CONCERNING BROOKLANDS. By H. M. CHUBB. Reminiscences are sometimes boring. But not mine. When I…
VETERANEDWARDIANVINTAGE A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters
STA NDA R DS AT HOME.— Following a precedent. set by the Sunbeam S.T.D. Register with their annual Wolverhampton week-end, it has become fashionable for old ears to return to their place of birth. Here J. Due’s 1906/7 30-h.p. Standard leads cars of this make through Coventry’s Civic Centre last month, on the
occasion of the Standard Register Rally–see report on page 850. Mr. Davy is Mowed by T. C. Large’s very sporting 1908 30-fbp. Standard and J. V. Beanie’s 1910 cabriolet. Vintage Standard. Nines brought up the rear of the Cavakade. THE V.S.C.C. PRESCOTT SPEED HILL-CLIMB (August 28th)
THE annual occasion when the Vintage S.C.C. borrows Preseot it for a speed hill-climb was a truly enjoyable affair this year. rather as if the old ears were having a fling before facing the coming compulsory testa—while every owner you speak to is confident his vehicle will pass these easily, and certainly the majority of pre1931 ears are maintained impeccably. whether it will be easy to convincegarage bands unaccustomed’ to high-geared steering. rearwheel-brakes and unusual eontrola that ears so endowed are, in fact, safer than rusty automobiles of the 1931-1950 persuasion is another matter. Certain it is that in the next few months anyone who considers he can restore an ” old heap ” to the required standard will be able to take his pick for a couple of half-crowns, and even the market for sound vintage cars seems extremely moribund at t he moment.
So let us revert to Prescott, where the entry was excellent in quality and variety, the torrential rain and storms of the previous day had dispersed and the Paddock was a gay medley of unusual motor ears, rabid enthusiasts and their charming girl-friends . .
There were some extremely interesting vehicles in the orchard, such as Riddle’s splendid 1921 G.N. with V-twin ” Vitesse ” engine, in which a single long chain drives the o.h. camshafts (61.13 see.). This potent engine idled surprisingly slowly; the car was pulling chains of 8, 5.7 and 3.3 to I. and the car was illustrated in MOTOR SPORT last month. Mudge had another G.N., this being a modernised sprint car, which Neve owned for a time, with modern disc wheels, hydraulic brakes, a sing ‘e-seater body with tachometer on the scuttle, Frazer Nash chassis, and the V-twin J.A.P. engine from the BroughSuperior motorcycle ” Leaping Lena,” earburetted by single-floatchamber twin racing Amals (54.46 see.). A nicely-made device!
Karneke had a 1932 Ii-litre Invicta tourer with the double-camshaft Blackburne engine (61.98 sec.) and Skipp had converted hi a 1928 high-chassis • 4a-1itre Invieta • into a red-and-alloy boy’s racer (55.95 sec.).
R. C. Batho brought a perfectly permissible, if obviously made-at}time, .Amilear-Riley racer, the chassis being 1928/9 Antilear even to the strip-steel-actuated front brakes, the engine a twin-S.11. Riley Nine, and the body probably Andlear but embellished by hit:: of wood and much sponge rubber (60.34 see.). The monocled 1/0 tttltcriv replied with a sports 1926 Salmson with the twin-earn engine. an early radiator, a home-brewed look about the body, it, San Sebastian chassis alleged to be a ” team car, old boy ” and it. remote gearchange of outsize Meecano put on in Brooklands days (60.24 sec.). Most of the other delectable machinery had been seen earlier this year at Silverstone and oulton Park (see MOTOR SPORT reports) and confused only the commentator. Clifford, however, admits now that his 1938 blown liditre Alta is the ex-Hugh Hunter car, 1101. I he Mary Grosvenor car.
One of the nicest Edwardians present was Barry Clarke’s 1913 44-litre side-valve Talbot Twenty-five, an SB chassis of which it is thought only half a dozen were made, endowed with a very beautiful replica body as used on the sprint Talbots of that day and age. Villiers’ Austin, the car which captivated the Italians at Monza, was rightly transferred to the p.v.t. 1,100-c.c. Sports-Car Class, which it won, leaving theSahoson master of the vintage sports 1,100s. Ashley’s well-known Meadows Frazer Nash showed how it should be done, winning both vintage. and p.v.t. sections of the
Sports-Car Class, as it was appreciably quicker than Bromley-Johnson’s 1935 Frazer Nash. Moffatt all but inverted his very abbreviated Brescia Bagatti on his first run, getting it well up onto two wheels at Pardon, but went better on four wheels next time. to tie for second-best vintage with Geoghegan’s Frazer Nash.
