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British Sports Car Owner’s Club

with the

The Committee Président

Le mot du pésident Chèr(e)s membres,


Encore une année de révolue.


Thierry HILGER

Comme l’année passée nous avions beaucoup d’événements intéressants et variés. Avec le nouveau comité, plus nombreux, nous avons pu organiser nos événements plus professionnellement et avec moins de stress pour les organisateurs. Le challenge des rallyes historiques du Luxembourg est un grand succès et je remercie Jean-Marie et Goy pour leur travail.











Naturellement il y a encore quelques petits détails à régler, mais je pense que c’est une très bonne formule pour promouvoir le sport avec des véhicules historiques. Pour ceux d’entre vous qui aiment rouler un peu plus vite, nos amis français organisent des « courses de côte » pour véhicules historiques qu’ils appellent « Montées historiques ». Il n’y a pas de chronométrage, donc pas de classements. Ca leur évite de monter un dispositif de sécurité non payable et ils ne tombent pas sous des régulations FIA. Et la plupart des concurrents montent à fond ! Plaisir de conduite garanti. 2016 était aussi l’année de la réforme du contrôle technique et naturellement c’était le volet des véhicules historiques qui nous intéresse le plus.


Jean-Marie SCHMIT

Et je pense que, au moins pour le moment, tout se passe très bien. Je n’ai pas eu de réclamations de membres de la LOF et les discussions que j’ai eues avec certains amateurs ont été positives. Mais je pense qu’il faut suivre de près le sujet.


Comme je l’avais déjà annoncé dans le dernier mot du président nous avons inalement réinstauré le « vendredi » comme jour des réunions mensuelles du BSCOC. Et depuis qu’on a changé aussi notre « local » nos réunions sont très bien fréquentées … Comme chaque année, j’aimerais remercier tous les membres du comité et tous les membres qui nous aident à assurer le travail au sein du BSCOC. Et pour terminer, je profite de l’occasion pour vous souhaiter une bonne et heureuse année 2017. Happy motoring !

Jean Hansen



Firwat fueren ech am Summer net Cabrio?!?

Dat huet näischt domat ze dinn dass ech keng Loscht hätt mat mengem TVR 3000s ze fueren, mee mat Sandweiler. Den Auto huet säit ech en hunn e Rass an der Fënster. War awer fir Sandweiler lo 10 Joer laang kee Problem. Lo op eng Kéier huet een zu Sandweiler fonnt, dass dëse Rass an der Scheif, total ausserhalb vum Siichtfeld, eng Gefor géing duerstellen, an huet mir 2 Lächer gepëtzt. Esou flott et och ass mat esou engem zesummen gepuzzelten englesche Roadster ze fueren, esou schwiereg ass et awer vir divers Stecker ze fannen, well keen méi weess vu wéi engem Auto dat Stéck dann elo d’Origine kennt.

No laanger Sich huet sech dunn e Fournisseur an Däitschland fonnt deen ob meng Ufro geäntwert huet, an deen och konnt liwweren. D’Fenster huet allerdéngs vir d ‘éischt nach mussen produzéiert ginn. Liwwerzäit schlussendlech méi ewéi 4 Méint. No 6 Stonnen wor die al Fënster aus dem Kader eraus an den Kader demontéiert, no weideren 8 Stonnen an 3 Liter cellulosen Thinner fir de Mastik aus dem Kader ze kréin wor den ale Kader och erëm wéi nei. ... a elo waarde mer op d ‘Sonn.

