Busy Days Again!

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Reports Of Recent Events

Bugatti Owners’ Club Rally

The Rally of Bugatti owners at Bagshot in August was a signal success and a credit to Eric Giles.

Five Bugattis came along, including Birkett’s old Type 30 straight-eight 2-litre and Hindes’s remarkable 3.8-litre, road-equipped G.P. The latter car, ex-Nuvolari, has small wings and an inertia starter, and that is about all in the way of road equipment. It must be one of the very fastest of the road-equipped cars and we hope to hear more of it. A pleasant film show was held, and Eric Giles was able to announce that Prescott will be ready for use next spring. Suggestions for other 1946 events are welcomed.

750 Club Gymkhana

In a bumpy field, near Otley, the 750 Club held its first post-war event, a light-hearted Gymkhana. There were about 20 competitors, ranging from Lowrey’s elderly 2-speed Morgan to Birkett’s Bugatti, and including Rivers-Fletcher in gloves, scarf and Alvis, Donald Parker’s Fiat 500, Ballamy’s brother in a divided-front-axle Ford “Anglia,” Mallock’s Austin Seven, a Talbot, Grosscurth’s Blackburn Frazer-Nash Six, various grades of M.G., and ditto Austin Sevens. The G.B.P. were allowed in and numbered some 500 souls. Apparently no results have been issued.

J.C.C. Cocktail Party

The J.C.C. Cocktail Party at Grosvenor House “went over big,” and Secretary H. J. Morgan announced the British Motor Sport Fund, referred to in another part of this issue. Amongst those present were Lord and Lady Howe, the Marquess Camden, Lord Selsdon, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Sir Algernon Guinness, Bt., Lady Iris Capell, Mrs. A. R. Phipps (from the States), R. C. Rootes, Col. D. C. McLagen, R. E. Dangerfield, Col. Sealey Clarke, Capt. A. W. Phillips, W. V. Gibson, Capt. G. E. T. Eyston, Lt.-Col. A. T. C. Gardner, W. B. Scott, H. L. Holliday, Lt.-Col. A. C. R. Waite, A. Percy Bradley, Georges Roesch, W. M. Couper, Dr. Tugendhat, G. H. Robins, G. H. Leek, W. J. Darby, R. Gordon Sutherland, G. R. Fountain, F. H. Dale, Lionel Martin, S. C. H. Davis, A. I. Logette, Prof. A. M. Low, Capt. A. Frazer-Nash, Major White, R. L. Walkerley, Charles Follett, J. Gordon Offord, E. C. Gordon England, G. Roberts and L. F. Dyer. Altogether, nearly 800 persons attended. One of the Important Parties!

Vintage S.C.C. First Post-War Rally

The first gathering of the Vintage S.C.C. since 1989 took place at the “Pantiles,” Bagshot, on September 15th. There have already been certain signs that war has ended, such as a road race in France and the news that Holland has collected £30,000 for the building of a road circuit. But it took the Vintage Rally at Bagshot to truly convince us that Peace had broken out. The attendance was magnificent and really well-preserved vintage sports cars were in the majority — practically all the better examples were represented.

At the Annual General Meeting, Acting Secretary Anthony Heal paid tribute to the work Tim Carson had done for the Club before the war, and said he hoped to see him back in office soon! Heal was able to tell us that 105 question cards had been sent out to members and, of those returned, 75 per cent. listed vintage (pre1931) cars. The Club has £124 in hand, and hopes for new members to swell the funds. Harry Bowler, competitions secretary, said the future problem was that of finding new courses and new hills. Joint club events would probably be a partial solution, and he could promise a Prescott Hill Climb (by consent of the Bugatti Owners’ Club) in March or April, 1946, and, he hoped, a full fixture list by 1947. Forrest Lycett, as chairman, very ably got through the business of the meeting. The present officers and committee were re-elected en bloc. It was agreed that, in future, cars built after the former vintage limit of 1931 be admitted to the club, provided they were of a type approved by the committee. It was further agreed that persons owning non-vintage cars should be allowed to join as associates, as distinct from driving, members at the same fees as full members. Anthony Heal asked for help in tracing old members whose addresses have changed with the war, and especially in compiling a list, for publication in the club records, of those members who have laid down their lives in the cause of Freedom.

