Vintage postbag, May 1958

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Sir,

Having had a slight shunt in the recent snow, and being motorless for a week or two, I bought a 1930, 27-h.p., six-cylinder Dodge saloon from a local garage. This car had changed hands a week previously for £12 10s., so that I was just a bit apprehensive! However, the excellent superficial appearance, and 30-lb. oil pressure when hot (in addition to four brand new tyres) made me think I couldn’t lose much!

A fortnight’s daily use has convinced me that this rather “utility” and unexciting looking old “Yank” is perhaps the best car I have ever owned! I have had quite a variety—G.N., Bugatti, Lagonda Rapier, Austin Sevens, Rover, Riley, and a number of M.G.s including my present ZA Magnette.

The Dodge has a pressed-steel body of a gauge used only today for armour plating! There is not a squeak or rattle of any sort—the doors close perfectly and are draught-proof. Compare this with any Weyman or coachbuilt English body of 1930 vintage! The moquette upholstery is shabby but still good (incidentally the door panels are on press-studs to facilitate attention to door locks and window winders) and the comfort of the seats is superb. The paintwork is still smart and the plating has survived 28 winters better than that on my M.G. Magnette has done for four!

The six-cylinder engine is sweet and smooth, climbs like a steam engine, and is far quieter than the M.G. The gear change is heavy, but easy enough, and anyway you never need change, once in top.

But the most impressive thing is the “drivability.” Despite the rather feeble hydraulic shock-absorbers, the ride is better than the M.G. (the bumping, banging, noisy suspension of which puts me in a temper after 20 miles!), and the cornering, despite the top-heavy look of the car, is very good; so is the precision of the steering, which although rather heavy at parking speeds is light and pleasant when on the move. The Wagner Lockheed brakes are first-class.

Acceleration is slow by present standards, cruising speed is 45 – 50 m.p.h., and top speed seems limited only by the driver’s brutality! The only snags are the six-volt electrics, and 14 m.p.g.! The latter is almost certainly due to rnaladjustment of the “mechanical” Stromberg carburetter, and I hope to improve it.

To sum up: if spares were readily available, I would ten times sooner have the 1930 Dodge than the 1951 M.G. Magnette, It is an all-round better motor car.

I am, Yours, etc.,

G.B. Woolley – Shepshed.

* * * * * * * *

Sir,

Although I have just missed the Jubilee year of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, I think that the photograph I am enclosing might still be of interest. Mr. R. W. Whitworth, my wife’s father, is shown standing alongside his beautiful white Silver Ghost.

I mention my father-in-law and his place in the photograph because it is possible that older readers may know him. He joined the Rolls-Royce company before the first war, and between the wars was well known to Rolls-Royce owners on the continent when he was in charge of the Service Depot in Paris.

The white Silver Ghost is of more than usual interest because it successfully completed a Paris-Moscow rally in the hands of Mr. Whitworth who received a very nice medallion to commemorate the run.

When I married I was naturally delighted to acquire a father-in-law who had, so to speak, grown up alongside the Silver Ghost, the 20/25 and so on, and who can talk with such knowledge of those wonderful motor cars and of the unbelievably thorough maintenance work carried out by the service depots. But I had a further pleasure in store, for I learned also that an uncle of my wife’s had been the racing driver Williams, an Englishman who drove Bugattis with some success until the outbreak of the last war. After working for some time with a Special Service unit of the British Army, attaining the rank of Captain and winning, I believe, the D.S.O. and Croix de Guerre, he was captured by the Gestapo in 1942 and was last heard of in a concentration camp.

I would like to write more fully about all these things, but in a letter one must be brief. Nevertheless, I hope I have stirred some memories and provided a little bit of interest where memories don’t exist.

I am, Yours, etc.,

R.H. Teager – Biggin Hill

* * * * * * * *

Sir,

Thirty years ago I was Service Manager to Messrs. Trojan Ltd. and I was accordingly interested to learn that there is a Trojan Owners’ Club. I remember A. F. Scroggs who was a regular competitor in the Land’s End runs. His car had a “Nife” battery.

No one, I suppose, will deny that the Trojan was unorthodox to say the least and it appealed to strangely varied types of purchasers. One, I remember, was a travelling preacher who used his car as a mobile pulpit. The day came when its mechanical condition demanded a visit to the works and he duly drove up almost enveloped in blue exhaust smoke. He switched off and the smoke screen gradually thinned out revealing in foot-high letters painted along the entire side of the body—”Behold He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him”!

I was interested to see in the Motor Sport article a photo of No. 1 Trojan. During my time with the firm a large number of early models were sold for scrap, which seems a pity.

The table of models contains a reference to the detachable coupé top for the old Utility (“The Lady’s little coupé”) but makes no mention of the detachable saloon top with sliding glass windows sometimes fitted as an extra to the three-door tourer. This was made by a local Croydon coachbuilder, Mr. Alban Crofts.

The three-door with drop tailboard conversion was done by Crofts and was a very good idea selling readily to those with a use for such machines but it became impossible after a time to continue to publicise it as certain licensing authorities siezed upon it as an excuse to place the vehicle in a higher taxation group.

The date given against the 6-wheeler (1927) is not correct. I still have a set of reprints from about a dozen motoring and trade papers describing its first appearance and these are all dated June or July, 1929. It was quite the most remarkable vehicle the company ever produced [see photograph below—Ed.]. I was concerned in its development and for all the testing and the demonstrations above referred to. Its cross-country capabilities were almost those of a small tank. A number of four-wheeled Trojans were constructed for hiring out to the Territorials during their camps. As far as I can recall they were standard as far as the chassis details were concerned and really were capable of hauling a couple of field guns. The crew rode inside. This venture, like many others undertaken by the company, was not a financial success.

I am, Yours, etc.,

G. Dudley Hardy – Horam.

* * * * * * * *

Sir,

With reference to the article on the F.W.D. Alvis, I enclose two photographs of—presumably—the 12/80 model. I do not remember if these are of the same car as the one with feminine attachments [see below—Ed.] was taken at Brooklands in July 1929 and belonged to Mr. R. S. L. Boote— a great Alvis enthusiast.

I am, Yours, etc.,

K.G. Bassett – Bakewell.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The V.S.C.C. Pomeroy Trophy Contest, intended to find the best all-round touring car, was contested at Silverstone and on the road on March 22nd/23rd and was won by that rare vintage car, a 1930 18/80 M.G.

Results:
Pomeroy Memorial Trophy.—C. Barker (1930 18/80 M.G.). Class 2: L. S. Michael (1953 Bristol). 1st Class Awards: N. Arnold-Forster (1925 Frazer-Nash), A. Gibson (1932 Frazer-Nash), J. Vessey (1926 Lancia Lambda). 2nd Class Awards: C. Harding (1937 Lancia), C. Clutton (1928 (Bugatti).

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The Vintage S.C.C. of Australia Opening Rally produced the following class winners:—

Edwardian : G. Roberts (Calthorpe).

Up to 1924: R. Pritchett (Mercedes).

1925-1928: G. Sevenoaks (Rolls-Royce).

1929-1931: C. Bolitho (Chrysler).

P.V.T.: A. Puckett (Aston Martin).

Visitors: K. Dunbar (Star.