Jerry Lenert

The Rise, Decline D e and Fall off the Rootes G Group “I am tthe engine,, Reggie iss the steeriing and bra akes.” By Roge er Carr, origin nally published at www.ccurbsideclass and published wi with permissio on The Britissh motor indu ustry was formed of comp panies with on ne of two backgrou unds – estab blished busine esses branch hing out in to t a new product, such as Vauxxhall or Wolse eley, or more commonly, a business started sspecifically to service and produce if no ot cars, then cycles or motorbike es, that then grew to become a full sccale car manufacturer, such as Morris, Leylan nd, Rover or Standard. Ro ootes was diffe erent and successfu ul in achievin ng what it did for nearly 40 0 years. Perhaps even more surrprisingly, it wa as the only ma ajor manufactu urer to be con ntrolled by a dynastic family. The Roo otes story sta arts many miles from the main centers s of the Britis sh motor induustry, in the village of Hawkhurrst in Kent, 50 0 miles south east of Londo on. William Rootes R ran a cycle c shop annd, like so ma any in that trade at tha at time, brannched out in nto motor vehicles, initially as a reepair and ma aintenance garage and by b 1914 as a sales agent for many names. Som me are still w well known and a some almost forgotten. Morris, W Wolseley, Ford d, Hillman, Sunbeam, Hu umber and Sinnger all featurred, as did Delauney, Belleville and Briton to name some others … William’s older son, also William an nd always kno own as Billy, was w born in 18 894, and in 19909 was apprenticed to Singer in Coventry, the en the heart of the British m motor industry. Four years la ater, at the agee of 19, he wa as back in Kent, run nning another branch of the e growing Roo otes sales and d service emp pire. After warr service, he was w joined by his younger brother, Reginald, who w was born in 1896 and train ned as an acc countant in the e Admiralty. Willliam Rootes senior s gave ea ach brother 1 .200£ (around d 50.000£ now w) and they set out togethe er, creating R Rootes Ltd as a vehicle disttributor based in Maidstone e, Kent. By 19924, they had d secured the Austin franc chise for Lond don and the surrounding area and ope ened large showrooms in central Lonndon. Other distributor cha ains were also added to the Rootes growiing empire, in the south easst of England and a the industrial Midlands, as well as overseas. Roo otes was a pure distributor and dealer buusiness until 1925 when the brothers purchased p Thrupp a and Maberley, a traditional coachbuilder based in Lon ndon, with a history dating back to 1760 and a reputation ffor building to op quality, bespoke and limited ru un bodies for the likes of Ro olls Royce, Da aimler and other top p brands. Cusstomers had included Que een Victoria and King George V V. The thinkking behind th he purchase may m not have been clear to all at the time, but would becom me so over the e next ten yea ars. Rootes ma arked this step by ta aking a large showroom s and d extensive offfice accommo odation in the then new Devonshire House in Piccadilly,, central Lon ndon, just around th he corner from m the Ritz Hote el and the roya yal palace of St. S James. In the showroom, Roo otes had cars ranging from Fiat to Rolls Royce as well as Thrupp and Ma aberley’s coac chwork. From 191 19 onwards, Billy B Rootes made regular trrips to the USA A, looking at motor manufacturing techniques,, and more crrucially, the te echniques used in d differentiating and a the marke eting various b brands from one o family as well as retail practicces. A clear American influe ence was disc cernible in



one of the fa astest growing g and most ccompetitive pa arts of the market. It quickly built a fav vorable reputaation as a fully y all-round class competitive car. Thiis is the car that made th he Rootes Group a succ cess.

the Roote es organizatio on and productts for the nextt 50 years. But it wass the end of th he 1920s before Rootes too ok the first step ps to becoming a manufactuurer as well as s being a distributo or and dealer. The brothers made attemptts to buy a sta ake in the Stan ndard Motor C Company and also the Clyno con ncern. Separa ately during the 1920s, man ny of the Coventry manufactturers were feeeling the effec cts of ambitiouss but unsuccessful expansio on attempts in n what was a dismal d decade e economicallyy. At the Hillman company, William m Hillman ha ad retired fro om day to da ay control of the company he founded, which procee eded to attem mpt to move up market w with the Hillm man Eight (forr Eight cylinde er, not horse epower in this case) in 1928 8. The compa any was not financially sttrong by this time, but w was directly a adjacent to th he long estab blished Humb ber Companyy. Humber wa as by then around 60 yea ars old and h had a history in bicycles, motor m cycles a nd assembling Bollee tri-ccars before prroducing its fi rst car in 1 1899. The distinguished engineer Lou uis Coatalen joined Humb ber and led the e design of ne ew range of cars, before moving m to Hillman in 1908. In 1926 Humber was able to acquire the commerccial vehicle b builder Comm mer, based in Luton, north of London a and the home town of Vauxh hall.

