Fragments on Forgotten Makes No. 63:
ETTORE Bugatti and Emile Mathis have two things in common— they were both from Alsace. The beer personality has gone down in history as a man of massive build and furious temper, dark, well-dressed but in fact a shy man, who like W.O. Bentley, shunned speech-making. There was a pomposity about his cold, authoritative character; he would address his agents, to whom Trarbatth and Douriee acted as Mon. Mathis’ representatives, in the third person, saving not “I think . .” or “I have decided . .” but “Monsieur Mathis thinks . .” or “Monsieur Mathis has decided . .” But he became a considerable factor in the French Motor Industry, and be was chosen by Ford in 1934 as his French partner, to his disadvantage. Indeed, Mathis was one of the Big Four in France, behind Citroen, Renault and Peugeot.
I have never quite forgotten the Mathis, probably because of the impact the huge photograph which The Light Car & Cyclecar publish.’ of Emile Mathis’ entry fiv the 1921 French Grand Prix had on me as a buy, hut more probably on account of Mon. Mathis’ audacity in entering this little car for this most important race — the one at Le Mans that represented the resumption of road-racing after the long years of war. Audacious it most certainly was, because the capacity limit for this Grand Prix revival was 3-litres and the Mathis had an engine size of tinyhalf that. Against the pick of the twin-cam racing 6.0 1.1,1,..6?1:r Ololtt° 66.VP WM% 6.1IV.. W6 give here re•numbered I I SI Of IhfSe ..r tee: No 16. A -Sandemon. No. 17.1,18-Ibinvald• No 18,Tamplin. No. 1, Minerva; No. 20. Rothwell, No 21„.1 , Hawk; No 22. Hod.. in•E55ex, No 23, Bleriot•Whwei; No 24. /MB; N ovia; No 27, Imperial:No 28, Ihemater: No. 29. Crouch, No. 10, Gordon; N. 31, Phoem.• fit. N.,. 33.1f, No. 34, Richard…. No. 35. GM K No 36, lirmherh • ‘Mph’, No. 3., Hodpon: No. 40, TH; No 41, Morns-Lundon, No. 42, Chic: No. 43. Brarepit No. 44, Baluchi.; No 45. liomtman; No. 46. Kasten Special; No. 47. Sic 48. She el : No. 45, Eric-I ongden; No. 50. Salim., No 51, Airedale, No 52, V mot•Degion9.9‘.• •
lieverlev-Harne, Ryloueld; 55. KT, No if, Ikauvolle: No Ilamnaton: No. 6, Zephyr, No 61. Waldron Wayfarer, No 62. Imperia. No 6, 616….
machinery the little Mathis hadn’t a hope, inspite of having been endowed with an overheadcamshaft. dual magnetic ignition for its four cylinders, four-wheel-brakes, and an enormous exhaust-pipe. With a field consisting otherwise of only a team of three straight-eight Ballots, a 2-litre Ballot, four board-track Ducsenbergs (the make that won, as it happened, but which could so easily not have appeared) and a last-minute participation by the STD foursome of Talbot-Darracqs. With such a poor en, even Mon. Mathis’ forlorn hope must have been welcome. Although it was said that the 69 100 mm. Mathis had been entered to prove its reliability rather than its speed (what else could they say?(, it in fact retired after six of the 30 I,. Apparently Emile Mathis had driven it himself, although a Frenchman named Lamm was at first nominated. It was obvious that 50 or so b.h.p. could not compete against 120 b.h.p. of the ncw GP cars. But those who remembered the pre-war races knew that Mathis was a masochist in this respect. entering cars with little hope of success in quite unsuitable events. yet not putting them into suitable ones. For instance, had he not run a 1.8-litre car (using dual ignition as in 19211 in the 1912 Coupe de L’Auto race at Dieppe when as later he was against the 3-litre cars, so that a lap speed of 50 m.p.h., when the winning side-valve Sunbeam’s average of 65.3 m.p.h. was hardly convincing. The unfortunate driver, Esser, had
been bored in that race but it did not stop Emile Mathis from putting a 2.155 c.c. car into the 1913 French Grand Prix, against those of up to 8-litres. This was the 1912 Mathis slightly moclified, and this time Esser decided to retire. This kind of thing was, however, a speciality of Mathis. I have just been looking at a rather nice silver rose-bowl that is now in my possession: it was awarded to Bugatti driver B. S. Marshall in 1920 for winning a Brooldands race at 6)1/4 m.p.h. in a tiny Mathis, which cannot have been wildly exciting for driver or spectators, round that vast expanse of the concrete. Yet in the voiturette contests to which they were often more suited, Mathis’ cars were conspicuous by their absence.
