Flt.-Lt. Protheroe now has his Type 37 Bugatti on the road after its major “blow-up” at the 1947 Gransden meeting. It now has full-pressure lubrication, and new valve end-caps of KE 226 and its owner uses it as a completely reliable hack, finding its performance distinctly refreshing after ownership of a F.I.A.T. 500 and a 4-1/2-litre Bentley. He also has the ex-Marcus Chambers’ single-seater Austin Seven, which broke its crankshaft before a Prescott meeting last year. Protheroe has since fitted an “Ulster” crankshaft. The Austin has a Marshall 75 blower and data is requested on suitable cam contours and valve timing to suit it. Protheroe also seeks a blown “Ulster” camshaft and a set of Girling brakes for the front axle and has for disposal a Boyd Carpenter camshaft. At the last Prescott meeting the Austin was towed to the course behind a “2.3” Bugatti, did 56 sec. after nine practice runs and then seized its clutch. All night work with much help from camping enthusiasts enabled the car to compete, but 180 lb./ sq. in. oil pressure upset the plugs. The car now has a Rolls-Royce water pump, Morris radiator and will be re-bodied. Protheroe says he doesn’t want “basic,” he wants free petrol, and we heartily agree.
A 1924 “12/24 ” Lagonda 2-seater, giving 36 m.p.g. from a modern carburetter, was for sale in Kent, on good tyres and with spare engine, for £80.
J. R. M. Linforth is rebuilding an early Frazer Nash and seeks an Anzani engine. Lawrence Hart is likewise rebuilding a 1927 Austin Seven.
A. F. Andrews is willing to loan his 1,750-c.c. twin-cam Alfa Romeo instruction book to any needful person — letters can be forwarded.
A 2-litre Lagonda open tourer, recently overhauled by Davies Motors, Ltd., may soon be driven out to South Africa.
A reasonable 1927 12/50 Alvis tourer was offered for sale recently at £65 and a F.W.D. Alvis chassis, less engine, was available in Dundee.
G. Brown, of the Hants and Berks M.C., has removed the Q-type engine from his J2 M.G. and substituted a mildly-“hotted-up” Ford V8 unit—a truly exciting combination, although at the time of writing the M.G. axle ratio is retained, nor has an S.S.radiator block been experimented with to cure overheating.
The Sunday Express of March 14th, reporting the death of Miss Kendall, of Sinnington Hall, Yorkshire, stated that in the middle of the Kaiser War she “shut the gates of her mansion, put a dust-sheet over her 1914 model Arrol-Johnston car and retired permanently indoors.” Presumably the car still exists in much the same state as in 1914.
Donald S. Rayner’s “30/98” Vauxhall has a front-axle from a “Speed Six” Bentley, while E. G. Williams is building a “Special” with an Alvis “Firefly” engine and gearbox.
If anyone wants a pre-1914 T-head Austin Twenty 2-seater in dismantled form, one is being offered a sympathetic home; at present it is near Bradford.
If any readers need spares for a 1927 Sunbeam Sixteen, Albert E. Maiden, Ltd., 50, Britannia Buildings, 46, Fenwick Street, Liverpool, 2, have a crashed car they are prepared to strip.
N. Oliver, of Oliver Pell Control Ltd., Cambridge Row, Burrage Road, London, S.E.18, is interested in electric motorcycles and would be pleased to hear from any builders of such machines.
R. W. Parr, U.S. Representative of the V.S.C.C. of Australia, replying to the recent query in these columns regarding the Bartlett Special, says that the car was delivered to Clem Dyer of South Perth with a sprint and a road-racing engine. The latter engine was sold and the engine Mr. Harris now has is believed to have belonged to John Read of Double Bay, N.S.W., who acquired it after some vandal had mutilated the cam shapes. The rest of the car apparently belongs to A. McIntosh of Perth. Parr concludes by saying that he owns three T-type M.G. Midgets and they all have M.G. engines, as he has not succumbed to the universal tendency to install Yankee motors in British cars.
D. Shepherd has completed a rebuild of a 1930 ” Hyper ” Lea-Francis with No. 8 Cozette supercharger.
K. N. Teasdale has a 1939 “TA” M.G. Midget, ex-City of Oxford police, which he finds “a most desirable motor, combining the feel of the earlier and more exciting Midgets with real practicality.” The car is used for business journeys to Cumberland and South Wales, from the Midlands; its owner previously used a 1935 Morris Eight two-seater, that served for 74,000 miles.
Gordon Fairbanks, of Montreal, owns what he believes to be the only “Speed Twenty-Five” Alvis in Canada.
There is a 1927-28 Rolls-Royce “40/50” chassis for sale at £30 in Yorkshire which will definitely be broken up if not bought by the end of May. Apparently an early two-cylinder Rolls-Royce and a tube-ignition Benz which had stood in a coachhouse for 40 years, were broken up recently in the same locality.