1935 H Humber 12 Vog gue Coupe

The Aero o-Minx could be seen as one o of the firrst examples in the UK of the steady ssaloon to spo orts coupe adaptatio on; an early Ford Escort to Ford Cap pri, or Falcon to o Mustang evven, transform mation if you llike. It was a sh hort wheelbasse version of the Minx, wiith an under sllung rear axxle and attra active Thrupp p and Maberleyy coachwork. It wouldn’t be the last time Rootes did this to a mo odest saloon, by any meanss.

Assemb bly at Humber in 1923

But by 19 927, both Hillm man and Hum mber were beg inning to strug ggle to compe ete in a markeet led by Willia am Morris. Morris wa as by now pro oducing over 60,000 cars a year, but ne either Hillman nor Humber got to 5,000 a year. In 1927, Ro ootes secured their first inve estment in Hilllman and follo owed this with h an interest inn Humber in 1928, and by the end of 1928 th he companies s had been b brought togeth her under the Rootes umb rella, and the e factories amalgam mated. There is also some confusion abo out how trans sparently the acquisition a by Rootes and merger of the two ccompanies (or merger and then acquisitio on even; it is th hat unclear) was w completedd. Confusingly, the main manufactturing compan ny in the Roote es Empire wass known as Humber Ltd for many years. At the Lo ondon Motor Show S in late 19 929, although the brands sh hared a stand under Rootess Group name e, the cars were the inherited Hillm man 14 (hp, in n this case), th he unsuccessfful Hillman Eig ght, and a rangge of Humbers s from the 9-28 to th he 20-65.

L London Motor Show, 1930

The third car of the origina al trio was the Humber Twelve, which debuted in 19 932, and whic ch though a pperfectly sound d product, did not have the impact the Minx did. The old Hillm man Eight, renamed as the Vortic, strruggled on buut the old Hum mber 9-28 and 20-65 mo odels were dro opped. But Roootes never abandoned the market fo or style or luxu ury versions, aand in 1933 th he Hillman Aero-Minx wa as born.

By 1930, it was much cle earer. The Roootes’ investm ment in the combined Humber and d Hillman faacility was becoming apparent, and the produc ct line was begginning to fall into place also. Prices s on the old cars were ccut in the sp pring, and Rootes werre recruiting key k personnell to design an nd build a range of ne ew cars. Billy Rootes R had a cclear and simple plan – there was to t be a range of three cars.. These were to be the Hillman Minx, the Hum mber 12hp annd the large er Hillman Wizard, usin ng straightforw ward side valvve engines, ste eel bodies from the Pressed Steel Company C or thhe option of Th hrupp and Maberley co oachwork. Alfred Wilde, forrmerly chief de esigner at Morris Engines, was poached to leadd the engineering and Rootes talked of building 100 cars a daay.

Of course e, this was a British B motor industry plan, so it didn’t quite go this way y. Sadly, Wildde died in 1931, and the first car la aunched was the largest, th he Hillman Wizzard, which was w officially firrst shown in A April 1931. If you y want a date for tthe actual beg ginning of the definitive Roo otes Group, this is may be as good as aany. The Wiza ard was a relatively large car, nominally aimed d at the major export markets, which at th hat time, as faar as the British industry was conccerned, were the British Em mpire market, in Australia, New Zealand and across A Africa. This led to a car that was too large for the t UK, too ex xpensive to ta ax, and too slo ow. Sales werre ultimately ddisappointing – perhaps 6,000 we ere sold in three years beffore it was qu uietly dropped d. Similar cars s from Austinn and Morris were w also unsuccesssful and it se eemed that mo ore than a Brittish name, lea ather upholste ery and a slidinng roof were needed n to effectively compete witth Chevrolet or o a US Ford. But in 1932, Rootes ha ad their first hiit, with a mode el name that would w last for nearly 40 yeaars and form not just the backbone e of the Roote es Group’s model range bu ut feature in many m British family historiess over that pe eriod. The first Hillm man Minx, sho own in 1932, was a perfecctly typical com mpact car of the time – a separate cha assis, leaf springs, sside valve eng gine, and a price of £159, splitting the Morris M Ten at £165 £ and the Austin Ten at a £155, in


