The second of the Jubilee Cavalcades organised by the S.M.M.T., in collaboration with civic authorities and aided by the V.C.C. and V.S.C.C., took place in just-fine weather at Cardiff on August 31st. 281 vehicles entered for the procession, of which 20 were veterans, 24 were Edwardians, and 22 were vintage. The cars were inspected by Admiral Sir Bruce Frazer, and a banquet and luncheon were attended by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Alderman W. R. Wills, J.P. The exhibition of models was staged at Howell’s Stores, and the Nuffield Group and others put on their own shows in the city. The cars assembled for the Cavalcade in Cathays Park and about 2 1/2 miles of Cardiff’s main thoroughfares were policed for the run. Generally the organisation was good, and a generous allowance of petrol enabled many cars to come from far afield, although some veterans came per rail. As with the London show, however, Press passes and programmes were either not available or only so at the last moment — other Jubilee organisers, please note. And a fatal mistake was embarking some five miles of procession over a 2 1/2-mile route, so that all the veterans were halted to enable the tail-end moderns to vacate Cathays Park and let early numbers return to their places. In spite of a very miserable morning, huge crowds attended, and afterwards asked intelligent questions.
Amongst the veterans, Daimler’s 1898 M.M.C. Daimler was the oldest, and Wolseley’s 1899 Wolseley next oldest. Adelphi Garage, Llandudno, brought the Daimler, which had coil ignition and a Stromberg carburetter. Lightfoot’s 1902 Arrol-Johnstone, started with a length of cord, breathed gently from its two cylinders, but was proving temperamental. Kentish had towed his magnificent 1902 De Dion Victoria on a trailer from Hampshire behind a decrepit Hillman Minx. Hutton-Stott arrived at the last moment, after much trouble with a modern car. Rolls-Royce ran their magnificent 1905 10-11.p. 2-cylinder, while J. E. Scott entered a sister car, dated as 1904.
Of the Edwardians, most of the London entries were there. A 1912 Morris-Oxford was making horrific noises from its Hele-Shaw clutch. Wilcocks, who came from Sussex in his beautiful 1912 “12/16” Clement-Talbot, kept his engine running for long periods in the park to amuse the spectators, and the Editor of Motor Sport thundered round the course, cut-out open, in his 1913 “Alphonso” Hispano-Suiza, which had brought Lowry and himself 150 miles, from Hampshire, the day before. The 1911 Austin town-carriage, mid-engine type, had a single, central driver’s seat and marvellous curved front windows to its landaulette body. The 1908 G.P. Austin was there, on its lorry, and together, in a side street, were the lorries carrying Pratley’s Sunbeam, the 200-m.p.h. Sunbeam, the “Golden Arrow,” and the o.h.c. racing Austin Seven. Alas, Campbell’s “Bluebird,” which everyone was asking for, was absent. Wait’s 3-cylinder Clyde was present, Daimler’s had a magnificent yellow 1911 30-h.p., sleeve-valve sedan, and Sears came many miles in his immaculate 1912 Rolls-Royce limousine. The 1914 Austin was very slow, and the 1913 Commer wagonette, on “solids,” had to watch out for tramlines; it has a steering column gear-change.
The 1919-30 era produced some interesting “newcomers,” but certainly wasn’t representative of the British industry. The original Austin Seven and 1922 Austin Twenty ran, a Newport firm put in a 1923 Durant-Rugby tourer with transverse drag-link steering, disc wheels, contracting band front brakes and long 1/2-elliptic front springs, and very fine indeed was McCombie Metcalfe’s 1924 “12/40” Alvis 2-seater. A 1925 “12/24” Lagonda All-weather, a lone 1926 3-litre Bentley 2-seater belonging to Aubrey Halewood, a 1928 “Chummy” Austin Seven, and a 1927 square-radiator Morris-Cowley were there, but we were sorry not to see Escott’s 1924 “14/40” sports Sunbeam.
A Cardiff garage ran an astonishing 1926 racing Morris-Cowley; apparently Wellstead raced the car at the Track in 1928. A very “period” cowl, very nicely done, encloses the bull-nose radiator. The chassis side members are liberally drilled, the 3/4-elliptic rear springs are retained, and the body is a typical racing 2-seater. The instruments appeared to be very ordinary, but there had been a rev.-counter, and there is a horizontal air-pump on the passenger’s side. The wire wheels, with 3.50 by 21 tyres, are of the sort used on early “14/40” M.G.s, and the engine looked quite normal, with carburetter feeding through the block’ but with a neat, asbestos-lagged, four-branch exhaust system on the near side. The car is vivid red, with a large black number disc on the near side and “Red Flash” painted in immense letters on the off side. Another old Brooklands car found? A serious person in the crowd decisively, but inaccurately, ascribed it to Sir Henry Birkin! The later cars ran from the open 1931 Sunbeam Twenty-One, which was in London, to the moderns, although the H.R.G., Healey and Jowett “Javelin” were not at Cardiff. Both 2- and 4-seater 1946 Allards were drawing the crowd, the newly-grilled Morris Tens were there in numbers, sleek and square-lined Triumph “1800s” formed a striking contrast, and the 2 1/2-h.p. Larmar invalid-chair perhaps excited the greatest comment of them all. Daimler’s showed two magnificent Hooper-bodied 27-h.p. cars and a 36-h.p. Hooper-bodied straight-eight, of which the traditional, yet modern, treatment of their radiators is a pleasing feature.
