Miscellany, September 2004

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Bill Jamieson, author of the Lancia Lambda history Capolavoro, practises what he preaches. He has been spending much time constructing a replica of the elegant 1927 two-seater bodywork by the Turin coachbuilder Garavini on a Seventh Series Lambda.

* * *

London’s F1 demonstration was an unexpected and successfully accomplished piece of motor racing publicity, but lam not sure that pungent tyre-smoking ‘doughnuts’ in GP cars, as distinct from tyre-smoking starts, were necessary here or at the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb. GP cars have appeared in action in London previously, at a Lord Mayor’s Show, and Hitler had that display of German motor racing might before a pre-war Berlin Motor Show with Mercedes-Benz and Auto Unions shown off by their top drivers along the famous Unter den linden. Whether we shall have a London GP remains to be seen, but Birmingham has had racing through its streets, so the possibilities cannot be discounted.

* * *

I do not know when the first concours d’elegance was held, but Brooklands succumbed to it in 1909. Called an Appearance Competition, cars were judged on cleanliness and engine appearance. First prize, the Boyd Cup, was given by the chairman of the Kent AC; second prize was a thermos flask and the chauffeur of the winning car received £1, the second 10/-.

* * *

Interest in vintage and classic cars is global, so congratulations to the Vintage Car Club of Australia, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in September, with a birthday lunch in Sydney featuring a display of cars. It has also published a book about its members, their cars and the Club’s history. Contact John Lackey, 77 Latimer Rd, Bellevue Hill, NSW 2023, Australia.

* * *

One of the smaller one-make clubs, the Marauder Drivers’ Club, joined the Rover Sports Register at its Dorridge Rally on July 9. George Hamill’s Marauder coupe was there, and the prototype Marauder went to the Fougeres Rally. Sadly, Richard Meads’ yard, where these cars were made, is now a Solihull housing estate.

* * *

Alan Henry, grand prix editor of Autocar, who has been an Associate Member of the BRDC since 1995, is to be commended on having been elected to the Board of this important institution.

* * *

I have mentioned a prank which Charles Brackenbury and Charles Mortimer played at Brooklands with their Fiat 500s. These tiny cars, popular with racing drivers, had a race all to themselves in 1938, over two laps of the Campbell road circuit. Fifteen of these 570cc cars were entered, with well-known drivers like Gerald Sumner, Peter Clark, Noel Mavrogordato, Arthur Baron, A M Leitch, Dr Beaver, J C Elwes, Hugh Hunter and V L Seyd taking part. The Hon Peter Aitken and Charlie Martin non-started. The Topolinos were supposed to be standard but maybe a bit of hotting-up took place. The winner was S Mond, at 42.45mph, just 0.2sec ahead of Dr Beaver.

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