A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters
Old Vauxhalls at Luton (Sept. 5th)
It used to be Vauxhalls at Old Luton, car manufacture comparatively new and the town noted for straw hats. On September 5th it was old Vauxhalls at Luton, Vauxhall Motors Ltd. acting as hosts to members of the 30/98 Register of the V.S.C.C.
In sunshine’ on Vauxhall’s spacious sports field, the ancient cars assembled, for nothing more strenuous than a parade and a short run for tea at Luton Hoo.
Laurence Pomeroy, with full justification (his famous father was Vauxhall’s Engineering Director when the guest’s cars were new, and designer of the immortal 30/98, the finest vintage sporting car of them all), briefly outlined Vauxhall history, and thereafter John Stanford described each car individually as it stopped before the dias on its nostalgic journey round the sports field.
Pomeroy reminded us that his father took £2,000 from Mr. V. Higginson (inventor of in Autovac) before the First World War to design him a 30/98 n six weeks that was required to run for one minute and take the Shelsley-Walsh hill-climb record from La Buire, which it did. Stanford’s informed commentary was exactly how such addresses should be delivered and I am taking the liberty of quoting almost verbatim from his notes, leavened with a few observations of my own, for the following account of the cars that were present-as this was a first and very successful occasion, it merits complete coverage. The cars which had come to Luton for this parade, earning for their drivers a handsome plaque presented by two Vauxhall employees, Mr. H. A. Dean and Mr. W. C. Ward, who used to work on 30/98s, were as follows:
1. Vauxhall Motors’ 1904 6-h.p. single-cylinder.
2. M. E. Allsop’s 1204 12/14 h.p.
3. Vauxhall Motors 1909 20-h.p. A-type.
4. M. E. Allsop’s 1911 20-11.p. A-type, discovered in N. Ireland and since extensively used for rallies.
5. Vauxhall Motors’ 1911 Prince Henry, beautifully restored.
6. Lord Montagu’s 1914 Prince Henry, driven by J. K. Milner.
7. Kenneth Ball’s 1914 Prince Henry, found converted to an 8-seater ‘bus and painstakingly renovated.
8. G. W. Samson’s too E-type 30/98 boat-bodied 2-seater. Chassis No. E209.
9. Lord Montagu’s 1920 E-type 30198 Velox, with Star f.w.b. front axle. Once owned by Cecil Clutton, who drove it on this occasion.
10. H. M. Buckley’s very smart 1920 E-type 30/98 Grosvenor 2-seater.
11. M. W. Ferguson’s 1920 E-type 30/98 Grosvenor aluminium 2-seater, with Whitehead f.w.b. conversion.
12. B. A. Sherwill’s 1920 E-type 30/98 Martin Walter tourer, converted to large section tyres.
13. E. Dames-Longworth’s 1920 E-type 30/98 Velox, with f.w.b.
14. C. Shorrock’s very beautiful 1922 P.-type 30/98 Velox, On which Some 3,000 man-hours have been spent, making it, vide Pomeroy, ” better than new.”
15. A. Jeddere-Fisher’s 1922 E-type 30/98, bought in the Middle East and used by him as regular transport in Fiji.
16. I. K.. Milner’s 1922 Li-type 30198 with big tyres and aluminium pointed-tail 2-seater body from a Riley Redwing. Non-standard steering column. Driven by blonde Mrs. Milner, and very nice too.
17. 0. B. H. Beaton’s 1921 E-type 10/98 aluminium Velox, on b.e. tyres.
18. Crabb’s 1922( ?) F-type 30/98.
19. M. L. Quatermaine’s 1921/4 lowered OE-type 30/98, a bonnet strap hinting in its notable competition career. E-type chassis.
20. P. I. A. Smith’s 1923 OE-type 30/98 tourer, chassis No. OE4. Delivered May 1923. Completely original. Was raced at Brooklands.
21. A. 0. Jones’ 1923 OE-type 30/98, built up from lots of bits. Has later-type Vauxhall hydraulic f.w.b.
22. H. B. Radcliffe’s 1923 OE-type 30/98 with Mann Egerton body having fuel tank outside rear panel. Cycle wings. The Hon. Registrar’s car. Front axle from 2-litre Lagonda.
23. G. E. Milligan’s 1924 OE-type 30/98 Velox in immaculate trim. Owned by him since 1927 and in regular use, on b.c. tyres. Spare wheel cover tonneau, Union Jack on side of bonnet.
24. A. I. Geiki-Cobb’s 1923 0E-type 30/98 yellow Wensum, absolutely pristine, with horse mascot. Said to have lapped Brooklands at 108 m.p.h. in 1924. [Coe’s best that year was 101.02, in 1925 106.79.-ED.) Kidneybox f.w.b. C.U.A.C. mascot.
