Club News, November 1948

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Club News

WE HEAR

John Bellingham writes from Ottawa that a Naval type found a 1920 RollsRoyce “Silver Ghost” at Halifax and drove it the 6,000 miles to Vancouver and back with no other trouble than that caused by old tyres—apparently the car was hired to him for about a dollar a month I Bellingham inquires whether it is possible to “convert a Hudson to a Railton,” as he has access to cheap Hudsons in his new location. He recently had a flip on one of the several dirt tracks near Ottawa, in a Chevrolet with cut-down chassis and a Graham Straighteight power unit devoid of flywheel, clutch and gearbox. D. E. Clarke is also going overseas and seeks a home for his beautifully preserved Type 40 Bugatti two-seater. Our road test of the 8i-litre Jaguar saloon brought an enthusiastic letter from M. L. Shepherd of Durban, who reports that the Jaguar is strongly appreciated in India. British cars seem scarce up-country,” for until 1940 only a few aged Austin Sevens and Twelves, one M.G., one Jaguar “100,” a Morris Fourteen, occasional Armstrong-Siddeleys and some Morris Eights and . Humbers were encountered by our correspondent. A nicely-kept model-T Ford van* enlivened Oxford Street recently, a model-T tourer is, or was, offered for sale by a garage at Hornchurch, and an early Humber Twelve saloon, a 7.5-h.p. ” Cloverleaf ” Citroen and a Benn truck are reported in use around Exeter. An Ascot-Pullin totally enclosed motor-cycle was also encountered there. A wellpreserved Mors four-seater of 1914 vintage is said to be in danger of scrappage unless someone cares to buy it for around £75. It would make a nice stable companion to the ex-Grosscurth 1923 sleevevalve Mors, now offered for £30. Geoffrey Deason, Secretary of the British Model Car Club, apart from his model-18 Norton, has a 1926 225-c.c. two speed, two-stroke Enfield and a 1911 three-speedhub Triumph motor-cycle, the lastnamed in original enamel. Three further ” 14/40 ” Sunbeams have been heard of, a sports tourer in Birmingham and a wirewheeled saloon and an artillery-wheeled saloon in the same area. A farmer at Merioneth swears by (not at) his hack 1924 ” 16/20 ” Cubitt and in this district can be observed an immaculate 1926 Hillman Fourteen taxi. A. B. Price is still running his ” 12/22 ” Lea-Francis and a nurse in Kent is in need of differential pinions for another of these cars. E. C. Emmett has a 1913-14 Belsize two-seater, which he saved from the rag merchant for the sum of £17, but he now finds he hasn’t time to care for it, should anyone like it for. the same outlay. It needs paint, a magneto and new tyres and some assembly, but is described as “quite reconditionable.” The R.A.C. has issued two pleasing publications latterly—a humorous booklet telling you why you should join the Club, and a map of Birmingham’s confusing ringroad system, giving locations of the main car manufacturers’ factories, etc. We feel that if supplies of the latter, clearly labelled, could be dropped on the town from low-flying aircraft, many of our friends who have “gone to the Midlands” and have not been seen since, might be released into their normal

channels again! Wilcock has located a pre-1914 25-h.p. Talbot and hopes to be able to build it into a replica of that famous single-seater in which the late Percy Lambert first covered 100 miles in the hour, at Brooklands in 1913. Two firms appear to specialise in Ford Tenengined Austin Sevens and both seem to have aerodynamic two-seater versions on the stocks. Quite a lot of these ” specials ” must now exist, in various forms, offering excellent power/weight ratio and easily-acquired service and spares. Our correspondent in Switzerland has encountered half-a-dozen standard ” Vanguards ” already. Apparently there are vintage tendencies even out there, for a recent edition of a sporting magazine, reporting the Maloja hillclimb, backed its report with illustrations of a Pic-Pic in a 1911 climb and a 1928 Martini similarly engaged. In this year’s event Aebli ran a lightened 328 B.M.W., a la Raymond Way. It was a happy gesture on the part of Mr. Baldwin, Jowett’s publicity manager, to secure numbers of the latest Lines Bros. plastic model Javelins and send them out to his Press and Trade friends. They are realistic replicas and can be bought in the toy-shops. A delightful Jowett tourer of the r.h. gear-lever era was encountered last month in Aldershot, chugging manfully, the two ladies in the sternsheets obviously appreciative of leg-room these fascinating 7 h.p. cars possess. R. G. J. Nash wants to dispose of a 1923 12-h.p. Rover tourer

—which would be one way of exploring the battlefields.

