Club News, October 1945

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We hear

Norman Sharp, he of the Scott motorcycle and 3-litre Maybach-gearboxed Lagonda, has acquired Lacy’s 3-litre Bentley, as Lacy is going away — genuine case of “owner going abroad.” Denis Jenkinson’s “basic” hack is said to be a s.v. 16 H. Norton. And writing of early motor-cycles, an A.B.C. has been found in a barn in Northumberland, an early chain-drive, 2-stroke Enfield runs around Killinghall, in Yorkshire, and we recently paid another visit to Clayton’s Garage at Gilberdyke, where repose in differing states of disrepair such things as a Gerard 2-stroke, a Baby Triumph, a Ladies’ Model Enfield, a flat-twin Brough, a 4-h.p. Douglas, etc. A Chenard-Walcker saloon has been seen in use in Harrogate. Cheap cars have been at a premium for some time, which lends interest to a 4-seater Albatross, with cracked block, but otherwise complete, seen in a showroom in Wales, and a Fiat Twelve, reputed to be in good order, for sale around £30 in Huddersfield. A very “hot” Singer, believed to be Jones’s old car, is in a Hampshire breakers, priced at £350. Interesting cars seen recently include an early Summit-engined Morgan in the I.O.M., a J.A.P.-engined Morgan, with rather a 200-Mile Race aspect, in Harrogate, and a very early sports “12/50” Alvis, nicely preserved and with f.w.b. front axle apparently from another make, as it had unribbed drums, in Harrogate. Joe Lowrey continues to use a Morgan 3-wheeler to supplement his H.R.G. Like Birkett, F. R. Farquharson is running a rebuilt Type 30 Bugatti. Some O.E. “80/98” Vauxhall spares are said to be derelict outside a cottage on the Cardigan-Cilgerran road. Sub.-Lt. R. R. French now has an Austin Seven “Arrow” to supplement his Marendaz Special. Congratulations to John B. Perrett, the secretary of the I.A.E. Graduates’ Section, who has been appointed chief designer to the A.F.N.-Bristol Aeroplane Co. Amalgamation. He has been doing some useful motoring in Types 326, 327 and 328 B.M.W.s by way of initiation. Jock Pullen, T. & T.’s foreman, now runs his own public house, “The Harrow,” at Downside, near Cobham — if you get thirsty hereabouts!

It is with deep regret that we have to record the passing of John Farnsworth, who owned the T.T. Sunbeam over in Australia. Gerard is reputed to own no fewer than three E.R.A.s these days, the ex-Wilson car, now with plain gearbox, de Ram shock-absorbers, modified tank and radiator cowl and a hand-throttle beneath the steering wheel (he ran this car at Bristol in August); the ex-Hanson car and the ex-Wakefield Zoller-blown job. Nice, when racing recommences! Watkins’s Watkins-Nash now has its steering column passing between the cylinders of its V-twin J.A.P., to control a divided track-rod. At the Bristol hillclimb it clocked 52sec., using bottom speed throughout — estimated 5,000 r.p.m. The Stromboli, seen at the same event, had a s.v. Anzani out of an A.C., Morgan i.f.s., and a single S.U. carburetter. A whole host of well-preserved early small cars, mentioned some years ago in these columns, await new homes in the basement of a Southampton garage. They comprise a 1923 14-h.p. Standard 2-seater, 1924 “11.9” Lagonda 4-seater, 1923 12-h.p. Swift 4-seater, 1922 Standard 13.9 2-seater, 12-h.p. Calcott, 1925 Wolseley “11/22” 4-seater and a 1921 Tarnplin tandem-seater cycle-car with V-twin J.A.P. engine and belt drive.

Francis Hutton-Stott recently acquired a very fine 1913 38-h.p. Lanchester open torpedo to add to his collection. His brother has a very early Thornycroft petrol car (engine NO. 11), and Dennis C. Field has bought a 1901 Hanzer from Garry Adams, which necessitated an adventurous tow behind a Hillman Minx from Newbury to Swindon. In Leeds a breaker displays, on a high perch, a rather decrepit 1903 Gladiator, while another Leeds breaker has a single-cylinder Wolseley, a single-cylinder De Dion and a 2-cylinder De Dion, all in sound condition, which he would dispose of for about £100 apiece.

