The Shelsley Walsh VSCC meeting on July 5 was a memorable occasion, with 121 pre-war cars competing (from a total of some 250 entries), and a lunch for those in the International Rally of the Amilcar/Salmson Registers, a great many 12/50 Alvises celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Alvis win in the 1923 200-mile race, and lots of Jaguar XK120s to mark the 50th birthday of this famous car. The Amilcar/Salmson affair, which involved a dinner in Hereford followed by a gathering on the Sunday at Lord Raglan’s country estate, with a buffet served in front of the mansion, included rare cars, such as two late-model swept back sports 20/90hp British Salmsons (only three were built, I’m told), a 1950s Salmson saloon with Cotal gearbox, and seldom-seen dome-roof Salmson coupes.
Two very jolly French girls whose Salmson was hors de combat had come in a TC MG, “a very feminine car” they said, and the supporting French cars were the three-cylinder Lafitte cyclecar which was too shy to perfbrm in spite of admonitions from former owner Ron Barker. John Blake’s sports BNC, the Grand Prix Bugatti driven by Mark Garfitt, and a vintage 40/50 silver Rolls Royce tourer ghosted past during this happy afternoon. The only Amilcar Six sped away, making noises indicative of a weak mixture, but the scene overall was devoted to fine examples of CGS Amilcars, GS Salmsons and the rest of the 1920s Gallic small sportscar fraternity.