Whole hosts of motoring books have been flooding on to the bookstalls of late, in a rather confusing succession, but perhaps the true-blue enthusiast still likes to read everything that is going. At all events, the 28 page booklet by Charles Fothergill of the News Chronicle, entitled “The Story of Grand Prix Racing.,” a 2s. publication in the W.D.S. (20, Sheet Street, Windsor) series of sports booklets is more entertaining than many, and beautifully illustrated. It should do much to introduce motor racing to the public.

Near Leeds a curious two-seater cyclecar has turned up, seeking a home, at around £25. It has tubular chassis, cantilever springing, an air-cooled i.o.e. V-twin engine in line with the chassis and driving by chain to a gearbox, thence by chain to a countershaft, with a final belt-drive to each rear wheel. With cowled “radiator,” aluminium body, yellow disc wheels and red mudguards the appearance sounds impressive. The front axle is tubular, steering is by wire and bobbin and there are expanding rear brakes. The name “El Pamero ‘ appears in the tail, the registration is a London one, and the car has been stored since 1921. What is it ? A pre-Kaiser war 28-h.p. T-head Itala landaulette, in reasonable condition, is in a North Devon breaker’s yard and should be saved before the winter comes. E. B. Brown has a rather special J2 M.G. with Scintilla Vertex magneto, lightened flywheel, special instrument panel, etc., and seeks notes on its history—chassis J3380, engine 2251 AJ, Reg. No. MG 2611. R. G. Dusart has rebuilt a 1923 Morgan three-wheeler with Austin Seven front brakes and steering, etc. A 1911

two-cylinder Renault has come to light in Maidenhead and A. F. Carlisle is rebuilding a 1909 100 by 160 mm. singlecylinder de Dion, his normal motoring being done in a Volkswagen. A Voisin was spotted en route to Silverstone, possibly for sale. We stated in error last month that the single-seater Rover, driven by Mackie in sprint events this year, was sponsored by the Rover Company. In actual fact this car is a most creditable “private venture.”

V.M.C.C.

Twenty-five entries were received for the Sampfield airfield sprint. Class winners were : 850-c.c.—M. C. Tomkinson (Velocette), 500-c.c.—F. D. Booth (Ariel), 1,000-c.c.—I. B. Wicksteed (Royal Enfield), Sidecars—R. T. Rigby (B.S.A.). F.t.d. was made by Booth, at 50.05 m.p.h. By courtesy of the Wirral 100 Club another i-mile sprint was enjoyed at Ellesmere Port. Best V.M.C.C. time was by Ryder on a model-9 Sunbeam, in 29 sec., but a non-member did 28.8 sec. on an old Velocette. The ” Bulletin ” continues to arrive monthly and contains a list of machines for sale. New members for September enrolled on the strength of a 1921-22 21 Raleigh, an L.5 B.S.A., a 1923 S.S. 80 Brough Superior, a pre1918 Douglas and a 1927 Sunbeam combination. So far as the reliability of these old machines is concerned, Thomas’ 1913 A.B.C., which cruises at 40-45 m.p.h. and does 120 m.p.g., ran 35,000 miles in the hands of a previous owner, between 1916 and 1945, with only one breakdown. Hon. Sec. : M. F. Walker, 170, Woodcock Hill, Kenton, Middlesex.

DETROIT, EAT DUST!

