FARNBOROUGH RAG WEEK CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE/D’ETAT (Sept. 24th)
BECAUSE I like to see the younger generation taking a pride in their old cars 1 agreed to he one of the Judges in the znd Farnborough Rag. Week event, even though this meant missing the ” Vintage Car of the Year ” Contest at Beaulieu and I got pretty wet looking at the exhibits. The entry was stronger in quantity than quality. with notable exceptions, well over too vehicles being entered. Morgan 3-wheelers were particularly well represented, including the ex-I lenry Laird racer.
The more outstanding cars in the Queensmead Car Park on this rainy afternoon included a nice Mk. z 18/go M.G., a sporty Crossley 15.7 sports tourer, J. Hardy’s very original 1929 General Motors’ 20/60 Vauxhall tourer, which spent part of its life as a taxi in Cornwall and had a vintage gramophone aboard. It was more original than a 20;60 Vauxhall Hurlingham; both had the unexpected six-branch inlet manifold one finds on these cars.
H. Barr showed a very immaculately rebuilt Austin 7 Swallow twoseater, there were Austin Chummies and Rubies in widely varying stages of preservation, some decked out quite unsuitably in the eyes of seriousminded judges—even to ” For Sale ” notices. A 5921 Rover Eight had brass hub-caps and lamps, entirely out of keeping with the utility aspect of these cars, and non-original polished wood running boards; a yellow Calcott went even further in flaunting modern embellishment and polished wood adornments. J. Singer had a showroom-condition 12/23 link saloon with straps for keeping its windows up, bizarre interior appointments, and a .combination of full cantilever and 1elliptic rear suspension. It looked almost too good to be true. A Series3 B.S.A. Scout displayed a non-original bulbous tail, M. Paine put in a very smart Austin Nippy, there was the inevitable bogus 3-litie Bentley, two extremely creditable Austin to/4 saloons, one of which was said to have run r5,000 in 1966 alone, a blown P13/Q M.G., a rough 1936 Studebaker Dictator saloon representing Americanism, and a nice Morris Eight tourer entered by a 60-years veteran driver.
Rare cars numbered a big Lanchester 14 saloon with LancheSter engine but Daimler body, very clean 1934 Wolseley Nine and 1931 A.J.S. saloons from the same stable, and a s.v. six-cylinder Hillman go Wingham .cabriolet with carpets which looked to have been in the car for the whole of its 30 years. A Daimler EL24 limousine had very rough paintwork and Several other cars were not fit to stand outside the house, let alone enter for a beauty contest. Someone had sold eight Austin 7s in order to buy himself a 1935 Armstrong Siddeley, which gives the lie to the theory that no-one wants these cars, -although this one did not appear to have made the journey up from Horndean. The commercial vehicles included that line solid-tyred Schierl lorry (I once did it the misjustice of saying it had a modern S.U. carburetter, .having been misled by the casing of its governor mechanism)„ and Daimler Worthington bottle-van, now, alas, with a Bedford engine. W. IL