Not that they were to be despised, as economy cars for road commuting. Emile Mathis, who had disguised his cars as Harrods and BACs, after having reversed the process by selling Stoewer and Fiat cars as his own, had the 951 c.c. Mathis Babylette out by 1912, rival to Peugeot’s Bebe, and it was followed by the 1,327 c.c. Mat. Baby. Before the Kaiser War the Strasbourg Company was offering a modicum of for for as little as £210, in the guise of a wire-wheeled, differential-less sports baby Mathis, with just the two seats and a bolster tank, weighing, it was said, less than 8 cwt and apparently with a venial gear-gate (as on the post-war ABC). After the war Mathis had a ready reply to cars like the 5cv Citroen, in the form of his own big-car-in-miniature (somehow the Austin Seven that was to sweep them all under the carpet in England seemed smaller and I.s big-car-like). This Mathis had a capacity only 12, c.c. larger than that of Sir Herbert’s successful gamble and a three-bearing crankshaft, which it was left to Triumph to adopt in the baby-car field an this country. What is more, this 55 80 mw. French small car pulled an axle ratio of 4.6 to 1 (the Austin 7 was soon down to 4.9 to 17 and had electric lighting and starting, whereas Austin tried for a while to palm his customers off with a cable and pulley starting device. Its weight was declared
cwt and there seems reason to believe that the maker’s claim of 50 m.p.h. and 62 mpgwere not over exaggerated. Incidentally, with the four forward speeds, a central accelerator pedal was a Marhis hallmark to the end of the vintage years. It also possessed proper half-eliptic springing.
The British public had a chance to teethe 760 c.c. Mathis in action during the 1922 Scottish Six Days Trials, in which two were entered. G. M. Imglis suffered from plug trouble, chocked latsstt this strenuous event, and finally his back-ode expired. H. J. Cassie, on the identical other Mathis, on the contrary “roared up all the hills, apparently with ample power in hand, his anstst turning over at a fine rate of revolutions and emitting a very healthy othaust note, which was as keen and crisp on the last day unit was on the first. The chassis appeared to be very well spelt.’ indeed . .” wrote a qualified reporter. So although neither of the two Mathis got a mallte award, one of the pair had made its mark. When Sir Herbert Austin launched his babY Austin in 1922 he must have looked on the little Mathis with some apprehension. surely? It was taxed, not at eight. but as a 7 h.p. car, it sold for £27, less as a two-seater than the pram-like
Longbridge infant and maybe its two-wheel anchors were as good as the Seven’s four tiny, brakes, uncoupled front to rear? Moreover, the miniature big car element was apparent; the Austin 7 had dimensions of 8′ 5, 3′ 10% whereas the Mathis measured 10′ 7″ x 4′ 2… The Mathis had attained these competitive heights by using an even smaller engine than before, of 50 x 70 mm. (628 c.c.), but with a two-bearing crankshaft. Sir Herbert may have been consoled by the fact that the great French manufacturer relied on primitive acetylene lighting — in 1922. And that the axle ratio was down to 6.1 to 1 and you had to hand-crank it. But it did have that 4-speed ge.box and 1/2-elliptic springs. The 760 c.c. £250 Mathis was only £25 more expensive than the Austin 7, however, while the 7.5 on. Citroen cost the same as the 1922/3 price of a Binningham baby. But the tiny Austin caught on, the 7 h.p. Mathis didn’t. Could.the Austin 7’s differential have represented salvation?
However, this is MOTOR SPORT, so let us leave the fascinating subject of the battling baby-cars and look at Mathis sports models. While all the economy can cut-throating was afoot, with the Countess Zborowska taking delivery of an 8 h.p. Mathis on which the Count’s Canterbury coachbuilders put a Chummy-type body, Mathis was turning to the Touring Car Grands Prix as his competition field and he showed a 60 m.p.h. sports car at the 1921 Paris $ilon, a vee-radiatored edition of the o.h.v. Type SB. Mathis was early in the race to pioneer small six,linder-engined cars, his experimental 993 c.c. Six becoming his production 1,140 c.c. PS model. However, it is the shorter-stroke L-type sports model that intrigues me.
