Some years ago a “racing” Essex was mentioned in your columns and I enclose a photograph of this car in action at Shelsley Walsh, in 1922.
In those days C. A. Glentworth was Concessionaire for Hudson-Essex and the Company I was with, who were the Birmingham distributors, were asked by him to produce a good used model which could be modified and made competitive. The car was one of the original 4-cylinder, high-compression type and as tar as I can remember the radiator was lowered, an outside exhaust fitted, and a bolster petrol tank which fed with the aid of a bicycle pump as an Autovac could not cope, was used. On this particular climb, I acted as mechanic, pumping air pressure and holding the gear lever in 2nd as it used to slip out. The driver was J. S. Cauldrey, who was Service Manager of Hudson-Essex. C. A. N. May in his book “Shelsley Walsh” records that we made fifth fastest time of the day, in 62.8 seconds.
Later, Glentworth wanted to do 100 m.p.h. at Brooklands. The car was taken to Mr. Poppe of White and Poppe, Coventry, who thought this would be possible if he supplied his own design of cylinder head. I believe he was successful, whereupon the car blew up.
Birmingham. R. Pilcher.
(In fact, the fastest race lap at Brooklands by Glentworth’s Essex was 80.59 m.p.h. when driven by Douglas Hawkes, in 1923. It was singularly unreliable as a Track car. — ED.)