Miscellany, May 1998

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An additional attraction at this year’s VSCC Shelsley Walsh hill climb on July 4 will be the gathering there of cars of the Salmson/Amilcar Register on its 30th International Rally, which will also take in driving tests at a well-known venue on the Sunday.

* * *

It seems that another ex-Brooklands car may have returned to this country. Riley enthusiast Mick Jones of Newcastle has just imported the Barnard Special which is presumably the car driven in the 1958 VSCC ltala Trophy race at Silverstone by Barnard, as an ex-Freddie Dixon Riley Special. It now has a supercharger, which Dixon didn’t use. But it may equally turn out to be his second racing Riley Nine.

* * *

Events this year at Britain’s oldest hill-climb site, Shelsley Walsh, include Championship dates May 16/17, June 6/7, July 11 and August 15/16, and the VSCC fixture on July 4. Details from the Midland AC on 01886 853 411.

* * *

One has to admire the fun the very small one-make clubs manage to achieve, which is a reminder that the active Trojan OC has its Devon weekend on June 6/7.

* * *

I was delighted to learn that the Prince Henry Trophy, for a major contribution to the world of the historic vehicle, has gone to Tom Wheatcroft. No-one deserves this recognition more. His love of racing cars goes very deep, as some of the stories Jenks used to tell me endorsed. He collected racing machinery from far and wide, housing them in all manner of places until he built his wonderful single-seater Museum at his revived Donington Park circuit, round which he is known to enjoy driving historic cars from his collection, and usually rather faster than those who are chosen to sample them appreciate! A wonderful character and a ‘true believer’ in all that we hold dear. How well deserved this award is.

* * *

Dr Bob Dyke who has four White steamers (a 1902 Model B, a 1907 H4, a 1908 Model L with its original Cann Roi-des-Belges body, below, and a 1910 Model 00 in restoration), and whose father has a 1910 Model F also with a Cann Roi-des-Belges body, is anxious to know what became of the 1905/07 White racing car with underslung chassis, known as ‘Whistling Billy’. It was raced on American trotting tracks and demonstrated there until Webb Jay crashed it,

* * *

Mike Smailes of the Jowett CC would like to know what became of Horace Grimley who was associated with competition Jowett cars from the flat-twin days onwards and who shared the works Javelin with Peter Mallam in the 1953 RAC Rally.

* * *

The Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon held a ceremony to mark the presentation to it of the last Austin Mini Metro (or Rover 100) to be produced. Since 1980 over 2,000,000 were made, including Vanden Plas, MG and MG Turbo versions from 1982.

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