Hants & Berks M.C. Specials Evening (July 26th)

For three years now Nancy Cawthome has organised an unusual and most interesting assembly of privately-owned “specials” from amongst the Hants & Berks M.C. membership. Known by the delightful title of “Sloggin and Clatter,” the idea is that unusual, even unexpected, vehicles shall turn up, to be examined, discussed, and perhaps ridden-in.

This year the assembly was a couple-of-dozen strong, if we include a Lotus Elite, Peter Cole’s F.J.-engined Austin Healey Sprite that devours a s.s. 1/4-mile in 15.4 sec., and Mike Eyre’s Cooper-Buick V8 monoposto, all three on trailers. Varying from gentle sizzling to piercing whistles, Fisher’s 1928 Foden steam wagon contrived to draw attention to itself. Capable of shifting 8 tons and converted to pneumatic tyres in 1930, it displayed excellent acceleration, rivalled only by the rapid to-and-fro motions of Lt. Comdr. Bush’s 1920 Stanley steamer.

The organiser’s husband contributed his 1955 Jensen 541 and B.M.C.-powered Rochdale Olympic, Derek Argyle brought a Phase II Rochdale Olympic with 5-bearing Ford propellant, and there were examples of Porsche (Stoop’s latest 2-litre with disc brakes and lowered suspension), racing Mini, Jaguar E-type, Turner, V12 Lagonda, Peerless, VW Karmann Ghia, Downtonised Morris 116o, Lancia Appia Zagato, 1950 Alfa Romeo, 328 B.M.W., 4 1/2-litre Invicta and Fiat 500. Sufficient variety for you? Indeed, the “entry” ranged from 1914 Calcott to a Lotus Elan, with David Small’s 1927 Jowett Seven tourer making one of its rare appearances. Passers-by at Eversley Cross must have sensed a certain love of motor cars in the air. A hardy annual this—may it be repeated.—W. B.