Mobil on the vintage band-wagon

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As all petrol is virtually the same, except for octane-rating, it seems droll that so much competition exists to sell one brand against another. Yet it is so, and most of the major petroleum refiners try to lure motorists into their filling stations with offers of stamps, free gifts or competitions. One of the latest to do so is Mobil, with their First Major National Sales Promotion with vintage cars as prizes, which commenced on July 30th and continues to the end of October.

We had always associated National Benzole not only with those “get-away” people (whom Mrs. Castle probably eyes with suspicion) but with vintage and veteran motoring, for they have given generous sponsorship to various rallies for such vehicles. Now, however, Mobil are on the vintage band-wagon, in addition to running their renowned Mobil Economy Runs. The idea is that for every three gallons of Mobil petrol you buy you receive a sealed packet containing three coloured cards depicting vintage cars, together with an album of “The Great Days of Motoring” in which to stick them—except that they are non-adhesive, so you will need some gum as well. When this album is full, with 24 pictures of cars ranging from Napier 40/50 to V16 Cadillac, you show it to a Mobil dealer, who will give you a model vintage car, in a box labelled Mobil but made by Lesney—good for Lesney! However, some sealed packets. of cards will contain two picture cards for the album and an additional trump card. If you get one of the latter you are in the competition and if you think of a nice enough name for it, like Bertie the Bentley or Charlie the Charron, you will win a real vintage motor car selected by Lord Montagu, who wrote the Foreword to the album.

The August prize was a 1929 4½-litre Bentley (GF 9492) which must be a very special car well worth winning, as Mobil claim that it gives 240 b.h.p. at 4,200 r.p.m. whereas a normal 4½-litre Bentley develops about 110 b.h.p. at 3,500 r.p.m. and the Le Mans cars 130 b.h.p. This month’s is a 1930 Rolls-Royce P2 coupe, next month you might win a 1927 36/220 or 38/250 supercharged Mercedes-Benz. The scheme seems to be selling lots of Mobilgas but whereas a prize of a holiday in the sun, a new house, or a modern car would be acceptable to the sort of person who goes in for gambles or this kind, what on earth will they do with a big vintage car which they are unlikely to he able to house, maintain, run or even drive, apart from selling it back to Mobil?

We would much prefer to see an end to these expensive promotions and a shilling or two knocked off the price of petrol, although Mobil’s promotion is a damn sight closer to the enthusiast’s heart than being presented with bogus torn-up bank notes and having to quote desiccated Shakespeare to your petrol attendant. which is the Shell way of seeking sales! But We wish you luck over that Rolls and Merc, and only hope you do not have the daunting experience which befell us when we took on some Mobilgas in Cambridgeshire—see page 836.

Mind you, the notes on the cars in the album are accurate, except that a normal Lancia Lambda should wear its headlamps closer to its radiator and the SSK Mercedes radiator look; a bit too flat-fronted, and the cards amusing, if hardly up to the standard of pre-war cigarette cards. The complete set of cards covers 1920 40/50 Napier, 1923 Citroen 11.4 h.p. “Caddy,” 1923 Riley Redwing, 1924 Rolls-Royce 20, 1925 4-litre Voisin, 1926 Type 30 Bugatti, 1926 25-85 Daimler, 1926 14-28 M.G., 1926 3-litre Sunbeam, 1926 OE 30/98 Vauxhall, 1927 Type 43 Bugatti, 1927 31-100 Excelsior, 1927 8A Isotta-Fraschini, 1927 36-220 MercedesBenz, 1928 22-90 Alfa Romeo, 1928 45-h.p. Hispano-Suiza, 1925 Renault 45, 1929 model-J Duesenberg, 1929 Lancia Lambda, 1929 40-50. Panhard, 1929 Stutz straight-8, 1930 D8 Delage, 1930 blower-4½ Bentley and 1931 non-vintage Cadillac V16—an interesting collection and bully for some artist! If you don’t manage to fill your album, moreover, you needn’t despair—the Mobil Oil Company will have run out of Lesney models by September 30th but will be delighted to sell you a full set of cards on receipt of half-a-crown up to December 31st this year.