Boddy language

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Party pieces

Competition events apart, another fun aspect of the vintage-car movement is the private party to commemorate, even celebrate, some occasion in the career of a particular motor car. One would have to delve far back into automotive history to discover who first organised such an occasion. The Emancipation Run from London to Brighton, to mark the lifting of some of the more onorous restrictions which had been imposed on the newly developing horseless-carriages, perhaps? That, however, involved a pretty strenuous run in 1896 in fog and over poor roads. What I am thinking of is the static gathering of cars and those who enjoy them in a more private capacity. I have no idea when the first such meeting to see and appreciate an individual motor car occurred to its owner. There was a bit of a function after Louis Coatalen’s 3-litre side-valve Coupe de L’Auto Sunbeams had finished 1-2-3 in that race in 1912 at Dieppe.

Nor was this gaiety confined to Sunbeams. The victorious 12/50 Alvis returned to the factory in Coventry on a horse-drawn dray so that the workers who had built it could greet the car with which C M Harvey had just won the 1923 200-mile race at Brooklands — as the 12/50 Register remembered and again celebrated at Prescott and elsewhere this year. Of other get-togethers for a much-appreciated car, I recall Anthony Heal having such a party for his 1919 racing straight-eight Ballot just after the war, and, much later, another for his well-used twin-cam 3-litre sports Sunbeam. Before that Sam Clutton gave the 1908 GP Itala a birthday treat at Silverstone. And so on…

Then there have been more recent firing-up parties for rebuilt vintage cars, Angus-Sanderson, Austin Twenty, Austin 7 Ulster, Mercedes-Maybach, and Newton-Ceirano, for example. A similar happy gathering took place at Ivan Dutton’s place in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Ixford on September 18, to mark the 80th anniversary of David Heimann’s 1913 5-litre Bugatti “Black Bess” being delivered to the French airman Roland Garros.

The centre of attraction was “Black Bess” herself, looking as immaculate as I hope she did when Garros first stepped into her all those long years ago – so immaculate that no-one ventured to drive her. This rare Bugatti was backed up by a breathtaking display of smaller Bugattis in Ivan’s pristine workshop, mostly GP models, and the road-equipped Type 59 which caused much interest at Prescott recently. There were other cars, too, including a £50 bog-standard Ford Escort (but with locked axle) to drive round a large field, and clay-pigeon shooting for those addicted to it. Lord Raglan’s Type 51 Bugatti was on its trailer, because with keeper Mark Garfitt and others it was off afterwards to Hethel, where another party was being organised to underline the take-over of Lotus by the new Bugatti Company.

David Sewell, who has set himself up as a consultant on Bugatti information and history, was on his way to the VSCC Light Car Section Driving Tests on the morrow with the delectable ex-Kent Karslake Bebe Peugeot ” Joujou”.

As an afterthought, “Black Bess” was delivered to the aviator Garros in 1913 and in 1924 another pilot, F/O W M Plenderleith, who accompanied Squadron Leader MacLaren on an attempted round-the-world flight, bought a four-seater Brescia Bugatti with the pear-shaped radiator, from Auto Auctions in Westminster, SW1 .

Tyres

Silencers, shock-absorbers and tyres constitute expendable items on the most durable of cars. A big industry and retail trade revolves around this, a thought which came to me when the notably dependable editorial Ford Sierra 4×4 EFi, while not needing a new silencer or shockers (it’s going strong after 45,000 miles), was found at its last service to have all but illegal Pirelli P600s at the front. A patch on one was apparently due to faulty tracking. The rears were but 0.4 mm over the legal tread limit.

The solution was to pay another visit to Kwik-Fit, Hereford, where a new set of ‘boots’ was fitted with commendable speed (the spare, a Dunlop SP Sport, was barely used, and was left alone). The wheels were balanced and the steering retracked. The P600s had lasted 25,220 miles; whether or not they had been swapped around in that time I don’t know.

For replacements, I was given the latest Michelin STL MXV Pilot tyres, and I’m quite happy to be riding again with the blessing of Mr Bibendum. Michelin says of these tyres that they are intended for the long-distance, high-speed driver (flattery, in my case) and that the MXV low-profile radial (tubeless) ensures “outstanding braking, precision handling and excellent grip, with rapid water dispersal to prevent aqua-planing”.

Well, that was reassuring, which was just as well, remembering that each of these Pilots cost over £150. They have an 8 mm tread depth and are safe for 150 mph.

My first impression of these 195 x 60 V14 covers is that they feel softer than the Pirellis, causing a mild wandering sensation when the steering is in the straight-ahead position. Maybe they just require running in.

Never mind. New tyres are beautiful things, and give a driver the impression that he can approach any police roadside check with immunity (at least in that department). At one time, car owners were continually writing letters to motoring journals about their tyre experiences. You seldom see such comments now, so satisfactory, it seems, are today’s products.

W B

You may also like

Related products