Club news, November 1941



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WE HEAR . . .

Bowen-Buscarlet, who used. to drive. a Riley Nine at Brooklands is a Group Captain, R.A.F. Wing emdr. Seroggs now runs an S,S., and has been Seen piloting a Bell ” Airoeobra,” but has his Trojan in store; Mine is also interested in the Bell. Capt. J. J. Hall has dug out veteran and vintage motor-cycles with a vengeance, and his finds have included A.B.C., Scott, 1912 2-hp. Calcott, 1913 Clyne, Royal Enfield, 1914 WOoler 2-stroke, the ex-Harwood Zenith, aral 1919 Rudge Multi. K. N. Hutchison wishes to acquire one of the 14-litre, crabtrack late-model trials Singers, if anyone can oblige. His address is Vale House, Lower Bourne, Frensham Vale, Farnham, Surrey. It is rumoured that Arthur Dobson is no longer in the R.A.F. John Cobb is, and was well featured in that altogether admirable film ” T rget for To-night.” Xpine, Flanders, La Zebre and Brown Brothers cars are said to repose in a breaker’s yard somewhere in Sussex. If R. G. J. Nash sees this will he please let us have his present address ? John Bolster, whose fleet includes two Delages, two Fiats, an Isotta-Fraschini, the 1903 Panhard, two Austin Sevens and his ” Specials,” was injured recently by a runaway horse, but is fully recovered and is concerning himself with military matters. W. 0. Manning, who knew Brooklands in pre-I914 days and designed many early aeroplanes, including the successful 400-c.c. ” Wren,” is with the Ministry of Aircraft’ Production. II. L. Benbough not only has one of the finest collections of veteran cars in the country and a very comprehensive library of’ early motoring books, but he also has two of Cecil Aldin’s classic motoring paintings. One is ” Gone Away,” showing a girl driver of an early car sweeping out of an betel yard and, inset as a strip below, going well in open country. The other is ” A Check,” showing her male companion getting out and under ” while she is smiling charmingly at a huntsman who is leading his horse—and the inset strip this time shows the unhappy automobilist being towed away by a horse while the huntsman has his aim well and truly round the girl ! Apparently Aldin painted many hunting scenes, but these motoring pictures were by far his best ; do any others exist ? Mr. Benbough keeps his 1896 I3ollee, 1897 de Dion Quad, 1899 de Dion Vis-a-Vis and 1903 Speedwell at his house in Reading, and hopes to hold an exhibition of veterans in that town around Christmas for a charity eollection. The venue is at present proving Peter Clark badly needs a Fiat 500 rear axle. Kay, the racing metor-eyelist, is in the Army. His ” Ulster” Frazer-Nash is laid up and he uses a 1928 racing Norton. At a certain breaker’s yard in Berkshire we noted an ILE. Six 2-seater ; an Aster saloon ; a V-radiator Austro-Daimier saloon full of tyres ; a Straight-Eight VVolseley ; several Fiats, including ” 10/15 ” and Eight ; early Rolls-Royce, Austin and Daintier ; a flat-twin A.B.C. engine ; three-wheeler -so overgrown that it could not be identified ; ” 10/30 “CO s.v. Alvis tourer in fair order ; “12/50 ” Alvis, a recent-model Star saloon ; a Merryweather solid-tyred fire-engine chassis ;

