"Cars In Books"

Sir,

Your MOTOR SPORT apart from being the best 15 pence worth of reading matter anywher ein the country is also very tantalising! Every successive copy brings nostalgic memories of the past in Motoring and Aviatton.

I was particularly interested in your review of the book on Vivian Hewitt and although It is often claimed that he was the first to flv the Irish Sea, a prior claim is made for Robert Loraine the actor and pilot who, on September 11th, 1910, flew in a Farman Biplane from Holyhead, Anglesey, but owing to engine failure fell into the sea some 60 yards offshore from the Irish Coast near Baily Lighthouse, Howth, but is considered to have made the first flight across. Hewitt died July 27th, 1965. On December 11th, 1968, a collection of his North American Stamps was sold at Christie's from which a pair of rare "twelve pence" Black Canadian stamps issued in 1851 fetched £17,000.

On the same page, "Cars in Books" reference is made to Jack Johnson. I was born in St. Marylebone and in my student days, when Johnson was in England, he always viisited Dick Burge who lived in Nottingham Mansions and always drove up in a white Benz. This car was once overhauled at Mitchell's 'Garage, Wardour Street, before it was taken over by Shaw & Kilburn and an old friend who was their chief engine fitter, Harry East. did the job and took me round to show me some of the methods then used, dead tight mains and big-ends as an example. Further to the subject of "Cars In Books" maybe one of the most intriguing is "Sicilian Circuit", a novel by Mark Pepys, 6th Earl of C.ottenham, Cassell (1933) which describes the invention of a gas turbine racing car, which performs and wins the Florio Targa despite Fascist attempts to sabotage the effort.

I imagine this must he the first fictional mention of the gas turbine as a prime mover for automobiles. I have a copy, found secondhand some 20 years ago.

Shepperton. VIC BUTLER