R. E. Renshaw has overhauled a 1929 “12/40” Lea-Francis, and seeks a suitable body for it; a nice example of vintage Lea-Francis saloon was seen in Harrogate recently. C. W. P. Hampton has added two more Bugattis to his collection — a 1927 Type 30 and the ex-Dix Type 22. Leslie Allard, Sydney Allard’s brother, is running a garage at Bolney and owns two 4 1/2-litre Bentleys, one of which has a 9-ft. 10-in. wheelbase and a simple light-alloy-on-duralumin angle-frame 2-seater body. Hydraulic brakes are spoken of, and Mckenzie himself is said to be advising on matters technical. They sound nice motor-cars! Sydney is motoring in the Mercury-engined Allard, owned by Kings, and Silcock’s Zephyr engined Allard is being prepared for action.

Battersby has replaced his 1,500-c.c. Fiat with an “Eleven Hundred” of the same make, and also has a “Special Series” Riley “Sprite.” Readers will sympathise with George Symonds, whose “Grasshopper” Austin Seven, which he had intended to use in trials, was burnt out in its garage in a fire; Symond’s R-type racing M.G. was saved, and is for sale. F. H. Hambling has reopened his sports car business at Crown Point Garage, Leeds, and recently sold a Type 40 Bugatti to Rayner, of Bristol. Hambling’s personal car is a Ford-engined 3-wheeler Morgan, which does Leeds-London in 4 3/4 hours, at 45 m.p.g.. Lt. Cameron, shortly to return from the C.M.F. seeks a Lancia “Lambda.” his friend, S. Leadley, has a hybrid, consisting of a Frazer-Nash chassis with Riley engine, gearbox, wheels, front axle, steering and rear brakes, Lockheed front brakes, and single-chain final drive; the car is said to have been raced at Donington by Freddie Dixon. Leadley also runs an Opel “Cadet” and considers it a “first-class car.”

Bentley Drivers’ Club

The A.G.M. will be held at the Rembrandt Hotel — which is now so well known to enthusiasts — at 5 p.m. on October 6th. A cocktail party and discussion will follow at 6 p.m. Sporting events will, it is hoped, be resumed in the spring of 1946. Acting hon. secretary: C. J. L. Mertens, “The Red House,” 8, King’s End, Ruislip, Middlesex (Ruislip 5119).

Cheltenham M.C.

This club is now again “under way” and resumes its excellent and novel venture of a clubroom open to all enthusiasts, where a file of motoring papers is kept, etc. Hon, general secretary: F. H. Bond, “Fronfraith,” 9, Whitcross Square, Cheltenham (Cheltenham 4820).

M.C.C.

The Motor Cycling Club has already awoken from its war-time hibernation with the Rally at Wrotham, and has now announced that the classic London-Exeter Trial will be held next year, fuel rationing or the abolition thereof permitting, the start being scheduled for the night of the first Friday in January. This being the case, members will wish to renew their subscriptions, and many enthusiasts will wish to join this old-established body, which is one of our most important clubs. The entry fee is 10s., and the subscription of £2 will run to the end of 1946. Car entries for the “Exeter” will cost £2 each. It is extremely pleasing that “Jackie” Masters remains the “skipper” of the M.C.C. Details are available from him at 26, Bloomsbury Way, London, W.C.1.

Novel

During a meeting of the North London Enthusiasts’ Car Club in August a fuel consumption test was organised, using an M-type M.G. Midget and a “Red Label” 3-litre Bentley. The former was in very fine order, whereas the Bentley was being run-in, carried four adults and had one magneto inoperative; it had a D-type gearbox and needed second on parts of the route. Both cars were driven normally, and members guessed at the results, at 6d. per guess, to provide a prize. The M.G. recorded 59.2 m.p.g. and the Bentley 16 m.p.g. We have heard of some very good consumptions since “basic” was reintroduced, but nevertheless … Surely a little coasting was resorted to?

