Veteran Edwardian Vintage, November 1964

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A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters

S.T.D. Register Sandhurst Rally (Sept. 27th)

The traditional splendid autumn weather enhanced the beautiful setting in which this annual end-of-season fixture is held, by courtesy of the Commandant and Adjutant of the Royal Military Academy. The tests were distinctly pedestrian, in order to preserve the surface of NCW Building Square on which they took place, and included an elaborate blindfold driving test and towing in reverse a tray on which stood two skittles, the skittles having to be set up again by the driver if they fell over. There was also a regularity test without any watches or clocks to consult, in which Whiting in his very presentable 1929 Sunbeam Sixteen tourer was exactly on time, others within a second, but in which one competitor took 127 sec. too long. In a test involving driving as close as possible to an invisible oil drum, Whiting was best, with 2½ in. to spare.

As the cars lined up for the Pride-of-Ownership contest, the Oldest car present was seen to be Peter Moores’ lofty and immaculate 1921 Sunbeam limousine, white Fidgen had his very smart 1923 Sunbeam Fourteen tourer and Cookson a 1924 14/40 Sunbeam tourer on oversize tyres. Spring’s 1925 14/40 2-seater was bright yellow and, like Rich’s very nice 1926 14/40 2-seater, had its hood erect, as did several of the tourers. As the weather was entirely dry one wonders if vintage hoods, once up, are better left that way?

The India-shod 1925 Sunbeam 25 tourer of Carnegie and Charlton seemed anxious that its radiator should not suffer an assault, as it was guarded by a sort of out-size fireguard. Grammer came in a very original Sunbeam Sixteen saloon which, even as late as 1928, was equipped with a bulb horn, and whereas Pearce-Boby’s 1933 18.2-h.p. saloon awaits paint, Stone’s 1934 23.8-h.p. saloon was in fine condition.

An open sun-roof helped Rodger Carter to help Conk in his 1935 Sunbeam 25 during the blindfold caper. Arming the Talbots were a fine 1933 105 tourer driven by Rishton, Gray’s “Speed Model” coupe 90, and Brooking’s noisy 105/90 team-car.

At lunch the S.T.D assembly was joined by an Austin Six hearse with the early wide shell radiator but ball-gate gearchange, and at Sandhurst another Wolverhampton product, in the form of an A.J.S. saloon, arrived to watch the performing Sunbeams.

After much deliberation the judges, Georges Roeseh, Sir Frederick Pliilipson-Stowe (a one-time Talbot agent) and the President, Mrs. Winifred Boddy, decided that the best car was I. Foulkes’ 1933 Talbot 90 Vanden Plas tourer, next best Talbot being E. H. Studley’s 1932 Talbot 75, and the best Sunbeam F. W. Joyce’s 1934 Speed 22 saloon. The Col. & Amy Clarke Memorial Award, in memory of a gentleman who had owned Sunbeams all his life from pre-1914 until he died recently, also went to Mr. I Foulkes, for the best under-bonnet presentation. V. Rawlings (1929 Talbot 14/45 tourer) won the driving tests, the runner-up being A. Barker’s 1931, Talbot 75 saloon. With many new members present and the high standard of the competing cars, this meeting was a very satisfactory one from every point of view.—W B.