Miscellany, September 1998

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Congratulations to the 750 MC which had about 250 entries for this year’s 36th National Rally at Beaulieu. This vast display of A7s was divided into 26 classes. Visitors included Gerald Lambert, Lord Austin’s grandson, and Jem Marsh, photographed with his first and most recent cars, since it was when he was Chairman of the North Huts Centre of the club that he met Frank Costin and they cooked up the Marcos idea. Full club membership costs £27.50; apply to 750 MC, Worth Farm, Little Horsted, East Sussex TN 22 5TT.

* * *

Quite why McLaren built a two-seater Formula One car I don’t know. To prove that top racing is really quite safe, or as a publicity extra for the team? Anyway, wouldn’t Jenks have loved it? Probably have tried to borrow it for a dice on the road! Eoin Young would not accept a ride in it, and I need not say whether I would or not because, at 85, I will not be asked, as probably not able to pass the pre-med, or get in or out with dignity. Jenks wanted me to experience lappery in a really fast sports racing car with Willie Green, but somehow it never came about. “It’s not the speed or the pace you must experience, it’s the way you are thrown into the harness when braking for the corners…”

I knew a pilot who had made his own aeroplane, a monoposto, although I don’t think that term is used in aviation circles. “Pity I can’t take you up.” When he built a two-seater I was careful not to visit his strip again! So congrats to old Murray Walker, who put on a brave face for the TV cameras after what he described as a fabulous experience, after Martin Brundle had given him some laps in the tandem McLaren. Max Mosley has had his go too. I suppose it really depends on who is going to drive that might decide a “yes please” or a “sorry, no” reply to this unique experience.

* * *

Recent mentions of Forrest Lycett having begun his four-wheeler career with a Mars Carette have reminded David Baldock that he purchased one in 1968 from a gas fitter and restored it, selling it to Dr Chapman of Taggs Island memory. The engine was a White & Poppe and the makers were in Finchley.