This wass followed in n 1934 by th he Melody M Minx – essentially a Minx with h a radio (quite e an option in 1934, and Billy Rootes the sa alesman made e a complete m model out of it)) installed alo ong with som me other add itional features. The Rootes vision of a range of carss with potential for the custo omer to move upward with in the brand, w whilst keeping the business ses sound, wa was on track. The first leg of the plan was clearly masterminded d by Billy Rootes, leav ving the busin ness and finaance side to Reginald, working with the company y’s investors, oof whom the major m one was the Pru udential Assurance Compaany (the UK company rather than the American business). Biilly Rootes wa as quoted many times as a saying “I am a the enginee of the comp pany, and Reginald is th he steering an nd the brakess”, and you ca an discern these attributtes through the e next thirty yeears. The compan ny’s product range r was prrogressively converged c through the 1930s, 1 as the various Humbber and Hillma an models came togeth her around common chasssis and bod dies, from Pressed Stee el at Cowley for f high volum me models an nd Thrupp and Maberley y for lower volume and besppoke models. And then in 1934 Rootes got the final key piece off their car brand structure. The Anglo-French S STD (Sunbea am-TalbotDarracq) com mbine built pre estige and higgh value cars in London under the Talbot T brand, and cars and d trolley buses s (trolleys) in n Wolverhamptton under the e Sunbeam m brand. Talbot had a prestigious A Anglo-French background, engineere ed by Georg ges Roesch, and was rep portedly profittable, but the e Sunbeam m business, ba ased on high performance sports cars and a the trolley y buses wa as failing quickkly. The whole e business col lapsed in June 1934. What was not public knowledge k was that Rootess were a securred creditor to o STD, having advance ed funds to support s the b business in 1933, secured d against th he British asssets of the gro oup. Rootes q quickly took over the trolley y business and in Janu uary 1935 secured the resst of the Brittish assets off the STD group, from under the nose es of William L Lyons and SS Cars. Indeed, SS Cars had announce ed that “SS Cars will take o over the name e, goodwill and d patents o of Sunbeam Motor Comp pany Ltd and d will produce e a range of


Sir William R Rootes, in 1937 7, aged 43

Sunbeam m cars in Cove entry”. Instead d Lyons, who n never forgave e Rootes, had to choose an other name. His H choice was soun nd. It was Jagu uar. Although Thrupp and Maberley’s M fac ctory was by n now in Cricklewood, in north h London, thee company exp panded its operation ns into the Actton, West Lond don facility inh herited from Sunbeam-Talb S ot-Darracq. Rootes w wasted little tiime before a range of Hilllman based cars c were sold under the T Talbot name, including adapting the Hillman Aero A Minx as a new Talbot 1 10 and adding Humber components to larrger Talbots. 1935 contin nued to be an n important yyear for Roote es. All the main marke et Hillmans an nd Humbers w were refreshed d with new styling and independe ent “Evenkeeel” front su uspension, although th his was descrribed by somee as more “k keel” than “even”. The e Minx, Rootes’ crucial prodduct, became e the Minx Magnificentt. You can see Billy Roottes’ salesman nship and marketing le ed practices coming c throug h, again. By 1937, 1 over 100,000 Minxes had been built.

Under th he scheme, Rootes built a shadow plant at Sto oke Adermoo or in Coventry,, close to the existing e Humb ber Road facility, and aero o engines we ere being pro oduced there e from 1938. A second stage of the e scheme fo ollowed and Rootes aga ain participatted, and the shadow s factory y at Ryton-on--Dunsmore, ju ust south of Coventry, wa as operationa al by 1940. Byy 1939, Roottes was prod ducing 50,000 cars a yea ar and with Ryton had the potential expand this to over 100,0 000. Sales we ere now around 15% of th he UK market.. The Roottes Group, an nd Billy Rootes s, had what th he British call “a good warr”. The compa any, always quick with good d publicity, made sure that its achievemeents in buildin ng 30% of Britain’s b bombers, 10,0 000 Merlin engines, 21,000 0 aircraft repairs and 60% of the armoredd cars were we ell known. 20,000 C CKD kits from the t US were assembled, a ass well as an en ndless stream of munitions.

