At the conclusion of my appreciation last month of the 75th anniversary of Castrol lubricating-oil I remarked that cynics might say that the record-breakers and racing men were less concerned with which make of oil they used as with how much bonus-money they could earn. I countered that by remarking that this could hardly apply to those who used one make of fuel but another make of oil. To which super-cynics replied that maybe, that way, it was possible to double the bonus-money! However, there was less of this bonus business about in the early days of flying and motor racing, so it is worth mentioning that whereas the Vickers Vimy biplane which made the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in 1919 consumed Shell petrol, its Rolls-Royce engines were lubricated with Castrol oil.
This fact was brought to my notice by a Shell advertisement I happened to spot when re-reading a special 1953 issue of The Aeroplane commemorating 50 years of powered flight. This advertisement illustrated the famous trans-Atlantic Vimy, under a heading reading : “SHELL salutes the aircraft industry and mentions with pride that from the first flight across the English Channel to the latest jet records, SHELL fuels and lubricating oils have ALWAYS risen to the occasion”. Whether that would be regarded as a transgression under the present-day Trades Description Act, as implying that Sir John Alcock and Sir Arthur Whitten-Brown used both Shell oil and petrol, I do not know. I hoped to find in the same issue Castrol’s counter-claim, but for some reason they had not taken space that week.—W.B.
Dudley Thomson, of Redbeech Cottage, Church Lane, Friesthorpe, Lincoln LN3 5AL, intends to form a Register for Peerless and Warwick cars. He would like any past or present owners who are interested to write to him with details of their cars and any information they have which may be of interest to other owners.