The links with Brooklands from the viewpoint of I those who actively raced there are alas becoming ever more attenuated, and now, sadly, Ernest Bouts has died. He was a very well-known competitor at the Track from 1928 onwards. He ran the very successful transport business Bouts Brothers and a luxury coach-service, and after WW2 Bouts Motors became a well-known Alfa Romeo and later Citroen agency.
Perhaps because he lived in Wolverhampton, Bouts bought one of the old, fast but tricky 4.9-litre Indianapolis Sunbeams when he decided to take up motor-racing. At first Jack Dunfee drove it for him, Bouts finishing second in a race on early acquaintance with the car. Later that year Kaye Don won a Match Race against a Delage of similar engine-size in the Bouts’ Sunbeam. Before the 1928 season was over, however, Bouts was driving the car well himself, fast enough to almost dead-heat with the Delage, at over 101mph.
By the following year Bouts was master of the aged Sunbeam, the red car lapping at nearly 114mph in 1930. Bouts then acquired the ex-Mrs W B Scott 2-litre s/c GP Sunbeam which he raced both at Brooklands and Southport sands. He continued to be successful at Brooklands with the GP car, and with it obtained his 120mph badge in 1931 with a lap at 122.97mph. Later he raced the rebodied Leyland-Thornas No 1. He died at the age of 93. W B