S.C.C. OF A.

The Sports Car Club of America held its Spring Meet on May 19th and 20th last. Present were Cord, Hudson, S.S., Mercer, Lagonda, Bugatti, Mercédès, Rolls-Royce, Du Pont and B.N.C. cars. The Hudson was a very striking car, with a doorless, 2-seater torpedo “Complex” body with frameless Plexiglass screen. Cars owned by recently-elected new members include Model 40 Ford V8, Vauxhall, a 2-litre A.C.-engined Amilcar “Grand Sport,” owned by I. 0. Linton, and a 1930 Duesenberg. The Sports Car for May-June contains an article on the 1931 Model G Du Pont and a description by Rodney Clarke of the Type 57 S.C. Bugatti electron coupé built for Lord Rothschild and due to be shipped out to R. B. Oliver (surely, Rodney, the front springs are not 1/4-elliptic?). Secretary: A. H. Enborg, 20, Bedford Street, Lexington 73, Mass., U.S.A.

All In Good Time

As reported elsewhere in this issue, the R.A.C. Competitions Committee called a meeting of representatives of all the clubs on September 28th, so that the future of the Sport could be properly discussed. Those people who agitated for such a meeting when the war with Germany was raging and who blamed the R.A.C. for not calling such a meeting, must now appreciate the truth of the saying : “Everything comes to him who waits.”

Cover Picture

As the evenings draw in, heralding the approach of autumn, we recall those last meetings at Donington, ere racing gave way to trials. For Southern enthusiasts there was the long evening drive home, terminating at a late hour; for those in the Midlands an easy Saturday morning found them at the course in ample time for the start. When will these happy days return? The cover this month bears a photograph typical of Donington, showing Raymond Mays on the black E.R.A. following the American, Du Puy, on a 6-cylinder Maserati, into a corner during the 1937 Nuffield Trophy Race. The race was won by Fairfield’s I 1/2 litre E.R.A. at 65.89 m.p.h. Mays was third, at 65.35 m.p.h., behind Dobson.

Source of Supply

Those readers who have been unable to obtain a copy of George Monkhouse’s great book, “Motor Racing with Mercédès-Benz,” may be interested to know that Clymer Motors, 2125, West Pico Street, Los Angeles, have copies available, at $2, post paid, or $3 in cloth. The book is out of print and fetches several guineas a copy over here.

Stop Press

E. B. Longbottorn has a 1929 Le Mans “Speed Six” Bentley, chassis No. S.B. 2752, engine No. S.B.2765, registered No. UW 4989, and he would like to hear from previous owners. Will the person who bought a Model T Ford radiator from N. A. Smith please get in touch with him at BM/NADS, London, W.C.1. D. G. Darby and a friend have, acquired a Brescia Bugatti, chassis No. 1614, registered No. PD 8180. It has a large “No. 3” on the radiator. Can anyone give any information about it to the owners, who hope to rebuild it? The “Scuderia Chemvamo” asks its members to send their news to A. F. Brookes, 39, Horace Street, St. Helens, Lancs., so that further news-letters can be produced. Adlards Motors, Ltd., will soon be requiring a few first-class mechanics in connection with the new Allard programme — apply by letter to Hugon Road, London, S.W.6. Owen Finch has the ex-Samuelson C-type M.G. Midget, in pieces, and Charles Brackenbury has sold one of the blitzed Le Mans V12 Lagondas to Humphreys, and is having the other rebuilt with an aerodynamic coupé body. Hopes for 140 m.p.h., and says he will use the car to go from pub to pub. What a man! Calder, who drove a Horstman in the 200-Mile Race days, is now Service Manager of Shank’s Garage, Weybridge. Biggs wants to sell his trials Austin Seven, blown or unblown. Lowrey went to the 750 Gymkhana in his 2-speed Morgan. Sqdn.-Ldr. Marris, whose article on suspension was so much appreciated, is running a 1,100-c.c. H.R.G.