MOTOR SPORT seems to have been the only motor journal to test it. The then-Editor, Capt. Richard Twelvetrees, persuaded the Atom Motor Co. Ltd. of West Hampstead to let him thive one. It had a diminutive six-cylinder single-overheadcamshaft engine of 60 x 79 mm. (1,185, c.c.), the expected four-speed unit gearbox and fourwheel-brakes, and a decidedly racy two-seater body, with flared mudguards and devoid of a windscreen. Balloon tyres on disc wheels, a small bulb-horn and a pair of small headlamps completed the man., as the photograph shows, and the price in 1925 was £375. As this was listed as “fully-equipped,” perhaps a windscreen wao lurking somewhere. Of more interest to our readers would have been the guaranteed speed of 70 m.p.h.
Launching himself (on Trade number-plates; Into the congested, mixed traffic of the Finchley Road of those days, Twelvetrees expressed himself as immediately at home with the car, and 555 good top-gear performance was noted. Against that, the suspension was harsh, in spite of shock-absorbers, until London was left behind and speed could be increased. The plate clutch slipped for a second or two after the pedal had gone home which was excused as due to newness Or the need for adjustment, so one wonders why the writer also said this was typical of this type of clutch. Brakes and steering got the “perfect” label, the anchorage apparently nicely progressive. This decidedly sporty-looking Mathis was taken to Brooklands, where it was refused admission until an appeal was made to a higher authority, as the exhaust was very noisy. Among the equipment not so far referred to was a speedometer thiven by a flimsy belt that allowed !, to fluctuate and it was calibrated in k.p.h. rweivetrees complained that this restncted his Performance gatisfic-taldng but by timing the
surely the purpose of taking it on Brooklands.
he estimated its top pace as “Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 74 m.p.h.” This might sound convincing from a 1,100 c.c. one 57 years ago. But at the same time the Salmson agents were claiming 75 m.p.h. from the £285 Grand Prix Salmson, so there would have been few taken for the Mathis on this score. To counteract this impression, Twelvetrees said he drove all out for seven laps of the Track without the car overheating, when it rode the bumps well, but the vacuum fuel-feed was apt to “hunt”. After 250 miles the oil, when drained ficnn the sump, seemed to have little lubricating quality left. The jack and tools rattled about in the tail, the bonnet fasteners were deemed to be inadequate but after looking at dismantled Mathis components, Twelvetrees was impressed with the workmanship displayed and the safety factors incorporated. Moreover, he was able to obtain a photograph of J. G. Parry Thomas looking (somewhat quizzically?) at the o.h.c. engine of the Mathis, and what better than that, during a visit to Brooklands in the 1920s?
Also in 1925, no less a person than L. G. Hornstead (of Big Benz fame, took one of these sports Mathis (the same one, probably) through the ICC High Speed Trial, that marvellous frolic which took in the entrance and return roads within Brooklands Track and even the Test Hill (downwards!), apart from the outer-circuit. Alas, a rod tried to eject via the crankcase. That’s all I know alxnn the only proper sports Mathis made between the wars and it seems doubtful if anyone remembers it today, or whether more than one came to this country.
Our one-time correspondent, Kent Karslake, says a 760 c.c. Mathis was one of the first cars he drove. He remembers it as having proper springing when many small cars had unconventional suspension, a tall rather handsome radiator, no nonsense about carrying more than two persons, an enormous steering wheel. and a four speed gearbox with a delightful change, unlike that of the Austin Seven, which Karslake thinks was that Baby’s weakest feature, except in the hands of experts. However, he suspects that the engine of the Baby Mathis developed even less horse-power than the Austin’s and as it had no torque, performance was minimal. His friend Charles North had one of these tiny Mathis and told Kent slat the engine delighted to rev, but when Karslake tried this in third gear up a scarcely perceptible gradient, but against a quite stiff breeze, it bunt in a very unrepairable manner. Not the first to do so, I believe. There were no more sports cars, Mattus going
in for such things as the side-valve MY saloon, the Emysix, with an odd gate to in four speed ge.box, in which you went round-the-corner from first, into second gear, and other oddities. and the 1930 saloon which in spite of its 1.6-litre power unit and the slogan le ponds, voila l’ennemi, just failed to do 60 m.p.h. when tested on Brooklands in 1930. — W.B.
