It was particularly interesting to me to see in your Vauxhall Assembly report, reference to “Parker’s very smart grey Wensum”. I saw this car later at the Hrooklands Reunion and recognised it as the actual car owned by my father and then myself for some 29 years.
My father bought it second-hand in about 1927, very little history being available except for a rumour that it had been owned by Betty Carstairs who raced cars and motor boats. She was believed to have lapped Brook lands at I oo m.p.h. and covered the flying kilometer at 110 m.p.h. This I frankly doubt. When we owned the car it had a 3.3 to 1 rear axle ratio and the standard “bent wire” crankshaft. Since 110 m.p.h would have involved an engine speed of round about 3,800 r.p.m, it would have been impossible – 3,300 being the absolute Imm. Nor had the auttivac been removed, so sustained full throttle would have quickly resulted in fuel starvation. Further, since I believe bonnet straps ‘‘ ere currently compulsory there would have been signs of one having been fitted this was not the case, Certainly Major Coe Was never involved with this car to ow knowledge. iThe programme said Mawr Cole Ed.■ A rumour that he repaired the driver’s seat with a child’s catapult during a race Is pure fantasy my lather used an alloy catapult of mine for this purpose, much 10 my disgust. During my ownership I managed to obtain a counterbalanced crankshaft from the late Daniel Richmond of Donation Engineering and had this installed, together with a set of I It:polite high:compression pistons. this improved performance noticeably and enabled me to put up quite competitive performances both at the local Bodiam hill climb and at a speed trial at Brands Ilatch where sue distinguished ourselves by overtak tog an XK120 on Paddock Bend in the wet. ‘I he only other competition entered Was ZI
VS( Presteign Rally where we achieved a premier award and third place overall.
1.’nfortunatelv domestic pressures forced me to sell this delectable car, in beautiful condition, and with only sonic 68.00o miles on the clock in 1956. The fortunate new owner, for t:350 how I %since now., was lack Broadhead who carried out a superb restoration to works exhibition standards. Whether u is really desirable to go to this extent is debatable and your opinions would be interesting. I )1tring our ownership the car was always meticulously eared for, mechanically beyond criticism, but a genuine working car. No rust would have been tolerated and the engine was kept glistening. But when it comes to p1′ tog gear lever, brake lever, steering gear etc., and buffing all aluminium parts to a mirror finish, including brake plates, I wonder a bit. Anyway it was beautifillk earned out even if the car does look: like a museum exhibit.
Incidentally. I wonder where all the original tools and spares have gone tti? I passed all these and 0’01 the original instruction manual and hood to Jack Broadbent, but they seem no longer to he with the car. Robert sbridge ANTI ION Y 111 ACK