Rootes con ntinued on to develop d the coommercial veh hicles side of the bus siness during the 1930s, by buying th he Karrier commerciall vehicle business in 1934 . Karrier was based in Huddersfield, in industrial Northern E England and was best known fo or producing vehicles v such as the Karrie er Cob (a mo odel name tha at would re-apppear in Rootes history later) tracctor unit for usse in railway yards y and the like, and for chassis for fire engines andd dust carts, and a trolley buses. T The Karrier and Sunbeam m trolley buss activities were w consolid dated at thee Sunbeam factory f in Wolverha ampton, before e being sold in n 1946, by wh hich time all th he Group’s com mmercial vehiicles were con ncentrated in a more e modern facility in Dunstable, also home e town to Bedfo ord, GM’s UK truck businesss. In 1937 7, Rootes acq quired a loweer tier supplie er, British Light Stteel Pressings s in west Lonndon, to bring g in-house some body b producttion, conveniiently located d directly adjacent to the old Talbot T facilityy. A year late er, Rootes consolid dated its two premium p sporrting brands into one – Sunbeam-Talbot. Sunbeam had bbeen a dorma ant brand since th he Rootes tak keover; the caars were to come from Talbot’s factory in Lo ondon and haad little or no Talbot or Sunbeam in them.

Cars werre not forgotte en – the Minx x and the Hum mber Snipe were w favorites of the armedd forces (Field d Marshall Bernard M Montgomery’ss Super Snipe is preserved and on public c display) and built in large nnumbers exclu usively for the servicces. The laborr force went up to over 30,0 000, from fewe er than 1,000 when w Rootes ffirst got involv ved.

All Sunbeam-Talbots s were to bee Hillman and d Humber based, with w three carrs available – the Ten based on the Minx, and a the 3-Litre and the 44–Liter based on the Humberr Snipe, all with w bespoke bodywork, wh hich often shared large elements of Hillmaan and Hum mber. Billy Rootes h had been learn ning from Ame erica, again. A 2-Litre was added a in 1939, but largely overttaken by even nts outside the e control of ev ven Billy Rootes. S Specialist coa achwork was always a availab ble for the larger cars from Thru upp and Mabe erley In September 1939, Rootes R launch hed their first monocoque car, the Hillman M Minx Phase 1. 1 Visually, it was close to o the earlier car, c and lasted throughout the war and untill 1948, and w was sold to th he public until 1942, and then again a from 19 946. Rootes w were behind Vauxhall V and Morrris with monoccoque cars, an nd the larger ccars were stilll built on a chassiss until the 1950s. There wa as another, more m significant, event in thi s period that affected Rootes’ h history. Europ pe was re-arm ming and prepa aring for war from f the mid-1930 0s, and the British governm ment had a prrogram known n as the Shadow Factories sch heme. The ide ea was to cre eate an infras structure capable of supporting g a quick ram mp up of airccraft and aero o-engine productio on, linked to government co ontracts for the e products. Th he motor industry was a lead d participant and Rootess perhaps th he most enthusiasstic.