Four new Lanchester Tens drew praiseworthy remarks, and we hear that these little cars show their 50 in 3rd gear and corner really well. The Mk. VI Bentley and Alvis Fourteen appealed to the sportsmen, and Austin’s showed their millionth car, a Sixteen saloon. Credit must go, too, to Austin’s for the very spick and span turn-out of the o.h.c. racer on its Austin lorry — but we do want to see the former in action again! The Cavalcade run was largely uneventful, although a few unfortunates had trouble, and the long hold-up was enough to cause serious overheating amongst the early cars. The S.M.M.T. footed the hotel bills of those entrants who requested it — a praiseworthy gesture.
Brighton’s Jubilee Celebrations
Old Cars and Motor-Cycles on Show
Although Brighton did not hold a Jubilee Cavalcade, the famous seaside resort produced a souvenir programme of its many social events which marked the occasion, and also staged an exhibition of old cars and motor-cycles, which was opened by Lord Brabazon of Tara, P.C., M.C. Amongst the cars exhibited were Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 1935 300-m.p.h. “Bluebird,” the Golden Arrow,” Lt. Col. Gardner’s M.G., 1896 Daimler and Wolseley, Dick Nash’s 1898 City and Suburban Electric, Heal’s 1910 Fiat, a 1914 Rolls-Royce, 1920 Mercédès and Essex, 1922 T.T. Sunbeam by Messrs. Harringtons and a 1923 M.G. The programme contained many good photographs of the London Cavalcade and early Brighton Speed Trials, etc., but got hopelessly muddled in saying that the “Bluebird” on view was originally Pratley’s 350-h.p. car.
Now that the war is concluded and we are busy in our various ways coping with the peace, we are apt to forget that some people are still exiled in far-away places. We have been receiving lengthy letters from a private in a parachute troop regiment in the Middle East — where lots of soldiers are still exiled, and living dangerously, if parachute jumps from a Halifax strike you that way. It is pleasing to learn that out there enthusiasm for motoring Sport is very high. The regiment concerned has formed a motor club with R.A.F. and Army officers at the head of things, and a W.A.A.F. to help with the clerical work.
Meetings, at which talks and discussions take place, are scheduled to run from 8 to 10.30 p.m., but usually have to be broken up at midnight or thereabouts. This club has ideas of acquiring two 350-c.c. Matchless motor-cycles and a Coventry Climax engine for instructional purposes, and later making a sprint car by putting the engine into a Hillman chassis. Every bit of news from home is eagerly devoured, and results of our events circulated. Plans are being laid by members for 500-c.c. “specials” to be built later on, one with J.A.P. engine in a Fiat 500 chassis. The assistant secretary has ideas of a blown Morris Eight for road motoring, and someone else’s father has acquired a sports Riley with a racing record. A recent discussion on large and small cars for trials went in favour of the Austin Seven, with many good words for Ford, Allard, 328 B.M.W., new Lea-Francis, H.R.G., etc. One hears such comments as: “Old So-and-so is going on leave and will see the Brighton Speed Trials, lucky devil,” etc. Remember these exiles when they finally come home and, if you can, help them to realise their motoring ambitions.
The Belfast Cavalcade was a great success, the cars being inspected by the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Sir Basil Brooke. They included some 160 shipped from Cardiff and nearly 140 others. Indeed, Irish veteran and vintage cars predominated, including a 1919 Irish-built 25-h. p. O.D., a 1927 Chambers saloon, and a Deemster. The winners in the appearance competition were Mrs. Dowling’s 1926 Buick, Clarke’s 1903 Peugeot, and Andrews’s 1923 Gwynne Eight. Oldest car was an 1898 solid-tyred Clement, and the racing cars were Pratley’s Sunbeam, the 200-m.p.h. Sunbeam, and Hillis’s Talbot 90.
Coventry – Birmingham Cavalcade
This was one of the more ambitious Cavalcades, with a town-to-town procession. Oldest entry was Vernon’s 1896 7-h.p. Daimler, followed by S/Ldr. Pidgeon’s 1897 Hurtu. Southall ‘s 1912 A.C. “Sociable” was a “new” veteran, and the 1920-30 era included such interesting things as a 1920 Briton light car, a Castle Three 3-wheeler, a 1923 Enfield-Alldays, the original (1923) M.G., four “30/98” Vauxhalls, a 1924 Austin Twelve, a 1926 11.9-h.p. Star 2-seater, a 1927 Fiat Eight coupé and three 4 1/2-llitre Bentleys.