25. J. Broadhead’s equally immaculate grey 1924 OE-type 30/98 Wensum, Broadhead ‘s at Brooklands by Major Coe and magnificently restored. Kidney-bopx f.w.b.
26. H. Dpouglas-Read’s 1924 OE-type 30/98 Velox, which has run around 1-million miles. Alloy bonnet.
27. A. I. Read’s 1925 OE-type 30/98 Velox, very original, from lamps to luggage grid, in this owner’s care since 1936.
28. Plowman’s L.td.’s famous 107-in-the-hour on Montlhéry 1924 OP-type 30/98 2-seater.
29. A. T. Darbishire’s 1925 OE-type 30/98 rakish Owen 2-seater.
30. Dr. M. Brydson’s 1925 013-type 30/98 supplied as a chassis and fitted with a Griffin all-weather bulbous-tail body, which is wider than a Velox. Another with the early kidney-box hydraulic brakes.
31. A. N. Bardos 1925 0E-type 30/98 fitted in 1936 with Coachcraft 4-seater body. Long bonnet flutes. In daily use.
32. C. R. Durdin’s 1925 OE-type 30/98 ex-Binns, now with more handsome Velox body. Does s.s. ¼-mile in under zo sec. Delage front axle. 6.00 x 16 tyres.
33. A. Archer’s 1925 OE-type 30/98 with 1920 E-type engine.
34. 1924 OE-type 30/98 Velox in grey primer with alloy bonnet, and on b.e. tyres. Used by Val Doom as their photographic transport when taking camera studies of Britain’s stately homes and villages.
35. A. D. G. Sharp’s 1925 OE-type 30/98 Wensum, in aluminium, but non-original flat screen on 820 x 120 tyres. One owner from 1925 to 1953. Has run 77,000 miles, all original, even to tools, etc.
36. Vauxhall Motors’ own 1925 OE-type 30/98 Velox in light yellow with alloy bonnet, on 32×41 Dunlops.
37. C. R. Southall’s 1927 OE-type 30/98 Velox, original except for slight body mods. with late-type Vauxhall hydraulic f.w.b.
38. J. W. Rowlcy’s well-known 1927 OE-type 30/98 Velox, returned from two Continental tours this year. Kidney-box f.w.b.
39. A. C. M. Millar’s 5927 0E-type 30/98 Wensum, recently repainted. Probably the last Wensum-OE 311. Has the 1910 brake drums, cut down 1/8 in. to clear 19 in. wheels, converted to modern hydraulic actuation, with servo.
40. C. J. S. Wilson’s trade-plated 1922/8 OE-type 30/98 2-seater with slab tank and T.T.-like scuttle cowls. E-type crankcase, OE block. etc.
41. Unsworth’s OE-type 30/98 tourer, being rebuilt.
42. N. W. Portway’s 1920 D-type 25-h.p. side-valve Kinston tourer.
43. E. Kirby’s 1922 OD-type 23/60 o.h.v. Kinston tourer.
44. M. E. Allsop’s 1923 OD-type 23/60 Kinston tourer, with decked rear screen and kidney-box f.w.d.
45. Vauxhall Motors’ own 1923 OD-type 23/60 Kinston tourer in Light Peacock blue, with alloy bonnet.
46. J. R. T. McDougalrs 1926 14/40 Princetown tourer, with alloy bonnet and brass lamps.
47. D. A. Cooper’s 1927 14/40 saloon, scruffy but in regular use.
48. G. H. Symond’s 1927 14/40 Princetown tourer, owned by him for 10 years.
49. Newport’s scruffy 1926 OE-type 30/98 4-seater with twin S.U.s and outside exhaust pipes. Rough.
50. M. E. Allsop’s 1928 20/60 ” General Motors” saloon, towing a scruffy OE-type 10/98 boat-bodied 2-seater which was sans engine, this having been until recently a P6 Perkins diesel.
51. R. D. Saunders’ yellow 1924/6 14/40 tourer, which fell by the wayside during the parade.
In addition, a star exhibit, even though on tow, was Anthony Brooke’s 1922 T.T. Vauxhall supercharged twin-o.h.c. racing car, assembled from many parts, and bodied in the form in which Raymond Mays drove his at Shelsley-Walsh and in sand races.
Drivers pumped up pressure (don’t tell Mr. Higginson!) with scuttle-mounted air pumps, fuel was sucked through the big Zenith carburetters and these 35 30/98s rumbled, deep-throated, east us, preceded by their Prince Henry and 23/60 forebears (I recall lying on my back writing a bolt-by-bolt description of one of the latter during my apprentice days, when I was supposed to be replacing its big-ends), causing a mantle of nostalgia to rest temporarily over commercialised Luton. It was a splendid display of splendid motor cars, venerable Veloxes and, as the V.S.C.C. Bulletin used to say, winsome Wensums predominating. In due course we drove quietly away, suitably humbled, in a Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre R.—W. B.