Firestone Vintage and Classic tyres and tubes are now available from Lambrook Tyres of Colyton, Devon, following an agreement with Eurotyres to take over their interest in vintage tyres from the beginning of 1981.
Lambrook Tyres carry considerable stocks of a wide range of tyres and tubes of vintage car and motorcycle sizes, including the range from Firestone, now manufactured in New Zealand. These tyres are made either in the original moulds, which escaped the scrapyard, or in moulds recently re-made to the specifications of the original Firestone drawings. As such, these are, they claim, some of the most authentic vintage tyres available. Many of the Firestone sizes are also available in white-sidewall, again to the original specifications. The sizes available, in both black, and white-sidewall, include 670-15, 700-15, 600-16, 650-16, 700-16, as well as 525/550-17, 475/500-19, 475/500-20, 450/475-21 and 525-21. Beaded-edge tyres in 30 x 3 1/2 and 30 x 3 are available, in either all-black or all-white rubber. Other sizes are also available.
Lambrook Tyres also market other brands, including Avon, Lucas, Custom Classic, Garfield, Denman, General and Olympic, which, combined with firestone, total an almost complete range of sizes, at very competitive prices. – W.B.
A reader who has been following us since 1930 writes to ask if anyone remembers the aged aeroplane that was displayed on the roof of the Westgate Motor House in Gloucester in 1931, for publicity purposes? It looks to be a rotary-engined Avro 504 and at the time the garage was agent for Standard, Singer, Humber, Morris, Dodge Brothers and Daimler cars. The Baldslow Fete and Vintage Car Rally will be held on September 6th, at Hole Farm, Westfield, E. Sussex, all vintage and classic cars being welcome, to which plaques will be presented. Entry forms from the Rally Secretary, 780, The Ridge, Baldslow, St. Leonards-on-Sea, E. Sussex. A reader has picked up our comment in Rider Haggard’s book about cars being called motors or motor cars, rather than cars, in the early days, saying that even now, in Norfolk, the older folk use the expression motors, pronounced “mo-or”. He is anxious to know what became of the 1931 Morgan-JAP Family-model he sold in 1952 for £45, to someone who was taking it to Yorkshire. No chassis number was ever found but the Reg. No. was FW-2489. Letters can be forwarded, as they can to a New Zealand correspondent who has a 1907 18 h.p. Wolseley-Siddeley which he has heard may be the one entered by, he thinks, Booth Bros. in the 1907 Irish Reliability Trial, and who seeks confirmation of this.
It is sad to learn that a reader aged 87, who obtained his first driving licence and RAC Certificate in 1913 and drove an LM cyclecar in that year’s MCC London-Exeter Trial, winning a silver medal, lost his licence recently for an error he committed at midnight at a double roundabout, he says, while he was looking for the A45, no accident resulting. As he knows of an 88-year-old driver who was merely fined £5 after hitting a ‘bus, the letter writer is naturally incensed. It would cheer him up if anyone remembers the LM or Little Midland, cyclecar. From another reader I have received a copy of the magazine “Bolts From the Blues”, issued in Gorizia in June 1917, being the journal of the First British Ambulance Unit of the Red Cross on the Italian Front, of which the correspondent’s brother was in charge of the workshops; he died not long ago, aged 92. The entire text of the book is in lighthearted verse, some of which recalls Buicks with difficult gear changes and noisy second gears, and Rupert Thompson who drove large and fast Fiats until he went on to drive an enormous Itala. The cartoon sketches clearly depict T-Fords and Renaults—a fine period piece!
We hear that the Sunday Times has been taken to task for the ridiculous statement it made on March 1st last, that John Dodd was the first man ever to put a Rolls-Royce aero-engine into a car. The person who corrected the newspaper quotes Ted Lloyd-Jones’ Triangle Flying Saucer with R-R Kestrel engine, there has been more than one R-R Merlin-powered car, and Col. Henderson had another Rolls-Royce-engined road car in the early 1920s.
When I said that we need not appeal to Motor Sport readers for an answer to the letter from Mr. John Willis asking for the location of the road used for the 1920 Liverpool MC speed trials, as we knew the answer, I had reckoned without the interest this would cause. Although we quoted the venue, many correspondents have now written to provide fuller details, one of them after consulting local newspaper files and with the considerable help of no less a person than the former Mayor of Bebington, who was asked to help and who must have gone to some trouble to do so. It transpires that the course was over one or two roads on Lord Leverhulme’s Thornton Hall estate, some two miles from his “Port Sunlight” factory, both then private, but one now the present Lever Causeway. The old speed-trial course was apparently on the tree-lined road that is now at the end of this present Lever Causeway, beyond a gate marked “private”. The course was 1,023 1/2 yards long and they used a 250-yard flying-start into the timed kilometre. The road was of prepared tarmac, finishing up a slight incline of macadam road, with 600 yards in which to stop. There were many motorcycle competitors, including George Dance (Sunbeam), Kirkham’s yellow Douglas, and Pugh’s Levis two-stroke, but not many cars, apart from Cozens’ Sunbeam, Watson’s Vauxhall, and Horrocks’ Morgan three-wheeler. Two nasty accidents happened, M. Ralli being thrown off his 7/9 h.p. solo Rudge at some 40-50 m.p.h. after leaving the smooth part of the course, and being taken to hospital. We thank all those who have told us about this 1920 sprint, the first local Post-war event and the third in the district, the otliers having been held at Colwyn Bay. Mr. G.F. Smith, who is restoring a 500 c.c. Rudge Special, offers to supply a copy of the newspaper report of the event to anyone who sends him a s.a.e. — addressed to “Aysgarth”, 23 Mount Road, Higher Bebington, Wirral, L63 5QA. Not only that, but he has discovered that a Mr. Ollerhead, who rode a belt-drive Triumph in the event, still lives in the Wirral. . . .
Still on this topic, the two roads on Lord Leverhulme’s estate were both offered to the local council, but only one was accepted; it is the present non-public road that was used for the speed-trials. It is now overgrown but the tarmac is still visible. The roads were originally for exercising Lord Leverhulme’s horses and have wide grass verges.
Among the many letters about this was one from a reader of Motor Sport since 1931, who only missed copies when he was in the Royal Navy during the war; he paid a visit to our offices in 1935 when on his way to his only visit to Brooklands, from Merseyside, when Cobb’s Napier-Railton won. In those days he was able to buy more than 40 copies of the magazine, from 1924-28, for 10/- (50p) carriage paid! The same day as I read these letters I drove out of London to see if another speed-trial course used some 12 years after the Liverpool one still existed, and was pleased to discover that start, finish and other features could be recognised. However, one hesitates to give locations of such private-road courses, respecting the privacy of the present incumbents of the estates. As the owner of this one remarked, even in the mid-1930s only the Doctor and the Vicar, with their pony-traps, were likely to be encountered, whereas now there are 12,000 people in the village! For this reason we would ask anyone intrigued by the above comments not to even walk along the old Liverpool course without prior permission from the present Viscount Leverhulme’s agent. – W.B.