Interesting taxis have nearly all disappeared from our provincial towns, but in Windsor we have noticed an elongated, modern-style Lancia and a Hotchkiss, and five Rolls-Royce Twenties.
There must be some motoring enthusiasts amongst Amersham’s ‘bus-staff, for we recently saw two three-speed Super Sports Morgan three-wheelers and a fine vintage S.S.80 Brough-Superior with “airship” sidecar, outside the ‘bus garage there. Shortly afterwards an S.S.100 Brough combination was seen on the road.
Victor Axel-Berg is returning to this country from Kenya and bringing with him his Series I, short-chassis “Mille Miglia ” Alfa Romeo that he acquired out there.
The 500 Club was featured in a recent B.B.C. “Down Your Way” programme, complete with 500-c.c. cars being run-up.
Prices still seem to be dropping, recent under £100 cars, for instance, including a 1930 Armstrong-Siddeley Twelve saloon for £60 or offer, a 1930 Morris Minor two-seater with a spare engine and five new tyres for £85, and a 1931 Austin Seven two-seater for £50.
Seen on the road on Good Friday—a Coventry-Eagle “Flying Eight” combination outfit.
A vintage 1,000-c.c.,. V-twin O.E.C. motor-cycle with beaded-edge tyres was for sale recently in South London.
Bryan Begg has unearthed a 1925 type-Q Swift Ten and seeks an instruction book for it. An old Albion-Merry-weather fire-engine is used by the Hong Kong fire service and a few Sunbeam Talbots, B.S.A.s and M.G.s mingle with the American cars in that city.
An Army Major in Germany has had his Meadows-engined Singer “Le Mans” sent out to him and is considering running it in the Mille Miglia
Bugatti Owners’ Club
At its recent annual general meeting at the R.A.C. the B.O.C. was seen to have securities totalling well over £8,000 with which to face the 1948 season. Its first event will be the 8th Open Prescott Speed Hill-Climb on May 9th. The March issue of Bugantics contained a most interesting account of Raymond Mays’ early speed-trial exploits with his “Brescia” Bugattis, written in the style of another May; another of Scott Moncrieff’s excellent touring articles; a continuation of “Bugattis Through the Ages”; American news, and an article on Bugatti speeds at Brooklands, by W. Boddy. The club’s new secretary is Major G. Dixon-Spain, O.B.E., M.C., who took up his duties on May 1st. His headquarters will be at Prescott House, at the top of the famous hill. Three new members were elected recently.
The annual dinner was held at the University Arms Hotel, Cambridge, and was a great success despite the rather small attendance due to the lack of “basic” and an antipathy to the use of our railways. Douglas Tubbs was in the chair and guests included Mr. Forrest Lycett, Mr. Cecil Clutton, Mr. and Mrs. John Dugdale, Mr. S. E. Sears and Mr. Barry Eaglesfield, the secretary of the Oxford Club.
The Club’s trophies, including the impressive “De Rothschild” Cup, were on the tables, and Messrs. “Antone” provided the equipment for a film show afterwards — this included the film of 1907-08 Grands Prix, the Rolls-Royce sound film on wartime aero-engine development, a new colour film of last year’s Gransden and some “Antone” films of Prescott. Hon. Sec: P. H. Stephenson, St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge.
Hants & Berks M.C.
The Hants and Berks M.C. held a meeting in Surrey on March 31st, when R. L. de Burgh Walkerley, Sports Editor of the Motor, gave a talk on “Grand Prix Racing.” Walkerley delivered one of the most entertaining lectures we have heard, his buoyant enthusiasm for his subject being readily captured by his listeners, who were distinctly depressed when the meeting had to close at 10.30 p.m. Describing British cars used in present-day G.P. racing, Walkerley compared them with French and Italian cars, gave us many extremely entertaining asides about the great drivers and illustrated his graphic descriptions of famous circuits with his own quaintly-drawn and pleasing cartography. You should ask your club secretary to endeavour to persuade Walkerley to give his talk to your local club, if you were not amongst the rather small attendance at the Hants and Berks meeting.
Wye Valley A.C.
This Club is existing on socials during the basic ban, its new headquarters at the Race Course Inn serving these functions very well. In the hope that petrol will be available, December 11th is booked for the Zimmerman Trial, while the Motorcycle Traders’ Cups Trial will be held on May 15th, from Longtown. Hon. Sec. Mrs. S. B. Keylock, Silver Wells,” 19, Ingestre Street, Hereford (2722).
Brighton & Hove M.C. Ltd..
The Club has its own headquarters at 296-7, Madeira Drive Arches, Brighton (3727). If petrol rations permit, future fixtures will include a Rally and Concours on July 24th-25th and a trial on November 7th. In any case, it is hoped that the International Hill-Climb at the new hill and the famous Speed Trials will be possible on methanol fuel. If so, the dates are June 5th and September 4th, respectively. The Club has Earl Howe as its President and the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, the Mayor of Brighton, the Mayor of Hove, Sir Algernon Guinness, Laurence Clayton, J. G. Drew and E. W. Quero as its Vice-Presidents. Hon. Sec: N. R. Wilkinson, 233, Preston Road, Brighton (Preston 3021).