Pilkinton’s very nice 1931 blown 1750 Alfa-Romeo took the 3,000,e.c. Sports-Car Class, second place and the vintage section going to Footles pleasing A.C./G.N. The big Sports-Car Class saw Charnoc-k ascend very rapidly in his well-known 4.3 Akis, his 50.31 sec. winning the class, while Bradley’s Bentley took the vintage section in 51.95 see. Sir Ralph Millais was again running his Alfa-Romeo in the vintage section and the commentator told us it is the car with which Howe and Birkin won at he Mans in 1931; it isn’t; it is the type which ran at Le Mans in 1932 and clearly a p.v.t. car, sister version to the IlaWthorn Alin-Romer, at Beaulieu, first registered here by Earl Howe in the summer of’ 1933.
It was also surprising to find three 5.5.100s running as p.v.t. cars. for surely these were just the kind of sports cars at which the V.S.C.C. laughed loudly before the war ? It also scents rather odd that whereas 1930 Invietas are put into the p.v.t. category if they have postvintage gearboxes, Cooper’s 8-litre Bentley, with post-1930 supercharger, was in the programme as a vintage car.
Collings’ 191203 Znst tourer won the Edwardian Handicap from Lord Montagu in the Coupe tle l’.4uto Sunbeam but fastest time (59.31 see.) was made by Clutton in the 1912 Mercedes Ninty a hieh Halkyard used to drive. A highlight of the 1,100-e.e. Racing-Car Glass was the appearance of the Lightweight Special, which Dowson took up in 49.62 sec. the old coarse. ignoring the new loop being in use, perhaps slower than before by reason of a sharper turn at the first corner Nitthilis could get near the o.b.e. Lightweight. The f.w.d. 13.S. .N.-Donglas known as the Allt’eok Special won the vintage section in 55.20 see. Chapman clocked 47.73 see. in the E.R.A. in the 1,500-e.e. Racing
beating Clifford’s Alta (49.91 sec.) and making E.T.D. Sibbahl’s somewhat re-bodied Bugatti headol the vintage category, with 53.26 sec. It was left to Perkins in his funny flugatti to win tile Over-1,500-ex. Racing Class in 48.06 6el!, from the irrepressible Hoe. Taylor’s Caesar (48.24 sec.), which was thought to be suffering from retarded ignition timing.
The well-filled car parks contained many fine or unusual ears, including a Hands light car, a very original Lancia Lambda tourer, a nice Amilear, an alloy-bodied OE 30/98 Vauxhall, a R.V.. Anzani Frazer Nash, an 11.4 Citroint eamion, an Autovia, and an alloy. ‘bodied beetle back 12150 Alvis, etc., ete. A pity the police rode -about looking for owner-t. who had forgotten to display their licenees on their ears, for Prescott used to he such a happy place.—W. B.
V.S.C.C. EDWARDIAN AND LIGHT CAR TRIAL (August 27th) This started from Birdlip and finished at Prescott, attracting an entry of 20 light cars, of which Fisher’s 1922 1,745-c.c. Star twoseater was the largest engined, and four Edwardians. As a storm of tropical intensity beat about the area everyone got very wet except the Editor and Continental Correspondent of this journal, who were ensconced in a 1929 Standard Nine saloon which scarcely leaks.
The route was intended to include two ingenious special tests, observed without stopping competitors, who had to negotiate sharp and unexpected hairpins without reversing. The first caused no difficulty, even before the august presence of Cecil Clutton, who had come down in his new 3.4 Jaguar XK150. The second was blocked, so the event deteriorated into map reading, which everyone managed successfully.
Prescott was so wet only one test was held, of braking, and the 40-mile run would have been dull had the route not been so interesting in parts. Sewers’ 12/22 Lea-Francis damaged its transmission and became brakeless after the brake test, Slater ‘s Jewett went on to one cylinder, but all arrived, sodden, at the finish. Results t
First Class Awards a Miss P. Stockeu (1924 Trojan). 1. E. Smith (1923 Gwynne), II. N. Moron (1913 Daimler).
Second CillPS Award a M. Applebee (1923 Morris-Cowley).
Third Class Awards Mrs. Milner (1927 9/20 Humber). J. M. Hayward (1927 Fiat $03).
The Triumph Dolomite Association has been wound up but they generously put all their remaining funds into buying a trophy for the Vintage S.C.C. It will become an annual award, probably for non-racing events.
