OUR particular interest. in vintage, i.e., pre-1931 ears of the better sort., is from the sporting angle, that is, the ownership of suds ears 1-dy enthusiasts who derive enjoyment from theta and from perhaps using t hem iii eompetition events contliwd to vehicles of this era. BILL, what With the allocation of new cars to the home market limited next year to only 80,000, and the dreadful state in which many ” essential users ” of Inc ttor transWI. now find their overworked 1931-39 tinware, these non-enthusiasts may find themselves forced to consider vintage vehicles in the near future., such ears beta; mainly well preserved, due to their initial high quality and the loving care bestowed on minty Of thern by vintage enthusiasts in recent times.
Whether this extension of the vintage eldt COMICS about or not will probably depend on Ras attitude of the used-car vendors to whom John and Joan Citiven would turn for their supply. If such vendors raise still further this winter the prices they charge for sound but in the :eyes of the public antiquated vehicles, John and Joao are likely to decide that money will be better spent on restoring to some semblance of good order their existing tin-boxes for, remember, they haven’t our faith in the old ears nor Can they appreciate, without, trial, that these ears have many practical features. Rather do t hey fear what we praise and could very easily persuade themselves that. a devil they know (after overhaul) is better than a devil unknown.
Bat if Mr. Vendor woos them with claims which for once Ise need hardly exaggerate, backed by sensible prices:, the demand for vintage ears may increase apace.
Certainly the vintage movement has received useful publicity in the general Press of late. N’intage car articles have appeared in Men Only, Modern Caravan and the Mn sham Magazine and last montls Litlipu.’s readers were told accurately and entertainingly by Colin I). %Vinod:, himself a keen Alvis owner, just what this old-car cult is about. His article ” The Good Old Motors,” was based On a typical V.S.C.C. meeting at Ike ” Phoenix,” Hartley Wintney, home of club vintagery in this country.
This excellent discourse touches on most, latt by no means all, the vintage virtues, carries not a single word of disparagement, and illustrates nsany wellknown V.S.C.C. personalities and such MIR or ears as Bentley, Bugatti, ILE. (four and six-cylinder), Sunbeam, FraserNash, Austin Seven, Alvis, ItispanoSniza. aml ” bull-nose ” M.G. %Vinod: has done the vintage movem.ent a considerable serviee and you should get hold oft his September -October issue of Li/lima if you have not already done so. Sc, excellent is this article that we forgive its author his references
to ” 1E; pages of classified advertisements carried by the vintage men’s journal” (could this be as ?) and a picture captioned
complete city man : Bentley and bowler,” in which the car is really a Type :14 Ilagatti.
“. . . the stink of Castrol R, the shriek of everything as it accelerated at a seemingly fantastic ptute, the straight-through gear changes and yell of straight-cut gears, the heat from engine and exhaust all around the cockpit—this was really something in those days “—C. W. P. Hampton writing in Ilaganties of his first Bugatti, a Type 43 Grand Sport.
From the Vintage Postbag
Mr. Bowler is wrong in stating that the 3-litre anti 31-litre Lagonda engines were built by Crossley. They were built by Lagonda, as was the ” 19/95 ” (69 by 120 mm.). The ” IWO ” is similar in most respects to the early 3-litre (72 by 120 mm.). I think this should clear the situation up. I am, Yours, etc., %Varrington. T. 1). A. KENNEDY. Lieut. (E), * Sir,
Sentiment compels me to write in support of SI.,dr. Tony Everett, in praise of the Mark IV Riley Nine, as I owned one of these grand old ears for several years— not. the open tourer, but. the ” Monaco •’ fabric saloon on the same ellassis—and remember her most affectionately.
I was very interested to note your correspond/east’s experiences on the Continent with Ids tourer, which I te-tstune was the standard model without. pump or fan, as I have just completed a similar trip with a post7-war small car fitted with at least one of these desirable devices, and it boiled fremsently on the passes. Also, it didn’t like the rough roads. My ” Monaco •’ carried many a heavy load of young Irian-MO-womanhood through all sorts of adventures (they were
roomy old girls), but never let us down once, and al the end Wati as good trowItanically as widen I bought her. Unfortunately the fabric cracked through wartime laying up, and the wooden bodyframework began to go. Performance was staid maybe (and couldn’t those timing gears rattle ?), but the steering WaS a delight and the whole car had that solid, safe feel on the. road that, is completely absent. in modern nsaddinery. ” Character ” I think best describes the combination of her many qualities.
