TIIE announcement by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain, through its chairman, G. J. Allday, of Weybridge Automobiles, Ltd., of a Victory Run to Berlin, to happen as soon after the Armistice as conditions permit, seemed to us so fantastic that we thought a mild leg-pull was being indulged in. So we applied to Mr. Allday for details. His reply was as follows :—
23rd October, 1941. Dear Sir,
It is certainly not a joke !
This Victory Run to Berlin will take place iminediately conditions permit. it is being sponsored by the Austin Company in collo boration with my Club, who will be responsible for organising the event. Naturally, at the present time it is difficult, if not impossible, to lix any Very definite details, but a broad conception is as follows :—
(1) That this event will be held directly conditions permit.
(2) That competitors will have to reach Berlin with their cars within seven days of leaving English shores.
(3) That ears manufactured up to the end of 1910 only will be eligible.
(4) That cars which may be so old, or in such a decrepit state, or in an unroadworthy condition, as to render their likelihood of reaching Berlin almost an impossibility, m ill not be accepted as entries. I have called a meeting of my Committee to consider and fix as far as possible the broad outline of the Run, which Committee I anticipate will be sitting in about fourteen
ys’ time. I will subsequently pass on to you some further information.
I NN (mid add that a number of entries have already been received, including, of course, sonic of the Austin Company’s old ears, two or three of my own Veteran ears and other entries from members of the V.C.C. as well as from outside sources. In all cases these entries are being acknowledged and the entrants are being advised that they will be informed in due course as to the details of the Run, and whether their cars and entries will therefore be eligible. I am, Y,mrs truly,
JAMES ALWAY. Although our first impression was one of enthusiasm over an event offering such great possibilities for fun and adventure, all our more considered opinions were, and are, decidedly against the event. In the first place, does it seem quite appropriate to send comic cars through a country which our soldiers will need to police heavily for some considerable time after victory is won, and in which hundreds of thousands of gallant British lives have been lost, immediately the war is over ? In our opinion it does not. Then, is it in the best interests of the veteran car, which in several countries before the war had, just about established itself as a serious competition vehicle as distinct from a gymkhana “old crock,” to launch it on a journey of especial difficulty, on which it is easy to visualise such cars incurring disgrace in a number of ways having little or no bearing on their actual efficiency as motor vehicles? It is noticeable that no mention is made as to whether the R.A.C. has been approached for promise of a permit and, if it has, what are the official views’ of its Competitions Committee. We have said re. peatedly, and we say again now, that whatever an individual’s or club’s views of the R.A.C.’s control’ of the Sport may be, while the R.A.C. continues to exercise its power it is in everyone’s interest that its
jurisdiction be accepted and complied with. If the R.A.C. issues a permit for this ambitious, we might almost write fantastic, Veteran Victory Run, will it explain why it refused a permit for a harmless little run to Exeter and back for small cars of the early nineteen-twenties, which someone tried to put over some years ago ? Finally, why should the Veteran Car Club, previously a body which confined itself strictly to events for cars built prior to 1905, suddenly seek to extend its hospitality to cars of up to 1910, formerly a preserve of the veteran section of the Vintage S.C.C. ? We have the warmest admiration for the past functions of the Veteran Car Club. We have not the slightest objection to announcement now of future policy. We think the Club was wise to close down for the duration of war, even though one of its most ardent members G. L. BenbOugh, has raised funds for charity and given much pleasure to sick children by the continued 1.18t: of his veterans. This being the case, we are all the more surprised by the
announcement of the proposed Victory Run, and we take the liberty of suggesting to the Club that it has launched a too-fantastic scheme in a moment of misguided patriotism. For the foregoing reasons we feel it should substitute the” Brighton “for the” Berlin” ; perhaps reviving the latter project for some future anniversary of the next Armistice.