Wanted urgently—a Riley. I0.8-h.p. side-valve engine up to 1923 and a radiator for a 1922 SLO Standard. Can anyone assist ? •
Seen on the road recently—a late model-A Ford coupe on U.S. number-plates and a Wolseley Hornet with what looked sapiciously like a Vernon Derby rear-end. • • •
The October edition of the Foreign Car Guide contains illustrated articles about a 1929 tnodel-DA2 B.M.W. coupe, basically Austin Seven, which is in regular use in the States, and the oldest VW still running in America—but the latter is merely of 1945 vintage. • • •
We hear that in Co. Durham a Ruston tractor reported to be of 1928 or 1929 vintage is still working on a farm there and is in original condition except for Fordson front wheels. There is also said to be an early Crossley converted to a hay bogey standing on a farm in the same district. • • •
A reader is trying to identify an early car which was found in chicken run at Edenbridge in 1955 and bought for a few pounds. The vehicle in question has a single-cylinder engine of 4/ in. x 41 in. bore and stroke (1,357 c.c.) and the cylinder block is believed to have been cast in 1899. The drive passes through a Printer three-speed reverse gearbox. There are external contracting brakes footoperated on the transmission, and operated on the rear wheels, and the tyres are 700 x 80. The carburetter is by T. Martin of London, ignition is by Bosch magneto and the chassis carries a two-seater body, while the radiator is not unlike those used on early Standards or Calcott cars. There is no maker’s name or numbers on radiator or chassis to assist in identification.
STANDARD REGISTER RALLY (Sept. 3rd)
The Standard Register held a rally at the Standard factory in Coventry on September 3rd in conjunction with their branch of the British Legion. Early on the Saturday morning, in the now expected torrential downpour, Edwardian and vintage Standards began to converge on Coventry.
An entry of 20 had come in, of which only five failed to arrive. The oldest car present was the 1906/7 30 h.p. model with Roi des Belges coachwork brought from the Herbert Museum in Coventry. It was presented to Standard Triumph by their Associate Company in Australia. Then came Lambs’ 1908 30-h.p. sports two-seater with bolster fuel tank, a very rare and exciting Standard found during the last war at a bomb-damaged house, to the garage of which it bad been banished in 1922,. These two large and impressive cars displayed lavish areas of yellow paint and well and truly caught the eye.
A. E. Hemmings brought his 1910 30-1t.p. ” Cheltenham Cabriolet” down from Liverpool, and after much midnight toil Atkinson & Griffin Ltd., of Kendal, had their 1913 20-h.p. Humbeldt cabriolet ready, this being the Standard which the Boy Scouts presented to Lord Baden Powell as a new car. Two other Edwardian Standards arrived, Messrs. Macharg, Rennie & Lindsay’s 1913 9.5-h.p. ” Rhyl ” two-seater, purchased at a furniture sale, and Clarendon Car Services’ 1919 9.5-h.p. two-seater which had been driven up from London after sundry adventures.
The vintage entry embraced Chick’s 1923 13.9-h.p. ” Warwick ” tourer, Whittle’s 1924 11.4-h.p. ” Canley ” two-seater, restored after spending years ii a field; Loxhams Garage’s ” Canley ” of the same year, Johnson’s 1929 ” Selby ” Nine tourer, which came from Scarborough bringing the person who bought it new from the factory, Newbury’s rare 1929 Nine Tourist’s Coupe,” Boddy’s 1929 Nine ” Tcignmouth ” saloon, Hosbon’s and Cornish’s similar cars and a 1929 Nine ” Fulham ” fabric saloon brought to the rally by an 87-year-old retired baker who bought it in 1931 and has maintained it in original condition ever since. Moreover, it has just passed an inspection under the compulsory test scheme with a clean slate !
Period dress was encouraged and J. R. Davy, the Hon. Registrar, had the happy idea of getting volunteers from amongst the girls at Standards and dressing them in costumes hired from a theatrical company. These picturesque young ladies rode in the older cars, marshalled the tests, sold raffle tickets and generally lent glamour to the occasion.
After a police-escorted parade through Coventry, to the confusion and delight of the populace, the cars competed in four driving tests at the factory involving width-judging, garaging, ” Le Mans” stuff and reversing to within an inch of disaster to a parked cardboard box, and then paraded again to lunch at Meriden. After lunch Mr. Davy told of the growth of the Register, which has over 50 Standards on its books—a ” Teignmouth ” Nine is Owned by the Company and apprentices are rebuilding another–and of how a spares scheme will be put in operation. He announced the results of the driving tests and distance contest, the prizes being handed out by the extremely jaded Editor of Moxou SPORT, who, knowing himself useless at driving tests and his Standard quite unsuitable for a Contours d’1,7egance, yet wishing to support the Register’s first rally, had driven through the night to Coventry via Exeter, thus gaining the Vintage Class Distance Prize. A special prize was given to the 87-year-old entrant for ” youthful enthusiasm.”
