Rumblings, March 2006

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A reader has an Amilcar C6 chassis and many parts which were once owned by Lord Ridley, who gave the Austin and MG camps a shock in 1921 when he raised the Class H 1km record to 105.92mph for the two-way run. The chassis may have been intended to form part of another Ridley Special, put on hold after Ridley suffered an accident in his original car. The owner would like to find out who owned this six-cylinder supercharged Amilcar before Ridley, and its post-1931 history.

From the Pre-War Austin Seven Club’s magazine I learn that Norman Purves is making a replica of the 1923 racing A7s, following that made by Tony Hutchings years ago, but using a genuine racing chassis rescued from a Birmingham rubbish tip.

The MCC had 295 entries for its 78th Exeter Trial in January. Its next major event is the Land’s End Trial at Easter: the club’s general secretary is the Rev PG Lawley, The Vicarage, St George’s. Telford. Shropshire TF2 9LF. An SAE with enquiries is appreciated.

What a splendid chap Frankie Dettori, the champion jockey, is. I think you will agree if you heard him answering Sue Lawley’s questions on Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ programme. But surely their conclusion that horse-racing is the most dangerous sport of all, with one jockey killed on average every year, is incorrect? Over the years there has unfortunately been a staggering number of motor racing fatalities, and you can include Paris-Madrid if you dolt sensibly. Since the intervention of Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE, the safety record has been much improved. But car racing from Formula One and rallying to club events is still one of the most dangerous of undertakings.

I was an absolute dunce at school, but I knew who had won Le Mans and the TT and in what cars, and which driver was fastest round what was then our only race course. To my surprise my headmaster was not impressed. But even I know that if an aeroplane leaves Calais at 8am and is on the ground for 13 hours at Reims it will not reach Cannes 7hr 44min later on the same day! If you spotted this in our report of a Monsun aeroplane beating a BMW car in the race described in the February MotorSport, the Monsun actually overflew Lyon after three hours.