Present Values

Present values, or at any rate prices: An Allard sold recently for £1,500, and we were asked £75 for a 1928 Austin Seven. An “Ulster” Austin Seven has been advertised for £395, and a 1926 S.V. Aston Martin, with 0 lb./sq. in. oil pressure, for £250. The only cure for this disease is to refuse to play ball with the vendors.

Correction

In our Stop Press report of the Bristol Naish House hill climb the results were incorrect. Fastest car time was made by W. 0. Watkins’s Watkins-Nash in 51.6 secs., not by Gerard’s E.R.A., as stated, as the third runs, although officially timed, were not counted as official.

The V.S.C.C. OF A.

The Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia now publishes an excellent magazine, The Vintage Car, each month. This is in the best traditions of the excellent Bulletin which our own Vintage S.C.C. used to issue—and isn’t it time this was revived?

Odd Spots

Floyd Clymer has done it again, like our Mr. Russell! His “Scrapbook,” devoted entirely to steam cars, follows the lines of his earlier “Scrapbooks,” and contains a great amount of data (illustrated) relating to early steam cars. His own experiences of steamers, the principles of various types, specifications and differences of various early makes and a list of all America’s steam cars, make most absorbing reading. All veteran car enthusiasts should secure this unusual, but very informative work.

As we close for Press we learn with sorrow of the sudden death of Neville Holdsworth, of Pannal, a great enthusiast for Aston-Martin cars. Our sympathy is extended to his mother and father and his many friends.

General Notes

August sunshine coincided with a run in the Austin to Scarborough — on business but with time to spare for some idle moments on the beach at Filey and to capture the pre-war atmosphere in the town itself, ere we wended our way homeward, a beautiful D8/70 Delage saloon, driven by an old gentleman, enlivening the tea stop. Then there was a Sunday when, after lunch, we set the Austin on a pleasing cross-country run to Gilberdyke, to try Clayton’s Special Triumph and inspect his veteran cars. Coming home, cobwebs nicely dispersed by a fast flip in the glistening Triumph, we could not resist following some very slender clues which we hoped would lead to an aged Wooler motor-cycle, said to be derelict, beside a shed at Howden Airship Station, itself derelict for many years. Open, very flat country, with an immense herd of cattle in one huge field, heralded the approach to Howden, and soon the old flying ground came into view. We turned, at a defaced Air Ministry notice board, down the rough concrete road, along which solid-tyred R.A.F. lorries doubtless finished their journeys long ago. An indefinable fascination was experienced as we picked out the base of what was once the airship mooring tower, noted the huge concrete slabs which probably anchored that tower’s guywires, and investigated sheds containing remains of queer retorts and an elaborate water-pumping apparatus. People are housed now in the sheds around the place and Italian prisoners watched mutely our search for the Wooler. Alas, although its presence was recalled by an old lady and a young girl, we learned that it had long since been carted off with other scrap. But this glimpse of Howden was interesting, the place breathing something of the despair we felt in respect of airships after the disaster and scandal of R.101. The sense of abandonment and wasted effort instilled by this quiet countryside lingered, not to be entirely dispelled until we came again to familiar surroundings, motoring in quite a peace-time traffic stream along the Great North Road, ere we took the difficult and now so well known left turn over the bridge, into Wetherby, and continued through some very nice country to Harrogate.

