Club News, November 1945

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We Hear

F/Lt. Peter Jones hopes to install a Diesel engine in a private-car chassis, and F/O. McConnell has been using something very different – a 250-c.c. Villiers-engined 2-seater Rytacraft, which gives him 80 m.p.g. and 45 m.p.h. Over in Sydney, John Crouch has got together a nice stable, comprising a Delahaye, an O.E. “30/98” Vauxhall, an M.G. coupé, a Frazer-Nash with Frontenac motor in Iieu of the former blown Anzani, a 4 1/2-litre blower Bentley, reputed to be ex-Birkin, and a Fiat 500 for his wife. He would like the Bent!y’s history — engine number SM3909, chassis number 3907.

Boddy has collected a remarkable “museum” from the basement of a Leeds house, consisting of a 1922 G.N. chassis with spare o.h. inlet-type engine, 4-cylinder in-line air-cooled T.A.C. motor-cycle with automatic inlet valves and shaft drive, a 1909 V-twin Moto-Reve engine, a 1921 flat-twin Wooler motor-cycle engine, and the remains of a 1904 Laurent et Klement car, of which the V-twin water-cooled engine is almost intact. All these things are in many pieces and were loaded into a 1931 “Chummy” Austin Seven and towed home to Harrogate behind another Austin Seven, to occupy the home garage with a sixth series Lancia “Lambda.” From the same source Alan Skerman obtained a 1923 Amilcar with cut-down “12/50” Alvis duck’s-back body, also dismantled, and there was a 1916 3-h.p. V-twin solo Enfield in a decent state of preservation.

Austin Molyneux has exchanged his very fine 2-litre Lagonda for a 1935 4 1/2-litre Lagonda, sports tourer.

The Motor Sport Instruction Book Library grows apace, recent very acceptable gifts covering Scott motor-cycles, the Type 6C 2,3000B Alfa-Romeo (in French) and, from the C.M.F., a “Speed Twenty” Alvis book. Leonard Potter has exchanged his V12 Lagonda for a Type 540K Mercédès-Benz. Major C. W. Lambton has purchased a 1926 open touring Rolls-Royce Twenty and has also been running his Type 37 Bugatti on the basic ration – can anyone lend him an instruction book for the former car? Tom Allen, has installed a Riley Six engine in a very much modified 7th Series Lancia “Lambda.” Birkett now has another Type 30 Bugatti and some more Brescia spares.

Daniel Richmond has a 1935 Lagonda “Rapier,” with compression ratio reduced from 10.5 to 1 to 7.5 to 1 in order to use “Pool” petrol. He would be pleased to help any owners of these cars with information and has some spares available, but not, he adds, main fibre timing wheels, having stripped five of the latter in seven months’ driving! C.J.F. Morside, a veterinary surgeon, has just obtained a very fine “Red Label” 3-litre Bentley and owns a 1938 Alvis “Speed Twenty,” and he is disposing of a Morris Eight and a Hornet-Special in order to make room for a Special of his own. Also, he is on the track of a veteran Benz and Coleman steamer. A s.v. Aston-Martin with very sketchy body and “12/50” Alvis engine was seen motoring well near Oxford last month. Breen has acquired a genuine Le Mans ChenardWaleker.

N.L. E.C.C.

On September 12th A. G. Imhof addressed the club, at one of its normal monthly meetings, on the subject of “Trials and Rallies,” in the course of which much was said of the various types of 1 1/2-litre Singer. Imhof came in his own well-known 1 1/2-litre “Le Mans” Singer. The September Radcap has two accounts by marshals of the Cockfosters Rally — incidentally, S. J. Humphries describes the Leyland Eight which ran at that meeting as a sister car to that buried under Pendine Sands; actually, it was “Babs” which killed Thomas and was buried there. Hon. secretary, G. Bance, 15, King’s Avenue, Muswell Hill, London, N.10.

Pioneer M.C.C.

