The fate of the LSR car Babs (above) has been resolved. This Parry Thomas creation is now on view permanently in the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum in Cardiff. The good news includes a clause permitting Babs’s owner Owen Wyn Owen to take the aero-engined monster out twice a year, for demonstrations at suitable venues.
Have you ever wondered, when watching BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow, how it is that the most covetable antiques, which come in for such warm praise from the experts, were valued at so much less, in most cases, than you would have to pay for a mediocre vintage car? Most of these antiques are quoted as worth less than half the present-day value of, say, an Austin 7 Chummy, and the prized items, often very ancient antiques, at under half the price now demanded for cars such as 12/50 Alvis and Frazer Nash sports cars, etc. Why is this? It seems odd, especially when the top pieces in the show are frequently one-offs, whereas there are lots of A7s and similar vintage cars on the market. Is it that the motor trade is very clever? Or are non-mobile antiques losing their appeal?
Exciting old cars continue to appear. You hear of restorations involving a twin-cam Targa Florio Ballot and a 1907 Targa Florio Fiat, and rumours of anything from ‘new’ cyclecars, including a Bedelia, to aeroengined giants.
The Preston & DMC, which is seeking its origins, has its 30th anniversary Preston-Morecambe run on May 16. Club secretary is Roger Brown, Ramsgreave Cottage, 5 Isle of Man, Ramsgreave, Blackburn BB1 9BW.
The small but active Trojan OC has its Thames Valley Rally on May 9— its newsletter editor is rostering a 1931 rear-enginai RE Trojan tourer, dormant for 20 years. Another of the smaller clubs, the Squire SCOC, is holding a reunion of these rare sports cars at Stonor Park on May 23.
If you like them bigger and heavier, don’t rniss this year’s HCVC commercial vehicle Brighton Run, on May 2.
Last month we reported on the demise of the Morris factories at Cowley, another motoring landmark lost, but we published an article on Morris House at Acton, which survives. We now hear that the big factory at Ham, Richmond, in Surrey, where Sopwith aeroplanes were made during WW1 and which was used by British Aerospace right up to the days of the Hawker Harriers, and where in the 1920s the Leyland-backed Trojan cars and vans were produced. is by now likely to have been demolished.
To inspire the flagging British Motor Industry the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu proposes to have a cavalcade there of pre-1970s British-made cars, not only well-known makes but hopefully rarities such as Calcott, Clynos and Cluleys etc. There will be other attractions to set off what is to be part of the ETB’s Industrial Heritage Year. The date is June 20. Contact Anne Reynolds, NMM Trust, Beaulieu, Hampshire S042 7ZN (590-612345).
The March issue of the Riley Register’s Bulletin contains data on the almost-extinct Riley motorcycles. W B