Vintage Postbag, May 1969

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A £20 Austin 7 Ruby. . . .

Sir,

Following your request to hear from owners of serviceable pre-war cars bought for less than £650, I thought you might be interested to hear about my 1915 Austin Ruby. It was bought for the great sum of £20 in November 1967, and after a few minor adjustments it passed the M.o.T. test first time. Last summer we ventured to the Austin 7 rally at Beaulieu, and apart from a broken torque-tube anchorage, and a distorted fuel pump operating lever (which caused the pump to stop functioning when the engine was hot), we had a very enjoyable time.

While we were at Beaulieu the car was awarded a Highly Commended Award. Leaving Hampshire we travelled across to Gloucestershire and spent a few days in that part of the country, and the enclosed photograph shows my wife (to-be) with the car by the new Severn Bridge. We returned to Colchester after being away for ten days and in that time completed 757 miles. The car has been used practically every day since then with no serious troubles at all.

Colchester. Bob Gentry.

. . . and other inexpensive 30/40s cars

Sir,

I was interested to read in April’s issue of pre-war but not p.v.t. models of Humber and Morris. I thought you may be interested in my car : a 1935 Triumph Gloria. I bought the car in November 1968. It had been laid up for at least a year but looked clean and bodily sound. It was towed from where it stood as at the time the engine was partially stripped. As soon as I got it home the engine was rebuilt in an afternoon but due to the fact that I had no battery it wasn’t possible to start it. When two weeks later I bought a battery, it started with little or no trouble at the first attempt. The clutch was unseized rather roughly unfortunately (first gear makes a horrible noise now) and since that first drive in January it has covered roughly 3,000 miles with no trouble at all.

I must mention a few points though : First the Pre-’40 Triumph Owners’ Club was instrumental in getting the car and have been most helpful since. The car had obviously been looked after during its life as the interior and mechanics, apart from the prop.-shaft, were found to be excellent.

If anyone is interested in these cars, our main meeting of the Pre-’40 Club is to be held in June at Woburn Abbey on the 22nd of the month. It is hoped that all the Triumph members will be there.

The cost of my Pre-’40 project was £35, which I feel is well invested as I have had so many people chasing me to see if they could buy it, that when I eventually have to part with it I will have no trouble at all in selling it.

Until then I will be quite content to sit back in my seat and watch the 20 s.w.g. GTs sail past and read other people’s interesting views in your excellent magazine, which I feel caters for all drivers young and old, and covers from vintage to all the modern stuff.

Wattisham. M. P. Turner.

———

Sir,

I purchased my 1934 Ford “Fordor” Y-model two years ago for £25. The car was then basically sound and completed a trouble-free trip to Yorkshire and back (500 miles) in two days, some two weeks after purchase.

Since that time the car has done 15,000 miles and the only replacements required have been two exhaust valves, track-rod ends and kingpins. Total cost of repairs (I do all my own servicing) has been £10, including secondhand tyres from a scrapyard. Accurate cost records have been kept and show that the cost/mile, excluding depreciation (nil). is 4d.

The car has provided me with economical, trouble-free and interesting motoring and would seem to be capable of doing so for many miles to come.

Carmyle, Scotland. R. A. MacGillivray.

* * *

Those 200-Mile Race Alvises for Children

Sir,

Following your mention in the March issue of model 200 Miles Race Alvis you may be interested to see this copy of the original publicity material. Leslie Wilson is aged 82 and lives in Cheltenham with his son, the small boy in the advertisement, who is now of course over 50.

About 50 of the models were produced and many were sold to titled families, with one even being exported to South America. They were priced at 15 guineas but apparently a more realistic price would have been nearer £25, so the project was not a financial success. Unfortunately I have not heard of any of these little cars surviving the tender attentions of their young-owners but perhaps one still remains tucked away on the estate of one of the said titled families?

The models were scale copies of my 1924 200-Mile Race Alvis right down to the same registration number RW 12. I am still busy rebuilding my car but when the present rear axle problems have been overcome I hope to run it at V.S.C.C. meetings.

Harrow. Eric Benfield.

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