To return to the cars and personalities present, such numbers drove or flocked into the car park as to make a complete list unmanageable. Taking them at random, we find the following, looking their best, perhaps we should add, in the fitful September sunshine. John Bolster was there with his beautiful “Silver Ghost” Rolls-Royce tender, and, besides Heal’s immaculate 8-litre Sunbeam, there were two other 8-litres, one of them Barker’s blown car. Then obviously “vintage sports car” means “Bentley, old school,” to many, for these cars predominated-3-litres, 4 1/2 litres, including two magnificent blower cars and a “Speed Six.” Eddie Wrigley brought the only Lancia “Lambda,” a Seventh Series saloon, with wicker front seats, and there were two Meadows Frazer-Nashes, one belonging to D. S. Jenkinson.

Axel Berg and his brother came in the former’s lowered, Hispano-braked “30/98” Vauxhall, and Plowman brought another, with kidney brake compensator. Potter presented the ex-Bachelier “4.9” Bugatti, and someone brought a Brescia Bugatti, rendered unfamiliar by reason of a Frazer-Nash front end and Type 40 radiator. Birkett brought Boddy in his well-used Type 30 straight-eight Bugatti; Joan Passini came with Jenkinson, and Southon and Mrs. Boddy came in the former’s pleasing s.v. H.E. Others we recall were Lowrey’s H.R.G., Baines’s “12/40” Lea-Francis, a Hyper Lea-Francis, another “12/40” Leaf, Bob Cowell and Diana Cowell in a very smart 1,750-c.c. Alfa-Romeo, Michael May in his mother’s Hotchkiss saloon, and Rivers-Fletcher, Penny Fletcher and family in the “12/60” Alvis. Then Peter and Mrs. Monkhouse came in a huge modern Wolseley saloon, Ashwood and Taylor in a Packard coupé, Windsor Richards in a 2-seater S.S. 100, and Douglas Tubbs and his wife in a simply miraculous 1915 Bebe Peugeot. Francis Hutton Stott tried hard to arrive under his own steam in his showroom-condition 1901 Wolseley, but trouble set in and he had to be towed behind the family Lanchester. Still they came. A Fiat Eight tourer, a 1922(?) “12/24” Citroen, Fiat “Mice” (of course), a very imposing “38/250” Mercédès-Benz, two or three Rileys, and Rowland’s “Ulster” Aston Martin. Lancia “Aprilia” and “Agusta,” 4 1/2-litre Lagonda, a Type 57 Bugatti, Phelps and Mrs. Phelps in the famous s.v. Aston-Martin, M.G.s, one of which brought Mr. and Mrs. Whincop; a Sunbeam-Talbot, two Singers, one an odd “racer” replete with numbers; Dr. Ewen’s grand “14/40” Delage, “clean all over and beneath”; a 2-litre Lagonda, Seth-Smith’s Alphonso Hispano, Breen’s beautiful 3-litre Bentley and Mortimer’s imposing V12 Lagonda. And personalities: Waddy; Joan Richmond, Godfrey McKenzie, Rodney Clarke, Peacock — everyone who could come, in fact, and we must be forgiven for not listing each person individually.

What a gathering! What a party! Warmest congratulations to Anthony Heal and his henchmen.

Results: Prize for best-kept vintage car, Dr. Ewen (“14/40” Delage). Prize for oldest car to come without help, D. B. Tubbs (1915 Bebe Peugeot), from London.

Other Events

Other reports which we should include concern the Sunbac Evening Trial and the B.R.D.C. Meeting. We have not received reports of either, but we believe some 30 members attended the latter, and that a firm resolution was passed to endeavour to get Brooklands and Donington into good shape. At the end of last month, too late to report, were due the R.A.C.’s Meeting of the clubs and the Veteran C.C. “Ely” Rally — the latter getting 40 entries we hear, nicely divided between veteran and Edwardian motorcars. These events will be commented upon in full in the November Motor Sport.