Club news, September 1943

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750 Club

The 750 Club held its monthly meeting for members and non-members at the “Chez August,” in Compton Street, on August 7th. There was a smaller attendance than usual, only 16 persons sitting down to lunch, and for the first time no members of the fair sex were present. Private owners just predominated over the Trade, both amateur and professional. Everyone talked with gusto, and many lines were shot. Unblown 750 c.c. racing, new cars for after the war, suspension problems and motor-cycle fork design were amongst the topics of debate. Incidentally, the pit work on the part of the waitresses and the quality of the lunch have considerably improved. It would be a thousand pities, and a shame on Southern enthusiasts, if these regular meetings had to be abandoned due to lack of support. So we would urge all who can to go along on Sunday, September 5th. There is no need to be a member, but please notify the secretary beforehand. Hon. Secretary, S.H. Capon, 159, Upper Tulse Hill, London, S.W.2.

J.C.C.

The always go-ahead Junior Car Club’s Gazette came of age with the publication of the April-June issue, and this was a considerably enlarged number by way of celebration. The advertisers, who temporarily overlooked the war to help H.J. Morgan’s effort along, deserve every credit. They comprised Joseph Lucas, Ltd., the Ford Motor Co., Ltd., Ferodo, Ltd. Rootes Securities, Ltd. Riley, Ltd., the Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd., the Austin Motor Co., Ltd., Alvis, Ltd., the M.G. Car Co., Ltd., the Standard Motor Co., Ltd., Girling, Ltd., S.S. Cars, Ltd., Singer Motors, Ltd., Vokes, Ltd., and Charles Follett. Amongst the interesting contents were views on the future of the Sport by Sir Malcolm Campbell. M.B.E., Fred Craner, Percy Bradley, and Leslie Wilson. Also, of course, many reminiscences, news items about members, and birthday greetings. The monthly council luncheons are still held, and last month the principal guest was Mr. R.C. Rootes, while H.F.S. Morgan, Basil Cardew, Wing Comdr. T.H. Wisdom, Capt. Morris Goodall, and Capt. Frazer-Nash were also present. We would remind readers that membership is still available at £1 for those owning cars up to 10 h.p., and 25s. for those with larger cars, per annum. Non-car running members come in at 5s. Hon. General Secretary, H.J. Morgan, 14, Lime Grove, Eastcote, Ruislip, Middlesex. (Pinner 3693.)

M.M.E.C. 

The Midland Motoring Enthusiasts Club held its extraordinary general meeting on July 7th, and the following officers were elected: President, G.F. Bale; Chairman, Stewart Forrest; Hon. Secretary, D.F. Mallalieu; Hon. Treasurer, J.H. Nield. Committee: Messrs. Couzens, Dix, Ford, Coombes and Wharton. Graham C. Dix agreed to look after “political” Matters, Coombes technical happenings, Wharton racing, Couzens trials, and Southall veteran concerns. The Club obviously means business after the war. A meeting was held on August 18th, and another is scheduled for September 1st, at the “Bull’s Head,” Bishopsgate Street, Birmingham. And a dance is being held on October 8th, from 6 to 10 p.m., at the Botanical Gardens, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Dress is to be informal, and tickets will not cost more than 6s. 6d. Chairman, Stewart Forrest, 7, St. Martin’s Lane, Birmingham, 5.

Coventry club?

A group of enthusiasts hopes to form a club in Coventry, and may have done so by the time these words appear. Messrs. R. Robinson, W.J. Rheese, A.E. Maver and T.R. Costello are the folk concerned, and a club-room in the centre of Coventry is in view – rather a nice answer to the Luftwaffe. Anyone interested is invited to write to T.R. Costello, 149, Baginton Road, Coventry.

An unfortunate error

In the sub-title of Heal’s article in last month’s issue on Segrave’s victory with a 2-litre Sunbeam at Tours in 1923 the car was described as supercharged. Actually this was an unfortunate typographical error, the car, as Mr. Heal accurately stated, being non-supercharged. It was not until 1924 that the Sunbeam Motor Car Company, Ltd., used superchargers.

We hear

Stewart Forrest has acquired a 1932 Riley “Gamecock” and would appreciate an instruction book and any tuning notes available on this and “Special Series” engines. D.F. Mallalieu, secretary of the M.M.E.C., is building a “special” composed to a Wolseley Hornet special engine in a Riley front-axled S.S. II which, as Stewart Forrest remarks, should puzzle the cognoscenti, as it will have the Hornet special radiator. Then there is a beautiful story about the annual holiday of Sydney Allard, Alan May and S.H. Canham. They went off to stay at a farm 16 Miles from Minehead, taking bicycles with them, and naturally, plotted a contest as to who would get farthest up Porlock, which led to Canham purchasing a Utility Raleigh a few days before he was due to leave, and fitting it with a 3-speed hub, to which Allard replied at the very last minute by buying a very large rear-wheel sprocket in order to get his gear down. We have not yet learnt the result! Hindes has the ex-Darbishire Type 35A G.P. Bugatti and the ex-Staniland Type 51 twin-cam Bugatti in safe keeping at Windsor. The former car is for sale and is slightly non-standard, having a radiator headed tank and torque-members to prevent the front axle from twisting when the anchorage is used. Rivers-Fletcher showed some photographs at a recent meeting which suggest that Peter Monkhouse is the man who bought the Bugatti Owners’ Club’s Type 51 Bugatti. Interest in the Molsheim motor is certainly rising fast, for J.L. Wyer recently acquired a 3.3 litre built by Arthur Baron in about 1934, which has, apparently, a shortened Type 44 8′ 6″ wheelbase chassis, a Type 49 cylinder block with four carburetters and a 2-seater body. The car has climbed Shelsley in 45 secs. Then Birkett hopes to have his Type 40 running soon and has acquired almost a complete spare car from Bear, of the same type, and Allan Arnold is another of those very fortunate persons who have Type 51s. Cooper would dispose of his 1930 ex-Faulkner Type 38, which requires assembling, for around £40.