It is becoming fashionable for American magazines to publish articles proclaiming the merits of the more specialised British cars—which is publicity of which we certainly cannot have too much. The latest article on this subject appeared in the October issue of True, under the title which heads this paragraph, the writer being Ken W. Purdy Healey roadster, • TC M.G. and drophead Jaguar are tastefully depicted in colour, together with accompanying illustrations of the 1940 Mille Miglia B.M.W. coupe, an American-owned G.P. Bugatti, a 1919 Mercer and a one-off U.S. oddity called the Tasco. This last was a product of the American Sports Car Co., with futuristic custom body on a Mercury chassis. Purdy paints a vivid imaginary picture of an M.G. Midget beating up a modern Yank, explains what a sports car is to ignorant New Yorkers (rather tersely saying they are unsuitable for driving to and from work and give a ride backbreakingly hard by American standards) and then sets-to to praise British sports stuff. We learn that last year a New York dealer said he could have sold 500 Allards over his quota and that at 5,000 dollars plus and that an eastern dealer recently placed an order for 500 M.G.s. Purdy estimates that there are 100,000 Americans anxious to buy sports-type cars costing from 2,000 to 5,000 dollars. The difference between driving a real sports car and anything else he describes as the difference between hitting a golf ball with a No. 2 iron and hitting it with a tennis racquet. The Healey is quoted as the fastest stock car in production to-day—” If it won’t do 105 on ordinary gasoline with no particular urging you can take it back and get one that will. The springing is unique, being very soft, but still holding the car on the road like a strip of paint.” The Sedan costs 6,900 dollars in the States, but, as Purdy observes, “after all, it’s only money.” The Jaguar 100 two-seater is expected by the author to do 125-130 m.p.h., which explains, perhaps, similar hopes for American

hot-rods.” This article says that there is talk in America of a Duesenberg revival and that Kurtis-Kraft will shortly begin production of a five-seater sports car, Offenhauser-engined, ranging in price and power-rating down to a 1,500 dollar kit for assembling it. • • FIXTURES FOR NOVEMBER

October 27th-November 6th.—THE MOTOR SHOW, EARLS COURT.

lst.—Floyd Clymer Film Show, Park Lane Hotel, 4, 7, 9.30 p.m. Vesey Cup

Trial, Shropshire.

18th.—Harrow C.C. Cottingham Trophy Trial.

14th.—R.A.C. Veteran Car Run, London-Brighton.

19th-28th.—V ict orift League Racing Car Exhibition, Henly Hall.

20th.—Final of British Trials Championship.

21st.—Kentish Border C.C. Sporting Trial.

27th.—Liverpool M.C. Jeans Gold Cup Trial.

Dee.

4t Ii. N.W.L.M.C. Gloucester

Trial. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• EXPLANATION We feel it only fair to publish the following, from the September issue of the Ulster Motoring Review :— ” Some of the cross-Channel motoring journals made a great point of damning the handicap as far as the backmarkers were concerned, Moron SPORT saying bluntly : ‘The handicappers put the fastest cars out of the race before the

start . . As the person largely responsible for the handicap, I suppose I should sink to the ground with shame and sorrow ; but actually all I can do is feel mildly irritated at this typically English view of the handicapping of motor races.

“Ignoring the International Sporting Code, which says a handicap is a means of equalising as far as possible the chances of all competitors, they take the view there that a handicap should always be framed (a very appropriate word, too) so that one of the backmarkers should win ; presumably the others are running merely to provide a necessary but irritating background for the principals.

” Turning from the general to the particular, it does not seem to have occurred to those writers that there could have been other reasons for the backmarkers’ failure. The handicap was based on a speed of 81 m.p.h., which is the average set up by Tony Rolt in the E.R.A. in 1938, omitting the fuel stop necessary then, but not in this shorter race. There were several competitors in this race who might have been expected to equal that, and one at least who was expected to beat it. What did we find instead ? Fastest lap is 78.9 (Rolt’s was 88.5), next best (3-litre Maserati) 75.8, and third best, 74.74, by Bobby Baird in a K8 Magnette, a really good performance, by the way. Several blown cars of 1i-litres and upwards lapped at speeds lower than that

‘ In pre-war days Horsfall and that good but not very experienced driver Brian Talbot, in 2-litre sports AstonMartins—unblown, mark you—lapped at 76.9 and 75.3, Donald McClure (SS100) at 73.2, Peters (Frazer-Nash) at 72, Ernie Robb (J4 M.G.) at 72.4, and Elliott (ii-litre Triumph sports) at 70.1. Surely the blown racing cars could have beaten those speeds, all being well ? Remember the course had been widened between Templeogue and Firhouse since 1939; and there were nearly as many cars in 1938 as in 1948, and more slow ones then.

