Rumblings, November 2004



The Morris Bullnose Club’s magazine combines technical advice with Morris history. My affection for Morris cars goes back to the first driving lessons I had with a family friend in his flat-nose Cowley saloon, when he showed me how safe and controllable a car can be if properly handled. The Bullnose Club secretary is M McKay, Highlands, Church Lane, Little Leigh, Chelmsford, Essex CM31NA. The President is Jo Revis, the widow of the blind Morris PR man, who handled that position so competently, as I can confirm.

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The Pre-War Austin Seven Club reports that recently Tom Wheatcroft held a private party at Donington at which two of the famous twin-cam racing A7s and the side-valve car were demonstrated. Clive Hadley was there to see the car so ably raced before the war by his father, Bert. It seems unlikely that these historic racing Austins will be thus driven again, but they can be seen in the Donington Collection of single-seater racing cars.

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The Sunday Times recently had an article headed ‘When pioneers went over the Top’ – of the Brooklands bankings. It was accompanied by a picture of John Cobb in the Napier Railton with all the wheels in the air and a ghastly five-photo sequence of Clive Dunfee’s fatal accident in the Bentley during the1932 500 Mile race. The sub-heading claimed that triumph and tragedy went neck and neck at Brooklands. Rather unfair, remembering that the track was in use nearly every weekday, apart from winter repairs, from1907 to ’39, representing, with the long-distance racing and record attacks, an enormous high-speed mileage, during which only three drivers were killed in over-the-top accidents. Moreover, a 4-litre Sunbeam was not, as described in the article, ‘a sister car’ to the one-off 18.3-litre1920 Sunbeam.

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Brooklands Books of Cobham, having covered cars from A onwards with reprints of magazine articles (a catalogue is available) have combined those on Lamborghinis into one 456-page giant volume covering these cars from1964 to 2004 (ISBN 1855 206498, £49.95) as a special edition of 500. MotorSport’s impressions of the1972 Espada, ’76 Urraco and ’85 Jalpa are there, with 102 others, in this deluxe hardback.