IRELAND DIGS OUT ITS VETERANS

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IRELAND DIGS OUT ITS VETERANS

Considerable interest attaches to the recent Veteran Car Competition held in Ireland by the Ulster Automobile Club at the suggestion of Mr. W. F. Ayrton. In this country enthusiasm runs high for the veterans, but the time has been reached when the R.A.C. Brighton Run fails to attract many fresh entries, because most of the worth-while old cars that are easy to find have been unearthed and those for sale are expected to command rather prohibitive prices. Consequently it is not unlikely that enterprising members of the Veteran C.C. and Vintage S.C.C. will seek new bargains amongst the veterans unearthed in Ireland—while Ireland itself proposes to work up interest in these historic vehicles to a pitch on an equality with the enthusiasm that prevails in this sphere over here. The cars which turned out for the Irish run comprised : a 1907 four-cylinder Belsize, a 1903 M.M.C., a 1911 Renault, a 1902 bee-hive radiator, chain-driven Wolseley tonneau, a 1900 Clement single-cylinder, wheelsteered motor-carriage, a 1905 tandemseat Riley, a 1906 Rover, a 1911 Darracq, two 1908 Chambers, a 1908 Star, a 1909

Mars, and another Renault. A Stanley steamer failed to start. This is an excellent gathering for a first endeavour and opinion inclines to the existence of many more veterans in Ireland—though Dick Nash has an equally good collection in one shed clown at Brooklands. So far as the actual run was concerned, a time-check system was in force, as on the last Brighton run, but with five controls and a secret check. Four different starting points were used, providing varying distances to the finish at Larne, the later types covering 43i miles at 20 m.p.h. average, and the others shorter distances at 18, 15, and 10 m.p.h. re spectively. The event was followed by a prize-distribution and dance, at which the Chairman of the Larne Council extended to the promoters a hearty invitation to use Lame as a venue for future events. Unfortunately towing was permitted and one of the prizewinners came in on a tow-rope. R. E. Thompson.’s 1907 Belsize won the roadsection, averaging 18 m.p.h. as required for the 37i mile route. W. M. D. Montgomery’s 1903 M.M.C. was second and A. R. Scott’s 1911 Renault third. F. M. M’Cullagh and J. E. R. Martin experienced a cracked water jacket on their 1906 Rover. This they coped with by frequent refills and chewing gum, but the car boiled on all hills and after changing the plug and altering the ignition timing a puncture forced them to retire. They gained the prize for the most meritorious performance. J. W. Haughton made several stops to oil his Renault’s tappets. Clever Robinson’s 1902 Wolseley had plug trouble and was towed four miles

to the finish. Only the Rover retired, and the 1900 Clement won the Appearance Prize, the ’02 Wolseley being second. Many of the competitors dressed up very appropriately for the occasion. The R.A.C. frowns on this sort of thing, but we feel that either these old cars are such valuable museum-pieces that they should be seriously stored away for people to examine with reverence, or else they represent interesting and historic playthings, to be seriously used on runs of this sort, when no harm can come from a little light-hearted dressing-up for the part.