V-E-V Odds and Ends

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A reader, John Classey of Totteridge, writes in praise of the BBC-2 programme about the 1921 French Trans-Asian Expedition, using Citroen Kegresse vehicles, and expresses the hope that other such motorised expeditions out of the past may be used as a subject for similar documentaries. The Standard MC’s magazine contains much material relating to pre-war Standard cars, such as a road-test report reproduced from a contemporary magazine about the 16/20 h.p. Standard saloon, a “car of thrilling power and speed” — it did 70 m.p.h. and 0-50 m.p.h. in 17 seconds — and some afterthoughts on the 1937 Earls Court Show. Similarly, the magazine of the Pre-1950 American AC, whose “Rally of the Giants” is due to happen at Quainton Railway Centre on July 19th, has a reproduction of a road-test report from The Motor, about a 1939 Hudson straight-eight sports saloon, which did 91 m.p.h. on Brooklands, and 0-50 m.p.h. in 10.8 seconds.

When we saw Michael Wortley’s Morris-Oxford Special at the Brooklands Society Reunion last year we thought it ought have been Norman Routledge’s old car. The latest issue of the Bullnose Morris Club magazine tells us otherwise. It is, in fact, an interesting hybrid, using an engine and gearbox made up mostly from parts taken from a Wallis & Stevens petrol road-roller, which had formerly served in a 1928 two-door Morris-Cowley saloon. This power-unit was put into a 1927 Oxford chassis, after this had been restored from a very rusty state and had been shortened by 11″. Steering-gear from a 1932 Morris one-ton truck was adapted, the torque-tube is from a 1929 Morris Six, suitably shortened, and the brakes are a mixture of 1927, 1928 and 1929 Morris-Oxford parts. The rear-axle casing is from a 1927 Hoyal-bodied Morris-Oxford, owned ten years earlier by the Special’s builder, with a 4 to 1 axle ratio, using a crown-wheel-and-pinion from a scrapyard. The bullnose radiator had served as part of a coach-building course at Loughborough Technical College and the wheels are from a 1932 Morris Isis, with two 18″ artillery wheels as spares. The sports two-seater body was home-built and the whole job took three years. The result is known as the Yeltrow Special, for fairly obvious reasons. And, remember, they used to build hybrids in this way, before the war. – W.B.