The photograph which accompanied a letter from Jim James shows a Horch of the 1935/313 era, and, I suspect, from the look of the radiator and wheel centres, the V8 model, a much inferior car in nearly every way to the Straight-8 which, if my memory serves, superseded it in 1939. Both types were used by the higher ranks in the Services and civil administration, as representing the “better” class of German car for prestige purposes.
In the closing weeks of the War, with most of Our personal transport on its last legs due to the long unrelenting flog into Germany after the Rhine crossing in March, we were only too glad of an excuse to “acquire” any German cars, even of non-military design, that we thought “might be better than ours” (for a very short period I actually tried to use a 38/250 Mercedes as a Column Leader!) and at times, it seemed we were moving towards final victory, almost entirely “mounted” on captured vehicles, until, in due course, shortly after the fighting ended, the spoilsports at 2nd Army FIQ stopped it. I personally acquired a 1939 Straight-8 Horch between Wesel and Celle (ostensibly as a “back-up” for my Humber) that had been the personal transport of Gauleiter in the area, and I got so fond of it that I tried to get it back to the UK when I was demobbed. I even offered to pay a ‘fair” price for it, as a modest contribution to the reparation bill, but found the civilian Control Commission oddly unsympathetic, so with a mental gesture that does not seem to have lost its significance with the passage of time, I removed one hub-cap, stowed this away with my permitted “loot”, and it has graced a wall in my house ever since.
Brixton T. QUAYLE
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