Club News, November 1949

We Hear
Arising out of the article on the G.N. published in Motor Sport last August, O. A. K. Wilson sends two interesting snapshots, one of a 1921 touring G.N., the other of an. A.V. monocar. Julian Boyson, 42, Oakhill Road, Sutton, Surrey, has acquired a low-chassis 4 1/2-litre Invicta, engine No. 7481, chassis No. S 86, registered No. GT 48, the engine possessing a modified light-alloy sump and special oil pipe to the rocker gear. If any previous owners spot this, will they please communicate with him. We regret that in the September issue, in connection with the proposed Baghdad Club, we published Major G. N. Gilmore’s rank incorrectly as that of Major-General. Kempe-Roberts has had the ex-Aitken single-seater Frazer-Nash rebuilt and restored to original condition.

News of another flat-twin Wolseley is to hand — in Stratford-on-Avon. Readers are now very conscious of the need for good power/weight ratio and one venture that progresses is the installation of a Vauxhall Ten engine in an Austin Seven chassis. We have letters to forward to R. L. Simms but have mislaid his address; will he please notify us. Scott Moncrieff and his wife have been touring France in a Type 37 Bugatti and were at Molsheim while the Whincops were on holiday there.

Hugh Clapp, the H.R.G driver, appeals to Motor Sport readers to forward their copies to the East Lancashire Home for Disabled Servicemen, Broughton House, Broughton Park, Manchester, “because such kindness would bring a lot of cheer to the lads there, including some very sad cases.” Clapp’s copy takes a very long time to get round. The British Road Federation has issued its 1949 edition of that very interesting publication: “Basic Road Statistics,” price 1s. from the B.R.F., 4a, Bloomsbury Square, W.C.1. It contains a host of absorbing facts — did you know, for instance, that in 1905 there were 15,895 private cars in use in this country, an increase of 7,480 over 1904? Peck is devoting himself to outboard motor-boat racing at Sunbury, Middlesex, etc., and finds his 1926 Darracq Twelve sports four-seater admirable for towing the boat-trailer about. Recently rebored, it cruises at 55-60 m.p.h., gives some 30 m.p.g., and is essentially rugged and reliable.

Following Lt. Gordon’s enquiry re owners of Aster and Arrol-Aster cars, T. C. Wrigley states he has a 1926 or thereabouts 17-h.P. Arrol-Aster which has only done about 30,000 miles and goes very well, except that it uses petrol at the rate of 9 m.p.g. Any suggestions would be welcome!

John Bolster is retaining his keen interest in Edwardianism and has recently acquired a pre-1914 “10/12” Standard with delightful closed bodywork — the sort of thing Edwardian Gaiety girls would have looked upon with envy. A more recent, open Standard, of about 1926 vintage, driven by an elderly lady, was encountered in Hampshire recently — like seeing a Vanguard on the road in 1962! C. L. Christiansen has acquired the Bamford & Martin Aston-Martin XX 3380, and hopes to restore it. A reader tells us of the sporting action of the Daily Express in refunding the money spent on Silverstone tickets when, because of the traffic congestion near Buckingham, he decided not to proceed and returned to London. A call was made at the newspaper’s offices and amid expressions of sympathy the cost of the tickets and car park fee were returned in full. D. C. Alderson, 16, Kings way Park, Davy Hulme, Manchester, wants to exchange a de Dion Bouton engine for anything useful in building a “special” or for a vintage motor-cycle. Last month a London business-man, Robert Porter, took a 2 1/2-litre Riley saloon to Montlhèry and, officially observed, covered 93.74 miles in the hour from a standing start and 94.18 miles from a flying start, according to the Nuffield Organisation Central Publicity Department.

In an interesting letter, Mr. Small, of Nottingham, says he encountered a V8 de Dion in service on the R.A.F. Station at Talscrash, Gold Coast, in 1943, but at the time cameras were verboten. The vehicle had the de Dion back axle, was equipped with a vast searchlight, and had apparently been brought down from the French Ivory Coast. Its date of manufacture was included on the maker’s name-plate and was 1915 or 1916 — one of the auto-canons chassis, no doubt. Mr. Small seeks data for a friend in South Africa who has a 1928 A.C. Six, and spares for another friend out there, who runs a 1987 Lancia “Aprilia.” He encloses an amusing cutting from the Nottingham Guardian in which that paper attempts to do its best, with a headline “British Cars Win at Montlhèry,” referring to the Talbots (French, of course) in the G.P. du Salon.

