ON SOME THINGS WE SHALL MISS
DEFINITFLY, we shall miss going to Earl’s Court. The Motor Show, whether at Olympia, or Olympia and White City, or, as it now is, or would have been, at the newer Earl’s Court building, brings annually a pleasing mix ture of experiences. Winter begins to exert its presence without ; within all is light, heat, talk, and discussion. Perhaps even more than at the racing circuit, the motoring scribe senses all his hopes, desires, enthusiasms and ambitious crystalise, when Royalty opens this show of glittering, up-to-the-minute cars in that big, brilliantly lit arena. Later, as feet tire and the head become fuzzy with smoke And the babble of countless tongues, you can reflect on the excitement, the humour, the intense interest of this great show of all the world’s commercially respectable automobiles. Not all so commercial, however, for have not dummy _engines reposed beneath resplendent bonnets and behind respected radiators, and so often a brilliant engineer has hovered round his latest creation, in the vieinity of which salesmen look less pleased with things, knowing that they can deem themselves lucky if the new product’s ultimate sales can be counted—well, on the fingers of both hands ? Although I usually pay only a fleeting visit 1_0 the Show and no longer go straight to Trojan’s for a cataloguebag. I enjoy Show-time thoroughly. I recall the last-minute surprises Olympia has sometimes sprung upon us, and the very, very interesting new sports cars revealed to us there as the outcome of an idealistic designer hoping to meet t he requirements of a certain, easily tempted, and not too poor, section of the community. Yes, and I recall the stately dignity of the latest luxury carriages from the great houses of Rolls-Royce, Daimler, Napier, Wolseley and other well estab ‘hated tams, before cars of this class were expected to go at least at 80 and get up to 50 m.p.h. or thereabouts very quickly indeed. I remember the days when stripped chassis could be explored in comfortable uninbers awl when commercial vehicle makers like Leyland, Guy and .Nlaudshls commenced to build quite
hot passenger cars. In those days we studitd for hours, and wrote reams on brakt gear and manifold formation and valvs sear layout, for the purely matterof-facl tsobuyer was not so commonplace as he–the lordly pusher of mysterious buttons, God bless him—is to-day. In remembering these things. I shall
miss Earl’s Court. I shall miss, too, attending winter trials, at a different locality each week-end, at a time when rising early is quite an effort, rewarded by a good day’s sport and a cheery mealg,athsring with real sportsmen at the day’s close. If war goss on too long I shall miss going divers places, in the rain and sun Of summer, to watch raving in an atmosphere embracing noise, excitement, thor(Highbred machinery ; and sporting menfolk attended by fairies who manage to combine modernity with feminine charm with unbelievable skill—at least, some of em. I shall miss going to such meetings, first in the chill Of spring, later in the heat and dust and slight fatigue of summer, then in the autumn, when long drives home have the added zest of yet another change in the English scene and a desire to hurry down the road ere dusk spoils; a little, one’s average sPeed Yes, I, and you too, must miss these things, on the occasions when we can pause in our new lives to exercise the memory But we need not despair. The Motor Industry is brays I ( ;111 ving on, and ned.or transport stands on a far, far wider footing than it did in fateful 1914. J owett Austin, M.G., Sunbeam-Talbot, Hillman and others have announced 194() progrzunines and who, remembering the firms in exist Mall.’ in w, which survivsd the 1914-18 affair, nee(I extend to them
unreasoned sympathy may they be building even finer cars for the year which will follow the Armistice ! Prom our own, purely personal viewpoint, it may be that racing will receive a big fill-up when the war ends. Dangerous as it is to accept apparent lessons of one major war as applicable to the next, we certainly found people living at. a greater pace in 1918 and in the years immediately succeeding the Armistice. than they did in 1913 or have been doing recently. in those days Brooklauds accordingly found a definite place in the scheme of things, if a rather different Brooklands, under Col. Lindsay Lloyd, from the Track as we know it to-day. So perhaps it will be the same after this war with a British racing team widely’ demanded and race-course ” gates ” healthier than ever before. (Jr, when victory finally comes, maybe we shall seek. relaxation, as an exhausted peoples, in quietly driving out into spots far from fellow-men in-his-masses, anxiously concealing our car’s brute force as Bentley has concsaled the real potency of his more recent products
Either way, motoring will be tire primary relaxation for tens of thousands of us. Those of us ” in the game ” now can take heart from this, and, while praying earnestly for Peace, may light for it with all our will and determination. A racing driver and a soldier ha % e lots in common, if you think it out sanely.