V-E-V Miscellany, November 1981, November 1981

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The reader who enquired about the early history of his ex-Brooklands’ 1934 MG NA has received some useful information which we were able to forward to him, and another reader, in Illinois, is collecting data about his 1936 MG PB, the Reg. No. of which is BDV 480 if anyone can add anything. In our report of the VSCC Silverstone September Race Meeting last month we paid tribute to the splendid performance put up that day by the Hon. Patrick Lindsay in his ERA “Remus”. Pat asks us to say that the car is very ably looked after by Jim Fitzgerald and Geoff Squirrel, who, he says, have done wonders for the old car, rsvice coping with melted pistons, etc. Incidentally, “Remus” now holds the class lap records for the Oulton Park, Donington (both P/2-litre and 2-litre records), Silverstone Club, Silverstone GP and short Brands Hatch circuits.

A reader is arudous to trace the whereabouts of a 1938 / 39 Packard which his father owned some 25 years ago and which is believed to be still in England; the Reg. No. is EXB 7; letters can be forwarded. Lt. Comdr. B. H. Clinkard, Rtd., tells as that the Director of the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine, USA, has recently bought an Alvis Speed 25 coupe in England. The Owls Head Museum was founded in 1974 and in 1977 staged a re-enactment of a race between a Stanley steamer and a (replica) Curtiss model-D pusher biplane. The exhibits include a number of replica pre-1914 and war-time aeroplanes, original examples ranging from 1918 Ace biplane to post-war DH Tiger Moth, J-3 Piper Cub and 1966 Bushmaster 2000 trimotor monoplane and a collection of cars from 1898 Leon-Bollee tricar to 19366 Cadillac V16, Straight-Six Bruns-bodied Packard and 20/25 Rolls-Royce, although the catalogue slips up in saying that Henry Royce was a manufacturer of electric cars. The Museum also issues a magazine called Strut & Axle, the Spring 1981 edition of which carries an account of the remarkable trans-American flight by Cal Rodgers in a 35 h.p. Wright Model-EX biplane in 1911. After adventures innumerable Rodgers achieved his objective, having taken 49 days 182 flying hours) to cover the 4,231 miles, an average of 51.6 m.p.h., using a spare Wright engine en route. Incidentally, he was a pioneer of sponsorship, having obtained some 180,000 dollars from the “Vie Fiz” soft drink company, which enabled hint to have a supporting railroad car and a Palmer-Singer back-up car, liberally bedecked with the “Vin Fiz” decals.

The Registrar of the Marendaz Special Can Register has sent as a photograph of the 11 / 55 h.p. Marendaz Special, Reg. No. Y137 6480, which we referred to in the September issue. The picture was taken in 1948 / 49 and the car is known to have survived at least into the 19566. The Australian Bugatti Register issue. Bugatti Bulletin, from which we note that there are now 12 Bugattis in New Zealand. They consist of half-a-dozen 16 valve cars, a Type 35A, two Type 38s, a Type 46S, a Type 57 and a Type 57C. Arising out of our favourable reviews of the histories of the individual ‘bus companies by The Transport Publishing Co. of Glossop, a reader has sent us a litde book called “Happy Family” by N. Hamshire and J. Sutton, it being the story of Yellow Bus Services of Stoughton, which operated services out of Guildford to Farnham and to Camberley. This constitutes 8 real ITCal for ‘bus fanatics, as it covers in great detail the history of Yellow Buses from 1920, when it all began, to the end in 1958. There are fascinating pictures, including one of the Company’s first ‘buses, a high-set vehicle based on a Ford Model-T onc-tonner chassis with solid rear tyres on disc wheels, reproductions of bill-posters, tickets, timetables, etc. and lists of all the ‘buses owned by the Company from the early Ford, type-LO Chevrolets, 30 cwt. Dennis and Morris vehicles, to the final Bedfords and Dennises, a description of the accident at Runfold, even verses marking the demise of these yellow ‘buses. Copies are available at £1.50 from J. C. Sutton, 57, Collingwood Crescent, Boxgrovc Park, Guildford, Surrey.

The differences between capitalistic and communist countries are well publicised, so it is interesting to learn, from no less a source than The Times, that old-car clubs operate in Russia, the biggest being apparently the one in Riga, South Latvia, with 260 vehicles, while the Moscow VCC is reported as having 134 old cars. These are said to include Goring’s 1935 Horch convertible, a 1933 BMW, a 1928 Opel pick-up, and a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 convertible, which the once-accurate Times has mixed up with an SSKL, also calling two Mercedes-Benz 540s racing cars! Nearly as bad as their gaff over Nuvolari driving an aero-engined car at lap-record speed at Brooklands in the 192(6! It is reported that the workshop door of one collection has the notice she Soviet Constitution: “The car and preservation of historical monuments and other cultural treasures in a duty and obligation citizens of the USSR”. The sort of thing to which the Brooklands Society might bring the of British Aerospace and Mrs. Thatcher!

The Bulletin of the Riley Register for September had a very interesting and revealing article by Vernon Barker about what really happened during the declining years of Riley (Coventry) Ltd., when all-metal Briggs bodies were introduced, the V8 engine was toyed with to the disquiet of Percy Riley, Stanley Riley refused to revise his chassis design to accommodate ifs., the 12 / 4 engine suffered from serious oil leaks from the rear main bearing, Riley’s were producing fewer cars a year than Rover and mere operating for a time without a General Manager, to the appointment of a Receiver in 1938 — an important contribution to Riley history; great stuff in fact. In case anyone wondered, when reading last month’s article on the Brooklands Miller, how Parry Thomas could have won a race at 100 m.p.h. in which the Miller that finithed second lapped at over 109 m.p.h., the answer was an error, Thomas, in fact, averaging 109 m.p.h. and obviously lapping faster than that; incidentally, he was driving Howey’s Leyland Thomas on this occasion, his own being in trouble. A 1928 Austin 12 / 4 tourer, complete except for a tattered hood, which was laid up in 1927, is to be restored in Wales and in France, among cars which came up for recent auction, were two 5cv. Citroens, one with an unusual low-roofed coupe body, a 1937 Rosengart, an 04 Salmson, a Type 864 Hotchkiss Artois saloon, a Rocket-Schneider and a Rolland-Pliant, both made in 1922, a Type 44 Bugatti saloon and a Type 35A GP Bugatti, etc. — W.B.

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