” 14/40 ” touring Sunbeam ; a whitewheeled s.v. Ceirano saloon ; an 11.9 1.agonda engine with lateral valve rockers; au early Hudson, and many others. Nor was that all, for model steam engines, a 1907(?) chain-drive two-cylinder Riley, two steam-rollers, a chaise, another fire engine and the ren-xains of an aere-engine were mixed up amongst them. The 7-h.p. 1911 two-cylinder de Dion which escaped bomb damage by a hair’s-breadth in London is now at Anerley with J. G. 1V:titers’s two 19(X) de Dions, for one of which he recently refused 100 gns. The 1911 car is for sale at around £25 and is 100 per cent. A ” 12/50 ” Alvis with three up in the front seat. was encountered ping fast, and with rousing exhaust note, near Twyford recently, and a pointed-tail Standard Nine was seen at the same spot. The Editor has acquired a four-cylinder Delagc ” Voiturette Legere,” which he hopes to use regularly in the near future. He wishes to thank the person who, at the ” Rembrandt,” through Cecil Chinon, presented hint with a little plaque bearing the magic inscription : ” Meteorite Light Car ; Mfrs., Meteorite Cars, Ltd., 142, Uxbridge Road, London, W.12,” If only the car itself could be found. . . A.T.A. Pilot Rodney Clark was exercising his Type 43 Bugatti last month. Many people require small sports cars in the ” 12/50 ” Alvis or Frazer-Nash category. There is a 44-litre Bentley saloon for sale in Worthing at £15 and a 1929 12-h.p. s.v. sports Riley in the Midlands at £35, Johnnie Green reports a good run to Bournemouth in the exWilton 3-litre Bentley, getting 21 m.p.g. He and Dalton recently took the latter’s Le Mans 44-litre Bentley to Norfolk for safe storage, doing 100 miles in about two hours, at approximately 12 m.p.g., although they didn’t exceed 80 m.p.h. They encountered a Guards officer in a 2-seater 44-litre Bentley on the Barnet Bypass and a green 44-litre Lagonda. Green estimates that only alp od eight racing 44-litre Bentleys are in existence, counting T.T., Le Mans and DoubleTwelve ” cars. The. Norris Brothers have bought a single-cam ” 2.3 “

Race Bugatti from Lemon Burton, with 4-elliptic rear suspension installed by Thomson & Taylor, and remote feed to the grease nipples. A request has been received for ” ” M.G. spares or information as to what happened to the car of this type which R. D. Poore crashed at Crystal Palace ; information to G. V. Coles, 11, Lynchrhore Avenue, N. Lancing, Sussex, please. David and Joe Fry are both in the R.A.F., and Cowell and Matlock have transferred from the Army to the R.A.F., in which A. F. Scroggs is now a Group Captain. The ex-Billy Cotton B.M.W. is owned by Dunn, a London enthusiast. Fane is said to be getting 110 m.p.h. on ” Pool ” out of his 328-. The rotary-valve Inman (Talbot ” 10/23 “) ” Special ” is soon due for trials, and someone else is busy applying a £10 gas-producer to ” 14/45″ Talbot, with the assistance of the B.V.D. Company. Mrs. Whincop has exchanged her Fiat 500 for a 1934 Austin Seven and a 1)-type M.G. Midget, and also has an” Air-line ” Renault. G. H. G. Burton is hoping to get into the R.A.F. as a pilot. His friend’s Aston-Martin is still laid-up, but he has a supercharged Riley Nine which started life as a ” Gamecock ” and which does some 95 or more m.p.h. We hope soon to write it up. The Ruby engine from the friend’s Aston went to a short-chassis Lancia ” Lambda ” owner in Cambridge and said friend (A. G. S. Anderson, you remember) used • a very temperamental Welseley Hornet ” Special,” colour blue (called the ” B.B.B.,” translate as you will), before going to Malta. A Speed Six Bentley tender is used 1.):%. the N.F.S. in Essex, and the R.A.F. was seen motoring well at Twyfbrd in a grey ” 30/08″ Vauxhall a week after the” 12/50 “was seen motoring rapidly on the same road. A very early Fiat motor omnibus graces a Farnborough garage. An Isotta-Fraschini sports saloon, in very good condition and with Sound tyres, is reported for sale, at £20 to £30, in Maidenhead. But taxed at £56 5s. . . . Dick Caesar now tours the country on work of national importance. He used to have a 64-litre Bentley with a body weighing 38 lb. The ” Freikaiserwagen ” which he and the Frys drove had nearly £600 spent on it — V-twin ” Specials ” are an inexpensive introdaetion to the Sport ! Robin Jackson, Tyrell Smith and Caesar are all with the Bristol Aeroplane Co., Ltd. An aircraftsman at a station in Hampshire uses a two-speed Scott motor-cycle, which keeps company with a 500-cc. H.R.D. Eric Sidney slipped up in the engine dimensions of cars which held the Hour Record, incorporated in his table published last month, and is duly corrected by Laurence Pomeroy—the 1912 Sunbeam was driven by Resta, Coatalen being the entrant, and it was of 6,301 c.c. ; the 1913 Talbot was 4,531 c.c., the Peugeot, the 1912 G.P. car, of 7,603 c.c., and the twelve-cylinder Sunbeam was of 9,048 c.c. Then the Leyland-Thomas had a capacity of 7,266 c.c. in 1924 and it was a four-cylinder Panhard of 4,083 c.c. which took the record in 1926, the later Panhard being the eight-cylinder car of 7,965 c.c. The 1937 Mormon Meteor was

