The Baird Special

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The Baird Special

Sir,

When I was ten or eleven years old, and lived at No. 10 Addison Street in Nottingham, the Baird Special — interestingly described by W.B. in the August issue — was frequently to be seen parked directly opposite our house outside No. 9. My most vivid memory of the Baird Special is of the noise it made when the engine was running. Mr Baird always started the car by using the starting handle. He then climbed in at the driver’s side. I expect there were outside levers to contend with, for I remember Mr Baird — who was tall and, at least to a ten-year old schoolboY, very dashing and debonair — climbing over the side of the car rather than going through a door. The noise the car made was one which I subsequently learned w identify, as I grew older, with straight cut gears, and was in all probability the camshaft drive. The gear whine transcended all other noise, and I do not recall hearing any excessive aewxhaay p Addison s uustnAoidse even whenthe car accelerated 4 V W.B.21itr omra5y-lthitrienkin taet pshhoeto”r looks grapt hot my memory is of quite a small car. At ten year of age the tendency would be to exaggerate the size of the car, I would imagine. Cars were very few and far between in the late 1920’s and the only other one to park ontinued on page 1394 VINTAGE POSTBAG — continued from page 1384 regularly in Addison Street belonged to our neighbour, Mr Marsden, at No. 12. This was an Austin 12 tourer, which if anything looked larger than Mr Baird’s car. I have always remembered the radiator as a lower version of the Bentley, and the general proportions of the car as a whole were also reminiscent of the 3-litre Bentley, even though as I say, the car was quite small. I suspect that it was Mr Baird’s mother who lived at No. 9, for the houses in Addison Street had no garages, and the car was certainly not there every day. My mother spoke from time to time of “Mrs Baird” and I have a vague memory of an elderly lady standing at the door of the house, although I cannot recall anyone other than Mr Baird getting into the car. Sometimes he wore everting clothes: white tie, tails and all, but he still swung the starting handle and climbed in over the side. We moved from Addison Street in about 1933, and although I remained in Nottingham until 1940, and during the mid ‘thirties took a growing and passionate

in in cars, I never saw Mr Baird’s car again. It would be pleasant to think that it has survived; after all, my own Sunbeam is now over 50 years old! Gaydon STUART W. PECK