The Pioneer Model Car Club has commenced its, activities in the record field. Six cars attempted the half-mile and mile records during September. The bigger cars developed various troubles, but in Class A (engines up to 5 c.c.) Cruickshank’s M.G. established the Mile record at 47 m.p.h. and the Curwen-Special the Half-Mile record at 48 m.p.h. This is most interesting and encouraging news, and we hope to hear of increasing record-activity in the future. Hon. secretary: J. Cruickshank, 105, Salisbury Road, London, N.W.6.

Cover Picture

This month’s front cover picture depicts the famous 1 1/2-litre Seaman Delage, bought by Prince Chula after Seaman had joined the Mercédès-Benz team. This car and another Delage were modified in accordance with plans sent over by M. Delage, but were never a success. In his book, “Brought Up in England,” Prince Chula admits to losing some £8,000 over the venture. Not many pictures of the car in this guise have appeared; this one was taken by a reader.

The First Post-War Trial

To their credit the Sutton Coldfield and North Birmingham A.C., in conjunction with the M.M.E.C., held the first post-war trial, an evening event which attracted 50 entries. Three observed sections and four special tests were worked into a route of 12 miles, so that not too great an expenditure of basic fuel was called for.

Results: — Best performance: J. E. Newton (M.G.). Best performance in the closed-car class: K. C. Delingpole (FrazerNash B.M.W.). Souvenir awards in open-car class: J. F. Kemp (M.G.), N. Binley (M.G.), R. B. Lowe (Frazer-Nash), F. D. Gibson (Allard), B. Humphreys (Austin) and E. Lloyd Jones (Mausting). Souvenir awards in closed-car class: F. A. Smith (Alvis), T. Langford (Triumph) and F. I). Woodhall (Triumph).

The British Motor Sport Fund

The Junior Car Club announces further donations to this fund, as follows: – Sir William and R. C. Rootes (Sunbeam Talbot, Ltd.), £100; Colonel A. C. H. Waite (Austin Motor Co., Ltd.), £100; Thos. Firth & John Brown, Ltd., £100; Jack Barclay, Esq., £100; The Autocar, £100; The Motor and The Light Car, £100; H. G. Henly (Henlys, Ltd.), £100; H. F. S. Morgan (Morgan Motor Co., Ltd.), £25.

Gear Ratios

In connection with our road test of the Scott-engined Morgan “4/4” in the September issue, we now learn that the gear ratios were not standard “4/4” ratios as suggested, but were as follows: 15.8, 10.8, 6.3 and 4.5 to 1.; 1,000 r.p.m. in top gear equals approximately 16 1/2 m.p.h.

More Delayed Action

The Editor has again had to change his address and put many of his records in storage. He hopes readers will forgive him any omissions or delays in replying to queries and that they will continue to communicate with him. He will do all he can to supply information in the cause of the Sport and to help keep good cars on the road.

Vintage S.C.C.

If anyone attending the recent Rally at Bagshot in a vintage (for this purpose, presumably a pre-1931) sports car did not obtain a plaque will they please notify the acting secretary: A. S. Heal, Red Hill Cottage, Denham, Bucks.


Readers frequently send the Editor interesting photographs, books, catalogues, etc. Recently a 1928 Show number of The Autocar and some very historic catalogues, including 1923 Austin Seven, D.F.P., Eric-Campbell, etc., were so received. It is not always possible to acknowledge such gifts, but we can assure the senders they are greatly enjoyed and are filed as a valuable source of Editorial reference.

General Notes

One Sunday, the Austin very sick, we, nevertheless, decided on an ambitious trip to conclude a deal over a Lancia “Lambda.” After climbing over the Peak near Manchester and coasting down the other side of this grand road, we climbed and descended again until we came upon Chapel-en-le-Frith, the home of Ferodo brake linings — we can understand decent brakes being at a premium in these parts! The run was enlivened by encountering numerous sports Morgan 3-wheelers, and in Chapel itself we found a derelict Alvis “12/50” sports saloon in the local garage, a square-radiator Clyno lorry outside a factory, a “Nippy” Austin Seven in a service station, and saw a Talbot “90” sports 4-seater and an R.A.F. officer rushing round a curve in great style in an early back-braked Coupe de Ville Rolls-Royce Twenty. Quite a spot. Our host proved to live in a charming house in a tiny village under the shadow of the hills — he says he is looking forward to going to work in the winter in his well-worn Morris Eight, when the snow is about.

