V-E-V miscellany, May 1980, May 1980

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The March issue of Action, the magazine of the AC OC, contained an article on the supercharged AC raced by Raymond Mays, including an eye-witness account of seeing it run in the 1925 JCC 200-Mile Race. The STD Register has asked us to say that this year’s Wolverhampton Rally will take place in June, a fixture we omitted mentioning as we had no actual date for it. A reader who attended an Open Day at Epsom Coaches held to celebrate this Company’s Jubilee and its acquisition of a fleet of new Leyland Leopards, says that the concern was founded by the father of the present owner, H. R. Richmond, who was apprenticed to Argylls and started in 1920 with one solid-speed charabanc. He later purchased Albion coaches because he had friends who had served their time them, moving re new premises in 1924. The latest premises still contain pictures of the Company’s coaches, such as a six-wheeler thought to be a Reo, and a Lancia. Epsom Coaches’ Diamond Jubilee time-table contains two such pictures and states that the Company, which is still a private one (like Motor Sport), is the largest independent coach operator in Surrey, with a fleet of 48 coaches, Leylands these days, which travel more than 150,000 miles a year, the fleet being kept up to date by the purchase of eight new coaches a year. A reader who is restoring a 1929 6C 1750 Alfa Romeo with Castagna cabriolet body would like to find another owner of a Castagna body so that he can ascertain how the interior trim, the seats, etc., were arranged by this coachbuilder. Letters can be forward.

It is popularly said that Parry Thomas usually wore a Fairisle pullover but a correspondent queries this, saying that one of Thomas’ apprentices, who was with him almost every day, never saw him in a coloured pullover and therefore Thomas must have been addicted to a Shetland or Arran non-coloured woollen pullover — any comments? Among the extremely interesting and much appreciated material which readers so kindly send us is a clipping from the Goole Times about the chauffeur, Bill Joy, who used to be employed by Sir Denistoun Burney, designer of the rear-engined Burney Streamline car. The article recounts how the late Mr. Joy drove these cars on their trials, and later on ordinary journeys. It was he who delivered the Prince of Wales’ Burney Streamline, His Royal Highness showing great interest in the details of his new car (in which, we seem to recall, he later knocked over a girl-cyclist). After the R101 airship disaster had closed Howden, Sir Denistoun moved from his Carlton Terrace town house to Maidenhead, where the Burneys were made. Mr. Joy moved to a mews flat behind Grosvenor Square and tells of the time when he was allowed to take his visiting sister on a sight-seeing tour of London in his employer’s Burney and how pleased Sir Denistoun was when informed by his chauffeur that they had been caught in a Buckingham Palace Garden Party traffic-jam, among all the Daimlers, Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, and that it was the Burney Streamline that had been followed by all eyes! Another reader has sent a cutting from a local newspaper which recently interviewed Mr. Ernest Siddeley, son of John Siddeley, who until his retirement in 1937, was Technical and Works Manager to the Armstrong Siddeley Company of Parkside. He is now 85 but still enjoys an occasional game of golf, and lives in Bloxham. The Pre-War Austin 7 Club’s Newsletter for March contained an article on the “Dutch Clog” racing Austin Sevens. Chuffs Model Train Peddlers Ltd., makers of toy trains, use a 1937 Austin 7 van for deliveries. The Observer had a picture last February of a vintage Austin Twelve photographed at Heathrow beside Concorde, which won the photographer a £5 prize. Unfortunately the caption says the car is a Clifton saloon, whereas it is clearly an open tourer, so we hope the caption wasn’t taken into consideration in the judging! The Baker Engraving Co. of Exmouth is recommended by the owner of a vintage Bentley for which this firm made an excellent job of restoring the dashboard-plate carrying the dynamo and magneto switches and the mixture control, in spite of some of the wording on the plate being engraved on an arc. A radiator-grille for an eight-cylinder Brough Superior is badly needed to help in the restoration of one of these cars in Hertfordshire, if anyone can supply one. — W.B.