Yes, they were one of the classic models, anti Utough. past owners do not, often enthuse in print about them these dayS. I have never met one who was not, at heart, still very muds in love with his old Riley Nine. They were built., as we say, ” when ears were ears, and men were men.” I DAD, Yours, etc.,
Peterborough. Sir, In your August issue R. F. Hiatt wonders if it is possible to ” hot up ” Singer Junior. I own a 1929 tourer and once had similar ideas but found that one Utitig was lacking, namely, overlap. Exhaust closes and inlet opens 8 degrees after t.d.e. The critical speed at which carburetter blow-back takes place can be increased by redneing the residual pressure at. the end of the exhaust stroke. I would suggest a three-braneh exhaust manifold and a straight-through silencer. ‘1’lle oilier alternative is to have a new camshaft made to give an overlap. This Insightlw done by building up lhe exhaust earns by welding (preferably on a spare camshaft. !) 4nd Own turtling lo the appropriate profile ; but is it worth it 1′
%Vould it not. be easier to re-register the car as” 1, l79-c.c. ifiatt Special,” with the appropriate engine change ?
I am, Yours, etc.. Crawley. PgrEss Emu um, /Or would the 1931 Singer chassis become ” too fast for driver ” with a Ford Ten engine ? Continued on page 571, Sir,
I was thinking about the Ihipmobile Eights which my mother hall and I Was wondering if there were any still in existence, and so was most interested to read Mrs. Clark’s letter. She says their car is 1926. so I should imagine it is a Series E. 271115 lip.. as they were more popular here than the larger 30,,75 which was for limousine maeltwork.
We hail two Series E models, one 1926, the other 1928. both fitted with English Victor Broom saloon bodies. The agency tvas handled by a firm in the Brompton Roail called International Distributors, with showrooms opposite Harrods.
The I Itipmobile was a very good car and there is still a number of them of various years running in Ireland. and the Icelandic people speak very highly of I hem.
They were more expensive than a Bunk or Chrysler but less so than a Packard (list prim was about 4:700).
Tlie two worst features I remeitilter were t he appalling lights and t he ex t ernalvontract ing band brakes, I ask heed assisted. We also had a 1931 six-cylinder multi”, a 1931 eight-cylinder saloon, mid it 1933 eight-eylin(Wr, live in all, which shows that we were very” I am, Yours, etc.,
.1. OLonAm. Sir, I was very pleased to read in your ” Vintage Post Bag ” of the 1926 Bean, as I have a 1925 two-seater example of this little mentioned make. I also have never had a moment’s trouble (luring two years of ownersItip anti regular use. No one would class it vintage in the true sense. but the sheer ruggedness of its construetion must. be admired. Mine, like Mr. .1. S. Cutler’s, jibs at no hill. The performance is very mediocre, its maximum r.p.m. being about 2.500. which in iii spit’ gives a top speed on the ” clock “) of 52 m.p.h. The four-wheel brakes are about in keeping, but one has to remember, when using t.l no hand brake, that the high pressure tyres are a mere
it). section. 1 have the original instruction hook, with notes by its first owner, whielt slates that 20.000 miles had been covered by 1929 and she has not yet Iwo( rebored ! Yours, etc.,
Itadeliffe-on-Trent. .1..1. WHALEY.
I just love to read the letters on the Coventry Premier and Gwynne Eight. 1 owned both and had the honour to he the first policeman in this country to drive on three wheels, with the former. What those C.P. twin (Tinnier!: had in store for me, the thrill of the first decarb., and later repairing a crarked water jacket with a soldering iron I
From that I graduated to the Gwynne Eight—a mile-a-minute job with only back wheel braking (not, advisable to get nearer than 100 yards to the car in front).
To see those overhead valves working, and to feel it. was under Ilispano licence, made me feel in the Maserati class. Beaded-edge tyres. which, when worn Smooth, Were treated with hot rods until of good appearance again, and later having to resort to Singer idstons
were filed down to fit the egg-shaped cylinders, and away on a 150-mile trip, feelite; like a pioneer. especially when the firing ceased, miles from anywhere, and having to rivet the points into the magneto, using a spanner as a hammer, en route for a wedding. and arriving itt he elltirell Wit 11 an oily rag in your pocket!
I later discarded the hip-bath body for (i Standard Avon saloon bolted down to flu! running boards, with a (G. B) plate to hide a dent which mitTlit have marred Ilw rear aspect. and then we would mix. with the Goodwood erowd feeling as good as them with le:011er and sorb() to sit on. Nt /NV. alas, with memories of the Wall NVIteel. I content myself’ with a Mini-motor popping away behind me. but to nty ageing ears it’s still good music,
I am. Yours, etc..
1Va rsaslt II. W. liNuarrs.
Vintage postbag, April 1985
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