Just had the most colossal piece of good fortune ! While convalescing in a nursing home out here from Sicilian wounds I was poring over some Autocars I had just received, when a comrade offered me his collection of MOTOR SPORTS to read, some dozen copies ranging from 1941 to April, 1943. Now I had never seen a copy of MOTOR SPORT before, but I just love cars of the sporting types, and your paper is just terrific ! Living in the country in Scotland, I was able to start my car-driving career at the age of 12, like so many others on a bull-nose Morris-Cowley of my father’s. I persuaded a motor-cycle out of him when I was 14, and from that day until I reluctantly had to sell the “12/70 ” Alvis late in 1941, I have always owned a car or a motor-bike. There have been 28 of them, many of them gems from the breaker’s yard, but excepting for a bit of trials and grass-tracking with my A.J.S. solo motor-cycle, I never managed to enter the field of competition. The lure was so strong that I chucked ‘Varsity and joined the Liverpool Police Force in 1937, wangled my way into the Motor Patrol Dept. inside a few months, and from then until the outbreak of this [censored] war was a “Speed Cop.” You may be surprised, but believe me they are a great bunch of enthusiasts, though some may think we are a bit hard at times. If you saw us, off duty, with our “Leafs,” Rileys, Alvises, etc., you would see a different angle on us altogether
Having no car at all, even to dream of, maybe you could help me, by putting me in touch with someone who has a model on the blocks, or who would promise me the ‘bus he’s running when I get home after this lot is over. Sounds a bit fantastic, but I’d be willing to plank down 150 now and pay it over for the prospect of having something “nice to come home to,” as the song says ! He could have the cash and I’d have the prospect, the thrill of anticipation, which is about all we have to really live on out here. That AlfaRomeo ex-C.W.P. Hampton described in his article in April, 1943, would be “just the job.” Is there anyone possessing a Van den Plas “Speed 20” Alvis, or 2-litre Lagonda fixed-head coupe, who’d be willing to play on my offer ? It would be such a great comfort to me.
Here’s wishing you the very best and hoping to heat from you soon. I am, Yours, etc.,
DANNY BIRRELL (Capt., R.A.S.C.). M.E.F. [We can forward letters.—En.]