Then, in the Austin, we ventured down A.1 to the Vintage S.C.C. Rally, a very stimulating event. The run down was first brightened by a duel with a very early Austin Seven “Chummy,” driven by a young R.A.F. officer, who had equipped his car with radio and painted his squadron badge on the back panel. Getting past on the straight stretch near Grantham nearly brought our little-end trouble to a head and the R.A.F. type immediately overtook us. Then we met a T.T. Replica Frazer-Nash and an Aston-Martin, and the tail end of the run was enlivened by having to drop one member of the party and a 12-volt battery destined for a Fiat 500 in which he was returning on the morrow, in Maidenhead, necessitating a difficult cross-country journey in the dark. The Vintage week-end embraced short but spirited runs in cars so diverse as an aged Austin Seven “Chummy” and a Bugatti, and then we filled the Austin’s tank and followed an H.R.G., 1,100-c.c. variety, from Fleet to Farnham. Perhaps that was unwise, for we were at once coaxed into an unlit, water-cooled, 2-speed Morgan-J.A.P. and taken for a horrific “dice” along a short piece of arterial road in the gathering dusk. The sensation of impending disaster was strengthened by the vibration of the propeller-shaft tunnel and the flashes of flame from weak parts of the exhaust system — it is a terrible thing to be Editor of Motor Sport, for we are convinced that as soon as anyone gets us into his or her pet motor-car that motor-car is promptly driven several times more rapidly than its owner has ever driven it before! Actually, of course, the driver of the Morgan is a sane and experienced type, and the thing had got front brakes, of a kind, so we emerged safely and enjoyed an excellent supper before rattling away in the Austin to London.

Next day a solo journey was undertaken up A.1, seemingly never ending and very dull. A rather pleasing factor, however, was the fact that by coasting all we could and not exceeding about 35 m.p.h. this 219-mile run, plus the distance from Fleet, via Farnham and Guildford through to South London, appeared to use only about 4 1/2 gallons of petrol. And we had great fun waving on a Rolls-Royce and a couple of Rolls-Bentleys with suitably magnanimous gestures.

Also, while having the crankcase overfilled in the hope of appeasing the non-standard little-end, we saw a fine Lancia “Lambda” saloon and an old Humber Eight tourer in a garage; later, north of Doncaster, another “Lambda” saloon was seen.

Sick though it was, the Austin next coped with a local journey to collect much junk, towing in a derelict 1931 tourer of the same breed, loaded as these little cars have never been loaded before. Another journey followed, to the same place, in a 3-speed Austin Seven saloon, and it was time to go South for the R.A.C. and Veteran C.C. meetings. Again going down via A.1 as far as Hatfield, interesting cars seen included a modern Darracq saloon in a hurry, a Super Sports Morgan driven by a flying type in helmet and goggles, an all-white “Chummy ” Austin in Hammersmith and a well-preserved Humber Eight fabric saloon in Clapham — and we noticed a Hispano Suiza radiator protruding from Collier’s garage, south of Wansford.

We went up from Fleet to the R.A.C. in a beautiful 1932 “T.T. Replica” Frazer Nash, an exhilarating experience, the acceleration in the lowest speed making London traffic almost a pleasure. Out on the open road the ‘Nash. reached 75 m.p.h. easily enough, at a mere 3,400 r.p.m. and was taken up to 4,200 r.p.m. in second, equal to 50 m.p.h., and 4,000 r.p.m., or 70 m.p.h. in third speed. As is customary, long spells of third were the order of the day, roadholding was excellent, save for a tendency to weave at speed, never really disturbing, and the brakes were very good indeed. The suspension was hard enough to make one very conscious of it at first, but it was a fine, worthwhile ride and, considering that this ‘Nash will dispose of nearly anything on the road and yet over 250 fast miles has averaged 30.5 m.p.g., it must be set down as an essentially practical form of motoring for presentday conditions.

