V-TO-C Miscellany, October 1996, October 1996

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R Memoranda, journal of the Riley AM Club which caters for the 1946-1955 Rileys had in its June issue an article on New Zealand Specials, including the Wilkins Special with RMB chassis, Holden differential and 15in Rover wheels, a dirttrack car with s/c RMA engine, Ford 10 front-end and A7 differential, the Ransley with Marshall-Nordec s/c RMB engine and pre-war Riley rear-end, and the Gudex Special drophead coupe. There is also a long description of a two-litre RM-based Riley-powered car built by “Curley” Dryden in the 1950s. The Club Secretary is Mike Treble, The Flat, 3B High Street, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 OES (01249 712109).

We have been asked to say that entries are coming in well for the AA LE JOG trial scheduled for December 7/10. Rally driver Tony Longstaff has joined the organisers as Deputy Clerk-of-the Course, alongside Andrew Bateman. Last month the LE JOG entry list stood at 88, and as the maximum permitted is 120, quick action is indicated on the part of would-be competitors. The cars already committed include a 1941 Lincoln Continental from Seattle, two Le Mans Bentleys and the Nobles’ 1924 Lanchester 40 tourer Teams already number 12, with eight entries for the less severe Touring trial with cars ranging from a 1939 Rover 14 to a 1979 Triumph 2500.

Not content with running LE JOG, John Brown has in hand a London-Cairo-Cape Town Trial and adventure drive for 1998, open to pre-1976 cars and all ages of 4WD vehicles. Drivers will be required to cover 400 to 600 miles per day at 30 to 60mph averages, but a handicap system is envisaged Provisional costs are about £10,000 per person to include air fairs and shipping John Brown has Fred Gallagher to support him in this ambitious adventure.

Less breathtaking, a run is proposed next March from Brooklands to Pendine to commemorate the career of J G Parry Thomas and remind the Welsh people of the great engineer/racing driver who lost his life on the Carmarthen sands in 1927 on a 170mph LSR bid in “Babs”. Various events such as visits to speed venues are planned en route. The event would aim to benefit London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, which Parry Thomas supported anonymously Support is sought, by Clwb Modur Cymru Cyf. Letters can be forwarded.

Those who admire and even covet a twin-cam 3-litre Sunbeam may be interested to know that Oliver Heal held a 70th birthday party at the Heal residence, for his late father’s car YP 7363, as Anthony, who drove this car very regularly until his death, had done some years ago. It was joined by six other twin-cam 3-litres, including the Weymann saloon owned by Clive Miller.

The summer issue of the STD Journal contained some extremely interesting material about Georges Roesch’s first car, its design details gleaned from the Talbot papers now owned by the Register, and correspondence from the Daytona officials to Kaye Don commiserating with him on the unexpected poor state of the beach in March 1930 which they unanimously agreed prevented the Sunbeam “Silver Bullet” from attaining its potential of over 231mph. The latter correspondence was contributed by Mr B R Wilding, whose father worked in Sunbeam’s experimental department at Wolverhampton, via Bill Barrott, and seems to refute the rumours then rife that Don was afraid to extend the car, which resulted in a court case between Coatalen and Don. (And I wish I had the depositions relating to that!) WB