Next, there was another long run in that fascinating 3-cylinder, 2-stroke, Scott-engined Morgan “4/4,” the fun commencing when we took the Austin over to Saltaire to collect it from the Scott works one Saturday afternoon. Changing from a utility saloon to a sports car is like changing from gardening flannels and soiled jacket into a lounge suit, and the driver felt twice the man at the wheel of the Morgan. So much so that we motored home to Harrogate via Ilkley and Blubberhouses, stopping to inspect a large-scale model railway at a caravan factory near the former place, and having a mighty duel with an open Vauxhall 25 along the latter stretch. Hard driving along the wild, twisty road enabled us to catch the Vauxhall, the Scott yowling merrily at a speedometer 78 m.p.h. Our rival proved to be an old gentleman out with a carload of ladies and youngsters, but he came past at once at something over 80 m.p.h. We gave chase, being slightly outmatched in speed and top-end acceleration, but quicker on the corners. Eventually we got by again, the Vauxhall crew waving happily, and then he came past us and drew away, driving a difficult car magnificently, until finally we both slowed and the Vauxhall turned off our road. It certainly made one think and it was interesting that that evening someone who has been with General Motors, Ltd., told us that the modern big Vauxhall is his idea of a car, for, in his opinion, Taub and Olley got the engine and chassis, respectively, just about as one wants them — and that from a man who has, in his time, owned a “30/98”!

Next day, after lunch, we drove over to Cheshire to show the Scott to Kenneth Neve, a dreary drive over some appalling road surfaces and much cobbled going, so that we wondered (a) why we motorists are asked to pay such heavy taxes; and (b) whether these northern roads are not the very factor which will make many patriotic Britishers invest in softly-sprung American automobiles. We also wondered, as we have done on many other occasions, when some sound common sense will be applied to signposting our towns and main roads. At Neve’s a good time was had by all. For our part, we were allowed to drive Molyneaux’s beautiful 1931 2-litre open Lagonda, as fine a contrast to the Morgan 4/4 as one would wish to find, fully restoring our never very flagging appreciation of the vintage car. This Lagonda had extremely high geared but surprisingly light steering and a gear-change, reputed to be very difficult and probably so at speed, but with a truly delightful action, again very light, yet positive, tried in a normal manner. Something approaching 50 m.p.h. felt like a mere 35 m.p.h. and was equal to 2,000 r.p.m. in top gear, and it was very nice to sit up high again and ride so steadily, while the brakes, with vacuum-servo operation, really did WORK. A nice car, this 2-litre Lagonda. We noted other, bigger models of the breed in the course of the day’s run, incidentally.

Neve, Mrs. Neve, Crowley-Milling, Mr. and Mrs. Molyneaux and Judy Neve having been out in the Morgan and Rae Griffin, who had occupied the back of the Morgan, having tried Crowley-Milling’s solo Triumph Twin, car topics were discussed to a late hour. A better route home was used, the Morgan making light of Manchester and Oldham, climbing manfully over the Peak and coming into Bradford in the dark, via those curious, undulating roads, obviously industrial, yet faintly suggesting a seaside town, lights twinkling here and there on the hillsides. These hills served to show up the astounding pulling power of this 2-stroke in top gear and made easy a not very pleasant journey, for bad road surfaces predominated, while, having inadvertently put the Morgan’s dynamo at half-charge, we had earlier had a merry bonfire beneath the bonnet, the resistance having heated up and fired the wood bulkhead to which it was bolted. This affected the charge, which became intermittent and then ceased entirely, so that we thought it imprudent to use the headlamps. The excellent street lighting out of Bradford to Saltaire was appreciated all the more. It only remained to transfer our belongings to the faithful Austin Seven, and another excellent day devoted to matters motoring was soon concluded — apparently in sympathy with the Scott, the previously infallible Austin headlamp dipper chose to give up the ghost in Otley, as oncoming dazzle was at its height… The Morgan again gave no trouble whatsoever, dynamo charge excepted, and a rough check on fuel consumption showed it to be in the region of 28 m.p.g., hard driving, and the car sampled by so many drivers notwithstanding. We certainly feel very “2-stroke-minded” these days, and on the Saturday this was enhanced when Griffin found a garage in Bradford which had bought all the old Scott “Sociable” 3-wheeler parts, even to the blue-prints, a discovery he has long hoped to make. We even found an experimental engine, with the two cylinders in one block, for one of these cars, a thing the public eye had never seen—and probably never will!