Incidentally, referring to our remarks last month on the early V8 de Dions, Bolster reminds us that this make is still in existence as a rear-engined diesel lorry and still retains a de Dion back axle. Old cars continue to be unearthed, the latest “find” being a 1913 Morgan three-wheeler in a remote shed in Lancashire. Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. have published recently a useful book entitled “The ‘Belco’ Handbook of Car Refinishing,” which tells you the whole gamut of repainting a car. Motor Sport readers can obtain copies free from any I.C.I. Sales Office, or from the Paints Division, Slough, Bucks. The latest issue of the “Sports Car,” official organ of the S.C.C. of America, is of a notably high standard.

Down in Bristol, P. W. Evans has saved a 1919 o.h.c. Dawson lightcar engine from a breakers. Latest club to blossom out with a printed magazine is the N.W. London M.C. with its “Norwester.”

Nottingham S.C.C.
The Nottingham Sports Car Club has now been functioning for over a year and has held many well-supported events of all types. The membership is now well over 100 and includes Bob Gerard, Reg. Parnell and David Hampshire. Bob and Joan Gerard, in fact, attended the first dance early in the year. Another member-driver of note is Mrs. Binns.

Local enthusiasm is tremendous and huge crowds attend each event. The number of “specials” built and being built is legion. A film show is held each year and a hill-climb is being arranged.

Informal meetings are held on the first Thursday in each month, at the “Admiral Rodney,” Wollaton. The annual subscription is £1, with a 7s. 6d. junior membership for those under 21. Particulars can be obtained from: Hon. sec., 14, Upper College Street, Nottingham.

October Quiz
The car depicted in the October Quiz picture proved fairly easy to recognise. It was, in fact, the 1914 G.P. Peugeot owned by Lindley Bothwell and entered by him for this years Indianapolis race. Naturally it did not qualify, but it nevertheless lapped at 103 m.p.h. It has since broken the old-car lap record at San Diego. Clues to its identity were the characteristic Peugeot air-hole in the bonnet and the front axle details, but the modern American tyre may have confused some. The first correct solution came from Jack Rance, of Radlett. Other correct solutions were sent in by E. White, of Tolworth; H. Pratley, of South Woodford; R. K. Small, of Beeston K. Brown, of Glasgow; R. Buxton, of Enfield Wash; C. H. Griffin, of Rotherham; P. L. K. Bird, of London, N.W.8; Capt. W. Bunbury, of Barton Mills, and A. H. Dickinson, of Lanchester. J. Pickup, S. S. Barber and P. M. Rambaut got the make correct but the year incorrect, while C. Posthumus didn’t know the year. Incorrect solutions were 1920 3-litre Ballot and 1933 Duesenberg.

B.D.C. Annual Dinner
As the Editor was engaged in reporting the Weston-Super-Mare and Luton Hoo speed trials, and discovering the end of the drought between times, Mrs. Boddy deputised for him at the B.D.C. dinner and dance. She writes:—

“The Bentley Drivers’ Club held their annual dinner and dance at the Dorchester Hotel on October 8th. The dinner was excellent, the dancing, to Arthur Salisbury’s Band, popular, and the usual “Bentley Floor Show” most amusing. The drawing back of the curtains revealed a representation of the Roils-Bentley pit at Le Mans this year. H. S. F. Hay, who qualified for the club’s award for the best performance by a member in a Bentley during the season for his efforts in this race, drove the Rolls-Bentley on to the ballroom floor and came to rest In front of the pit, and one of the Le Mans pit-stops was then enacted. This car now has twin petrol fillers standing out from the rear windows and the mudguards have ventilators for brake cooling, which were not present when Eyston covered over 114 miles in the hour in this car at Brooklands before the war.

“The No. 1 production model Bentley (engine No. 1, chassis No. 5), in immaculate condition, was on show at one end of the ballroom. (My wife must have been seeing double, as she mentions front-wheel brakes on this car! — Ed.] The very original “frontispiece” of the band consisted of 3-litre, 4-litre, 4 1/2-litre and 8-litre Bentley radiators.

“The Royal toast was proposed by President Stanley Sedgwick, whose subsequent reference in his speech to the ladies dresses was very apt, for many of them were charming and delightful to look upon. S. C. H. Davis proposed the toast to ‘The Marque,’ J. D. Im Thurn that to the guests, while H. Kensington Moir replied for the guests. F. C. Clement presented the well-merited club award to H. S. F. Hay.”