A Pioneer of Car Radio
IN these times of universal car-radio and car-stereo equipment and the legality of CB transmitters (with Panasonic. stereo in the Alfa 61 have belatedly become interested, it ts interesting to think back to the beginnings ot such in-car entertainment. Ammar had a leartire on the subject recently, from which it was apparent that although Marconi may have experimented with wireless-apparatus on a steam road-vehicle early as 1901. car-radio as such didn’t emerge until 1922/23, and then only in primitive forms. Among amateurs, the then-Editor of MOTOR SPORT, Capt. Richard Twelvetrces, was undoubtedly a pioneer. It is alleged that he was once ejected from the hallowed Ascot enclosures by the Clerk-of-the-Course himself, for playing music from his car between the horsc-races! At that time Twelvetrees had installed a three-valve-and-crystal set in his 11.9 h.p. Bean tourer, the set on the dashboard, with its hi. battery beneath it, and a small frame-aerial mounted at one corner of the windscreen. He called this set the RT 13. It used one high-frequency valve, a dual amplifying-valve. and a low-treque, valve for note magnifying. The crystal-detector rectified she waves after amplification by the first and second valves, and the circuit embraced two tuned h.f. anodes, ordinary Lt. transformers. two polar condensers and an air-dielectric condenser for tuning working in conjunction with a three-way vernier-adjusted variable coil. The set was in a case measuring 120 1004″. Fuller-type rheostats regulating current from the valve-filaments. Twelvetrees took this radio-equipped Bean through the 1924 MCC London-Edinburgh Trial, using it to good effect while waiting for the start at Wrotham Park, Barnes. On the run home. the Newcastle programme was heard at a distance of 50 miles, on the Sunday afternoon, at clear strength on the loudspeaker, in spite of heavy rain. The magneto interfered only slightly with reception when on the move and if a 40′ wire was thrown over a tree and an “earth” created, programmes could be received in most parts of
For the 1925 London-Edinburgh Trial Twelvetrees had installed a BTH Radiola receiving-set, a folding frame-aerial and a loudspeaker amplifier unit facilitating its accommodation in the 1923 Bean (Reg. No. .N 48), which, by the way, had Sumwin radiator shutters and a Boyce Motormeter. Memini carburetter, but no front brakes. In fact, the rather large wireless units were carried on each running-board, behind expanding Autokrat retraints, with waterproof covers over them. A son of “pis-stop”-action enabled these units to be removed and tuned-in to a station in three minutes. Before the start of the trial, 2L0 was broadcast without the aerial and the time-signal proved especially useful, and the start-line officials were treated to a concert, the orchestra not fading to any extent until Biggleswade was reached. After that the crew concentrated on trials driving but on the way back 2L0 was received on she frame-aerial in Windermere, at a distance of 260 miles. The Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Bournemouth stations were also picked up at full loudspeaker strength, and after the 1,000-mile ow-and-home run signals in London from the last-named station showed that the set had not suffered in any way. All this encouraged Western Electric’s Wireless Engineer to accompany Twelvetrees on the next MC.0 long-distance event, the “London-Exeter”, with one of his Company’s seven-valve supersonic sets with two-valve amp/then and a loudspeaker in a Riley Redwing sports-tourer. He was, like the rest of the crew, fined out with a Sidcot suit and flying helmet and controlled the wireless from the back-seat of the Riley while the Trials Secretary of the CLIAC navigated, using two Accuraspeed stop-watches and a roof light rigged in the hood. Music was again provided and helped to pass the night hours, and the Riley, able to run up to 3,700 r.p.m. and to do 65 m.p.h. fully laden, gained a gold-medal. And MOTOR SPORT in 1926 gained a half-page advertisement from Standard Telephones Al Cables Ltd. (who had taken over Western Electric/ referring to this “London-Exeter”, and telling also of how a similar set had survived a 9,000 Continental tour
strapped to a 25/70 h.p. Paige, without loss of a valve.
It’s all a far cry, though, from enjoying the Rachtnaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 for instance, on the Panasonic stereo in the Alfa Romeo on Welsh roads in 1982. . . — W.B.
