Matters of moment, October 1978

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

The rape of Brooklands

That line of historic sheds on the west side of Brooklands, from the Parry Thomas “Hermitage” to the premises occupied right up to the war by racing driver W. B. Scott, have been bull-dozed out of existence to provide a Distribution Centre for Bass-Charrington, the brewers.

These old sheds were but a small part of our National Heritage represented by the defunct Brooklands Track and Aerodrome. Nevertheless, they were an important part of it, for therein were designed and built several great LSR cars and Parry Thomas’ highly-successful racing cars, and these sheds were occupied by a unique band of people. Their loss can be compared to Stonehenge with some of its stones removed, St. Paul’s with its dome taken down as conflicting with London’s sky-line, or even, remembering how fanatical some of us are about Brooklands, the Tower of London without the Crown Jewels… To say the least, the destruction of these old sheds is very sad; apparently no Preservation Order had been made to protect them, as had been done for the World’s First Flight Booking Office on the same site, which should now perhaps be removed to a safe place. Motor Sport aired some grievances about the Brooklands Society earlier this year, on behalf of Mr. R. 0. Wilson-Kitchen, and it has no desire to go any further. The Society has since been quoted as trying to achieve the unachievable, has been taken to task by a contemporary for proposing a new entrance-road through what is left of the Members’ Banking, and Oyster Lane Properties Ltd., who are building on the hallowed land on the west side of Brooklands, say it was informed of their intentions, leading to the rape of those historic sheds, two years ago, but failed to put up any viable alternative scheme. The Society’s Chairman, Roy Nockolds, informed us that a meeting was to be called in London, to meet the top-Directors of Bass-Charrington, and the Editor was invited to attend (he suggested that perhaps the Curator of the Bass Brewery Museum, which is housed in historic buildings in Burton-on-Trent, might be persuaded to lend a sympathetic car) but a few days before this the sheds had been destroyed, so the meeting was abandoned.

Now that the preservation of the whole of Brooklands appears impossible, the Brooklands Society, whose stated aims include establishing a National Transport Museum at Brooklands, must take urgent steps to secure for its use the “Forty Acres” it covets on the Weybridge side of the estate, and which includes such desirable amenities as the Club House from which racing was controlled from 1907 onwards and in which Barnes Wallis designed the Vickers Wellington bomber and invented the “Dam-Buster” bomb, the 69-year-old Test Hill, part of the Members’ Banking, the Campbell circuit pits, etc. After the rape of those Byfieet sheds all we can do now is to beseech you to take Courage (or any other brew that does not remind you of them) while hoping for a happier outcome to the rest of the Society’s laudable intentions…

“Concours d’Elegance” changes

The Concours d’Elegance, which some people now find it sufficient to call a “Concours” or, worse, a “Concourse”, originated as a way in which the motor-minded wealthy could pass a few happy hours on the sun-drenched Riviera, showing off their beautiful cars and elegantly-attired lady friends (well, a wife is a friend, isn’t she?) with Cannes, Nice or Menton, etc. as a backdrop.

Those who won prizes in these motor-car Beauty Contests of the 1920s may have done their coachbuilders some good but it was just simple fun, and the cars taking part were in regular use, some no doubt having brought their proud owners on the long, dusty holiday journey from London and further afield. Very different from today’s contest, to which the competing vehicles do not have to be driven… This Concours d’Elegance type of motoring event, which some Clubs have disguised as a Concours d’Etat, which only the really well-educated can understand, is a good way in which one-make and other specialised Clubs can get their members to assemble, especially since the RAC, in its infinite wisdom, has forbidden even simple timed competitions on public roads. Very little else is open to the smaller Clubs, although it is notable that some Stationary Engine Clubs show their restored machinery without allowing them to be judged, thinking that prizes invoke disharmony and bickering. The fact is that since Old Cars have joined Very Old Cars (i.e., those made prior to 1931, at which the Continued overleaf VSCC originally drew its date-line), the Elegance Contest has expanded fast. In doing so, in this age of grab-grab and financial speculation, when anything from a Victorian safety-pin to a kiddy’s pedal-car is foisted on us as a Collectors’ Item and therefore an Accumulating Asset (strange terms!), big money-prizes are foreseen for those who enter vehicles for future Concours D’Elegance. Indeed, this has happened already, with £23,000 at stake at the “Town & Country Motoring Festival” at Kenilworth last August, held with SMM & T support and for a first-prize of no less than £2,500. While some people at Kenilworth were hoping their prized possession would win the top Beauty Accolade others, it seems, were hoping to make big money by selling similar cars at an auction-sale! Apparently 116,000 people went to look, of which Big Business will no doubt take note. This is likely to be the start of heavy sponsorship of such contests, and Old Motor has uttered a warning that this might make small events difficult to organise, could result in over-restored vehicles to catch the eye of lay-judges, and, to avoid acrimony, will call for almost-impossibly-accurate judging – it even suggests that, spurred on by enormous money-prizes, “feelings could run as high as at a football match when the referee … has had to be protected from both players and crowd for his own safety” – which makes Michael Bowler a brave man to have led his Panel of Judges at Kenilworth. We think these are important points to be borne in mind. Big money-prizes for motor Beauty Shows will, however, no doubt benefit the Trailer Industry…

Six hour relay race

Three teams of Porsches and three teams of Aston Martins head the entry of 24 teams for the Donington Park Six Hour Relay Race on Saturday, October 7th.

Organised by the 750 Motor Club, the 28th “Six Hours” has attracted entries from the major one make clubs, including the Aston Martin Owners’ Club, the Porsche Club of Great Britain, the Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club, the MG Car Club and the Morgan Sports Car Club. World Hot Rod Champion Barry Lee and Rallycross Champion Rod Chapman will drive for the Teac team, Ian Bracey will run his Le Mans lbec-Hesketh for the BMRMC team, Gerry Marshall and Nick Faure will head the team of six Porsche 924S and Tony Lanfranchi has entered a BMW 3.0Si. The race starts at 12 noon.

On the streets

Birmingham may have failed to secure a Grand Prix circuit in its middle, but October 8th should see the next best thing when 120 full-blooded racing cars will complete 10 laps of the once proposed circuit in the “On the Streets” spectacular, a prelude to the International Motor Show. Le Mans cars like D-types, Blower Bentleys, Porsches, and Matras will be mixed with GP Bugattis, P3 Ferraris, Moss in a 250F, Salvadori in a DB3S, possibly Fangio in Mercedes, Formula 3 cars, a Porsche presentation of long-tailed 917s, 911 Turbos, 906, 910 and 908 and 935s and a representative selection of current British racing and rally cars. Interspersed with the ten-lap demonstration will be solo runs by most of the British based Formula One contenders.

You may also like

Related products