Glamour Girls
Some of the more glamorous of the racing drivers’ wives got into Illustrated dated September 10th, in which one Jack Ensoll had a piece entitled “Wives of the Race Pits.” Those who featured as glamour girls were Eileen Salvadori, Joan Gerard, Angela Duncan Hamilton, Peggy Baring, Luis Rolt, Pat Baton, Kathleen Harrison, Betty Parnell, Theresa Paanaker and Princess Birabongse — which seems hard on Eleanor Allard, Nancy Dims, Joy Ching and other girls who, apart from qualifying under the glamour heading, do take part in a bit of racing occasionally. However, perhaps they did not miss very much, for those depicted were for the most part doing nothing particularly useful and were labelled “piston widows,” but have the compensation, we are told, of visits to Jersey, Spain, South Africa, America, Italy, France and Belgium, and of seeing their husbands “on ice in Scandinavia and on mud in Ireland.” Now if the author had only included the racing drivers’ girl-friends . . .! Word of warning to the wives, by the way. Remember not to talk nostalgically of Brooklands pre-war; if you do you rank as an “older wife,” according to the author of the article.

He puts in a few things that cheer up you and me. There is the picture of Salvadori’s Maserati “cornering on Silverstone at 95 m.p.h.” while a girl (presumably not one of the racing-wives) stands on the track the other side of the straw bales with her back to the car! There is a naughty libel on Bob Gerard’s E.R.A., which is accused of losing a back wheel in practice, whereas it was the modern Frazer-Nash that introduced Bob to that bit of excitement. And there is the following pen picture: “Salvadori is coming in for a minor adjustment The white-overalled mechanics run forward and take the bonnet from the smoking engine. Eileen pours some lemonade into a glass. Salvadori gulps a mouthful and then races away again. Soon he will be touching 100 m.p.h. ‘It’s a very thrilling sport,’ says Eileen.” Not so thrilling, perhaps, for her husband, who finished 17th. But there, journalists will be journalists, and we like Eileen Salvadori’s frock . . .

On September 22nd, members of this club enjoyed a further talk devoted to the development of a certain marque, this time the Bentley, which was given by Mr. R. A. Clarke, and some members of the B.D.C. were present, bringing with them photographs, which were thrown on to a screen through an episcope.

The development of the Bentley, from the very first one, was traced by Mr. Clarke, who was with Clive Gallop, F. Burgess, Harry Varling and W. O. Bentley himself when it was constructed in the mews in Baker Street. Those present had the pleasure of seeing a large number of photographs of the various models and of incidents in racing, many of these photographs being of Le Mans. The period covered went right up to the present day and dealt more particularly with the process of development, whilst a further meeting, which Mr. Clarke has kindly consented to attend, will take place early in the New Year, and will have a technical flavour, probably in the form of an “Any Questions?” meeting.

Mr. Tomlins, who had so much to do with the testing of the cars, was present, as also was Stanley Sedgwick and a Norwegian member of the B.D.C. who owns the only Bentley in that country — a 3-litre.

Hon. Sec.: G. Bance, 7, Queen’s Avenue, Muswell Hill, N.W.10.

The Association of Northern Car Clubs
This Association, which comprises the Y.S.C.C., S. & H.M.C., N.M.M.C., L.A.C., L. & C.C.C., D. & D.M.C. L.M.C., B.A.R.C. M.G.C.C. and C.M.C., held its tenth meeting in Manchester on September 14th. Apologies for non-attendance were received from the R.A.C. and B.T.D.A. The following matters were discussed:

March 12th, 1950, was agreed upon by the Association for the North v. South Trial in the North, and this date is therefore being kept clear by Northern clubs when arranging their events for next year. November 19th, 1950, was suggested for the event In the South and, subject to acceptance by the Southern Association, which we understand is now being formed, this date will complete the event.

Member clubs are to have ready for the next meeting, their dates for 1950, which will be discussed and a programme arranged for submission to the R.A.C.

It was agreed that, in trials, a competitor may compete in one team only, that team to consist of competitors all having entered in the name of the same club. In future, all Northern Association Clubs will adhere to this rule.

A further discussion took place on the R.A.C. Competition Licence.

The Yorkshire Sports Car Club provide the chairman for the next meeting, which will take place at 7.30 p.m., on December 7th, at the Great Northern Hotel, Bradford. Hon. sec.: H. V. Sampson, “Sunnyside,” Heckmondwike, Yorkshire.

