A Rare Return
The five Raymond Mays sports cars built in 1938/39 by the ERA works at Bourne, based on the 2.7-litre Standard V8 engine and ifs designed by Peter Berthon, have been well documented. They comprised three tourers with bodies by REAL of Ealing, a Carlton coupé for L Prideaux-Brune, director of the sales company Shelsley Motors, and one with a Standard open body. Three of the sports-tourers and the coupé were entered for the 1939 RAC Rally, Raymond Mays driving FLN 385 and SCH Davis FLN 386.
In 1989 Alan Mowlem of Reading asked an 89-year-old neighbour whether she had any photographs of the prototype car, which her husband had driven after it had been acquired by Berkshire Constabulary. This car, a black tourer with Police bell on the front, was identified as the Raymond Mays prototype. It had been used by the Berkshire police from just after the war until about 1956, based first at Reading, then at Sulhampton. Articles about this car in the motoring magazines resulted in David Poulton of Bedford announcing that he owned the coupé and that the ex-police car was in Chicago.
The outcome was that Alan Mowlem was eventually able to buy FLN 386, which arrived here on June 7. The intention is to restore it to good order and hopefully to reunite the policeman’s widow, now 92, with it. She remembers having had a “very fast ride in it”. If anyone has further information about the car, or Raymond Mays cars in general, or has any Standard V8 spares, the new owner would like to hear from you. — WB
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The Motor Panels Coventry Shakespeare Run which starts from Coombe Abbey at I0am on September 1st and returns there by 2pm after the cars have finished their 65 mile run, has attracted an entry of 350 historic vehicles. They range from an 1899 De Dion-engined Quadricycle to classic cars such as the NMM’s Auburn Speedster, Jaguar’s last V12 E-Type to leave the production line and a Ferrari 308GTB. Historic military vehicles and the motorcycle section will be led by a 1915 Hobart. For those who want to watch this great cavalcade of “Carry on Coventry” title the route is from Coombe Abbey near Coventry for a Mayoral send-off, through the City centre, to Kenilworth, Balsall Common, Knowle, Dorridge, Solihull, along the A34 Hockley Heath, Henley-in-Arden, Stratford-upon-Avon, Charlecote, Barford, Warwick and into the Castle grounds, Leamington Spa and Stoneleigh. The organisers hope this Run will compensate for the cancellation of Birmingham’s Superprix but the carnival atmosphere of having period costume and Bubbly Barbara Windsor travelling the route in the fake Chitty-Bang-Bang, which the handout wrongly describes as “fashioned on Count Zbrovsky’s (sic) famed Zeppelin engined racer of the early 1900s” (we can see no similarity), which was used to lead the Press preview occupied by the Eureka jazz band, will be deplored by some. — WB
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With Brooklands in financial difficulties and yet still needing to raise £100,000 by the end of October, 1991, there are various fundraising activities planned over the next few months. To help the cause the MG Owners Club is staging “The Biggest MG Picnic in the World” at Brooklands on Sunday, 13th October, although other marques will be welcome to attend. On the day there will be displays of historic MGs, raffles, celebrity signing sessions, a vintage aircraft fly-past plus all the usual Brooklands attractions.
By ordering tickets in advance from Brooklands, you are entitled to a free Rally Plate and a discounted entry fee of £7 per car including two people. Additional passengers cost £3.50 and children £1.50. Tickets will also be available on the day at the usual Brooklands admission fee.
Contact the Brooklands Museum Trust, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0QN. Tel.: 0932 857381.
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Club Lotus has set up a new scheme for people who do not yet own a Lotus car to give prospective buyers as much help as possible. In return for a payment of £10 for up to six months for the full “Lotus Seeker Service”, the subscriber will receive a free monthly listing of all known Lotus cars currently offered or for sale in the UK, information on the Official Lotus Factory Used Lotus Scheme, a directory of all official Lotus dealers and Club approved specialists, a bulletin giving tips and advice on purchasing a used Lotus including an “Appraisal Sheet” and lists of “Known Faults and Failings”, details of firms and individuals who can inspect a used Lotus before sale plus a telephone Hot-Line to ex-Lotus Director Graham J Arnold, information on the various Club approved Lotus insurance packages including the Club Lotus Valuation Scheme for Agreed Value policies, free invitations to a series of seminars entitled “Buying a Used Lotus”, which normally costs members £5, all the facilities, activities and benefits of Club Lotus membership including Lotus News magazine, invitations to local and national meetings, technical and legal advice, and upgrading to full membership, if required after six months, for another £6.
Anyone wishing to obtain full details can enquire without obligation by sending a post card to: Club Lotus (Lotus Seekers Secretary), PO Box 8, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1TF, by telephone to 0362 694459 (office hours) or by fax to 0362 695522.
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The Frazer Nash Section of the VSCC asks us to say that their Chain Gang Gazette covers the later Frazer Nash cars, when owned by such drivers as David Clarke, Roy Salvadori, Frank Peacock, Billy Skelly, Lawrence Mitchell, Dickie Odium and Peter Wilson, which they hope may interest present owners of these cars; for details contact the editor, Brian Heath, Spring Cottage, 20 High Street, Milford-on-Sea, Lymington, Hants, S041 0QD (0590 643408).
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A recent visit to the Beach Hotel at Pendine, where so many record-bids took place on and from the sands, showed that in the Racers bar there is a fine selection of photographs to be studied, including many shots of Babs from its early form through to the sad accident to Parry Thomas, Djelmo, the MG Magic Midget, Eyston’s Speed of the Wind, etc, which few, if any other, hotels can match.– WB
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At a firing-up of a newly-assembled A7 Ulster Replica recently the owner was, for fun, presented with the Austin Motor Company’s publication 540K, dated November 1931, detailing the charges for repairs. For example, a complete overhaul of an A7 engine then cost £6, a new petrol tank, including removal of the damaged one and fitting the new one, 5/- (25p), and they would fit a new cylinder head for 1/6d (7-1/2p). — WB