Club news, May 1943

750 Club

The future of the 750 Club was discussed at a committee meeting called on March 27th, and attended by the secretary, S. H. Capon; the chairman, L. M. Ballamy; the captain, H Birkett; A. Frost and W Boddy. Birkett and Boddy moved that, excellent as are the “Rembrandt” meetings, they do not cater expressly for the impecunious 750 Club Members, and they called for further meetings of the sort held up to the end of the “basic” era. It was agreed that, in spite of difficulties brought about by the motorless-age, further such meetings should be given a trial, and provisional plans were laid for gatherings at Shepperton and at Old Compton Street, London. The future of the club “Bulletin” was discussed and its continuance guaranteed. Capon then read a statement on future club policy in general and disclosed that an advisory panel of club secretaries and other well-known personalities had been formed to advise the organisers of “Rembrandt” meeting’s. He felt that his representation of the 750 Club on this organising committee would be highly beneficial to the club, and he felt that popular motor-racing should be inaugurated after the war, which might well become the main concern of the panel.

The Shepperton meeting was scheduled for April 18th and the Old Compton Street luncheons will happen on the first Sunday in each month, if southern enthusiasm justifies them.

Midland Motoring Enthusiasts’ Club

Some forty persons attended the meeting of the M.M.E.C. on March 3rd, when E. S. Tomkins gave a Lantern lecture on “Motor Racing Memories”. There was also a very good attendance on April 7th. The next meeting will be on May 5th. at the “Bull’s Head”, Bishopsgate Street, Birmingham. It has been decided to increase the subscription, as from January 1st next, to £1 1s., with 5s. entrance fee for new members, as the existing 5s. subscription would not, it was felt, put the club on a sufficiently sound financial footing for peace-time activities. Country members living twenty or more miles from Birmingham Town Hall will pay 10s. 6d. subscription and, for the duration, members of H.M. Forces will only be charged the 5s. entry fee. A Bulletin is now issued. Chairman, Stewart Forrest, St. John’s Hotel, 5, Duchess Road. Birmingham, 16.

We hear

There continues to be a good demand for interesting sports cars, which enthusiasts want to rebuild for after-the-blitz motoring. We hear that a most interesting Sizaire-Freres with all-round independent suspension, of about 14 h.p. and around 1930 vintage, is for sale in London. What could be a very excellent vintage acquisition has come to light near Cambridge, in the form of’ a superb open touring “23/60” Vauxhall with five new tyres, which would be sold for about £25. Austin Partridge writes to say he is still working hard on his 2-seater F.W.D. Alvis and knows of ten such cars either in course of reconstruction or carefully stored. He admits, however, that this is not a very popular car, but certain people, he observes, do appreciate them.

A Pilot Officer in Lowestoft seeks one of these cars, or an Aston-Martin. while E. R. M. Hardie has acquired a 1928 supercharged 4-cylinder version and wants another, or bits, for spares. Hardie’s stable, by the way, includes a fine Van den Plas 3-litre Bentley, a Type 35A Bugatti, a Type 55 Bugatti and a supercharged Balilla Fiat, which may or may not arouse envy! Frank W. Roberts, 2, Norton Road, Chelmsford. Essex, is willing to supply data to anyone interested on the subject of 1928-9 “12/50” and “Hyper” Lea-Francis and would appreciate hearing from others about these cars; in particular, he wants to get hold of a power-curve for the “Hyper”, blown or unblown. Yet another sports car in use on aircraft development work is a green Anzani-engined. pointed-tail 4-speed Frazer-Nash, which is sans screen and hood.

Grosscurth works whenever he gets home-leave on his side-valve Aston-Martins and tells us that Lionel Martin himself rode over on his tricycle to see them not long ago. Grosscurth also has one of the best-preserved old-school Bentley 2-seaters we have ever seen. The engine being in an extremely high state of polish, while he may acquire a very fine example of’ the 3-litre Sunbeam in addition to the rather sick car of this type now on his hands. E. A. W. Morris, of Alton, has kindly sent in Instruction Books for 1929 “Short Fifteen” and 1934 “Long Fifteen” Armstrong-Siddeley cars and some accessory books; and he reports that his 1,100 c.c. H.R.G. – the original car of this model – is still in use for business and Home Guard purposes, with about 28,000 miles to its credit. It now has a large rear tank, as on the 1.5-litre Meadows-engined cars and a special facia with oversize speedometer and rev. counter.

Lowrey’s 1,100 c.c. H.R.G. is also used fairly often in connection with his flying tasks. Lambert, who was responsible for the rebuilding of the s.v. Aston-Martin now owned by F/O Phelps, A.T.A.. and who used to run an incredible twin-carburetter 1916 Morris, has returned to London from wild Wales. D. A. Jarvis, whose address is 35, Stone Hall Road, Winchmore Hill, London, N.21, would welcome advice on the purchase of a car of low secondhand price that has a capacity not exeeeding 3 litres, will do 80-85 m.p.h. approximately 20-25 m.p.g., and possess excellent roadholding, acceleration and braking. He recalls the acceleration figure of 0 to 50 m.p.h. in 6.0 secs. of the Type 328 B.M.W. and asks what would occur were this car stripped and supercharged! Also adds to our blushes by saying he has read us for some eight years and always regards Motor Sport as the paper by the enthusiast for the enthusiast. Sydney Allard is to be congratulated on the arrival of a son and heir.

