Cars in books


I was interested in the mention of the Rolls-Royce given to Lord Baden Powell in 1929. At this time B. P. was living at Pax Hill, Bentley, nr. Farnham and two local firms were concerned in the supply of this car which I am fairly positive was a 20-h.p. Messrs. Swain & Jones Ltd. were to supply the chassis which was then sent to my firm, Page & Hunt Ltd., to construct a six light owner-driver type saloon.

"Panic stations" ensued when my firm went into liquidation before the body was completed—we were an early casualty of the coming slump.

However this car was completed under the auspices of the Receiver in time for the presentation at the Jamboree at Liverpool.

My firm was re-formed shortly after this as D. Abbott Ltd., with whom I served until retiring in 1962. I, too, shall be very interested to hear if the car has survived.



I cannot refrain from writing to you on your constant descriptions of modern, small, aircooled cars as being "cycle-cars". This is obviously not the case. As one who very much enjoyed driving cycle-cars, in the distant past, I would point out that the very name vvas derived front the fact that they were built from motorcycle components; that is, they had a motorcycle engine, a motorcycle gearbox, change or belt drive and usually motorcycle wheels. On top of which, they were, with few exceptions, extremely light.

The modern small cars, such as the Fiat, Citroen and Daf, are fully engineered and are, on the whole, well outside the 8 cwt. limit, the 2 CV being 10 1/2 cwt., and I doubt if the Daf is any lighter. Also, all three are thoroughly reliable means of transport whereas the cyclecars of old, with the possible exceptions of the Morgan three-wheeler and the AC Sociable, were strictly for fun only. I knew from experience! The two I found the most enjoyable were the AV Monocar and the Tamplin Tandem. They were noisy, unreliable, but great fun.

As far as the modern, small, air-cooled cars are concerned, the only one I have any extensive experience of is the 2 CV Citroen, which is better engineered than most contemporary small car, two or four cylinders, air or water-cooled. If one examines the design carefully, one cannot fail to see that this is so.

Cheltenham R. S. PEACEY

[I call the little air-cooled modem ones cyclecars for a bit of fun in a drab motoring world. I have the greatest respect for 'em—and a Fiat 126 in current usage—Ed.]