Rumblings, October 2004

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From the little Shuttleworth magazine Prop-Swing I learn that a TA MG is being added to the Trust’s vehicle exhibits at Old Warden, as it was a present to Dick Shuttleworth, racing driver and pilot of vintage aeroplanes, by Barbara Wheeler. the wife of Dick’s friend Richard. The ancient Panhard and Mors are being rebuilt, as are an ex-RAF BSA M20 and Norton Big-Four motorcycles.

On the aviation front the ANEC has been grounded with a broken engine bearer, and low oil pressure is being Investigated on the DH53 Humming Bird. (I find ultra-light aeroplanes from the motorcycle-engined period fascinating, but CGG Grey, editor of The Aeroplane pre-war, called them ‘pop bottles’. He wasn’t enthusiastic.) The DH60 Cirrus Moth and Chilton single-seater have been performing well, and the Comper Swift has been flown to revalidate its permit to fly.

* * *

Mr. Geoff Whyler asks how MG Midgets could have competed in the 1928 JCC High-Speed Trial when production did not commence until ’29, and also how five cars could take 10 gold medals In ’29 (Motor Sport last month). He says that as I claim to have 26 MG books I should have known better, which I rather liked. I was correct, but spacesaving on page proofs let a few errors creep in, as Sammy Davis used to say. No MG Midgets ran in ’28. In ’29, five finished, and all took gold medals. In 1930.10 of the 847cc MGs started, and nine gained golds.

* * *

Shire Publications of Princes Risborough has as its latest motor book Mike Berry’s Petroleum Collectables (ISBN 07478 0595 4, £4.99). In 48 pages it deals with things to collect relating to filling vehicles with petrol, and how this has evolved over the years. The pictures, many in colour, are small but explicit. Forty-two petrol cans are shown in colour, some with car makers’ names on them, a surprise to most of us, I suspect. Railway tankers, toy garages and forecourt scenes are all there, in chapters on selling, advertising and the petrol delivery lorries. etc.

* * *

Motor Books International has launched two more editions: Lamborghini by David Joliffe and Tony Ward (ISBN 7603 1945 6. £24.99) and The DNA of Bentley -Rich Heritage, Challenging the Future by Richard Feast (ISBN 7603 1946 4, £18.99).

* * *

At Shelsley Walsh on July 4 there was relief that Britain’s oldest speed venue has a fresh lease of existence, and also because the hillclimb had a fine entry. The Fry Challenge Trophy was won by Mac Hulbert’s ERA R4D. with a new pre-war car record of 33.71sec. The MAC Challenge Trophy went to Robin Baker driving the Hispano-Delage. the fastest vintage car. at 36.90sec. Fastest sportscar was Adrian Paul’s s/c Alvis Grenfell Special (40.03sec). best Edwardian David Baker’s 9-litre Piccard-Pictet (42.41sec).

* * *

I have been aksed whether the 2-litre Alta sportscar. reg KPM 977 still exists? It may be in Australia. The enquirer has a 1935 Austin 10, owned for 40 years. and a Vincent special (below) which resembles a Riley MPH or Imp. with 1600 cross-flow Ford engine and disc front brakes.

* * *

We regret to learn of the death, at the age of 90, of George Bance who. in 1944. founded the North London MC. which merged with the existing London CC in 1971. George was a keen reader of Motor SportSport. which he was enjoying to the end. Condolences to his family and many friends.

* * *

The National Traction Engine Trust celebrated its 50th anniversary with a big attendance of engines at the recent Great Dorset Steam Fair. and on September 25 there is to be a road run of some 100 engines based on Hollowell. near Northampton. The NTET publishes a magazine which is the equal of any of the top car club journals: details from John Cook. 74 Church Lane, Kirby-la-Thorpe. Lincs. NG34 9NU.

Any of our readers attending the road event will not. I am sure, do anything to impede the traction engines. which have as much right to the public highway as veteran and vintage cars.

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