I refer to Denis Jenkinson’s article on 50 years of ERAs in your September issue which was a nice touch and will remind your readers of the great service Raymond Mays and Humphrey Cook did for British Motor Racing. What a great shame that neither is with us any more to have witnessed the ERA race at Silverstone — they would have indeed been proud.
However, D.S. J. did drop one clanger when he stated that R4A went through four phases of development A, B, C and D. This is not true. He stated quite correctly earlier in the article that R4A had been sold to Pat Fairfield and R4A stayed as R4A to the present and is now owned by Sir John Venables-Llewellyn. It was R4B which was consistently modified through “C” to “0” specification and further modified by Ron Flockart with a new chassis made by Rubery Owen after the War. Not a big error but important for R4D was always a Works car and subsequently became the private property of Raymond Mays when ERA was wound down in 1939.
No doubt D.S. J., was having fun doing his usual stir about “bitzas” and R12C and certainly R12C is a “bitza” but at least it is made of “bits of R12C” and has R12C’s original chassis which is why Tony Stephens and I enter it as R12C and not as an ERA bitza. So that no-one would think it was anything else! stuck a list from where all the parts came on the back of our van which caused considerable fun especially over the carburetters which I couldn’t remember from whence they came until another ERA owner turned up and said they were his and what is mere! hadn’t paid for them. Bites or no bitza R12C has given both myself and Tony Stephens an enormous amount of fun, firstly chasing old ERA employees and owners to see if they had any parts lying around and secondly, putting it all together and thirdly, trying to make a pile of assorted parts, which took the best part of 17 years to accumulate, work properly. If old car racing is about having fun we are doing just that whether D.S. J. likes it or not. Finally, isn’t it interesting how even “dyed in the wool” experts such as D.S.J. change their views after a few years. At the finish of his article he extols the fact that all the ERAs are out and about and being used and that you don’t find ERAs in museums but that you must go to a racing circuit to see them. He even goes on to say “Racing cars in museums are all very well hut there is
nothing like seeing and hearing them in full flight.” Yet eight years ago he was castigating Prince Chula’s daughter Narisa for allowing me to give R2B Romulus a bit of an overhaul and repaint and for letting me drive it. Well Romulus is back in a Museum now. Damn it, Jenks won again. Leafield, Oxon. BILI, MORRIS [Sir John Venables-Llewelin, the present owner of R4A, also pointed out my mistake, and added that Bob Gerard installed the 2-litre engine in 1946. — D.S. J.]