Another S.M.M.T. London Motor Exhibition opens at Earls Court on October 21st. Allis is an-annual happening which signals the close of the British motoring sport Season, the advent of shorter evenings, and the hazards of winter motoring. It is satisfactory that so many aspects of competition motoring have been very actively supported during 1964, from the intense technical exercise of Formula One, in which British supremacy in cars and drivers will in future have to withstand the efforts of Ferrari and Honda, to that remarkable spectacle, the International Drag Festival, which is currently in progress.
Such of the new ears which we are allowed to reveal are described in this issue, and next month there will be further significant releases. So, if this year’s Earls Court Show is not ‘a sensation, it should at least be a very satisfactory exhibition.
There will be the usual display of high-performance sports and GT cars. Rootes have brought automatic transmission into the sports-car field, B.M.C. have made history by installing an engine built by Crewe craftsmen into the rather old-fashioned Vanden Plas Princess, you can buy a 4-wheeler saloon in the cyclecar tradition for less than £400, in the form of the Fiat 500, and Reliant’s idea of what a true economy car should be, costing £525 (or a bit more than a de luxe B.M.C. Mini) is a car in something of the Old 7/17 Jowett and Citroen 2 c.v. tradition, inasmuch as the Tamworth firm favours a small engine in a roomy vehicle.
A.C. are marketing the big Ford engined Cobra in this country, and the keenly-anticipated N.S.U. Prinz 1000L is now established here, while the N.S.U. Wankel-powered Spider is no longer a static exhibit, having been sampled by the Press at Goodwood last month.
So there will be plenty of interest at Earls Court. Although cars on exhibition stands, amid all the artificial glitter and glare and swimsuited girls inseparable from any motor show, are seen in an unnatural setting, so that we prefer infinitely a GT Car cruising fast along some Continental motor-road, a rally saloon ascending an Alpine pass in a hurry, or any one of diverse sorts of competition cars racing round a circuit., there is no denying the attraction of Earls Court. Sooner or later almost everyone of importance in the motoring firmament goes there. The Show is a vast Social centre, where old friends and rivals of Industry meet and every aspect of the motor-car is discussed avidly, including models of an age and type not to be found on any of the manufacturers’ Stands.
Motor Sport with its good friend Motoring News will be on stand No. 4 at the 49th International Motor Show, Earls Court, Oct. 21st-31st.
How many motorists will refrain from voting on polling day, fed up with inadequate roads, savage taxation, and continual persecution, remains to be seen. Vote for the Tories and you vote for Marples. Yet if the Conservative Party won’t look after the “car-owning class,” who will?
The Lost Causes Rally at Beaulieu on September 20th was open this year to defunct makes of any age. The Scottish class was supported by a lone 1927 Galloway which ignored both the parade and its prize.
The Birmingham class was the monopoly of no fewer than 18 B.S.A.s., 11 of which were mostly decrepit three-wheelers, the rest Scouts.
Nunn’s immaculate 1934 Railton took the Invicta/Railton class. The Jowett category was a close thing between a couple of 1953 Javelins, and a varied entry of Lanchesters produced a win for Miss Whitt’s 1933 Ten from Derby, and there was a tie in the Lea-Francis class between two P-type 12/40 2-seaters.
A 3-door tourer took the Trojan prize. The Wolverhampton contingent consisted of a Clyno 9 fabric saloon, a rather brassy Clyno 11, an A.J.S., and two smart Stars, the judges, F. Hutton-Stott, R. Hays and W. Boddy, awarding the prize to Warburton’s 1920 15.9 Star tourer.
Two very fine post-war Armstrong-Siddeley 18s just gave best to Wood’s 1936 bright yellow 20/25 saloon. In the miscellaneous class, a 1916 6.4-h.p. Perry was top car, but Ireland’s 1922 A.B.C. was judged to be the most meritorious “lost cause.”