IN connection with the Speed Guarantees we have been thinking about recently, in 1926 SMS Ltd., the Salmson agents, were advertising that “To talk about speed and to guarantee it in an advertisement is easy but actually to attain and hold 75 m.p.h. on the road is difficult”, after which they referred readers to a MOTOR SPORT road-test of a Grand Prix-model Salmson (price at the time, £275, including tax and insurance, in which the writer, who had driven one in the London-Gloucester Trial, said rather vaguely: “Conclusions were tried with a well-known 12/50 sports car and when we stopped till it came up again it was found that both speedometers had been flickering round the 73 m.p.h. mark. The claims for a road speed o/75 m.p.h. for a Salmson are absolutely correct, not mere advertising ‘au/f’, and it will certainly hold its own with a bit to spare against the average 1,500 cc car with respect to acceleration, hill clitnbing and maximum speed, whilst in its class there are practically no rivals.” The “practically” was possibly added because the £240 Super Sports Senechal was advertised in the same issue.
The then-Riley specialist, Regina! Straker, in his advertisement, had a rather ambiguous statement reading “Speeds of up to 75 m.p.h. Guaranteed”, presumably from the special side-valve two-seater he was selling, at a provisional price of E510. Also in 1926, “Archie” Frazer-Nash wrote to MOTOR SPORT saying that the standard two-seater Frazer Nash, costing under £300, was guaranteed to do 75 m.p.h. and that the Boulogne Frazer Nash was guaranteed a “chassis speed” of 95 m.p.h.
In the motorcycle world at this time, the makers of the McEvoy were offering a machine costing E99 with a guaranteed speed of 100 m.p.h. and would prove the speed on the Track. — W.B.
V-E-V Miscellany. — The British Wool Marketing B.ed is still using a nice vintage “bull-nose” Crossley tourer in its advertising brochures. We heard anion story the other day about the Rolls-Royce Phantom owned before the war by Lady Farquhar of Gaddesby, Leicestershire. It seems she had five centrally-heated hen-houses and used to muck-out these with a trailer towed by her Rolls-Royce. And that Capt. Robinson of the same town also ran a Rolls-Royce, driven by his chauffeur Haines, and that the “Durham On”. or Six Hills Hotel, some miles out of Leicester after a Hunt meet, was overtaken by a Buick when returning south along the A46. Haines was ordered through the speaking tube to “ovenake that Buick”, which he did, but the Buick repassed. Again came the order “Overtake that Buick again, Haines”, which this time the chauffeur did decisively. They then drew into the car-park of “The Gate Hangs Well” and stopped with the engine of the Rolls-Royce ticking-over quietly. As Capt. Robinson was alighting in came the Buick, boding furiously. “Well done, Hain.”, said Capt. Robinson. Some time later Haines was told he would no longer be n.ded, as the Captain would in future be driving the Rolls himself. Alas, doing this in a heavy mist OM night, he hit a tree head-on, at a bend in the road just before he reached his country house “The Oatlands” and the only thing worth saving from the car was the dashboard clock, which the chauffeur has in his possession to this day. . . Have you ever wondered why people chose to buy the rarer makes of cars in the vintage years when there was such a large number of different makes and models from which to select, I once asked one of two spinster sisters why they had bought a new Arid l light-car in 1924. “Well”, she told me, “our feet were so painful after walkitg round and round the Olympia Motor Show that we couldn’t stand any more, so as I had my tape-measure with we I said we would have the first car that would fit our garage”. It turned out to be the Arid, the four-cylinder model that succeeded the flat-twin version. and it gave the two ladies good service into at least the 1950s. laid up in the winter for overhaul at a local garage, as I used to be reminded when I saw it in the Hampshire country town where I was then living, going over blind cross-roads after a “poop-poop” from its bulb-horn. Then David Filsell heard recently why William John Price of Nantgwar., Trecasde decided to purchase a new two-stroke two-cylinder Seaton-Petter light-car, hardly a well-known make! The owner’s wife, now in her 90s, remembers that they had never had a .r but saw that you could buy this one new for £100, so placed their order in the winter of 1926, with Elston’s of Brecon. A black Seaton-Petter was, duly delivered, after a presumably long road-journey from Yeovil, where it was made (unless it came by train, the winter isn’t the .st time for teaching onesmlf to drive and one icy morning, going down a steep track from their farm to the road, the little .r got out of control and ovenurned. The occupants emerged unscathed but the Seaton-Petter was damaged and lots of eggs intended for the market were lost in the accident . . . Senior members of the lung,’ wcrc not amused, so they did not have another. ea for ten years, after which they invested in a Vawthall Fourteen saloon; the battered light car (Eli 30901 having been unceremoniously handed back to the suppliers. The VMCC held its annual Saundersfoot two-day event late in September, fine vvcather this Year replacing the horizontal rain of 1981. The
