Festival fun

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The VSCC co-operated with the organisers of the annual Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival over the August bank Holiday week-end with a run for vintage cars from there to Aberystwyth, over the Devil’s Staircase with its blind brows and corners and a 1-in-4 hairpin, and back along the less exciting Devil’s Bridge Road and the very scenic Elan Valley artificial lakes. Organised by Mike Baker who used his 1935 Riley 12/4 Kestrel T22 saloon, the last of its kind to be made, which in spite of having a high axle-ratio, had no trouble on the stiff gradients.

It was joined by 21 other cars, all pre-war except for a TD MG and an RMA Riley — come to think of it, only a pre-1902 horseless-carriage is truly appropriate on a Victorian Festival, and for the first one I had arranged for an 1899 Benz to appear, but it was renounced in favour of vintage cars. The 1993 event was graced by Keith Robinson’s twin-cam 3-litre Sunbeam from Hampshire, a quite immaculate Alvis 12/50 tourer, another 12/50 Alvis, a Rolls-Royce 20 shooting brake, a Riley Lynx and a sporting 1917 25/50 hp Talbot two-seater. From Cardiff came G R Thomas’s 1937 Austin Ascot Light ’12/4, a very smart 38,000-mile car with a rare Salmons-Tickford drop-head body, P G Moore had brought his Railton Terraplane tourer, Morris was represented by a 1926 Oxford Y4-coupe, a Series 1 Eight tourer and another 1926 Oxford, and the rest of the field was made up of an MG TA Midget, Alvis Firefly tourer, a Lanchester LA Fourteen, several more Rileys and the inevitable A7 Special. Moreover, a 1927 Leyland Lioness full of happy passengers joined in. W B