 1964 Brighton Run in this Maxwell (above), driven by Lord Montagu. It took 3hr 10min. We were accompanied by scantily clad showgirls from the Black & White Minstrels troupe. They had assumed that all motor coaches had heaters. They were thus terribly cold, and more so when ushered out at the halfway stop for a photocall. But as a 1931 Gilford coach, which had been provided to convey wives and friends of the party back to London after the run, slowly overtook the Maxwell up a gradient on the road to the seaside, it was difficult to warm up the dancers with our wives waving to us as the Iwo coaches passed!
I’d had a comfortably warm Brighton ride a year earlier when I was invited to go in the cab of T T Brighton & Sons’ 1928 Foden steam-waggon, with its driver W Hearn, but a much colder one in 1970 when I was allowed to ride on a pile of coal in the back of a 1916 Foden five-tonner named ‘The Dorset Rambler’, driven by Mr. Hardwicke, his son stoking. That trip took just over six hours.