The Register of 2-litre and 3-litre Lagonda owners, which is something quite apart from the Lagonda Car Club, grows apace. Numbered notes are issued at intervals, which can be filed to form a comprehensive reference to Lagonda happenings and cars on the Register are each given a serial number, which is retained when a car changes hands, making a very useful history of its past owners, as new owners’ numbers tally with that of their cars; 167 Lagondas have been registered to date and up to February 102 owners had supported the scheme. A spares pool is one of the most useful functions of this Register, but owners’ experiences, hints, cars for disposal, etc., are regularly circularised and instruction books have been photostated, and so on. A few social meetings are being planned, two successful rallies have been held, and a neat badge has been prepared. Anything which brings together enthusiasts for a particular make of car these days is to be encouraged, especially as the spares problem is becoming yearly more difficult, while any additional pleasure to be had from one’s motoring is not to be scorned. The Register itself is most interesting, giving as it does the registration number, engine and chassis numbers, date of registration, carburetter and magneto used, the fuel consumption attained, owner’s name and address and any interesting details. Out of 156 cars in our list, 121 are normal 2-litres, 13 blown 2-litres, 7 blown 2-litres now running unblown, 9 are 3-litres, 3 are “16/80s,” 2 have 2-litre engines in the “16/80” chassis and one has a “16/80” engine in a 2-litre chassis — this should keep the Bentley boys on their toes. Owners are invited to register for 10s. 6d. per annum, and should apply to P. A. Densham, c/o National Provincial Bank, Ltd., Lime Street, London, E.C.3 (correspondence only to this address).
Aston Martin Owners’ Club
The inaugural meeting of the AstonMartin Owners’ Club was held at the R.A.C. on Friday, March 5th, at 2.30 p.m.
In the chair was Mr. R. Stallebrass, supported by Mr. E. C. W. Stapleton, Mr. Leslie Keevil and Mr. G. F. Wilson.
The first business was the election of officers and committee, and the following were nominated and elected: Chairman, Mr. Eric Cutler; Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. R. Stallebrass; Auditor, Mr. W. Hall; members of the Committee, Miss D. L. Bean, Mr. E. C. W. Stapleton, Mr. G. F. Wilson and Mr. E. S. Powers. Mr. D. S. G. Coram was nominated and elected Editor of the Club journal, to be assisted by Mr. R. V. Perry.
Points from the meeting were that Mr. S. C. H. Davis had accepted the Presidency, that the subscription was to be confined to one guinea per annum under present conditions, that non-owners of Aston-Martins would be eligible as members of the Club up to 45 per cent. of the total, and that six divisional areas of the Club would be formed later.
The chairman told the meeting, attended by thirty-odd enthusiasts, that 168 Aston-Martin owners had applied for membership, and some 87 more had applied who hoped to own Aston-Martins when times improved.
Future fixtures in Australia include three trials, several gymkhanas and scavenge hunts, a road-race meeting and a hill-climb by the Australian Sporting C.C., and a sprint championship on June 14th, a hill-climb on August 7th-8th, a veteran, Edwardian and vintage rally on Sept. 5th, a midnight trial on October 23rd-24th, and the Razorback hill-climb on Nov. 21st, as well as lesser events, by the V.S.C.C. of Australia.
Paul Quiggin is starting a Register of “12/50” and other vintage Alvis owners as a matter of interest and to ease the car-supply and spares position. There is no more popular vintage car at the present time than the “12/50” Alvis, so the completed register should be a most interesting document. If you are an owner, want a car or possess spares, will you please assist Quiggin, himself a “12/50” owner, by sending him details. He will be assisted in the proposed documentation by Bob Burgess, the proud owner of a big-port “12/50” car. Quiggin’s address is 6, Grantchester Road, Cambridge.
The Veteran Car Club’s “Gazette” for March contained the first instalment of an informative article by George Lanchester on his brother’s first cars, an illustrated description of T. Wall’s 1904 Phoenix Minerva Forecar, and a description by St. J. Nixon of the 1928 French Grand Prix, etc — although quite what the last-named has to do with veteran cars we don’t know. The club continues to operate its acquisition scheme, and anyone wanting a veteran should contact the club, at 46, North Row, London, W.1.
The Bentley Drivers’ Club recently visited the London Transport Executive ‘bus driving-school at Chiswick — rude folk will say, how appropriate! The next London meeting is the annual general meeting on May 8th, at which there will be a most instructive Bentley Brains Trust, with “W.O.” himself, and many other famous Bentley personalities, as the “brains,” which should be “quite something.” If “basic” is back by then, the usual Kensington Gardens Rally will precede the meeting.