Vintage Postbag, November 1973

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Vintage Le Mans

Sir,

Oh dear, did three nasty gentlemen beat D.S. J.’s old travelling companion Stirling Moss at the Le Mans 50th Anniversary race! Whilst it is well known that attack is the best form of defence, I really do think the reasons given in his European Letter in the September issue for not reporting the event rather feeble — perhaps the fact that he wasn’t there would have been more truthful. I am sure he had good reasons for being elsewhere but he could hardly have stayed away because he knew in advance that the race was going to be won by “Silverstone VSCC Racers” when the Delahayes, on paper at any rate, should have had a good chance of winning — certainly I did not expect to beat them.

Had the first three cars been the type of VSCC special that bore no resemblance to any of the cars that actually competed at Le Mans, D.S. J.’s comments would have been valid. But this is hardly true of the winning Bentley which, for all the miracles of lightening which Hamish Morten has achieved, still looks like a Bentley and was driven to and from the circuit with two passengers and a considerable amount of camping equipment. Admittedly it goes a great deal faster than Bentleys have any right to do but I am sure this added to the crowd’s pleasure. Anyway there was a good selection of other Bentleys present.

Anthony Blight’s Talbot BGH 2.3 also goes very fast, but then it always did. I believe it lapped Brooklands at very nearly 130 m.p.h. in 1937 or thereabouts and it certainly wasn’t doing as much as that down the Mulsanne straight, so it is rather silly to suggest it is a “special” constructed to win VSCC “free-for-all” races. At any rate the car looks completely original, was also driven to and from the circuit with a full complement of passengers and luggage, and I do not imagine more than a handful of the spectators would have been able to distinguish between it and the Talbot toss whose Le Mans performances it was commemorating. Finally, my own BMW 328. Since D.S.J. was the author of the “Profile” on this model, I find it all the more surprising that he could disparage it as a special. He must have seen the car in the Paddock many times at Other meetings and would therefore know that the body is completely standard and that it has original wheels and the right size tyres. Moreover the car is, if anything, actually heavier than standard and is not a lightweight version like, I believe, his own competition 328. He must also know that this model in standard form was road-tested by AutoCar in 1937 and produced a 0 -60 time of 9.5 seconds. The team cars at Le Mans in 1937/39 were considerably faster than this and I do not suppose for a moment I could have kept up with them. How is my car then not representative of cars that actually ran at Le Mans in those years? It is identical in appearance to them and has no more (and probably less) performance. Furthermore, if it was built to win VSCC races as stated, I can only say it has been singularly unsuccessful to date, since it has never won a single VSCC race. The final straw was the reference to Silverstone which it thoroughly dislikes and I have never been able to get below 1-20 there. I am sorry that it does go faster than the Lagonda in which D.S.J. was pictured in the September issue but that is only a re-enactment of history!

Letchampstead. S. F. Phillips.

(Interesting, too,. that, while some people point out that the Morten Bentley is non-standard in having a 4.1/2-litre engine in a 3-litre chassis, that is exactly what Bentley Motors used at Le Mans in 1927. But why did Morten’s road-equipped Bentley leave Prescott on a trailer? — ED.)