After lunch the colourful procession proceeded to the British Legion Show, to parade in the ring and be judged by Mr. Scott, Curator of the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, and Harold Hastings of 7’he Mawr in the Concours d’Eleganco, a charming young lady in appropriate bonnet and long dress braving the very sketchy dickey seat or outrigger perch of the 1908 sports Standard for the journey from factory to Show Ring. She must have been as pleased as any one that the sun had decided to shine after all.
Results s Distance Prizes
H.C.V.C. BASILDON RALLY (September 11th)
Rallies organised by the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club have a fascination of their own but when their Beaulieu Rally was can
celled one feared for the future of this exclusive body. Fortunately, any fears for its future health were dispelled by the excellent entry obtained for its Basildon, Essex, Rally On September 11th. A total of 52 commercial and public-service vehicles was entered, ranging from Goody’s fabulous 1903 Thames ‘bus to coaches and ‘buses built just before the last war.
An ambitious prograinme was undertaken, vehicles assembling, on one of the warmest days of the year, in the yard of Essex Carriers Ltd. at South Benfiect (not far from Thundersley Church Hill where speed hill-climbs were once sanctioned, from where they drove to the factory of Harold Wood & Sens at Baai’don, taking in a tour of the town en route. Here they took part in a Concours d’Eleganee. undertook driving tests and ended up with a grand parade. The road seetion had a police escort and the Essex Constabulary seemed particularly cheerful and helpful throughout the day.
The vehicles present included many old friends and some interesting newcomers. They had heavy traffic to contend with when the road section finally commenced and at the turn off the main Southend road into Gordon Avenue some parked ears arrived at the last minute and when a police radio-motorcycle moved forward to keep the road open a diffieult ” chicane” was formed; that the heavy steam wagons and the big articulated vehicles took this in their stride says much for the skill of their steersmen and drivers and proves that even vintage commercial vehicles are safe in modern traffic conditions. Incidentally, we noticed a broken sign propped against a post at this turning saying ” All Locomotives Prohibited, etc.,” no doubt a relic from the days before this lane we-s made up, but amusing under the eireurnstaneee • .
Not all the entries materialised—as we drove in heavy traffic to arrive at the start just in time we saw John Keeley’s 1934 Sentinel 54 steam wagon turn off the route as far back as Wembley and doubt if he made it.
The procession was led by L. Tate’s yellow 1913 Commer WP3 shooting brake, followed by the Montagu Motor Museum’s 1914 Albion A14 lorry. Very interesting was T. Redburn’s 1914 1″.n .1). lorry, while 1). E.pligrave’s 1915 model-T Ford van had enormous Rotax ” Roadlight 265 “gas headlamps with ” Mangin Lens Mirrors.”
The model-T Ford is the most popular historic commercial vehicle, 11 being entered, of which A. Watts’ 1922 ‘bus was very smart and had a Coventry replacement radiator. It was good to see how many steam wagons are in the Club—the programme listed five Fodens (two 1916 5-tonners to a 1930 tractor, including T. T. Barton’s immaculate 1928 wagon) and five Sentinels (19.,..1-1934).
Space precludes reference to every entry, but we noted a 1919 Walker Electric very nicely presented and J. Edbrooke’s exceedingly line 1919 W.D. Leyland with removable van body, which Chivers used in London front 1919 to 1934, after Which it served on a factory fire brigade to 1954. being restored in Histon last year.
Two fire engines, the Royal College of Science’s 1916 Dennis laden with eye-able girl students and a 1930 Albion in service to 1948, added to the sight and sound. a 1912 Aveling Porter traction engine brought up the tail of the procession, and W. T. Mink brought on an Atkinson lorry, the 1922 de Dion I3outon road-sweeper he bought on the Riviera, where it Was in service up to last year—nothing .changes very much in France! An A.C. Sociable and a rather sad 1925 Austin Seven truck with the wrong carburetter joined in and there should have been a 1929 Dennis lorry still in everyday use but we didn’t see it. T. A. Redburn brought an articulated 1930 Seamreel! and a rare exhibit was a 1936 Union tractor with trailer based an a 1914/18 gun carriage, on the bonnet of which was a wooden model of a Foden steam lorry With van body. such as you used to see in the windows of carriers premises. The Club Secretary drove a six-cylinder Lycoming-engined 931 Gilford 1680T coach which, alas, ended the ran on tow. The long cavalcade added muchneeded flavour of individuality to drab sameness of Basildon New Town. where the streets all look exactly alike, bring distinguishable only by the blue narneboarcls on lengths of ugly steel tubing—for there are few things quite so individual as vintage commercial vehicles. Results were not to hand as we closed for Press.—W. B.
