I was extremely interested in the photo of the two Brescia Bugattis prepared by the students of the Automobile Engineering Training College of Chelsea, as I was a student at the College from 1928 to 1930, and although after over 50 years one’s memory becomes a little hazy, I remember that both cart were entered and ran in a Handicap at Brooklands. The black car was prepared by the College boarders, and the white one by the day boys, of which I was one, and I clearly remember that the black car was driven by Dudley Frey in the race. Both cars finished way behind the other competitors.
Both cars were fitted with lighting, mudguards, screens and hoods at the College afterwards, and one was purchased by a Scot who apparently drove it straight away North after an acceleration test down Sydney Street. The white car was used by Mr. Roberts, the College Principal, furs time, but was always in the workshops for tuning.
Adrian Conan Doyle mass student at that time, and the impecunious students like myself were very envious of the Marendaz Special in which he drove to College from time to time. My transport was a 1922 Carfield Villiers ‘bike which was very secondhand, having been purchased from Pride & Clarke of Brixton for the sum of £3, but it carried me from Streatham to Chelsea fairly reliably. I never saw or heard of another Garfield. Has anyone else? It had a 269 c.c. Villiers engine, a 2-speed Albion gearbox, and belt drive, and the registration number was BY 3832.
Poynton, Cheshire R. W. GIBSON
Hispano-Suiza valve gear was mentioned in a recent edition of MOTOR SPORT. I have enclosed a sketch of the valve gear used by Metallurgique for their 2-litre o.h.c. cars. Adjusting the valve tolerance was simple, if you had a suitable tool to compress the springs — I made one myself. The finger between the cam and the valve seems to be a more practical idea than H-S used, as it eliminates side thrust. Did H-S valves or guides wear quickly?
I have been reading MOTOR SPORT for 34 years — since 1948 — and would not have missed more than 6-8 copies, yet I cannot remember Metallurgique mentioned other than the 21-litre Maybach engined one, and in the July edition article on Napiers. Is there any source of information available, particularly the o.h.c. model — reprints from magazines or whatever? The mechanical specifications of this model made advertising claims for “modern” cars of the late sixties and seventies laughable. Crossflow head, o.h.c., Heron combustion chambers, “4 on the floor”, safety braking system (divided diagonally instead of fore and aft as most cars have it). They also had a remote gear lever similar to Jaguar. Metallurgique tried to solve the water jacket rust problem by making the block and head out of what looked like chrome vanadium.
Did Metallurgique make a low chassis, shortened wheelbase model, possibly with competition in mind? In 1964 I saw such a calm Bondi Junction, Sydney, NSW. It was similar it an ‘S’ type Invicta, except for a shorter bonnet, which was the same as on the standard tourer I owned. The brakes were the Perrot type, the ‘V’ radiator had been replaced by a home made affair and a Ford V8 side-valve motor fitted. It weighed 21 cwt. It certainly looked, except for the radiator, like a factory job.
Tasmania JAMES R. LOWE
In your August issue you print an interesting letter from Mr. D. A. Cooper concerning an Hispano owned by the Earl of Northesk. Allowing for the very understandable memory lapse over nearly 60 years as to details of the car this would appear to be the 8-litre, short chassis H6C, YT3145 now owned by me and currently undergoing restoration.
Fortunately I have the original and follow-on log books from which the Earl is shown as the first owner from July 20th 1927; the car at that time being fitted with a Weymann saloon body finished in red and black. In July 1928 the car passed to Jack Barclay for three months during which period the body was changed for a Thrupp Maberly single coupé with dickey finished in blue and black. The interior included two concealed compartments, one for jewellery, the other shaped for bottle and glass!
To bring Mr. Cooper up to date I can tell him that after two further private owners (Jack Barclay again featuring between times) the car was acquired in 1934 by a Mr. Lenanton who in 1939 left Prague in the car in something of a hurry as the Germans invaded. Back in England, the car was laid up for the duration and after the war was only used very briefly. The log book, however, shows no Road Fund payments after 1939. During the 50’s and 60’s a number of people attempted to buy the car but it was most definitely not for sale. Only in 1972, a year or two before his death, did Mr. Lenanton part with the car. It went into retirement again until my purchase of it in 1980. Storage over the previous 41 years — not always in the driest of conditions had caused the car to take on a very dilapidated appearance, but it was still essentially in good overall order and happily still equipped with all its original interior fittings, instrumentation, lamps and even mascot. According to Mr. Lenanton the recorded mileage —44,000— was its total from new.
In due course the H6C will become a worthy stablemate for my other Hispano, a 1921-H6B purchased in 1957 as a non-running chassis for £45, the 12-year rebuild of which is a story my long suffering wife would be best qualified to relate!
Tonbridge, Kent BERNARD A. PARRIS
As a regular reader of MOTOR SPORT, I wonder whether someone can help me with information regarding Warland Dual Rims which were fitted to my parents’ can shortly after the 1914/18 war. Although I have a small collection of motoring books, I have been unable to find any mention of these excellent devices which made tyre-changing exceptionally easy, even with 895 x 135 tyres.
Sunderland E. KISH [Warland rims were a quick means of tyre changing. This was demonstrated by one-armed ex-soldiers on the Warland stand at the 1919 Olympia show, where the Warland disc wheels were also exhibited. The rims could be used with single or double tyres, the latter still encountered occasionally on heavy limousines — Ed.]
I was interested to see in the July issue a reference to a garage in the Dales that converted old cars to motor mowers and tractors. I thought the enclosed postcard [which was not clear enough to reproduce, but which showed five mowers made from bullnose Morrises and two from flatnoses.—Ed.] might be of interest. The cars were supplied on a regular basis to Mr. Tucker of Mark by a garage in Bristol and after conversion to motor mowers were sold for £40.
A farmer in Highbridge made similar conversions and supplied chains and sprockets to customers who wished to build the mowers themselves, usually using an old Bamford horse mower and a 12 h.p. car chassis. It was claimed the machines could cut an acre in one hour.
Mark, Somerset RICHARD HEALD