VINTAGE VEERINGS *.•
APART from numy other charms, one of the attriitutes of the vintage car is its resistance to wear ; indeed, only by virtue of this quality are stiolt ears still With us in large numbers. This gives rise to the query : which car holds the record for long, trouble-five ? •• King Pill of The. Motor told a tale last year of a Model 591 10.4-1t.p. Ft it standing outside the Press Club whit is sticker on the wind
saving ” U.S. Correspondent in Great Britain,” and went. on 1.n say that the 501 ” was ” one of the great touring ears of its period and one of the most durable motor ears of all time.” lIe remarked that the makers were quite used to hearing that owners had covered 250.000 miles or more. Kent liarslake would, we believe, confirm this view. Then there have been accounts ill Movon Svoirr of vintage ‘lumbers running over 100,000 miles without needing a rebore and twice that distance without needing the bearings tightened-up, and Of the king-pins being quite sound up to 250,000 or so.
There arc plenty of old ArmstrorigSiddcleys on our roads.. from the little 12-h.p. ” sixes ” to the bigger models, and we cannot believe that this is because tlieir drivers have never learned to change gear by any other method than the preselector I he Armstrong-Siddeley always looks a very rugged car. Finally, front a 1923. Star advert isemerd for their •’ 11.9 ” model we cull the
following : ” there is not a single malleable casting in the whole layout. Steel stampings replace most of them. And the balance of the working parts is so carefully accurate that it sometimes takes as long to balance the three-bearing crankshaft as it takes to build an American car entirely. No steel whatever is used below a 40-ton steel. The nickel chrome gears receive five heat-t reattnents before fitting. Ordinary ease-hardened steels are replaced by nickel ease-hardened steels. Each part is made under the Star roof with such infinitesimal accuracy that, the throw-outs average but one per eent.—a record in any car factory. No ‘ first. 500 miles ‘ running-in is needetl.” Today, years later, with the mass produeLion of masses of identical parts, the usual scrap allowance is several per cent. and we know of one firm which does not case-harden its gearbox gears. On this subject, of long-life from vintage cars, have our readers any claims ?
” We like to think we are incurably romantic about motor cars and railway trains ; our wife insists that we are just reactionary. The fact is that the latest American motor car can swish by and leave us quite unmoved. But let a 1924 Bentley growl into sight and we’ll stare, fascinated, until it disappears.”— ••• Perion,” in the Berkeley Magazine.
The past month or so has been quite thick with vintage happenings. At the Castle Combe Meeting on March 31St a 10-lap Vintage and live-lap Edwardian Handicap provided much fun and games. In the former the Frazer-Nashes of Ashley and Piekwort It eaught Earle :Marsh’s 1924 Lancia Lambda anti were in turn swantped by 41-litre Bentleys, Bradshaw’s eventually winning after a display Of nicely controlled sliding front tVilson-SpratCs smartly-bodied M9 Car until Williams’ 1928 41–Bentley 1, 2, 3, Nove’s ” 30/96 ” Vauxhall never seemed to get into its stride, but Victor ANclBerg, in new battle bowler and lowchassis 41-litre Invieta. had some sound motoring. The Frazer-Nash Patience ” appeared to lose a chain but Lt. Clark’s 1928 Type 37 Bugatti, to the ttecompaniInent of delightful exhaust sounds, demolished much of its handicap. In the Edwardiail race a very Model ‘l’-hike 1910 R.C.ff. non-started, but a nicely varied held held the interest.. No one could catch F. H. Parker’s Beet, tiller-steered, 030-e.e. 1910 A.C. Sociable, but Densharn motored into second place in that, so effective and quiet 1913 Caleatt light-car (surely it has a Wade supercharger in that mysterious box on the back ?) and John Bolster really drum his 1911 Rolls-Royce to get third plaee in spite of a stiff handicap. Lord Chantwood, with Kent Karslake a dutiful ” spotter ” of overtaking machit wry in the 1912 Lanthester, reminded us that flexible suspension and rollitig may aot have
come front across the At after all ! Firkill’s 1913 Clegg-Ditrraeq was a good example of how smoothly the better Edwardian tourers run and corner, and Oliver’s 1902 Mercedes (like something oat of the iloifs Own Paper,” a spectator observed) and Dr. Ewen’s Bala pleased the pundits but had displeased the handicapper, while I int tonStott was en patine with fuel feed trouble in the 1902 ” ParisMadrid ” de Dietrich. The day after Castle Combe we called in at ” The George at Dorchester to find I.t. 1)moms presiding over the Vintage Humber Register’s first rally. In the eottrtyard were Deraans’ Own 1924 V-prowed ” 11.4 ” Saloon, Winder’s 1924
” 8/18,” liodgson’s 1923 8/18,” once a saltion bat now open to the breezes that blow, I owk in’s 1920 very roomy and economical ” 9/20 ” saloon, its engine a treat, to gaze upon, and jack, wheel brace and tools in their appropriate underbonnet 5:towages, Brown’s stolid 1927 ” 14/40 ” tourer, Mathews’ “14/40,” Col. Vi lining’s 1930 Slane and Donne’s beautiful 1912 car—as pleasing a eollection of honest British workmanship as you could wish to muster. Soon the various owners were discussing the merits or Cox AttnoS versus Solex carburation, location of useful spares and kindred topics-.
