Vintage Postbag, November 1975




Allow me to congratulate you on quite the most enjoyable article I have read in MOTOR SPORT for some time, viz. “Reacquaintance with the 36/220 MercedesBenz” in September issue—a very real pleasure.

Having, whilst at Prep School in Yorkshire in the ’20s, been in the habit of writing to numerous manufacturers for copies of their catalogues (many of which I still possess), I have vivid recollections of representatives arriving at the school in cars varying from ABCs to Lanchester 40s and, after “entertaining” them in the Headmaster’s drawing room(!!) the extremely courteous way in which I was given short demonstration runs in the nearby country lanes.

How very different NOW—when (as a prospective customer) I visit showrooms, and find the “salesmen” scarcely willing to supply me with a leaflet (one cannot call them catalogues) and shocked if one asks for a trial run.

Best wishes for the continued success of MOTOR SPORT. Sunderland E. KISH Sir,

In your interesting article on the 36/220 Mercedes, you say you would have liked to have seen Caracciola in the wet at Belfast in 1929. I had the experience of watching his wonderful driving of this great car.

I shall never forget the way he handled this large car on streaming wet roads. It poured with rain for nearly the whole race and we were all wet to the skin, but it did not seem to matter.

Having attended small races from 1920 to 1939—and I still attend as many as I am able —I have never seen a car driven as was this Merc. Although I did not see it happen I was told that on the back leg of the curve he spun the car three times at about 100 m.p.h. and continued without stopping!

I used to race “Indian” motorcycles at Brooklands and hill-climb in the early twenties and purchased the first copy of the Brookhoids Gazette and have a complete set up to September 1975.

In 1930 I had a twin-cam Alfa 1500 and thought of buying a 36/220 but after a test run had a good look at the chassis and decided that I should be unable to maintain the car as everything looked too heavy to dismantle, So I bought a blown 1750 Alfa from Jack Bartlett.

At a later date I bought the Alfa which Dr. F. Porsche left at Thomson Taylor at the outbreak of War as he returned to Germany. This car was a 2300 and fitted with his flat-end front suspension as in the E.R.A.s. Wormshill H. GORDON-WEBB