RACING OLD CARS (or old racing cars)


 

These are some of the cars I own or am involved with

1928/30 DH-Riley ----- 1930 Morris-JAP Jemima ----- 1928 Morgan Aero ----- Land Speed Record Car BABS

 


 

 1928/30 DH-Riley

A 1928 Riley 9 chassis fitted with a 6.1 litre deHavilland Gypsy engine.

Actively used in events held by the Vintage Sports Car Club

 

 See here at the VSCC Malvern Week Sprint in sports car mode and at Mallory Park racing without wings and lights

 

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 1930 Morris-JAP

A 1930 OHC Morris Minor chassis and running gear fitted with a 1096cc water cooled OHV JAP engine. Used for all manner of competitive events with the Vintage Sports Car Club (Races, Hillclimbs, Trials and Driving Tests).

 

PHOTO TO APPEAR

 

 

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1928 Morgan Aero 3 Wheeler

 Brief Spec.

1928 2 Speed Wide B Morgan Chassis. Sidevalve watercooled JAP engine, fitted with ML magneto, Amal carb and total loss lubrication. Cone clutch. Electric starter. Red with Black wheels and chassis. Front Wheel brakes (see below). Black Upholstery. Both mechanically and cosmetically the car is in fine order. The paint is not concours, but has the pleasant patina of having done 10,000+ miles since being rebuilt.

History

The car was founds in a sorry state on a farm in North Wales in the early 70s. The chassis was re-tubed and other minor work carried out. The car was then stored until 1985 when it was rebuilt. Everything was gone through in detail and the car completely restored, including a mainly new body, but utilising what parts of the original they could. Once rebuilt (late1986) the car was used regularly on the road and attended many Morgan Three Wheeler Club events, including being voted "Most Desirable 2 Speeder" at the Clubs AGM in 1989. Some light competition was entered including Bugatti Owners Club meeting at Prescott and even the Morgan 3 Wheeler Race at VSCC Oulton Park in 1989, finishing in a very respectful last place!

The owner stopped using the car to concentrate on building a couple of vintage specials and the car was stored at his fathers house with only the occasional outing up the road until 1998. After only a quick service, the car was taken on an 800 mile camping trip to France in the company of 16 Austin 7s. Only minor attention was needed during the trip and the car travelled at a similar pace to a tuned Chummy, but not as quick as an Ulster!

 

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"Babs" - Parry Thomas's World Land Speed Record Car

 

Technical

1918 V12 27 litre Liberty Aero engine (standard 350 bhp, modified up to 600bhp now at around 400 at a guess) fitted in a chassis based on a chain drive Mercedes; 1908 Mercedes chain drive gear box driving rear wheels; 23" wheels with 5" tyres; No front wheel brakes; Weight 35cwts; Max speed approx. 180mph.

History

The car was originally built in 1923 by Count Louis Zborowski as the fourth of his Aero engined Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang cars. Being the last and the largest he named it the Higham Special. Following the Counts death in 1924 the car was bought from his estate by John Godfrey Parry Thomas for 125. Parry Thomas was at the time one of the better designer-drivers in this country who had had some racing success and held several national records in cars of his own design.

Thomas raced 'Babs' at Brooklands in 1925 and made a failed attempt at the World Land Speed Record in the car that year. He modified the car (together with designing and building his own 8 cylinder 1500cc race car) during the winter and attempted the WLSR on Pendine Sands, South Wales at the end of April. On the 28 April 1926, Thomas and 'Babs' broke the record at 171.09mph. During the rest of the year Thomas continued to race his cars and at the end of the year lapped Brooklands in 'Babs' at over 125mph. In the meantime Campbell had taken the record to 174mph.

During the winter Thomas modified the now fast becoming outdated old car to make a final attempt on the record to generate enough publicity (and associated money - times haven't changed!!) to build a new car. While making an attempt on the record on the 3rd March 1927 the car went out of control at about 120mph and crashed end over end and slid upside down along the beach for 1/4 mile. Thomas was killed instantly, and following the crash the car was buried in the sand dunes.

In March 1969, 42 years after the car was buried, the car was dug up by Owen Wyn Owen, a Technical College lecturer for North Wales. Having restored other cars he thought it would be nice to get some pieces of the car to display in a museum as a tribute to Thomas. The car was, however, more complete than he imagined, but was badly damaged as a result of the accident and 42 years of salt water had corroded all the aluminium. Nevertheless the car was restored and was running within 2 years and since then has been fully rebuilt

 

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