We were all packed up to return to worry and toil when the bombshell went up — the Bugatti was going to the West Country and a climb of Porlock was contemplated. In a flash plans were changed, we were loaned an Army greatcoat and a helmet (later to find the former had not any buttons), and we stowed away in the stern sheets of the Type 30. This was so nearly motoring in the grand manner. Just consider it. We left Fleet at about 12.30 p.m. and motored cross-country, avoiding Basingstoke, through delightful sunlit Hampshire lanes to join A.30 and lunch in Andover. Leaving again at 2 p.m. we continued towards the West Country, the unfolding scene nostalgic to one so long exiled in the North, the Bugatti cruising at around 60 m.p.h., cornering as only the Molsheim product can, and once doing nearly 4,000 r.p.m. in top, which the passengers put at near 80 m.p.h., producing a discussion anent the final-drive ratio. There was a stop to inspect a Type 40 Bugatti in a showroom, another stop to replenish the radiator and yet another to fill the fuel tank and secure it in its mountings. Yet we were in Minehead before 6 p.m. and able to eat eggs and bacon in a café, which kindly re-opened its doors on our arrival. As we ate, a beautifully preserved “9/20” Humber saloon was pursued along the front by an aged Austin Seven.

In the half-light we devoured the remaining few miles to Porlock, to make a steady ascent of the famous hill, second gear going in between the bends, although we were four up. A pause at the summit to don coats and we turned off down the Toll Road and set out for home. The Bugatti made light of the long night run ahead of us and, even with a stop in order to telephone the time of our probable arrival, we were in by 11.40 p.m. Over 270 miles, and all this accomplished— yes, even to a stroll on Minehead beach to gather the inevitable seaweed and pebbles. Speed, it is true, costs money, but on an occasion such as this it seems worth it without question. The memory of the drive down — miles of beautiful, unspoiled English scenery; flower-bordered cottages, clean with whitewash; spacious towns occupied by afternoon strollers in their Sunday best — will linger with us for many a day, long after we have forgotten the duel we had, later that night, before we finally disposed of what was believed to be a drophead Vauxhall Twenty-five, the only car to pass the Bugatti during the run.

We were brought back to reality by the return on the following day, North, in the Austin. And even this was somewhat eased by the very reasonable road leading up from Leicester to Doncaster, and the earlier pleasure of driving through Henley and Oxford.

The B.R.D.C. Meets Again

At the committee meeting of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, on September 19th, it was decided that matters of policy should come up for discussion when more members have returned from the Forces. Motor Sport has been asked to continue as the club’s official organ. The club hopes to regain its old vigour in due course and is likely to devote increasing attention to ensuring that the interests of British competitors racing away from home are completely covered. The club sent S. C. H. Davis and G. Abecassis as their representatives to the R.A.C.’s meeting of the clubs. H. J. Morgan has agreed to act as secretary for the time being and Charles Follett has placed his London premises at the disposal of the club. At a general meeting on September 12th, with Lord Howe in the chair, a “caretaker” committee was elected, composed of Lord Howe, W. Everitt, K. D. Evans, Capt. G. E. T. Eyston, R. J. W. Appleton, Dr. J. D. Benjafield, Major Oliver Bertram, Arthur Dobson, Charles Follett, S. C. H Davis and C. T. Delaney. Future activities of the B.R.D.C. will be fully reported in Motor Sport.

The Veteran Car Club Rally

Bureaucracy may not realise that the war is over, but the Veteran Car Club certainly does – as witness their very successful Rally at the “Ely” on September 29th. The entry was a record for any V.C.C. event other than the Brighton Run, embracing 53 pre-1914 cars, and on the day, which was graced by glorious weather, 41 cars arrived, composed of 25 pre-1905 veterans and 16 Edwardians. C. A. Smith, of the “Ely,”deserves everlasting gratitude, not only for placing his premises at the club’s disposal, but for providing a really first-class buffet lunch and presenting four excellent prizes.

