Raymond Mays’ s E.R.A. On Show
SATURDAY, July 8th, was a day of pageantry in the little town of Bourne. The occasion was a Red Cross Fete, which was held on the local sports ground, and we, in particular, are interested in one very famous. E.R.A. which was exhibited there, with literature, paintings and boards: of photographs in a marquee which it had to itself. One may have guessed by now that the car was the property of Raymond Mays.
The fete was due to start at about 8 o’clock, and at 2 p.m. a number of helpers arrived at Ray’s house to find the E.R.A. all ready and beautifully polished, the thick grease having been removed from the bright front suspensional parts and the engine. This work had been carried out by certain enthusiastic lads—wouldbe mechanics and drivers—from the local grammar school.
The E.R.A. was to be pushed by hand half a mile to its marquee, and it set out surrounded by the many willing helpers. There were no less than three people steering it and 14 persons had contrived to find room to apply a hand and provide motive power.
Once off the road the E.R.A. felt uncomfortably taut, the reason being the torsion bars had been removed, and the large hexagon nuts, one on each side, were held in position with copper wire between the abutments provided in the suspension system to limit excessive movement.
One shilling was the price of admittance to the marquee, and this enabled one to compete for three cash prizes by guessing the weight. of the car. A shrewd guess by Mrs. VViggin—who generously gave her prize back to the fund—of 1.4 cwt. 56 lb. was dead correct. Ray was on the spot most of the time and was constantly plied with questions, Which varied bet weep the awful ” What
will she do ? ” to enquiries about the tin content of the big-end habbits.
Amongst Ray’s more personal friends who turned up were Wing-Commander Lester and Squadron-Leader Craxton, the latter being a great Riley enthusiast, owning four specimens of that marque. Wing-Commander Lester did most of the organising and limited the number of people in the marquee at one time. A number of Free French officers It is so important to introduce the public to the racing car that we need make no excuse for this belated report of how Raymond Mays aided the Red
necessitated the organisers resorting to higher mathematics in order to convert kilos. into cwt. and lb. The Frenchmen took a keen interest in the car, but owing to the language difficulty, technical discussion became tedious. Two Frenchmen in particular were most excited ; one came from near Peronne and the other from Albi, which events Raymond Mays has won and for which circuits he holds the course records.
An Australian pilot warrant officer (a reader of MoToa Scaler) was a great enthusiast. He spent it long time with Ray learning some of the lesser-known points about the E.R.A. lie informed us that he had journeyed many miles to see the car. Very young boys set the pace for enthusiasm. A gang of them found their way into the marquee without paying, and it was as much as one could do to stop them climbing into the cockpit of
the car, which appeared to be their major aim.
It is worth netting that the insignia on the front of the car has now been painted in such a way that the letters E.If .A. are black ; the chrome background is retained, and the hitherto red, white and blue surrounding discs are now pale blue. The improvement is most marked.
At 5 o’clock some Of us went back with Ray for tea, which started off in rather a formal way—nobody became seated, and everybody was saying, “No, after you.” Eventually shepherded to our chairs by Ray’s ever volatile and charming mother, we started one of those witty conversations in which everybody says something amusing, and we all felt very pleased with ourselves. Never did strawberries and cream taste better !
When we got back to the fete -again the show was still doing a brisk trade. At 8 o’clock the festivities came to a close, and once again the fmnous E.R.A. was eclipsed by human forms pushing it back to its repression.
It is hoped that the next time it makes a public appearance it will play a more active role, and that it will not be very long before the exhaust note of that 2-litre engine vibrates the little town of Bourne. (Reported by MO. Donald Parker, who produced the posters and took the photographs.) ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• “Lebensraum ” for Motor Sport The offices of Moroa SPORT were removed on August 2tith from 21, City Road to 15-17, City Road, London, E.C.1. In future all communications should be sent to the new address,