ir, My first motoring experiences began in 1907, when my father la)tiglit a 1904
Richard-Brasier with ca i Ic rs and a quadrant gear change, 111•’‘riat :wet vlene lights ; the windscreen W;IS ■III cx tin. She once did Paris to Tours in a day with four up and luggage ; speed about 38 kilometres I ler hour.
In 1913 we had. a 1.5/20 h.p. fourcylinder Studebaker with a Holley cork float carburetter, very difficult to start on cold mornings ; speed 45 to 50 m.p.h.
In 1915 we lout a 10-11.p. Singer 2-seater with gearbox in the back axle, which was rather weak. Speed was 36 m.p.h.
In 1920 I bought a ” 15.9 ” ArrolJohnston. After 2,000 miles she broke her I):iek axle in the Mile End Road going to (*I ehester. The firm sent down two Mos and a 19’21 axle free. of charge, fter which she went well till 1925, when she was replaced by a 1925 ” 14/40 ” Vauxhall, which did 60 m.p.h. and had a rather tricky gearbox. After this I had a 1924 O,E. ” 30/98 1″ Vauxhall 2-seater with a body by Grose and outside exhaust. This was a marvellous car, capable of 95 m.p.h. and with
a beautiful gearbox. It -gave no trouble, but the brakes were poor.
The next was a 1925 ” 16/45 ” O.M. sports 4-seater, painted red and with a lovely exhaust note. A six-cylinder side valve with two carburetters, her performance was good for a 2 -lit re : 70 m.p.h. in top and 60 m.p.h. in third. The clutch was a weak point. Next came a 10-h.p. push-rod Salmson of 1926 vintage. This was the world’s worst specimen. In two months the
magneto packed up, the exhaust burnt the floorboards and the valves had to be adjusted every 200 miles ; NiorriSes and Standards could pass it with ease at its speed of 48 m.p.h.
Next I had a 1926 Grand Prix Bugatti 1i-litre. These cars would rim down to about 9 m.p.h. in top. Speed varied with tuning, but over 95 was possible unblown. After this came a 1924 fourcylinder Targa Florio 70 x 130-mm. Ballot with 2 o.h.e and a boat body. She was the same type of chassis that ran second in the Florio Race and very fast on the gears (75 plus in third), but clutch slip was a persistent cause of trouble.
After this I bought a 1925 “9/20 ” Humber 2-seater. This was a very reliable car and did 60,000 miles with very little trouble and would do 50 m.p.h.
In 1929 I had a” 14/45 “Talbot tourer, which handled very well and, after alterations to the carburetter, did 65 m.p.h.
In 1934 the Talbot was changed for an Alvis ” Firefly ” tourer with a Wilson gearbox. She did 50,000 miles with absolutely no trouble and gave 27 m.p.g. and 75 m.p.h. in top gear. She was a very good car. After this I bad a 1938 ” 12/70 ” Alvis Anderson sports model. It had very good acceleration in top and third and did 82 m.p.h. in top and 65 m.p.h. in third at 23 m.p.g,
I have now got a 1937 “Speed 25 ” Alvis Charlesworth D.H. coupe. This is an outstanding car (like the ” 30/98 ” in the Vintage class), capable of touching 100 m.p.h. in top, 75 m.p.h. in third and doing 0-50 m.p.h. in 101 seconds. She came once from Fishguard to Guildford on Disco!, running up to 90 m.p.h., but never at over 1,500 r.p.m. on the gears, and did 20 m.p.g.
I had her out on R.A. Ack Ack sites through the winter of 1939 and she always started first shot. She is now in cold storage owing to lack of petrol, and I bought a 1932 Rover 9.8-h.p. saloon for £15 10s. Od., which has carried me filthfully for 6,000 miles, when she broke a half axle shaft, which I have now replaced. This car had done 57,000 milesand does 60 m.p.h. on the clock and 35 m.p.g. on a long rim.
Dawlish Warren. Devon. I am, Yours etc.,
G. A. GALLOWAY.