Goodwood’s Practice Facilities
The B.A.R.C. deserves great credit for arranging practice sessions at its Goodwood circuit on the first and last Saturdays of each month, free of charge to its members. This arrangement has terminated for this year but will be resumed on April 1st, 1950. On the last day’s session this year, Saturday, September 24th, the owners of several Coopers, the ex-Bear 3-litre Bugatti, the Semmence Special, the Treen Riley, a G.P. Bugatti, a 4 1/2-litre Bentley and a “2.6” Alfa were availing themselves of this worthwhile facility, free from fuss and red-tape. Motor Sport also had a “Silverstone” Healey on the circuit. Thank you, John Morgan

The B.A.R.C. announces three big meetings and three club meetings at Goodwood next year.

Javelin Party
At the Press party to celebrate the advent of the new E.R.A.-Javelin, Mr. Woodhead, O.B.E., a Jowett director, made an amusing speech, to which Tommy Wisdom and G. Geoffrey Smith, M.B.E., replied. Wisdom said that when Tony Hume asked him to co-drive at Spa he was delighted, until he was told they were to handle a Javelin. However, the car went beautifully and he never enjoyed a race more. He jokingly called on Rodney Walkerley of the Motor to diminish his enthusiasm for Grand Prix racing and to recognise sports-car racing, in which British high-performance cars do so well — an opportune remark this, in view of the R.A.C.’s intention to revive the T.T. next year.

Laurence Pomeroy remarked that he was still fighting the Temple Press accounts department over the expense of the luncheon he had had when suggesting to Jowett that E.R.A. should produce a fast chassis for them, so he was glad to see that the new car had come into being and it had all been worth while. Wisdom and Hume were presented with silver cigarette boxes as a token of appreciation for their fine drive at Spa, when a Javelin saloon beat all the other touring cars, and Hume said E.R.A. Ltd. could not have had greater help from the Idle factory in producing the E.R.A.-Javelin if they had been part of it.

B.R.M.C. Dinner and Dance
The British Racing Mechanics Club will hold its annual dinner and dance at the Park Lane Hotel on November 25th/26th. Dress: overalls, or, if you must, lounge suits. This will be a great gathering of those who drive and those who repair the cars afterwards Sidney Jerome’s band will be in action until 1 a.m., and so will the bar. Tickets cost 27s. 6d. each, from R. G. Dunn, 15, Oak Lodge, Queen’s Road, Hersham, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

Brighton and Hove M.C.
A sit-down Buffet Dance and Cabaret is scheduled for December 9th, at 8 p.m., at the Grand Hotel, Brighton. Tickets cost £1 1s. each and all members, with friends, will be welcome. Details from: P. R. Monkhouse, Dell Cottage, Westwick Row, Leverstock Green, Herts.

Royal Windsor C.C.
This club has just been formed in the Windsor, Surrey, area. Details are available from: L. D. J. O’Grady, 103, St. Leonards Road, Windsor.

The Shell Film
On October 4th at the Gaumont British news theatre in Wardour Street, an enthusiastic gathering saw a premiere of the film “Grand Prix,” taken by the highly-skilled Shell Film Unit. The direction is by Bill Mason, the commentary by R. L. Walkerley. The film opens with some intriguing “shots” of the 1923 and 1924 French Grand.s Prix, in which F.I.A.T., Sunbeam, Alfa-Romeo and those aerodynamic oddities (and pioneers) the Bugatti and Voisin “tanks” are seen. There follow glimpses of one of the later sports-car Grand Prix races, with Mercédès-Benz and Bugatti prominent, and then the film gets down to the job of giving the story of this year’s R.A.C. British Grand Prix at Silverstone, won by de Graffenried’s Maserati, with Bob Gerard’s E.R.A. a gallant second.

The filming is of a high order and covers pre-race scenes, the very thrilling mass-start, pit-stops, cornering and the greeting of a very photogenic winner. Definitely this is a film worth seeing; copies will soon be available in 16 and 35-mm. sizes for free loan. Clubs wishing to take advantage of Shell’s generous offer should contact their Trade Relations Dept., at Shell-Mex House. Amongst the celebrities at the premiere were John Cobb, who thanked Shell for their hospitality, Bob and Joan Gerard, Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead, Stirling Moss, Peter Clark, and other drivers.

