VETERAN TO CLASSIC - V-to-C Miscellany, November 1994, November 1994

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The smallest of clubs can often have as much fun as the bigger organisations — the Trojan OC and the Gwynne 8 Register spring to mind — and in conjunction with the Rover Sports Register’s National Rally at Belcastle this summer, the 75th anniversary of the air-cooled, flat-twin Rover 8 was celebrated, by the Register catering for such of these little cars as remain, which means about 30, out of more than 17,000 built between 1919 and 1925.

Ten of them attended this year’s rally, including one of two surviving saloons, the rusty but complete remains of a rare four-seater rescued from a rubbish skip, and one of only two known doctor’s fixed-head coupes; the other is in the BMIHT Gaydon Museum. The 1923 coupé at Belvoir had been driven down from Scotland by Marie Chalmers, after the oil-pump drive failed the night before; she was awarded the Lewis Perseverance prize, donated by the gentleman of that name who worked on these cars at Rover’s from 1919. The others comprised six 2-seaters,and three more four-seaters; Kent Robinson, Wedman’s Farm, Rotherwick, Hampshire RG27 9BX, would like to hear of any other survivors.

From Victoria, Australia, comes news of a 12/35 hp Type-M Leon-Bolleé which Peter Latreille has owned since 1963, after he had found it in 1959 at the age of 15 and persuaded a friend to buy it for him and keep it until he could use it. Various other vintage cars intervened, but in 1963 the Leon- Bolleé was taken in hand, two years after Mr Latreille found his Vauxhall 30/98, which is the passion of his life, he says. But he would like to hear from other Leon- Bolleé owners or those who knew these now rare cars. It seems that this Australian-owned example may be the sole surviving family car of this make, pre-Morris-Leon- Bolleé. Its owner has been able to interview M Pierre Bolleé in Le Mans and correspond with Mr Howard Godfrey, whose father was the London agent for Bolleé cars and introduced William Morris to Madame Bolleé in 1924. If anyone knows more, we can forward letters.

The Singer OC is very much alive. Its journal, The Singer Owner, looks after the activities of the Singer OC and the Association of Rootes Car Clubs, and the August issue contained a report of the Singer National Rally, with many photographs, and more besides, including many advertisements for plenty of used Singers of all ages and types. The membership secretary is Peter Hart, 27 Riverhill, Watton-at-Stone, Hertford, Herts SG 14 3SD. UK membership costs £16.50.

Not that anyone interested in pre-1905 is cars is likely to forget, but this year’s RAC/VCC Brighton Run is on November 6, starting from Hyde Park at 8am. Entries for the LEJOG End-to-End car trial on December 3/6 are filling up; those who wish to pit their historic or classic cars against this demanding test should apply to LEJOG Office, The Town House, Leigh, Worcs WR6 5LA.

It seems likely that the 1½-litre Singer Six driven into eighth place at Le Mans by Barnes and Langley in 1934 and the Ulster A7 thought to be the car raced by “Archie” Frazer Nash, are both in Ireland. Their owner would like confirmation.

The 12/50 Alvis Register has 52 members, owning between them 457 eligible Alvises (but the Register knows of a total of 730, out of a build-total of approx 8650), of which 123 are TJ 12/50s, and 115 TGs, ranging from 1920 to 1933. With the help of John Scott & Partners, the Register has published a comprehensive members’ list. The Registrar is John Willis, The Vinery, Wanborough Manor, Guildford. Surrey GU3 2JR.

Results of the Welsh Trial follow. G Owen (Morris-JAP) posted best overall performance; H Monro (30/98) took Class 2. R Barnett (A7) won the Smatcher Trophy. First class awards went to Owen, Monro, R Reed, N Plevan (A7s), M Joseland (Frazer Nash), D Lee (Salmson), J Tomlinson (A7-GN), R Collings (Mercedes-Maybach), J Ghosh and B Spollon (30/985), second class awards to J Riding, I Teague, J Densham, T Gosling and C Knill-Jones (A7s), D Rolfe (MG), B May (Frazer Nash), D Marsh and A Jeddere-Fisher (30/98s), R Harcourt-Smith (Alvis), H Hickling (Dodge) and D Knight (Ford). R Odell (Riley), D Marchant (A7), T Threlfall (Ford), P Garland (30/98) and A Reynolds (Bentley) qualified for third class awards.

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