Of veteran news, the Dover “Chitty” is reported to be out in the open at the mercy of the elements, a 2-cylinder Renault is believed to exist in Epping, and a 2-seater Metallurgique has been brutally reduced to scrap in Hampshire. Two Swift Tens, a “12/40” Lea-Francis 2-seater and a Lanchester “Forty” converted to a lorry, were recently observed at garages in and around London. Yet another valuable Veteran has been saved through Motor Sport publishing readers’ finds of this sort. The old car noted as being at a dealer’s in Southampton has been checked up on andturns out to be a 1903 6.5-h.p. Century, built. by The Century Motor and Engineering Co. Ltd., of Cumberland Park, Willesden Junction. It has been purchased by the Veteran Car Club under their recently-launched acquisition scheme.

Garry Adams, of Birmingham, has recently acquired a single-cylinder, Aster-engined 5-h.p. Speedwell of about 1902 vintage, with Bozier 2-speed planetary gears, wire wheels and shaft drive to a Hanzer rear axle. Hutton-Stott has a pre-1914 3.5-h.p. Indian motor-cycle for disposal for a modest sum. There is a 2-litre Lagonda saloon (unblown) derelict in a breaker’s behind the Monaco Garage, Watford. We know of two 3-speed Super Sports Morgans for sale at £25 and £35, respectively, and a really cheap o.h.v. “Aero” Morgan.

Peter Wike is now overseas with the R.A.F. The Sequeville-Hoyeau turns out to be quite true and seemingly in very good order, but we have not yet had an opportunity to inspect it closely.

Lander’s Le Mans 4.5-litre Bentley, a magnificent 3-litre Bentley, a lowered “30-98” Vauxhall, another old-school Bentley and an engineless Type 30 Bugatti are in storage at Hartley Wintney

The “Ulster” Austin Seven once raced by Strang, Centric supercharged, has turned up in Watford. Robert Newell is now in Ireland and has his immaculate Sixth Series Lancia “Lambda” with him. He is improving it still further and has designed tulip valves for it. His Scott motor-cycle is now with Heal, who. incidentally, appeared recently in a Bagshot Heath trial on a Home Guard motor-cycle. Grosscurth wants to hear of s.v. Anzani spares and is running the ex-Ashwood 4-seater Lea-Francis on important official journeys. The editorial second string turns out to be a 1922 “12/40” which originally had a s.v. engine, being converted by Lacy into a “12/50” with considerable thoroughness. It is shortly to have it long-stroke “12/50” engine with big-port head installed, and the front axle is from a “Silver Eagle”. Meanwhile, the gen-getting coupe has run into a four-figure mileage with no worse malady than a punctured radiator and some quite notable motoring personalities have been coaxed into its capacious dickey.

The Instruction Book library flourishes, for James Watt of S.S. Cars. Ltd., promises two manuals on S.S. cars, mentioning, incidentally, that he met the new owner of the B.N.C. works in this country and was told that these cars would have been racing during 1939 but for the war. Then Yank Harrison, whose address is Beau Lodge, Tunstall, Catterick. Yorkshire, and who would like to hear from any members of the International Speedway Team which visited Spain in 1939, kindly sends Instruction Books for “14/45” Talbot. G.N.„ Norton and V/5 Matchless motor-cycles, and the books of the Douglas motor-cycle and T-Ford car. He remarks that they are rather dirty but only from Castrol “R”!. F. W. Roberts has sent some useful miscellaneous Instruction Books on B.S.A. motor-cycles. So the Instruction Book library continues to increase its scope and is now able not only to help over motor-cycles and accessories but over Veterans as well!.

Leonard Potter has acquired the Type 55 Bugatti, once owned by Whincop and wants an Instruction Book and a spare engine and gearbox. His Type 44 Bugatti is doing 25 m.p.g.. and 80 m.p.h. “in true Bugatti fashion” and he has a Fiat 500 with S.U. carburetter. Then he has a J2 – not an M.G., but a 1912 11.h.p. Unic 2-seater which has a gearbox bigger than the 65 x 110 mm. s.v. engine.

Rear suspension is by 3/4 elliptics and the foot-brake works on the transmission.

Cowell, who used to race Altas, now flies Mustangs. We regret to learn of the death, in action off Holland, of Lt.-Comdr. R. P. Hitchins D.S.O; he used to own the 16-valve Aston-Martin that Ellis is waiting to take delivery of. Maurice Hudlass, well know Brooklands scrutineer, is a captain in the R.E.M.E.

Enthusiasts Car Club

Another Bulletin has arrived and enthusiasm is evidently very strong indeed in the now less-frozen north. The Lea-Francis Owners’ Club has teamed-up with the E.C.C. for the duration, but hopes to produce an ambitions book of words for its own members in due course.

Junior Car Club

Guests at a last council luncheon included Col. A. H. C. Waite, F. S. Bennett, Col. Charles Jarrott, Lieut.-Col. A. T. Gardner, Lieut.-Col. A. G. Douglas Clease, Brian de Grineau, “Tass” Mathieson, Major Bale and Wing-Comdr. T. H. Wisdom.

Other Happenings

MacLagen still contrives to issue his news-letter to his Scuderia, another Bulletin has arrived from the New Zealand Sports Car Club, and contains a very interesting alphabetical account of sports cars owned by one of its members, and the Irish Motor Racing Club is still alive.


We have all been shocked by the sad news of the death of Lt.-Col. J. Clutton, Cecil Clutton’s father. He used a veteran car, his wonderful old 1909 Fafnir landaulette, quite seriously before ever the Vintage Sports Car Club showed the possibilities of such carriages, and father, no less than son, worked very hard indeed in furthering that altogether successful club. Wartime overwork hastened Col. Clutton’s end and, in offering our sympathy to his son we also wish to pay tribute to one who did much exceedingly good work for vintage and veteran interests in a quiet way behind the scenes, where the limelight doesn’t shine and isn’t wanted.