Welcome to Issue 57, December 2019.
I am indebted to Gustaf Ruberg in Sweden for allowing me to use one of his wonderful drawings for the front cover. Gustaf’s drawing was in landscape (wider accross than down), whereas we needed portrait (wider down than accross) for the front cover, so some adjustment needed to be made. This was entirely beyond me, but that’s what we have sons and daughters for!
Stewart Penfound, TA/B/C Registrar for the T Register, kindly sent me an account of two continental tours – in a J2 in the summer of 1949, and, in 1951 in a TA. It was an extract from a newsletter of a Yorkshire car club and is a fascinating insight into what our cars are capable of. Even more so if one considers the state of the roads in Europe just after the end of World War 2.
The 1934 J2 took our intrepid travellers to Monte Carlo and back, covering 2,000 miles in 10 days.
The J2 was sold after a couple of years’ and a 1938 TA purchased to do a fifteen-day tour of France (which took in the 1951 Le Mans where a British victory – the C-type Jaguar – was celebrated), Switzerland and Italy. A total of 3,200 miles was covered, with petrol consumption of 33 mpg and oil usage of 2 pints. Considering that this included some “pretty rapid dashes” which are referred to in the text, such performance is creditable.
The first tour would have been undertaken before the introduction of roll on/roll off car ferries which were introduced in Dover in 1951 and as the second tour mentions a “dash to Boulogne”, loading would also have been done by crane as port of entry to the UK would have been Folkestone.
In thanking Stewart for thinking of me, it brought back memories of my first journey to mainland Europe. Not that I can remember much about it because I was not much older than seven, so it would have probably been 1953 or 1954.
We …..my brother, who would have been six and my sister who would have been four, travelled in the sidecar of what I think was a BSA 350cc motor bike. What I can remember was that my sister sat on my lap in the front seat of the sidecar and my brother in the back. Even clearer in my memory was the sound of my mother, riding pillion, knocking on the roof of the sidecar to stop us arguing (almost certainly because my brother would have wanted to change seats from the back to the front).
A subsequent journey several years later in a 1953 Hillman Minx was altogether much more comfortable, albeit it broke down in Belgium with a clogged radiator.
The “height of luxury”, a few years later, was in a 1961 Series IIIA Sunbeam Rapier. By then I was old enough to drive and enjoyed doing 90 mph in top overdrive.
Later in this issue there is an advertisement for Factory-Original MG T-Series the successor to Anders Ditlev Clausager’s Original MG T-Series. The Publisher is offering TTT 2 readers signed copies at a special price. Signed copies are only available from the Publisher.
I shall be selling copies at the Stoneleigh MG spares day on February 9th for 27.50 GBP (list price 40 GBP). As usual, I’ll be sharing a stall with Brian Rainbow (TA Brian) and we’ll be in the same place as we’ve been for the last umpteen years (Hall 1, opposite Barry Walker).
I should have copies in early November for this price plus postage.
The pic below (and the details) was sent to me back in the summer by John Elwood in the US. The Greenwich (CT) Concours featured a special class of Arnolt cars during a two-day show, June 1st and 2nd. In addition to a pair of Arnolt Aston Martins, and ten Arnolt Bristols, were six of the 67 Arnolt MG TD Coupes built and one of the 30 convertibles. This was surely the largest collection of Arnolt cars in one place since the Arnolt warehouse fire in 1954 burned a dozen Bristols.
John’s car is the light blue one – very nice too!