V-E-V Odds & ends, May 1978

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A Birmingham reader is anxious to learn more about the “missing history” of a 1934 Hooper-bodied 20/25 h.p. Rolls-Royce which his father purchased in 1960 from a Funeral Director. It seems that the car, Reg. No. GOB 61, was commissioned originally by the Thames-Side Motor Garage Ltd. and it, or a car with similar bodywork, may have been owned by Mrs. Albertini. Letters can be forwarded. A lady in Australia is still using the 1937 Plymouth saloon, with its original buff paintwork, for which her mother traded-in a 1928 Buick in Brisbane in 1938. The daughter only drove the car from that day on, and is still using it, liking its spaciousness, compared to that of modern small-cars. It had done nearly 88,000, being well-known in Bribie. It needed a new silencer a few months ago and a headlamp bulb some years back, and has had three sets of tyres. The original clutch is still in use and the car gives about 22 m.p.g. Its owner, Miss Gilling, who is apparently a skilful driver, has resisted many offers for it. A Chepstow reader who has been re-reading back issues while nursing a broken ankle, says Motor Sport should be compulsory therapy for motoring invalids! He also sent us a cutting from the South Wales Argus about the Morgan 3-wheelers used by the Newport Borough Constabulary in 1933, supplied by Alex Thom Ltd. the Shuttleworth Trust has launched its “Gull Appeal”, to save the Jean Batten record-breaking 1935 Percival Gull monoplane, G-ADPR. The Singer OC has been honoured by being the only British old-car Club to be invited by the AC de l’Ouest to exhibit a car in the Le Mans Museum on the occasion of the historic-car races which will precede this year’s Le Mans race, on June 10/11th. It will be the actual Singer 9 with which Savoye and Savoye won their class in the 1938 24-hour race. Two Singers will also be entered for the 11th Retrospective race on this week-end my mention of Bill Bragg as a purveyor of used Riley 9s in Brixton before the war has prompted a Bournemouth reader to say that Bragg had a small garage in Robsart Street, Brixton, where his father kept his 1921 GN Vitesse, and where Bragg’s mechanic Dick lived next door. Our correspondent’s father kept his 1921 GN Vitesse there, circa 1924/25, and Bragg then had a 16H Norton and a sports-car whose make is forgotten. Another reader has sent us a cutting from Warwickshire and Worcestershire Life which in March published an article about the Brooklands’ racing of E. L. Bouts, by Michael Hardcastle. Unfortunately, this writer refers to Segrave as Harry instead of Henry Segrave. He also says Bouts is the last man alive to have driven a Leyland-Thomas, which disregards Dudley Froy and W. B. Scott. There is a heading illustration to the article purporting to show this Leyland-Thomas passing Cobb’s Napier-Railton on the Brooklands’ banking, whereas this was the occasion, surely, when Cobb was badly baulked by the high-running of Bouts’ car? Hardcastle reminds us that Bouts first raced at Brooklands 50 years ago last Easter Monday, with the 5-litre Indianapolis Sunbeam which he had bought form Kaye Don, who used to sell Bouts solid tyres for his lorry fleet (which adds up, because Don was with the Avon Rubber Co.). Hardcastle says Bouts gained a second place on this first appearance – actually he took two second places with the Sunbeam that day, but his best lap-speed was 113.97 m.p.h., not 117 m.p.h. as stated. The magazine also has a picture of Bouts lapping fast in his 2-litre GP Sunbeam; the mechanic is named as “Jack Warne”, a misprint perhaps for the celebrated Jack Warner? To correct some further Brooklands’ history, in the interview Motor Sport published last month about R. T. Horton, it should have been made clear that his wonderful 115.55 m.p.h. lap in his stripped K/MG was achieved not in the 1933 British Empire Trophy Race itself, but in the India Trophy Race that preceded it. it is important, because in the past two eminent MG authorities have been confused over Horton’s accomplishments, McComb attributing his 115.29 m.p.h. lap in the single-seater MG Midget to the 1932 500 Mile Race, whereas this was established at the 1932 BARC Autumn Meeting, and Thornley the 115.55 m.p.h. lap by the two-seater K3 to this car in its later, single-seater form. – W.B. 

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