entry of old motorcycles numbered nearly 70, and M view of the eontnwersy as to whether this Club is abandoning its title of Vintage MCC, it is worth rioting that of the 59 machines listed in the programme, two were pre-1915. these being a 1903 Humber tricycle and a 1914 Model A 2, h.p. Wolf with more recent two-speed gearbox, 22 were vintage. 14 were post-vintage. and 20 were post-1939, with One unspecified-age, anonymous machine from Holland which did not start. Watching at the beginning of the Mountain road at the junction to Farmers above Llandewi Brett, we noticed Jim Codd stop his 1927 sports 350 c.c. New Imperial before engaging bottom gear. hut the other Codd change down after the corner on his 1925 sports Sunbeam. believed to he an ex-Howard Davi. machine, and Cars, Davies change-up on the rare 1927 Ti’ Triumph after going the wrong way at first. Pillion passengers are permitted in the Saundersfoot and Sid Mason’s 1937 Model-D Arid was pulling well with Else tin the back. Steve Jenkin effected a rapid change-down to encourage his 1930 1.30 . 11 BSA, Cronin 1.1936 NG Ariel) wore a face-mask, Mike West’s 770 c.c. 024 BSA commenced the climb steadily. hot Alison Baker. perhaps bemused by seeing six males watching her, footed momentarily as she selected a lower gear on her 250 c.c. B20 BSA and a 1947 Velocette even stalled its engine. Button just missed colliding with Ganser, well-known 052 Norton . his 1927 Simko came to a halt and the Captain of the Pembrokeshire Mudpluggers wobbled upwards on a 1929 .i Arid. How Adams changed down rarbi on his 250 c.c. BOA slopee but a big yee-twin BSA with belt-rim brakes on both wheels Perforrned splendidly. The angle of lean-over adopted by a German-entered Harley-Davidson was interesting. So the happy cavalcade went Paul. at the start we had noted the :coning front-fork, belt-rim brakes and the Klaxon horn of Watkins’ 1922 599 c.c. Sunbeam, the Wolf two-stroke with a RI:1,11CW nearly as big as its Pol-, and the cast-silencer beneath the two exhaust-pipes ot Sue Weekes 125 c.c. K17 James-Villiers two-stroke. a 1939 model with saddle tank and front brake, whose rider was trYing for the Youngest Rider Cup. Cammy AIS, pre-war IUD and several Scotts were entered. although Thomas’s Scott had trouble on the way to the Llandrindod Wells start, there were to41 Morgans. Jenner’s 1927 Acro and Ingleby’s 1934 Sports with it ,. oil ha. each Matchless
cylinder, which didn’t prevent it from appearing very late. Some of the riders come long distances On support this popular Welsh event, like the Bells. who rode their 1935 Model-9 Sunbeam from Kings Lynn.
The Brooklands Society is again holding its annual Dinner at the Centre Halls at Woking, Stine, this year on November 25th. Tickets cost £10 per head, from Mrs. M. Peddle. Yarnhams, Rectory Close, Stanton St. Quintim ChiPPenbaniWiltshire. From an HCVC Newsletter we learn that the West Yorkshire Road Car Company used to run a Rolls,Royce with a 14-seater all-weather ‘bus body by Pynes of Harrogate on its feeder service connecting with the Leeds to London express coaches and that at peak periods it sometimes itself made the journey to London. What in more, we believe a slide of this ‘bus-bodied Rolls-Royce exists, if any of the R-R organisations is interested in establishing what type of chassis this was. And still on a Rolls-Royce theme, from the Bulletin of the Morgan Three-Wheeler Club, we are reminded that IL F. S. Morgan’s father, who apparently used to visit his son’s factory at Malvern in a Crossky, changed this for a 40/50 h.p. Rolls-Roy.. .livered as a chassis, its body
being made subsequently in the Morgan workshops. Continuing in the Rolls-Royce idiom, we hear that Sidney Geary of Skegness, who is well-known to the R-R EC, as he has had eight Rolls-Royces up to his present Silver Spirit, has been using his 1925 Phantom 1 tourer (Reg. No. YT 7340) for conveying Show Biz personalities about the area and that the car has twice taken thc Mayor and Mayoress of Skegness (where races used to be held on the beach) to switch on the town’s lights at Carnival time. Around l93hGinns & Gutteridgc, the Leicester undertakers, are said to have sent an early low-radiator, woodenwheeled Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce (Reg. No. R 1064 or 1065) to the breaker’s yard by the Melton Road dirt-track speedway, where it languished throughout the war.