“This year in very near standard TC M.G.s, Mangan and Large lapped at 69.1 and 68.3, Phillips in a semi-streamlined TC at 67.8, and Kelly, in his first road race, in a fast 2-litre Riley, at 72.7.. You can now draw your own conclusions about the handicapping.”

M.C.C.

On September 25th, the M.C.C. held, by courtesy of Messrs. Boon & Porter, Ltd., at their premises at Barnes, a “Down Stage” Party.

The object of the exercise was an informal gathering so that members and. their friends might get together without, as usually happens, having this important part of the proceedings interrupted by some purely motoring event. Nearly 200 members and friends took advantage of the opportunity and fortified by a running buffet and bar, took full advantage of their opportunity.

Although run on informal lines, there was an excellent demonstration by members of the Pioneer Model Racing Car Club, with their models. Although the tethered line was relatively short, two of the 5-c.c. cars were timed at exactly 60 m.p.h. The noise in a confined space and the performance of the vehicles was quite electrifying. One venturesome owner actually ran a 10-c.c. model and after doing his best to restrict his speed, it nevertheless exceeded 68 m.p.h. The proceedings terminated with a film show, included in which were some

of the current M.C.C. films, and members generally conceded that it was one of the most successfully organised and popular M.C.C. events.

N.W. LONDON M.G.

The ” Gloucester ” Trial will take place on December 4th. This is a closed invitation trial and one of the “classics.”

Invited clubs are Sunbac, Bristol, Cheltenham, Southsea and Taunton.

Applications for membership in the Promoting or Invited Clubs by those who are not already members should reach the Secretaries on or before the closing date for entries, November 23rd.

Although the Club has not run many events in 1948 due to our dates on the calendar being before the return of ” Standard” petrol, a full and interesting programme is promised for next year, including the Lawrence Cup, Inter-Club Team Trials, the Coventry Cup and at least one Gymkhana event as well as the “Gloucester.”

The Committee are also considering further additions to next year’s programme of both motoring and social events. Hon. Secretary, James H. Appleton, 99, Goldhawk Road, London, W.12; Tele. : Shepherds Bush 2243. Hon. Treasurer : D. S. Wood-Dow, 256, Westminster Bridge Road, London, S.E.1 ; Tele. : Waterloo 6056. Clerk of the Course : T. W. Dargue, 28, Broadway, Stratford, E.15. RACING CAR EXHIBITION The Victoria League announced that will again hold an Exhibition of Cars at Henly Hall, London, this year. The dates will be Nov. 28th and the admission charge 2s., half-price. Last year over enthusiasts visited the exhibition,

will be bigger and better this year. The Gardner Record Car and John Cobb’s Land-Speed-Record Railton Mobil Special will be amongst the exhibits. ONE-MAKE REGISTERS

The Alvis Register now contains the names of 51 owners. A Delage Register is to be started, mainly concerning the “14/40.” Details of ears and spares are requested by V. L. Gray, Lyndhurst, Lucas! cs Avenue, IL ly wards Heath, Sussex. ASTON MARTIN OWNERS’ CLUB

The next meeting in London will be a Christmas Fork Supper Party with cocktails, at 6.30 p.m., at the Cock Tavern, Fleet Street, on Wednesday, December 15th. Supper tickets for members and friends 5s. each. The Richard Stallebrass Memorial Trophy Fund, which now totals over £70, is still open to receive donations, which may be addressed to the Hon. Secretary : Dudley Coram, 554, Limpsfield Road, Upper Warlingham, Surrey. The trophy will, no doubt, be put up as an annual award for the best competition performance in any one year of a privatelyowned Aston-Martin and driver. It is hoped that the trophy will take the form of a silver model replica of the late Richard Stallebrass 2-litre speed model with Ulster body.

V.S.C.C. OF A.

After a long lapse the “Vintage Car,” official organ of the Vintage S.C.C. of Australia, has re-appeared, now as a printed journal. It is disappointing that none of Shepherd’s famous drawings of vintage cars are included, but the presentation is effective and breezy. The first issue in new form is dated July and reached us this month. It is a nice gesture to our V.S.C.C. to feature a picture of a Bisley Rally on the front cover, although the ” Alphonso ” Hispano-Suiza that is amongst the cars depicted is actually Hill’s (now Cuthell’s) three-speed, short-chassis car, not Boddy’s four-speed, long-chassis tourer. F.I.A.T. 500 CLUB

On September 30 last a F.I.A.T. 500 Club was set in motion and got off to a flying start. The inauguration meeting, held at the Crown and Sceptre, Holland Road, Kensington, attracted a large company, and the sight of 28 ” Mice ” neatly parked outside was indeed gratifying.