A reader has a Clyno chassis to give away if anyone wants it. Stafford-East, in collaboration with E.G.M. Wilkes, is building up with great care a replica of a touring V-twin G.N., which is a labour of which we very much approve; a reader, 2nd Lieut. Grice, wishes to do likewise if the required parts will come to hand. Mavrogordato is now back in this country from Canada, with the rank of Squadron Leader. He tells us that long before he bought the 1914 G.P. Opel he regularly ran a 1912 racing S.A.V.A., which was extremely comfortable, had all the characteristics of a very smooth engine, but no acceleration, due to the enormous flywheel. This was long before the Vintage S.C.C. held events for such cars, so that mostly Mavro’s friends thought him quite mad – but the car would do about 75 m.p.h. The car had a sad accident, and the very day afterwards the Opel was found and rather stole its thunder. The chassis, gearbox and body have, as in the case of Clark-Kennedy’s sister car, gone as war salvage, but Mavrogordato intends to keep the engine as “a memento of a very charming old car.” Cecil Clutton, they say, has been having lessons in a flying machine, and is reputed to have reported the steering as the highest-geared of any he has ever previously tried. John Bolster is now amongst the enthusiastic cycling fraternity – but only from no-choice, we suspect. John Cooper was hoping, when he last wrote, to meet Sir Anthony Stainer and see his 2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo, and he was also hoping to take under his wing a 1929 Aston-Martin, formerly owned by Hornby, another reader. We hear of a 1932 Riley Nine with, curiously, a van-body, which could possibly be bought for £15, while those who seek to run 3-litre twin o.h.e. Sunbeams after the war are reminded that Metcalfe has one for sale at £45, and Marshall one priced at £150, both with classic 4-seater body of unbelievable length. Down in Sussex R.G.C. Lillywhite is reported to have two “Red Label” 3-litre Bentleys, a blower 4 1/2-litre Bentley, a 3-litre saloon Bentley, a Rolls-Royce and an M.G. laid up. We believe that he would welcome genuine Bentley enthusiasts and that some, or all, of the 3-litre cars are for sale. We also know of two other 3-litre Bentleys in the market. We believe that the much-discussed streamline 1,100 c.c. Fiat saloon is now used by Lt.-Col Moore-Brabazon, M.P.

K.C. Jarvis, who used an Austin Seven, is a captain with the Middle East Forces and has found trials-driving experience of inestimable value in handling war vehicles under sticky conditions. L.C. Christensen is slowly recovering from the effects of a bad accident and looks forward to driving his Darracq-engined Pansy Special in trials after the war. Aston-Martin, Ltd., offer for sale a single-seater version of the 2-litre, which is an outer-circuit type car with cowled radiator, square, rather high bonnet and streamlined headrest. The normal steering wheel and I.h. gear gate are used and we believe very high speeds were realised with this car at Brooklands before the war. Interesting fast cars on official duties include a trials-modified T-type M.G., an open 2-litre “Speed Model” Aston-Martin, a very fine 1 1/2-litre Aston-Martin open 2/4-seater, and Quilter’s (of G.Q. Parachutes) 2.9-litre Alfa-Romeo coupé, Now the Fascist Party has fallen, Nuvolari is said to have been let out of prison, whither he went for smuggling British and American cigarettes into Italy – and, believe it or not, he was driven home by Varzi.

Veteran Car Club

The Veteran Car Club is carefully investigating any cars which seem worth buying under its new scheme, and it is holding another social at the Waldorf Hotel on September 18th. Hon. Secretary, J.H. Wylie,, 3s, West Cromwell Road, London, S.W.

Record line shoot

A contemporary has commenced a weekly motoring line-shoot, but we think the record in this connection must belong to the person who was recently heard to explain how he blew up an elderly 1 1/2-litre Bugatti at Brooklands by saying that he gave two E.R.A.s a seven seconds start and, deciding there was no hope of catching them, motored carefully with his attention on the rev.-counter, until, looking up after three laps, he was surprised to see the E.R.A.s just ahead and naturally opened out beyond his safe rev. limit. Being interested we looked up the race in question, to find that the Bugatti started 24 seconds before one E.R.A. and 37 seconds before the other. In the first lap three cars passed it, and it was passed by both E.R.A.s on lap two, after which it certainly burst.

This month’s cover picture

This month’s cover picture is of interest as emphasising the change that has occurred in world politics in the last six years. It shows Rudolf Caracciola driving a 5 1/2-litre Mercédès-Benz round Red Gate corner in the 1937 Donington Grand Prix. It was in this race that “Caratch” mysteriously dropped back towards the close of the race for no apparent reason, finally finishing third behind Rosemeyer’s winning Auto-Union and Brauchitsch’s Mercédès.

The editor’s address

As the Editor is returning to London on September 18th, letters to him should not be sent to his country address after the middle of this month.

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