Some there are who feel that of onemake registers, like clubs, there are too many. But does it really matter if these very useful acid worthy sects multiply exeeedingly ? After 1111_ they tremble no one saye those they seek to serve, but they are instrumental in furthering the preservation of good cars and raisintr’ the standard of motoring generally. Whatever you feel about this. more are likely to be formed –Merc&lesBenz. Talbot. tanchester and ol hers arc rumoured.
Anyway, good luck to the pre-t030 Humber clan, who meet again at ” The George,” Beaconsfield, at noon on May 20th for a Concours d’Elegance raid Navigation Rally. Fourteen light-earists of the V,S.C.C. gathered at Adstoek on April 14th for tie’ first meeting of the reeently formed Light Car Section, Lt. Naish, R.N. coining all the way front Portsmouth in his delightful 1922 narrow-track Peugeot Quad, and Meredith Owen from Birmingham, with a full crew in his beantifully preserved o.h.e. NV olseley Teo. mark, p
from Worcester in his equally spick-andspan A.C. Jeddere Fisher had devised a series of tests on the roads adjacent to Stowe School. At the first, a widthjudging contest, Howkins proved the most expert, putting his beautifullyrestored 1927 ” 9/20 ” Humber saloon through the proverbial needle’s eye. Next the ears were paired up for a regularity test judged by Marjorie Carson, who was rewarded by the splendid spectacle of Naish’s Peugeot and Lockhart’s similar 1924 Peugeot arriving back at exactly the Sarno moment. Incidentally, Lockhart saved his car from doing duty as power for a saw-bench, replacing its missing back wheels and brakes with those from a Morris Minor. Both Peugeot pilots spoke almost kindly of Mr. Gaitskell –they both got fuel consumptions of around 50 m.p.g.!
A slow-down-up test, which had to be taken in one gear throughout, saw Euenett’s 1930 Riley Nine fabric tourer the most docile. After a pleasant run, in which a long water-splash figured, competitors took the last test, a top-gear fast climb from a flying start. Palmer’s 1930 Jowett fabric saloon was a surprise, scoring best marks from a 1925 A.C., a 1914 Lagonda and the Riley Nine, which all tied for second best. Naish and his navigator were a fine sight, crouched low in their little Peugeot. After this there was an excellent tea at the Folly Inn and the Vintage Light Car Section rightly considered itself successfully launched. Wrigley turned up later in his ” 8/18 ” Talbot. Members N’t It ell for an ” Exeter ” in the 1925 tradition and for more short competitive meetings of the sort just described [handicapped on an age/engine-size basis ?—En.]. The only retirement had been 1,1tley’s very interesting and sporting Woodrow, With water-cooled Precision V-twin engine, which had clutch slip. The final plaeings were. declared as : 1st -: Palmer (1930 jowett saloon) ; 2nd : Marks (1925A.C. 2-seater); 3rd : Euenett (1930 Riley Nino tourer)’; 40h : liowkins (1927 ” 9/2(1″ number saloon) ; 5th : Lockhart (1.924 Peugeot `Lseater); 614I : Naish (1022 Peugeot 2-seater) ; 7th : Wood (1923 Riley Eleven coupe) ; 8th : Barker (1914 Lagonda 2-seater); 9th Styles (1919 (.0.e. Stellite 2-seater); 10: klaghAeld (1930 ” 9/28 ” number saloon) and Boddy (1926 ” 10.8″ Clyno tourer); 12th: Moffatt (l024 ” 11.9′ Lagvnala aH-weather); 13t11 : Meredith Owen (1925 0.11.e. Wolseley Ten 2-seater). Retired :
Utley (1913 two-cylinder Woodrow 2-seater).
” Say whit ye like. the stuff’s-no’ in them nooadays I “—Ily kind permission of Mizedonold in the ” Weekly News. Sir,
1. have in daily use a 1926 Citroen ” 7.5 ” Cloverleaf, slightly modified, but entirely in the best vintage tradition, of which I am extremely proud. I could extol the virtues of this car at some length–apart from the rather sedate pace, but must leave this till some later date. I am, Yours, etc.,
N. G. SALTER.
Veteran-Edwardian-vintage, November 1963
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