The ex-Count Zborowski Chitty-Bang-Bang II has surfaced at the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Crewford Auto-Aviation Museum, where its 230 h.p. Benz aero-engine was overhauled, so that the old can could be swoon the NAAC’s Hershey meeting in Pennsylvania last month. This Chitty-Bang-Bang raced but once at Brooklands and, after that famous post-war Court case, was sold to America by Peter Harris-Mayes some years ago, for t15,000. — W.B. V-E-V Odds & Ends — The active Riley Register, catering for all pre-war, Coventry-made Rileys, elected 34 new members recently and its magazine has been looking into the matter of early Riley patents, covering the years 1901 to 19311. Joan Rictunond, who drove Rileys here in races of the 19306, was Guest of Honour at the Riley Club of Australia’s Rally at Mount Beauty this year. She came to England originally to drive in the Monte Carlo Rally. We learn that at last summer’s Eighth Annual Meet of the Hispano Suiza Society of America, It of these ears assembled at Dieter Holsterboseh’s estate, ranging from Alec Ulmann’s overhead-camshaft pre-1914 model to two J12s and a couple of K6 Vanvooren pillarless saloons, one of which is also owned by Ufinann. What is more, Mark Mason had his racing launch “Baby Bootlegger.” on show and its one-rightcylinder Hispano Stains aero-engine was even run-up, to the accompaniment of rousing moods, cooled with the aid of the estate water supply. At a pleasant luncheon party the other day, after driving up Shelsley Walsh, I was not only shown many photographs of 1920s Brooklands
— racing-cars, but a visitor produced some old albums relating to the Player family, with houses in Wales, where an observatory was built into the roof in 1915, and then at Cheltenham, which showed that they were pioneer autocarists. having a 3, h.p. Benz Ideal in 1899, soon followed by a h.p. Benz. They then had a wheel-steered, chauffeur-driven 38 h.p. Lanchester and after the First World War more Lanchestcrs, the second a very fine Lanchester Forty !’u-landaulette shown on the day it had been delivered, around 1925. There is also a picture of a later, stylish straight-eight Lanchester with boot and cycle-type mudguards. Pre-WWI pictures of the cars in the stately carriage-drives show a 40/50 h.p. Rolls-Royce with an interesting open touring body, a little De Dion Bouton, small and large Penhard-Levassors an Anol-Johnston tourer, a closed Wolselcy-Siddeley and a big open
Thornycroft, etc. The last-named is seen competing at a Cirencester speed trial and the Wolseley-Siddeley had been “snapped” at a similar event in Wales. A small album is devoted to a pee-war Continental tour and cars seen before the houses after the war was over commence with a brand-new 18 h.p. Armstrong Siddeley tourer and include closed Dannler and Sunbeam, up to a Vauxhall tourer of the General Motors’ era, either a 20/60 or a Cadet. Also depicted are an Austin 7 Chummy and an Austin Twenty that had arrived by September 1923 and a Bean two-seater possibly owned by relations or friends. On page 1347 last month the Bentley drophead coupe that I drove as quickly as I could from London to John O’Groats in 1938 t not 1937) was quoted as a 4,-litre, to show that I am not that far out in Bentley history I had better say that it was, of course, a Its Reg. No. w. ELC 322 and at the rinse it belonged to Bentley Motors Ltd. I would be interested to known if it still exists; it is not known to the BDC. The 2.9-litm GP Maserati brought from America and rebuilt by Cameron Millar is causing a great deal of interest and rightly so, .d it has been written-up la various places. It was not, however, the first GP Maserati in this country with road-equipment. had an exciting ride in the wet in such a car. at Brooklands just before the war, dffven by Lt. ‘Emir, RN; its Reg. No. was FGC 412 Simon Grigson, the present owner of the 1927 1,000 c.c. Coventry Eagle sidecar-outfit which won the 1930 BMCRC 200-Mile Race at Brooklands, in the hands of J. M. (POO Waterman, would be interested to hear from anyone who knows what became of this rider. Some time in the ‘thirties, he was in partnershiP with another Brooklandshabitue, L. 5. Pellat, but no other details have yet been uncovered. Letters can be forwarded. — W.B,