apparently of 26,238 c.c., the NapierRailton of 23,942 c.c. and “Speed of the Wind ” of 21,236 c.c., while the Thames car of 1907 was of 13,513 c.c. The AutoUnion’s capacity is seemingly only approximate, the bore and stroke never being declared. Douglas Tubbs recently bought a second D.K.W. (” Joachim “), but has decided to keep ” Rudolf ” in commission, so the other is up for sale. Second Lieut. Gregg recently purchased a 1930 “Silver Eagle” Alvis 2-seater from an

advertiser in this paper. Seen near Andover and in Basingstoke respectively— a sports ” 12/50 ” Alvis 4-seater and an ” Ulster ” Austin Seven driven by the R.A.F. Lieut. Bainbridge, R.N., has been using the short chassis, ex-Marcus Chambers, ex-Allison 41-litre Bentley 2-seater during a spell of leave ; it runs nicely on ” Pool ” on a 9t-to-1 compression ratio, with the mags. notched back to some extent. A red-label 3-litre Bentley 4-seater that was for sale in Aldershot at £98 had one S.U. carburetter in action all the time and the other arranged to come in on operation of the air lever, as a war-economy measure.


The ” Rembrandt ” party of the Bugatti Owners, E.R.A. and Vintage S.C.C. was 100 per cent. successful, as indicated by our report last month. It is said that another is brewing for the spring and we look forward to it very much indeed—although, of course, by then this country may “have regained her former place amongst the leading nations of the world” (vide a recent news-reel) and restricted socials be replaced by active competition. Someone by the initials ” D.J.C.” was kind enough to attempt to send us a report of the ” Rembrandt ” party on the very evening of that event, when, we gather, the normally able secretary of the Vintage S.C.C. was not in the mood. His deputy produced an account, of which the major portion must be withheld to safeguard him (or her ?), and ourselves, from instant libel action! A few extracts follow :—

” Rembrandt” October 5th, 1941.

An excellent attendance, believed to be in the region of 220, inclusive of gatecrashers and those who admitted to being ticketless. The gathering was even more representative of the sporting world than that at Chessington Zoo. The meeting began in the morning, as an entirely Informal gathering of enthusiasts, some with E.R.A. or M.G. Club badges in their lapels and other badgeless ones of strange appearance, calling themselves “750 Club Members’ (whence the strange name ? They did not number 750 and appeared ill able to pay subscriptions to 760 different. clubs). Anon the assembled company adjourned to an inner chamber, wherein to partake of both food and drink in quantities not to be despised hi these lean years ; and so it came to pass that, replete and mellowed with good wine, there arose before the gathering a monocled one by name Pomeroy. Now, when the sounds of merrymaking and the cries of ” H.y’s„ Hermann” had faded away, it came to pass that the oracle whose Temple (Press) is in the lane nigh unto the Bowling Green did speak great words of wisdom (every Tuesday, 6d., order from your newsagent to-day). Thus spoke Pomeroy, son of Pomeroy, in this year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fortyone come Michaelmas “To blow or not to blow, that is the question ; whether ’tis better to suffer the gongs and summonses of outraged coppers, or to crawl along—” At, this point a vital piece of glazing fell from the left eye of the great man, but with magnificent sang froid such as one expects from officers and/or gentlemen, he screwed it yet more firmly in his right eye and the peroration continued ” Ladies and Gentlemen” (cries of

“where?” from neighbours of 750 Club members), “we have with us to-night many learned men, Visors, Grand Viziers . . .” Much more spake the Porn, but anon the flow of words did abate, and the vast figure drooped and fell to its accustomed place beneath the ravaged table.

