A section devoted to old-car matters
The B.R.D.C. International Trophy Historic Car Race (March 30th)
The historic racing season opened at Silverstone with a 12-lap race for these cars round the full circuit, at the Daily Express B.R.D.C. International Trophy Meeting. It started on a partially wet track, half-an-hour late, after Brabham had won the F.1 race. It would surely be kinder to let the old cars race before the main event, so that their drivers could get packed up and enjoy the main dish, instead of hanging about to the end of the day? Also, the public would appreciate it more, because unless you are a fanatic, the older racing cars cannot fail to look a bit slow after a full F.1 race.
Thirty cars entered but there were eight non-starters, including Salvage’s Lago-Talbot, which was in the Paddock but was found to have a cracked head. Neil Corner’s 3-litre G.P. Aston Martin, which had lapped at 101.03 m.p.h. in practice, led all the way, pulling out an ever increasing lead but hitting the wall at Beckett’s and altering the nose cowling on one lap. Brewer’s sister Aston Martin was behind Corner as they left the start but retired after five laps with loss of fuel pressure. This let the Hon. Patrick Lindsay’s 250F Maserati into second place, followed by Merrick’s Tec-Mec and Bill Wilks’ Lotus. On lap 7 Wilks took second place and it was then that Corner spun and contacted the wall. He was able to continue at unabated speed but Wilks was coming up well, when an unexplained loss of engine oil covered the pedals and he stopped on lap 10.
The Tec-Mec had passed Lindsay and Boorer in his Lotus had closed right up on Merrick, having also got by the Maserati. They finished in that order, with Lord Clydesdale behind Lindsay in the other 250F Maserati, and Morris sixth in his E.R.A., the first pre-war car to finish. Colin Crabbe’s Maserati retired with a split water hose.
Traction Engine Rallies
Some readers like to attend traction engine rallies. These are now so numerous as to preclude a full fixture list but some important ones include the Stamford Rally at Grange Farm, Ryhall, Stamford, on June 28th/29th and the annual Beaulieu Rally at the Montagu Motor Museum on May 25th/26th.
V.E.V. Odds and Ends
A reader at Lee-on-Solent who is restoring a 1911 Seabrook-R.M.C. requires a number of parts and would appreciate any reminiscences and photographs (for copying) about these cars. British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd. has sent us an enquiry they received from New Zealand relating to a 1927 35-h.p. Halley Simonis six-cylinder fire-engine which a Venture Scout Group is restoring for the Auckland Museum of Technology and Transport. Apparently B.L.M.C. were able to tell their correspondent that the makers, Halley of Yoker, Glasgow, were taken over by Albion, but they have no technical or general data on the machine. Can any readers help? Data on the fire-fighting equipment, driven by a Coventry Chain power take-off, is especially requested.
We hear that Stanley Woods is still active in Ireland and sometimes rides a motorcycle in the occasional trial. The current issue of Steaming, the journal of the National Traction Engine Club, illustrates two rare steam wagons, a 1904 St. Pancras and a 1922 Buffalo Springfield. We are also interested to note that genuine Sentinel oil is still obtainable from Morries’s of Shrewsbury. Not to be outdone by our reference last month to the Mex book, the Public Relations Department of Gulf Oil Company—Eastern Hemisphere has sent us “Since Spindletop”, which covers the development of the Gulf Oil Corporation since 1901, which they published in 1951. In connection with recent references in Motor Sport to the 1901 Panhard-Levassor, its present owner, Tom Lightfoot, reminds us that in recent times he has lent the car to visitors from France, Spain, Holland, Italy and Czechoslovakia so that they could compete in the V.C.C Brighton Run. The Grimsby V.V.C. holds its annual Cleethorpes Rally on July 26th; details from R. Baumber, 6, Fairfield Road, Grimsby.
In Australia George Brooks has acquired the chassis of a 1910 Straker Squire thought to have been raced at Brooklands in 1910-13. The car spent many years in New South Wales, where it was fitted with a Buick Six engine and gearbox. It was brought to South Australia in 1966. A pre-war Fordson tractor on steel black wheels was seen outside a Welsh breaker’s, and a 1932 six-cylinder Commer Raider lorry is laid up in the same area. A breaker’s yard in Buckinghamshire was selling up and offering Austin 7 engines, a 1929 Morris Minor o.h.c. chassis and a couple of Morris 10/4s to enthusiasts, it is said for scrap-metal prices.