That combined air display and vintage car show at Booker aerodrome on September 7th was a much bigger affair than had been foreseen. In aid of local charities and with a tea for local old folk who have tolerated the noise of local aviation (what a charming idea!), the thing was run almost nonchalantly by J. A. Atkinson, Doug. Bianchi and their staff, with the old vehicles supplied mainly by Uxbridge & Dist. V.V.S. and the V.M.C.C.
We tried to keep a list of them but there were too many to list, including some historic racing cars. But we did notice an Edwardian 12/16 Sunbeam tourer, a 1937 Hillman 80 Wingham cabriolet, several immaculate Talbots and Sunbeams, including Peter Moores’ “Dreadnought” with which readers should be familiar, and about as many genuine 3-litre and 4½-litre vintage open Bentleys. The last-named invariably have a bonnet strap apiece and a quick-action radiator filler.
Others to catch the eye were the Hampton coupé, two Swifts, an “everyday” Ten and the rare Fourteen, both tourers, a Crossley tourer, various permutations of 12/50 Alvis, from scruffy to desirable (but these are cars very often in frequent use), a 1929 20/60 Vauxhall tourer with a petrol can on one running board, a Pyrene on the other (no connection, we hope), a long-chassis Aston Martin with wire-mesh bonnet sides, the inevitable Austin Sevens, two girls in an open Lanchester Ten with ill-fitting radiator, a late Wolseley Ten saloon, a smart open Alvis Speed 25, a 12/50 Alvis beetleback with outside exhaust, Brooklands “can” and a reversing lamp, a very smart 1936 one-owner Lanchester Eleven Ranalagh sportsman’s coupé, a JS M.G., a much belabelled Austin 18 saloon, the Invicta “Arethusa” which, like the Bentleys, sports a bonnet strap and quick filler, a 1936 25/30 Rolls-Royce H. J. Mulliner limousine, a pristine Stutz saloon, a Chrysler Club coupé with golf clubs’ stowage under its dickey, the Grosvenor-bodied 30/98 Vauxhall two-seater, H.R.G.s including a Le Mans car and an Alpine Rally 1100, many “Chain-Gang” Frazer Nashes, Adnams’ 12/70 Alvis-powered T.T. Replica and a 1932 Meadows-engined Exeter which was H. J. Aldington’s demonstrator among them, two Sunbeam 14s, a Sunbeam 16 tourer, a Clyno fabric saloon and so on.
There was even half a curious cyclecar which had a s.v. single-cylinder air-cooled engine in its nose, a wooden front axle, a tiny steering wheel and a primary chain to the gearbox, the single-seater body being braced by tie-wires. But one could go on and on, from the French omnibus to the traction engines, which included the 1918 Garrett No. 4 tractor “Pride of Penn” and Burrell No. 3191 “Furious”. There were two stationary engines, one by Stuart, an 11.9 Lagonda, a Lea-Francis, an Austin 20 toast-rack, Morgans, a whole parkful of vintage motorcycles, an early steel-shod Austin farm tractor and a John Deere tractor, and a 1932 20-42 h.p. Albion 14-seater ‘bus.
Variety was the order of the day and with such a fine turnout this time, what will Booker do next year? With so much to look at and a band to listen to, it did not matter that the flying started about an hour late, with the public tending to mingle with the pilots. There was plenty of this to see, too, after a mock fire had been attended to by the fire-engines present. Kelly gave another of his immaculate displays in Lindsay’s Salmson-engined Morane-Saulnier 230, after a punctured tyre had been repaired with a vintage car’s puncture kit. Three pre-war gliders, a Kite, a Gull I and a Petrel, were towed off by the Tiger Moths, Dudley Steynor flew passengers in a VW-powered Falke glider which is the last word in self-contained, return-to-base soaring, the replica Fokker EIII monoplane was a decided attraction, there was an Aeronca C3 present, contrasting with a Miles Monarch among other vintage-type machines, which included Hornet, Leopard and Puss Moth, a D.H. Rapide and a Zaunkönig single-seater parasol monoplane with a needle-roller 2-litre Zundapp engine caught the eye.
The old vehicles paraded, amongst them this reporter’s non-Southeby 1930 Sunbeam glasshouse, which isn’t far removed from the vintage hearse with original bod(d)y, and all received a pleasing Booker Rally plaque. A good day’s outing!—W. B.