It is with deep regret that We report a fatal accident to Lt.-CoL Ghee Gallop while he was driving a small French car on the ?tickleham By-Pass on September 7th.
An 80-year-old patient found gassed last month at Parkstone was James McGuire, one of the five men who built the first Rolls-Royce car.
FACTORY METHODS IN THE VINTAGE ERA No. 3: ROLLS-ROYCE
Ahhongh I have not yet been given facilities to visit the RollsRoyce factory, American journalists are apparently able to do so. in vintage times motoring scribes were welcome and early in 1928 they found nothing in the nature of a track or conveyor belt for assembling these fine motor cars. The amount of highly-skilled handwork was remarkable.
All raw materials, steel. bronze, white metal and aluminium was ordered to a rigid epecification and re-tested at Derby to A.I.D. standards.
Completed engines were run On producer gas for approximately five hours at 300 r.p.m., the gas Supply being piped from the mains. At the end of this light running-in, the engine was speeded up to 1,000 r.p.m. for one hour and if everything Wa, satisfactory it went on to full-throttle test, on the water brake. During this preliminary running-in pure oil was circulated through the engine. being kept clean by passage through De Laval separators.
011 the Froude dynamometer Rolls-Royce next ran the engine for some eight hours, first for an hour light but faster than on the mulling-in bed, power readings being taken, then for some seven hours ut wide throttle openings.
Gearboxes and back-axles were tested for silence, the latter being put, with its torque tube, on a special chassis rig and arduously tested.
The complete Rolls-Royce chassis was put on a roller-dynamometer, special twin Solid-rubber tyres having first been mounted on the hack wheels. In this trim the engine drove the back wheels for six hem*, in the different gears at ‘varying throttle openings, power readings being taken at the back wheels and the chassis covering the equivalent of a strenuous 500 miles.
Reverting to the power test, the 40/50 h.p: Phantom I was tested thus at 2.750 r.p.m., engine speed, the tolerance being 2 per cent. against predetermined figures at low speeds or 5 per cent, at high engine speeds.
Finally every Rolls-Royce went out on a road test in the hands of four special testers, all cars passing through the hands of these four men. The average period spent in final tests is said to have occupied no less than five weeks!
Brake levers, ,sear levers and steering Columns e ere plated, spare fuses carried on”little bakelite wheels to obviate weaking the fusewire by bending it round a card, and every Phantom I radiator contained 6,150 brass tubes, each 4 in. long. Steering worms were lapped on their nuts and the starter motors, dynamo and coil distributor, but not the magneto, were made in the Derby factory.
I look forward one day to penetrating beyond the gates cif today’s Motor Division at Crewe to see whether similar standards of manufacture and testing prevail !—W. B.
Ind-Coope Ltd. have been using a 1924 bull-nose Morris Cowley tourer restored to original condition for the purpose of advertising their Double Diamond beer. The car is nicely turned out except for an advertising inscription on the side of the body and replicas of beer bottles attached to the hood sticks. This Morris recently returned to its birthplace at Cowley on a visit.
The Dexion footbridge referred to in your report on the Portuguese Grand Prix was one of two constructed for this event. One, designed and erected by Dexion Limited’s licencees in Portugal, was entirely satisfactory : the structure was first tested to take the full design load required by the authorities, and was in constant use throughout the race.
The other bridge—the one referred to in your report—was erected by a purchaser to designs of his own which were unsatisfactory. As soon as these designs came to the notice of our Portuguese associates, they took every possible step to have them modified, bat were unable to persuade the purchaser to do so. This led to the situation described in your report.
We would like to stress that optimism is most certainly not essential to the use of Dexion in this kind of work. The only basic requirement is good design (as with any other material) and this, unfortunately, was the one element lacking in the instance quoted. Given conventional standards of good design, Dexion is perfectly capable of doing this work—as evidenced by the many examples of similar and even larger structures now in service on a world-wide scale.
CONCERNING BROOKLANDS. By H. M. CHUBB. Reminiscences are sometimes boring. But not mine. When I…
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