Sunday: Writing in the idiom of the weekly motor journal columnists, I was asked to support my local club’s show last Sunday (July 23). Took the 1930 A7 Grotty Ulster. Let a daughter drive it, which warranted it a free clean-up. Shows like this attract what are usually called “bangers”, able to offer inexpensive transport to quite a few owners, but at these shows smartened up to an as-new look. So we had Singer Gazelle, Rover 90, and a couple of P6s, a 1966 Triumph, and a very large ’37 Austin Hereford, etc. Several cars entered by one owner. And posh ones, like Porsche 911 Carrera, MGB GT, a static-exhibit R-R Silver Cloud towering over us all, and a R-R Silver Dawn that joined in. Plus an Alpine Renault that was too shy to take part and went away, and an E-type Jaguar which wouldn’t start…
Our Grotty Gould joined by a nice A7 saloon of the same age, found locally 11 years ago, a Morris 8 tourer restored in 1955, and another non-standard Ulster with blower-gauge, remote gear lever, hydraulic brakes tail fuel tank, etc. Lots of motorcycles. Eye-catchers: a magnificent 1964 Scammell Highwayman tractor pulling a enormous, immaculate 1947 Showman’s living van. Perhaps fortunately, static this time, but I have seen it on the A44 previously. A 1950 Grey Fergie farm tractor did join the parade, weighed down by a trailer containing a Petter stationary engine and a Stuart Turner water pump, which had been running beforehand. A bit of fun, it passed the afternoon, until tea time. Home (at 50mph), to find that the BBC prefers lots and lots of golf to devoting 25 minutes to the British Motorcycle GP at Donington.
Wednesday: Hot and steamy in Wales, as it has been for weeks — it does not always rain there! Went with a son-in-law on holiday from Kenya, where I gather the Brits live a life not much changed from Edwardian times, to fetch the 1922 Ship Talbot Darracq which had been professionally repainted, fettled and generally smartened-up and made roadworthy. Obtained licence from nice post-office lady in Llanidloes. Then home, S-in-L driving, at 45 to 50mph, a kindness to the new pistons and the second re-bore in at least 100,000 miles.
It’s the car I have had since 1952 and which did the 1935 RAC Rally without loss of marks on the 1027-mile road section which defeated 14% of the entry, and did better than 44 of the then-modern motors in the special tests (there’s a story there), conducted by Ivan Hill, later a keen Frazer Nash owner, whose father was an equally keen amateur racing motorcyclist at Brooklands around 1912, and later the owner of a Phantom Royce. A reason perhaps for a resumption of VSCC and other frolics with the game little car. If I go on like this, I will begin to write of repmobiles, fat-cats, Porkers, Rollers, Pugs, ‘Vettes, Lambos and the like. St Christopher, guide me! W B