V-E-V Miscellany, September 1984, September 1984

This year’s originality prize at the motor Concours d’Elegance at the Fleet, Hampshire, Carnival (which my wife and I used to organise, years ago) was was by a 1931 Citroen C4F saloon which had been unused since 1957, until taken out of storage and tidied up this year by its owners, John and Peter Cody, who are the grandsons of Vivian Cody, son of the famous pioneer aviator who built his aeroplanes at nearby Farnborough. The Citroen was first owned by Vivian Cody, who lived on the site of the garage now run by the Cody brothers and was laid up a year before he died; it happens to have the appropriate registration number PJ 476. It started up at once when given petrol and a new battery after its 27-year sojourn and will remain in the family. The 1935 Daimler limousine once used by HM Queen Mary and HM King George V has been acquired from the NMM by the Museum of British Transport in Coventry, where it was welcomed home to its birthplace by the Lord Mayor at the Council House; the car will need extensive restoration before being displayed, but is expected to be ready to take part in the Centenary of the Motor Car celebrations in Coventry in 1985.

A restorable Douglas three-wheeled delivery truck, possibly an ex-milk float, is being sold in aid of the Nairn Hydrotherapy Pool Trust for muscular diseases, by the Nairn & District Motor Preservation Group, who in any case would like to learn more about the vehicle. Sale to the highest bidder if not already sold; apply to D. A. Taylor, 16 Dalcroy Road, Croy, Inverness-shire (06678-219).

The West Sussex Gazette ran a feature last July on Leonard Ayling, the last of a long line of ostlers, whose family worked for the Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel, from 1914 onwards. When eventually the hotel’s six or seven horses were superseded by motors, these were at first a couple of Napiers, with left-handed starting handles, gas headlamps, and oil side and rear lamps. Then came a chain-drive Clement-Talbot van which was prone to breakdowns and was replaced by a New Orleans with a ‘bus body, the leather-faced clutch of which used to slip. The body for this found its way on to a one-tonner Model-T Ford chassis. Mr Ayling moved from the hotel to Pain’s in Arundel as a delivery man, driving their big Martini car the chassis of which had been lengthened and chain-drive contrived, a rough ride emanating from its solid tyres. The power used to cause shedding of the road wheels, but repairs would last for a year or so; the lighting is remembered as gas headlamps and candle side lamps, the bonnet was strapped down, and a canvas of apron, as on LGOC ‘buses, was used in lieu of a windscreen.

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the Sporting CC of South Australia has issued a set of six first day covers depicting, respectively, the Shearer steam-carriage, recognised as one of the first Australian designed and built cars, which took to the road circa 1897, an 1898 Thomson, 1906 Tarrant, 1919 Australian Six, 1923 Summit and 1924 Chic. The postmarks include that of the Adelaide / Glenelg Golden Jubilee Run held in March of this year and prices for the set run from 11 dollars Australian, the supplier being J. Wien-Smith, SCC of SA, 260 Poerrush Road, Beulah Park, SA. The 1897-1899 Shearer steam-carriage used engine castings from the Shearer foundry, where the foreman was a Mr David Winstanley. In 1909 it was a static exhibit, assembled by the Shearer Organisation and later it was donated to the State of Australia, and the Club has, with additional help, since restored it to working order. It is in the Birdwood Hill Museum. The sole surviving Thomson steam car of 1898 is in the Museum of Victoria. Colonel Tarrant produced about a dozen cars between 1901 and 1907, he having won the first Victoria motor race at Sandown Park, Australia, in 1901, and the first Melbourne-Sydney trial in 1905. Only one Tarrant is now known of, while Australian Sixes were made from 1919-1924 at about one a day, from imported mechanical components. Summits were in production from 1922-1926, using mainly imported American parts, one now being in the Birdwood Hill Museum, and some 50 Chic cars were made from imported British components from 1923-1929. So the cars on these covers are well-chosen to represent Australian history; but if you want them, hurry, and it might help to mention Motor Sport.

At an auction near Andover recently a very rough 1933 Morris 10/4 was sold for £40 and a 1937 Austin Ten Cambridge saloon in breaker’s condition for £25.

When a millionaire died, aged 86, near Chipping Norton recently he left some 90 old cars in his factory premises, including 21 Lagondas, including a V12 saloon, which had run only 20,000 miles, seven Invictas and four Aston Martins. There was a big vee-twin motorcycle built from odd parts in 1919 and a 1930 20/25 hp Rolls-Royce with French coachwork, a 1939 Rolls-Royce, etc. As is the custom these days, the collection was soon up for auction . . . The millionaire’s liking for Lagondas and Invictas is explained by his apprenticeship In Henry Meadows Ltd of Wolverhampton, of which he later became a substantial shareholder.

A very interesting account of Hudson Motors Ltd in Britain, by Christopher G. Foster, with which we helped with some of the information, has appeared in the Jan / Feb 1984 issue of White Triangle News, the official journal of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club, Inc of America. The Editor is Art Adams, 1004, Boston Post Road, Guilford, Connecticut 06437, USA.

Belatedly, for the record, here are the results of the Light Car and Edwardian Contest held during the VSCC’s Golden Jubilee Rally: Lady Raphael Trophy, J. M. Potter (1922 AC); Light Car 1st-Class Awards: C. S. Lees (Morris-Cowley), Mrs G. Cardy (Austin 7), R. Thorpe (Swift), A. Padifield (Humber), Mrs S. Elsom ( Austin 71, D. F. Cochrane (Austin 7), 2nd-Class Awards: Mrs J. Horton (Austin 7), J. I. Phillips (Jowett), B. M. Clarke (Austin 7), J. P. Collins (Star), W. R. Sant (Clyno), G. Thomas (Austin 7), 3rd-Class Awards: W. J. Urry (Riley), W. A. Wallace (Standard), P. G. Miley (Humber), A. F. Carlisle (Renault), J. C. Parker (Riley), Miss A. M. Jones (Austin 7), M. Bartlett (Austin 7). Edwardian 1st-Class Awards: D. Ryder-Richardson (Daimler), I. W. Stevens (Rover), D. Filsell (De Dion Houton), 2nd-Class Awards: C. Hamilton Gould (Darracq), J. M. Walker (Panhard), G. E. Hicks (Stellite), 3rd-Class Awards: Mrs S. Hall (AC Sociable), G. Daniels (Daimler), J. D. Thomas (Darracq). 100 entrants, seven non-starters. Retired: A. R. Wilson (Delage). — W.B.