Then up rose Forrest, son of Lycett, wearing sackcloth and ashes (11 coupons) and with straws in his coiffure, saying, “Woe is me. Alack, slack, I am undone. For bath not a buzz-box overtaken the 41-litre, and bath not. the synchromesh box triumphed over the Type-I) masterpiece of the House of Bentley. Let me now convert my 8-litre to an automobile of three cylinders that runs upon producer gas, for the glory that was Lycett has passed. Ichabod.” Many more voices were heard at that festive board, and yet more spoke but were not heard ; but around the hour of three those of the company who remained mobile did go into a dark place,

where one Monkhouse did work great wonders. And as silver and white cars dashed across the screen he was heard to say how they were slow and unreliable, and how ill fitted their chauffeurs were even to conduct an omnibus. “The little automobiles of England,” quoth he, “both E.R.A. and Alta, are of far finer mettle than any Teuton trash, and any varlet who says aught to the contrary should be hanged by the neck till he be dead.”

Much more happened in the House of Rembrandt, even to the serving of a noxious beverage, bedight “tea,” but time marches on (advert.) and the call of the Press is insistent. So, till that, day when Cecil of the Cluttons feels more tit to wield the pen than I now do to punch these dancing keys, let this Information satisfy the great British public. Vivo le Sport!

You must not believe a word of it. But, my, oh my, what a party!

J.C.C. Recently the Junior Car Club held yet another luncheon for members of its Council, a very excellent way of keeping track of these persons at a difficult period of the Club’s history. Capt. A. FrazerNash, in particular, came a very long distance that morning to attend. The July–September ” Gazette ” is out, and from it we extract, with acknowledgments, the following news of well-known personalities :—D. E. R. Greig is Platoon Commander, Home Guard, and is assembling his Frazer-Nash and 2.3 Alfa-Romeo ; A. Percy Bradley is Acting

Pilot Officer on Probation, acting rank of Flying Officer, R.A.F.V.R., Training Branch, attached to A.T.C. ; J. G. I3ergel, late dramatic critic and motoring correspondent of the “Evening News,” is an A.T.A. Ferry Pilot, as is Dr. Whitehead, the Track M.O. ; F. L. M. Harris is now Sqdr. Ldr., R.A.F. ; H. J. 0. Ripley has been invalided out of the R.A.S.C. ; Lieut. Neville Lloyd is a prisoner of war in Italy ; Cuff Miller, who used to race Cotton and Sunbeam motor-cycles, is a Pilot, Fleet Air Arm ; R. J. P. Morley, the A.C. exponent, is in the R.T.R. ; Harold Nockolds is a Lieut., R.A.S.C.


Socials seem doubly attractive after the success and enjoyment of the Chessington and ” Rembrandt ” parties, and this is a reminder that similar friendships will be renewed and another good time had by all at the Cambridge University Automobile Club’s dinner scheduled for November 29th.


We are pleased to hear that the Disabled Drivers’ Club, under F. J. Dupee, is weathering the storm, at a reduced subscription rate.


Some of the recent correspondence in a contemporary.


W. G. S. Wike, who, incidentally, expects to be living ” down South” in the future, often writes to his friend Sam Clutton. Here is an extract (with acknow ledgments) from a recent letter :—

” To disarm the elements, to render motorists scatheless from rain, dust, Cold and wind, have for years been the supreme objects of Burberry endeavours. Less elusive than the Poles, the Goal has been readied.

” Travel at express speed through sunshine and storm in open cars without shelter is now made as comfortable as sitting indoors. ” The motor becomes a Sanatorium for the nerves, with all pernicious attributes excluded l”

The above Is accompanied by a picture of a terrified gentleman, in a cloth cap and shroud, ascending an extremely well-drawn motor-car, which, unfortunately, lacks a steering wheel and column. Date 1909.