1950 Austin Seven?
Speaking at a Motor Show luncheon on October 4th, Mr. L. P. Lord, Chairman of the Austin Motor Company, said: “We do not put on new models until we are ready to make them. We are asked when we are going to make a small car. When the time comes we will produce a small car, and I can tell you it will be an Austin Seven.” No better baby-car has ever been produced than the Austin Seven, so thoughts of an Austin Seven with modern brakes and suspension, perhaps weighing even less than formerly, are extremely pleasant thoughts. But as any present-day economy car should encompass real economy, like the miniature Citroën, the de Rovin, the Simca Six, the Dyna-Panhard. and the rear-engined Renault, it would have been even more reassuring, especially as some progress in the power output of engines is to be expected after twelve years, if Mr. Lord had spoken, not of a revived Austin Seven, but of a projected Austin Five.

Berkhamsted & D. M.C. & C.C.
The Lockhart-Bossingham Trial will be over a new 40 to 50-mile course this year. It starts at 12 noon on November 20th, from Friar’s Wash Filling Station, north of Redbourn on A50, and will finish in or near Berkhamsted. Details from: P. Verdier, “Greenfinches,” Canonsfield, Welwyn (284), Herts.

The “Brains Trust” organised by the M.M.E.C. for their monthly meeting on October 5th, proved to be one of the most successful gatherings held for some time.

The team comprised five well-known motoring enthusiasts, namely, Peter Clark, Alick Pitts, H. A. Richards, N. T. Bond-Williams and John Wyer, and the role of Quiz Mastex was handled with admirable skill and masterly tact by L. Murray Austin.

The ground covered by the questions was fairly wide. One question, of particular topical interest, dealt with the opinions at present current for and against the use of straw bales at Silverstone. It was felt that there was something to be said for some alteration being made to the size and weight of the straw bales as at present used; another suggestion was for a guide marking on the course at corners, an open space beyond this visible safety limit, and then straw bales beyond that. The point was made that many drivers had hit the straw bales with perfect safety to themselves and machines, and that the method should not be condemned outright solely on account of a comparatively small number of unfortunate accidents.

Another interesting question dealt with the possibility of holding a Le Mans-type race for sports cars at Silverstone, either 24 hours or “Double Twelve.” Opinion was in favour of this suggestion, held as a “Double Twelve.”

British G.P. possibilities, in view of the superior Italian cars surging into the field, were discussed, and it was pointed. out that the Italians possessed great advantages over our own manufacturers in that motor racing being, so to speak, a national sport in Italy, the whole business was far more commercialised, and Italian manufacturers had available much greater resources both financially and from the point of view of skilled man-power.

The San Diego Veteran-Car Races
Again this year, a two-day meeting for veteran cars was sponsored by the General Petroleum Company and the Horseless Carriage Club, in conjunction with the San Diego County Fair. Lindley and Ann Bothwell acted as host and hostess, and Bothwell not only brought seven racing cars — two 1909 Arizona Cadillacs, the 1914 G.P. Peugeot, “Prince Henry” Benz, Stutz, Simplex and Stearns — but also loaned about a dozen more sedate veterans to draw the public. The racing took place over the 1 1/8th-mile Del Mar trotting track and Ralph de Palma acted as starter and referee. There were handicap, relay and heat contests between Bothwell’s racing cars, as well as a one-cylinder race won by Rademacher (Maxwell) in 3 min. 38 sec., a two-cylinder race won by Eastwood (Buick), in 3 min. 2 sec., a four-cylinder race in which Johnson (Buick) was first home in 1 min, 17 sec., a steam-car race easily won by Mathews’ 1911 Stanley in 1 min. 52 sec., a Model-T Ford heat which Mahoney’s four-seater, with hood up, won in a “photo-finish” in 1 min. 37 sec., and a two-lap pre-1920 sports-car race won by Goodell’s 1915 Mercer in 2 min. 23 sec. One of the racing-car events went to the Stearns, at over 60 m.p.h. for three laps, and during the meeting Bothwell broke the lap record in the 1914 Peugeot, clocking 55.8 sec., beating the old figure by three seconds. An amusing episode occurred when Goodell’s Ford V8, which had towed his Mercer from Los Angeles, broke its back axle, so that the Mercer was driven triumphantly home. What fun, and how nice to have all that gas! We suggest that the R.A.C. stage a short race for pre-1925 racing cars as a curtain-raiser to the G.P. d’Europe at Silverstone on May 13th next year.