The 9th Sunbeam M.C.C. Vintage and Veteran Rally (Sept. 4th)



This popular annual outing for pre-1931 machinery took place this year at Eastbourne, where Mayor, R.A.C. and police had laid-on an effective welcome. Entries numbered 90, mostly motor-cycles, and the event was relatively easy, a minimum mileage of 50 having to be driven to Eastbourne to obtain full marks, to which were added extra marks for age of car and driver, after which an easy route of 24 miles over flat roads had to be covered at lenient average speeds, depending on age of vehicle, in order to retain the marks gained. The Editor of Motor Sport took part at the wheel of his 1922 8-h.p. Talbot-Darracq and although he had more anxieties than usual, in the form of a puncture, a leaking water pump and an erratically charging dynamo, he lost no marks, the car running 180 miles that day without a misfire, thanks largely to the Oldham Major Power Seal battery which was feeding its Delco Remy oil-coil and K.L.G. plugs. (This battery had been taken out of stock at Oldham’s London depot a few days previously, when we saw it filled with acid, whereupon it attained its full charge, tested both by voltmeter and hydrometer, within a matter of minutes, no external electric current being applied.)

The Talbot-Darracq started the afternoon trial in company with R. J. Knight’s very sprightly 1927 7-h.p. long-chassis Jowett two-seater, which it was hard-pressed to pass.

B. Donovan drove more sedately in his smart 1926 11-h.p. Wolseley tourer, A. L. S. Denyer rode a 1925 Ner-a-Car, and R. Towner had a family party in his immaculate 1930 Sunbeam Sixteen saloon. B. L. Ripley’s 1924 Standard Fourteen tourer drew admiration on account of its highly-polished engine but had a pet name on its dashboard, as had Coffin’s model-T Ford on its bonnet. One of the oldest cars competing was C. McCallan’s 1900 4½-h.p. de Dion, Charles Meisl was present with his 1904 Clement-Talbot, which had shed one front mudguard, while F. H. Parkinson’s 1900 7½-h.p. Peugeot emitted a vast smoke-screen.

J. M. Edwards drove a 1929 straight-eight Wolseley coupé and owns another of these cars, a saloon, which gives him 18 m.p.g. towing a caravan. Interesting motor-cycle runners included a 1905 Riley with Sturmey-Archer three-speed rear hub, J. Moore’s incredible 1901 Singer with engine inside the back wheel, and a 1904 Charlton-Buchet which C. A. Rea rode down from London and on which he proposed to ride back again afterwards — alas, he misjudged the acuteness of the first corner and stalled. It was imposing to see a team of three Wooler “flying bananas,” of 1909, 1919 and 1922 vintages, while fast and smart was R. J. Dunkeld’s ex-Brooklands 1926 Rex-Acme. Eastbourne appeared to thoroughly enjoy this visit of the old ‘uns.