When we arrived at about 11.30 a.m. we were surprised to find a large number of veterans already present. There were Capt. Cullimore Allen’s 1902 7-h.p. Gillett-Forest with its incredible “radiator grille” and the Lanchesters of Hutton-Stott, the 1903 car with its leather apron, the 1913 38.4-1hp. car, a really massive tourer; the 1903 Lanchester had come up from Newbury at an average of over 28 m.p.h., and the bigger car brought the remainder of the Hutton-Stott family. Walters’s 402-c.c., 4 1/2-h.p. De Dion Bouton phutter-phutered in, and Mrs. Hampton brought Peter Hampton, in his beautiful 1910 Type 13, which is so spick and span that it is probably smarter than when it was new. The engine simply sparkled in the sun, the valve cover bearing Ettore’s signature in full. The arrival of the 1896 Thornycroft steam carriage was a most exciting event; it has iron tyres, steers on the rear wheels through an exceedingly low-geared ship’s pattern wheel and looks very top heavy. It was driven by its original driver, T. E. Baker, and spun its wheels freely on the gravel of the car park. It was attended by several of Thornycroft’s workers and a tender lorry and had to be jacked-up for investigation of the front axle which had shifted on its mountings. As a background for a gathering of early vehicles this steam carriage is delightful. Welham’s 1909 Renault, used regularly up to 1936, displayed an L-plaque, and Rowden’s 1914 Rover Twelve was a very sensible Edwardian tourer, as was J. G. Hampton’s 1912 Sunbeam 2-seater. Geoffrey Frank’s 1912 Daimler Twenty limousine came down from Liverpool with no trouble at all, having started at 3 a.m. Poppe’s 1903 Sunbeam had Heal as a passenger during the run out along the Flats and round the adjacent airfield run-way, in which all the cars took part. C. A. Smith had his veterans on view, but not running — the 1907 0.T.A.V., built by the Officine Turkheimer, with its whittle-belt final drive and 26-in. by 2 1/4-in. tyres; the 1906 F.N.; the 1904 Stanley steamer; 1900 Locomobile steamer; the 1897 Hurtu and the 1898 De Dion forecar, all in fine trim.

As 1 p.m. approached there was speculation as to how many cars would clock-in and so gain commemoration plaques actually, 30 did so. Pilmore-Bedford’s 1904 Wolseley got in with some 7 min. to spare, Breen’s 1914 T.T. Sunbeam later still, and Capt. Colver’s wonderful 1896 Arnold motor carriage, sprag trialing, was only just in time. Prince’s 1904 Panhard tonneau was 5 min. late and Capt. Leich’s Begot et Mazurié three-quarters of an hour late.

Pierpoint’s 1904 English Licence Roi de Belge Mors was silent, accelerated well and displayed excellent Bleriot headlamps.

Led by a Jeep, the old cars made their run without any bother at all — a fine show. Wolseley chains, big Mercédès cylinders and a De Dion’s bell combined to make merry music. Hutton-Stott’s 1903 Lanchester carried a cine-camera, and both “Alphonso” Hispanos — F/Lt. Seth Smith’s and Bridcutt’s — showed real acceleration and fine exhaust notes. The last-named had the ex-Fuggle 1913 car, running as a chassis in the form in which it ran at the fateful August, 1914, Brooklands Meeting; what a magnificent car! Laurence Pomeroy brought his grand 22.4-h.p. “Prince Henry” 1914 Vauxhall, in which George Monkhouse, forsaking his 4 1/2-Iitre Bentley, rode as passenger. This car is in daily use, even to going about London, and will exceed 70 m.p.h. while doing 22.24 m.p.g. Pomeroy intends to thoroughly recondition it this winter, perhaps adding Girling rear braking. George Eyston brought T. W. Hutton-Stott’s 1903 Thornyeroft, as Tom Thornycroft wanted to drive the 1904. Thornycroft. On the short ceremonial drive Thornycroft drove the earlier car, getting so excited that he waved to all and sundry. D. B. Tubbs and his wife rode in state in the Daimler limousine, and “Tubby” Smith and a lady very sportingly followed the cars on a very old side-by-side-seating bicycle, a grand effort and fitting conclusion to a splendid event.

