Cars in books, May 1976

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

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Astonishing, the places where cars crop up! “Arthur Rackham—His Life And Work” by Derek Hudson (Heinemann, 1960, republished 1974) is about the talented artist. But I espied a reference of interest to motoring historians, when he had invited Bernard Shaw to visit him at his house in Hampstead and received a typical Shavian postcard explaining that G.B.S. had had an accident which had disabled his motor car and would have to leave the artist’s by train on the Saturday night unless repairs could be effected in time, when it would be possible to return on the Sunday morning to Ayot St. Lawrence. The date was March 1911; this is a nice instance of the good use to which motors were by then being put (even by the Socialist Shaw!) and those who have an intimate knowledge of the great man will know what car he was then running.

Radcham himself had a strong dislike of anything mechanical and refuse d to own a car until his wife, a semi-invalid, had discovered a passion “for being driven round the countryside for 30 miles a day at 30 m.p.h. in the back seat of an open car”. This was probably bought in 1920, for use around his house, Houghton House, near Arundel, but its make isn’t quoted.

Almost at the commencement of this long-lived feature I was pleased to quote Thomas Firbank about his spirited use of a 3-litre Bentley, as recounted in his book “I Bought A Mountain”. There is further reference to this open car, as I am sure the Bentley DC must know, in his sequel “I Bought a Star” (Harrap, 1951), about his service in the Brigade of Guards. The car had been kept at Saint-Justin, in the South of France, as an expensive luxury. In it the author and a girl, whose parents lived in England, made a dramatic run home when war was declared in 1939. There is a graphic description of the hasty journey to Newhaven, and thence to London, which I hope Bentley fanatics haven’t missed, … “I spared her not at all. We travelled as if in a race, using the gears, skidding the corners, wafting the dusty miles behind us as a sirocco sweeps across a desert. Once we travelled 70 miles in 60 minutes, but the fat rumble of the old lady’s exhaust never faltered…. After the war is over the old car crops up again, It was rebuilt at Ringway and used on Army duties for a time; from hints in the book it sounds to have been a green Vanden Plas. In another book by the same author, “A Country Of Memorable Honour” (Harrap, 1953) there are no significant references to cars but I was interested to come upon a mention of an ancient gas-engine with a 16 in. horizontal-bore single cylinder, installed at Moel Fferna slate quarry, which has been kept as a standby to a Ruston 120-h.p. three-cylinder diesel engine, for driving a Lancashire

Dynamo and Crypto Co. generator. As the Ruston had been serving for 20 years it was presumably installed somewhere about 1930, so the other engine could date from the 1920’s, or even from before the 1914/18 war. I wonder if it is still there ? I feel compelled to refer to this in view of the present interest in stationary engines….

In the April issue of Blackwood’s Magazine Leslie Gardner when writing of the city of Liege has a memory, a bit garbled perhaps, but pleasing for all that, of visiting Spa with a motor club before the war to see the Belgian Grand Prix; another article is published in celebration of a centenary of writing by the late Ian Hay, being one that Blackwood’s published in 1910. It is a light-hearted account of owning two motor cars. The makes are disguised but I think the first may have been a 1907 two-Cylinder De Dion Bouton, purchased secondhand, and the other possibly a fine Mors, used for a Scottish tour, although I have not really convinced myself that this quiet-turning well-behaved 4-cylinder car with its ornate nickel-plated radiator having curved sides and a domed top was of this make. It is interesting that Hay mentions Brooklands in a jest about the speed capabilities of his first car, and probably lived at Surbiton, unless this is fiction. This leads me to think that he probably knew the Motor Course, which, as I have observed previously, he mentioned in one of his plays. Can any reader confirm these motoring associations of the great author, Major-General John HayBeith, CBE, MC, 1876-1952 ?–W.B.

The Things They Say . . .

“Climbing-ropes hang on a hook in his cottage where other people keep their coats. But he loves cities, their sophistication, their speed, too. ‘Fantastic, fantastic’, he says, as we drive up the Langdale Valley. He’s not talking about the green hills, clear streams and pure air, but about the new BMW in front of us. ‘Great car, that, great car’.”—An article about Anthony Greenbank, writer, climber, and survival expert, in Radio Times.

Related articles

Related products