In the February issue I queried whether the small vintage Amilcar sportscars would be a match for post-vintage ones. The answer seems to be that they would. In The Salmson Story (David & Charles, 1974), Chris Draper refers to the Grand Sport Salmson as having a speed guarantee of 70mph and to Richard Twelvetrees testing a Salmson GSS for Motor Sport in 1925 and getting 65mph in third gear and 84.12mph for a half-mile. Motor Sport also tested several side-valve Amilcars but did not quote top speed, but a Senechal managed 67mph. Compare that with the 1,225 1935 Singer Nine Le Mans Special Speed model, which did 75.63mph at Brooldands and 56 in third, and the £258 Fiat Balilla sportscar of that year which clocked 73.77mph and would reach 60 in third gear.
Nor were vintage baby cars all that slow: the £175 1929 MG Midget was capable of 64mph and the £190 Singer Junior (‘Porlock’) sports model could reach 56mph. The £250 s/c sports Triumph Super Seven, even if few bought them, did a timed 67.77mph.