Back in the car park the horns and bells and exhausts of various veterans were exercised to oblige the B.B.C. and the prizes announced. The 1900 Pieper was started by swinging aside the near-side front mudguard to insert the handle — this car was ably driven by Mrs. Wood; and the 1901 James and Browne displayed fearful vibration, but a very smooth clutch. Boddy and Dr. Ewen had rides in the 1914 T.T. Sunbeam, a van collected Sam Wright’s 1903 Humber, a Thornycroft was towed off and a Sunbeam “25” saloon took home the 1906 Wolseley-Siddeley which had brought Wadsworth and Peacock and which burst a radiator seam. So the cars dispersed, and a grand day’s sport was over. There was a final bit of excitement when Peter Monkhouse arrived with Mrs. Ariel Clark’s 1914 Mercédès.

Lots of interesting moderns brought people to watch – 8-litre Bentley, two Bugattis, a Rally, V12 Lagonda, Aston-Martin, 3-litre Sunbeam, Scroggs’s famous Trojan, a “Porlock” Singer Junior, an aged Fiat Eight 2-seater and many, many more. They were marshalled by a cheerful policeman, who was most interested in the veterans. All credit to the Veteran C.C. for a very well-organised event. We look forward to future events, and especially to the 1946 Brighton Run.

Awards. – Oldest car to arrive: 1896 Thornycroft steam carriage (T. E. Baker). Oldest car to arrive driven by a lady: 1900 Pieper (Mrs. E. L. Wood). Veteran car coming greatest distance under own power: 1905 Wolseley (G. E. Milligan). Best-kept Edwardian car: 1910 Bugatti (Mrs. C. W. P. Hampton).

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” The Salt of the Earth,by Ale Jenkins and Wendell J. Aston (Clymer Motors). 14 dollars.

This little 78-page book is a reprint of the 1939 edition. It tells the story of the Utah salt flats as a record-breaking ground, first investigated for the purpose by Risehel in 1911, using a Packard driven by Johnson. In 1914 Teddy Tezlaff drove the Blitzen Benz there, as part of Ernie Morass’s racing “circus.” A mile at 141.73 m.p.h. was claimed, but not officially recognised. Ab. Jenkins really “discovered ” the salt beds and commenced record-breaking there in 1932, using a stripped V12 PierceArrow 2-seater, on which he had worked to raise the b.h.p. from 180 to about 175. .Jenkins drove the full 24 hours ; he dryly remarks that the car was without plumbing The history continues from this point throughout the record attacks on the salt by .Jenkins, Cobb, Eyston and Campbell. As a history the book is interesting and there are many excellent photographs. But we dislike the ” Amerieanese,” in text, captions and emphasis of unimportant detail. To our Mind, writing notes and flinging them to the onlookers at 100 m.p.h., shaving at 125 m.p.h. at the end of a 24-hour record run, driving a tractor over the timed mile (Allis-( halmers traitor ; 68 m.p.h.) to gain the title ot— Nvorlti’s fastest farmer,” and delighting in narrow escapes, has no

place serious record-breaking. There are many inaccitracies, too. Repeated reference is made to Reed Railton and Davis’s initials are transposed ; The Aulocar is described as an “English trade magazine,” which it is not ; and it is only partially true to say that Kaye Don and Eyston first gained fame at Montlhery. Nevertheless, much interesting data k ‘en, but the book is hardly up to the standard of Eyston’s -” Speed on Salt.” Some details are included of Jenkins’s Mormon Meteor III, which he hopes will reach 400 m.p.h. with two V12 supercharged Curtis-Wright aviation engines.