‘BRINIER FRONT AXLE, WHEELS, AND STEERING GEAR.” This would, I am afraid, put the modern motorist Off his tea completely, but not so the hardy traveller of Edwardian days, who would ” obtain two short scaffolding poles or other similar pieces of wood and lash them to the frame of the car, so that they project live or six feet in front of the car. Borrow(1) a two-wheel light cart and turn it with

. its shafts toward the car, standing hi front of the car, with the shafts projecting back over the driver’s seat. Now jack up the car, and sling the ends of the scaffolding poles to the axle of the cart, by ropes, allowing a fair amount of swing if possible. The front wheels will now be off the road. Start up the engine and drive the car slowly, steering by the

shafts of the cart used as a tiller or Bath Chair handle.”

Referring to the above, they say : “The writer has never tried it and is indebted to ‘ The Timeless Age ‘ for the idea.” I really think the above idea is worth trying some time on the Brighton Run : it would interest the competitors, if nothing else. It is possible to foresee certain technical disadvantages, but they would no doubt be overcome, as in the ease of Lawrence of Arabia’s ” Silver Ghost ” Rolls-Royce, when pttrsued by a few Mercedes across the desert tin ‘hassis broke in half, but was tied together with string and firewood (I think), and ran in Ilk eondition for about two years,

about two years, GENERAL NOTES

High spot of last Month, apart from a day spent amid the admirable 01(1-time atmosphere of a motor-cycle trial on Pirbright Heath, was a trip to bring the veteran Delage home from Worthing. We went clown on an :t1)s di! t (sly perfect October day through perfectly lovely Surrey and Sussex scenery, not forgetting the one-way bridge, replete with its own traffic lights, near Pet w oath ; they were appreciated more on the outward journey than when they almost elected not to change as the rather brakeless Delage approached downhill later in the day. . . . Enquiry at a small dump, where an old man gave us very concise directions while we gazed absent-mindedly at a SizaireBerwick radiator, and we came to a more ambitious yard, boats mingled with broken-up cars, where reposed the object of our search. She was a compact 2-seater, identical to the one on which we had paid a deposit, but never collected, away up at Colchester before the war came. Her grey paintwork, hiding the brass of the radiator, suggested long-ago military service on the Continent ; the Colchester car was finished in just the same way. There seemed little wrong with her, except a seized footbrake cross-shaft and noisy timing gears. The tyres blew up and stayed up. A very aged man helped to move a pile of assorted road springs which impeded her exit from what might well have been her final resting place. (They were, even then, smashing up a Straight

Eight Delage.)— We noted her safety glass screen and electric lights, and six pound notes changed hands. A wire towrope was hastily fixed round the back axle of the modern and to a dumb-iron of the Delage. We wrote ourselves a receipt, for our friend, the breaker, could not write himself. Something of the joyful existence of the past loomed as we donned an ancient leather coat and climbed up to take the wooden steering wheel. But wars cannot be so easily forgotten. We had but a brief respite from toil and no lamp for the black-out. We went along as fast as we could, eight horses towing ten, eleven, maybe fourteen. . . . Every downhill was exciting, the push-on handlever operating a. quite vague transmission brake of Small diameter, which very soon caught fire. Stopping by a lake, we filled the radiator preparatory to engaging a low gear, and curiosity won. We filled the French Clitudel carburetter, wound on the handle, and off she went, clouds of smoke astern suggesting that oil had seeped slowly down her solitary drip-feed tube with the passing years.

It was as well that we got her going, for there came a hill up which the Austin couldn’t pull her. She drove herself up and did so on several other occasions, until the main jet fell out of the carburetter, which necessitated taking that component off complete from the inlet flange, what time two tiny girls watched critically, until one announced to the other “When I grow up I’m going to drive a car, but not one like that . . . ! ” We felt rather the same by then, and soon cast off the tow-rope at a friendly garage at Godahning. A seat some feet lower and glass windows to wind now seemed extremely to the point, and much malting hither and thither took place in the blackness in search of a meal of adequate proportions. The next Saturday, with a bicycle rear lamp, we brought her home, and another old car had escaped the breaker’s hammer.