The first Club run is to take place on Sunday, October 17th, to the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Virginia Water, with meeting places at three points on the road, converging at Staines. Secretary : J. A. James, 29, The Grampians, Western Gate, W.6. Telephone : SHE 3529. * •

TUNBRIDGE WELLS M.C. This club’s second Annual Post-War Rally went off well, and His Worship the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells opened the course and attended the dinner in the

evening. Results : S. F. Welfare’s Sunbeam-Talbot won the event outright, from L. Morris’ Hffiman and H. Radford’s 31-litre Bentley. Class winners were Skinner’s 1913 Rover, Jarvis’ 4i-litre Bentley, Harvey’s 41-litre Bentley, and Morris’ Hillman. Hon. see.: W. F. Crossman, 28, Grove Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells (Tel. : 1250). …• THE 760-c.c. RENAULT SALOON *—continued from page 487

engine started very promptly and opened up with a minimum of choke.

We believe the price in France is equal to about £285 in British currency. The cars are assembled and finished at Wembley, for export.

We drove the Renault unmercifully, including much fast running along country lanes and even along grass-grown tracks, four-up. The more we handled the car the more attached to it we became. The only faults that developed were a squeak from the steering column, and the ” blowing ” of the fuse for the off-side direction-indicator and parking lamp. There was an occasional momentary smell of burning rubber, the origin of which we didn’t trace.

In conclusion, unfortunately this test was only a brief one, and offered no true assessment of the Renault’s durability. But it has left a lasting impression of an economy car in the truest sense of that term, which is also one of the most comfortable cars we have ridden in, and which is not only usefully fast but, perhaps more important, outstandingly safe and pleasurable to handle.

Many of the cars the motoring journalist tries he soon forgets, some live for long in his memory, a few, very few, he would like to have as his own. The Renault comes in the last-named category.—W. B. •• ?••••••••••••• **** ••••••••••••••••••

•• ?••••••••••••• **** •••••••••••••••••• Stop Press!

HANTS & BERRS NIGHT NAVIGATION TRIAL.—

Official results : Best performance of the night : driver Lt./Com. 3. L. W. M. Allison (Lancia ” Aprilia “) ; navigator, P. C. Hail; 23 marks lost. First-class awards: Miss Schiller (Vauxhall Fourteen), 37 marks lost ; Conn Chapman (Austin Seven), 43 marks lost ; Eric Brandon (11-litre M.G.), 53 marks lost ; John Symons (Austin Seven), 54 marks lost ; A. G. Bowling (Jeep), 55 marks lost. Secondclass award. g: R. L. Sadler (Hillman Minx), 75 marks lost ; J. Gott (Aerodynamic H.R.G.), 79 marks lostM. Vaughan (Delage), 81 marks lost ; D. H. Wall (Riley Nine), 87 marks lost ; M. Lambert (T-type M.G.), 90 marks lost. a * *

WEST HANTS & DORSET C.C. POOLE SPEED TRIALS.. —Onslow-Bartlett’s Mercury-Special made f.t.d. • • a Morad. 0.P.—Stop Pregs: Wimille’s Alfa-Romeo won at 109,98 m.p.h. from his team-mates Trossi and Samesi, the last-named making fastest lap, at

118.95 m.p.h. a a a CORRECTIONS.—R. Owen’s Austin Seven which ran at Brighton was prepared by Ray Martin, not by Williams, as stated. it has now transpired that J. M. Perkins’ H.R.G. beat Tony Crook’s ” 328 ” B.M.W. and won its class, whereas we credited the

class to Crook. • a a

One hundred and twenty entries have been received for the Brighton Veterans’ Run. The continuation of the article “Sports Motor-cycles of the Vintage Era” has been crowded-out of this Issue but will appear as and when space permits. We understand that Freddie Dixon acts as consultant to Tony Rolt but is not responsible for the work actually done on his racing Alfa-Romeo.