V-to-C miscellany, October 1994, October 1994

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We are sorry to learn that one of the largest industrial acquisitions in the north-west for several years, a £2-million Castleguard Properties purchase, involves the old Crossley Motors factory at Stockport, where Crossley ‘bus engines and Crossley-Bugatti cars were assembled. The plans are for partially demolishing the 364,000 sq ft factory and erecting four new buildings on 310,000 sq ft of the historic site.

Down Under, the VSCC of Australia, which has its 50th birthday next year, has held its Day Trial, with 14 starters. A Lancia and a Hispano Suiza tied for first place, with an Essex next. The best pvt entry was another Lancia, from a Rolls-Royce and a Talbot. Two dropped out because the lunch was so good, and an Alvis, Lancia, 30/98 and a Hispano retired, the latter due to its lamps being ineffective in the dusk.

On the last day of July, John Milner. who used to drive an AC and then had the ex-John Rowley Riley Redwing-bodied twoseater 30/98 Vauxhall, held a party on the 70th birthday of his two-litre HE, which he hopes to have bodied and running next year.

I am reminded by the arrival of the 75th birthday of the Citroen Type-A (Europe’s first mass-produced car, 24,093 made from 1919-1921) of how, around 1924, I accompanied my war-widowed mother to the posh Citroen showrooms in London’s Piccadilly. Entering, she announced to the salesman who greeted us that her son had insisted that she buy him a car. A sale accomplished, thought the smooth young man. But his disappointment was only briefly postponed, my mother saying it was one of the clockwork Citroens she wanted. The poor man had to climb a ladder to reach the boxes containing these realistic, foot-long replicas. Worse, when he asked which I wanted, the 10.4 four-seater or the two-seater 7.5, priced respectively, at 15/(75p) and 10/6 (52 1/2p) I opted for the latter. . .

The summer issue of the Vintage Austin Magazine, official organ of the Vintage Austin Register (Secretary: Frank Smith, The Briars, Four Lane Ends, Oakethorpe, Alfriston, Derbyshire DE5 7LN), has a most interesting photograph of a sports Austin 20, one of only three, out of a total production of 23, to be imported into New Zealand. There, it was used for sand racing by one of the de Beer family, fitted with a very tapered pointed tail and elaborate undershielding. During a race it caught fire and was driven into the sea to extinguish the flames, after which it was scrapped but the engine used in a boat.

After he had taken a ride in Mike Bullett’s Bedelia, Peter Morgan presented its owner with the Cyclecar of the Day prize at the VSCC Malvern Jubilee Rally. The prop-driven Leyat took the runner-up award.

Entries for the MCC Edinburgh Trial on October 1 have closed, but intending spectators may care to know that it starts from Towcester and the M5 Service area at Strensham, finishes at Buxton and involves 16 sections and two special tests. Secretary of the Trial: John Aley, Mayflowers, Beech Paddock, Hessett, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP30 9NR.

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