In reply to “Whose Alfa Romeo?” (MOTOR SPORT, September 1987, page 926), the facts are as follows.
The 6C 1750 Super Sport Alfa Romeo registered UU 9125 (engine and chassis numbers 0312905) was sold new by Alfa Romeo (British Sales) Ltd to Dr J D Benjafield in June 1929; it was originally fitted with “competition four seater” coachwork by the Carlton Carriage Co, although it has had at least two bodies since then.
Dr Benjafield competed in the car several times in 1929, finishing fourth overall (and second in class, to Headlam’s similar 1750) in the Brooklands Six-Hour race, first in class at the Middlesex County AC Hillclimb in July, and sixth in the Eireann Cup; the car was “flagged off” at the end of that year’s Tourist Trophy race, although reportedly still running at the finish (having completed 26 laps — four fewer than the winner).
I am not sure when Dr Benjafield sold the car, although The Autocar reported that “Benjy is selling his Alfas” at the end of 1929, but Alfa Romeo (British Sales) Ltd repurchased it via George Duller, re-selling it to Mr A Spencer Freeman (who returned it in May 1931 in part exchange for another 1750 Alfa Romeo).
As the present owner of the sales records of Alfa Romeo (British Sales) Ltd and the remaining Stiles papers, I have found no evidence that 0312905 was used as a practice car for the 1930 Tourist Trophy, and certainly nothing to suggest that the car “might have been used by Stiles as the ‘ringer’ for scrutineering at the 1930 TT, so that he could get the faster and more reliable fixed-head team-cars . . . past the scrutineers” — I am sure the scrutineers were cleverer than this suggests and that Mr Stiles was more honest.
The 1930 winning car (No 10) did wear the front number plate UU 9125 in a practice photograph, No 9’s front number plate being GH 1557; a rear-view photograph taken during the actual race shows No 10 wearing UV 818 and No 9 UU9125, so it is unwise to attach any importance to any registration number worn by an Alfa Romeo (British Sales) Ltd entered 1750 in this race.
Incidentally, to avoid further confusion, UV 818 is a 1929 6C 1500 Super Sport and GH 1557 is a 1930 1500 Gran Sport, and neither of them ran in the 1930 TT either!
Registrar, Alfa Romeo Section, VSCC