considere ed the Rootess Group’s heyd day. Billy Roo otes was also asked to lead d the industria al reconstructtion of Coventryy after the Ge erman Blitzkrie eg attack of 1 4 November 1940. Whilst the e death toll was w much lowe er than some of the raids la ater in the war, the historic city c center wa as badly dama aged, the me edieval cathedrall left as a she ell, and the in ndustrial capa ability was severely affected. Daimler, Hillman and Alfred A Herbertt, Britain’s le eading machine tool manufa acturer, factories were alll hit. Billy Rootes R became S Sir William forr his efforts. Rootes h had a capacitty now for arround 50,000 cars a year,, from Coventryy and London, as well as the trucks fro om Dunstable e. Billy worked q quickly to seccure the Ryton shadow facctory for the group, g taking ca apacity to 100,,000. The pos st-war econom mic conditions of the UK dictatted that exporrts had to be a priority (the entire industrry and country w was exhorted to t “Export or die!”) d and with h European ma arkets being in n no better cond dition than the UK and the trraditional expo ort markets to the old Britishh Empire no la arger than before, e exporting to th he US was a natural n ambitiion. Rootes believed he ha ad a secret weeapon to help p – design consultan nt Raymond Loewy. L Loewy y had actually been retained by Rootes in 1937, but w was obviously limited in what he could contribbute until the first new post wa ar cars werre available. In the meantime e, from 19455, Rootes progressively converted d production ccapacity back to civilian use. Meanwhile, Billy Roottes had been asked to look at a factory and itts distinctive product in Europe, to t assess the merit of the ca ar and the practicalities of continnuing to produ uce it. He recomme ended that thee VW plant in Wolfsburg W be flatten ned and the ccar be abandoned, “as too ugly,, too noisy aand unattractive to the private buyer”. To be ffair, Ford said much the same thin ng. Rootes’s pre-war cars, including the e monocoque Minx, were re e-launched with minor channges and from m 1946 all final asse embly was con ncentrated in Ryton. The fa acilities in Coventry itself foc cused on com ponents and machining m and the old Talbot facility in Londo on became th he group’s export sa ales and eng gineering centter. Material shortages, equipmen nt and labor isssues kept vo olume low and d it was not until 1949 9-50 that the pre-war p volum mes were exce eeded. In 1949, tthe Rootes Grroup was floatted on the Lon ndon stock exchange e, with anothe er public offerin ng a year laterr. The family kept the voting shares s though h, and the diessel engine builder Tilling-Stevens was purchase ed, to provide an inhouse die esel truck eng gine. As with o other British manufacturers, the London M Motor Show in 1948 marked the true emerrgence of the post war cars. A new Minx, know wn as the Pha ase 3, and a n ew Humber Hawk H (seen he ere by Don An dreina), both with w Loewy styling, and new w Sunbeam-Ta albot 80 and 9 90, based on n pre-war cars, were all laun nched at the sa ame time. Rootes w were still focu using on expo orts and by th he early 1950s w were exporting 70% of production, p re eaching 70,000 ccars in the mid d-1950s. Man ny were sent in CKD form to the British Commonwealth C h, in Australia a, New Zealand and South Affrica, but Norrth American exports were alw ways fully assembled.

There wa as a new Minx in 1955, known as the S Series 1 and also a known as s the Audax ra range, with a new OHV engine w which itself wou uld endure for over 20 yearss. The Sunb beam-Talbot range r grew, th here was a new w Humber ran nge in 1957 with a new six ccylinder engine in 1958, and the A Audax based Sunbeam S Alpine sports car in 1959. The Auda ax was cut do own for the Hillman H Huskyy compact estate ca ar and Comme er Cob van version in 1955,, following a version n based on th he previous Minx. M A full Miinx estate car was also offered,, along with convertible m models as well. As so often, diffe erent markets got different n names on the same e product, succh as this Hu umber 80 see en in New Zealand by kiwibryce, which in the UK U was a Hillm man Minx. Sunbeam m had the Rapier, a tw wo door co oupe and convertib ble derived from m the Minx. The 1957 7 Humber salo oons were the four cylinder Hawk Series 1 and the simila ar but longer six cylinder Su per Snipe Se eries 1, and we ere the first mo onocoque big Humbers, and were lined up u against thee big Fords, Va auxhalls and BMC C cars, rather than t Rovers or o Jaguars. Styyling was agaiin heavily influ uenced by conntemporary Am merican design, w with the 1955 Chevrolet C iden ntified by manyy as the bigge est influence. An A estate wass offered as we ell, for the first time.. I n 1955, Roottes made theiir last acquisiition, when Singer was p purchased affter its ambitious post w war plans ha ad failed. A Although Billy y Rootes was s a former S Singer appren ntice, and rrecognised so ome of the sta aff and even ssome of the shop s floor p production equ uipment as we ell, Rootes toook a very unse entimental a approach to the takeoverr. The Singeer factory, which w was a actually a six storey block in i Birmingham m, became the Group’s ccomponent sttorage and distribution d huub freeing ca apacity in C Coventry for manufacture e, the existiing Singer cars c and d development projects were e abandoned and the badg ge slotted in nto the Roote es hierarchy between the datum brand, Hillman, a and the luxury y Humber, with h a series of bbadge engineered Minx derivative es under the Gazelle G and later the Vogue e names. The Aud dax range sa aw the Sunb beam brand move clo oser to the Hillman Minx, as a the 1954 Rapier actually preced ded the Minx,, and was a car that built a strong motor sporrt reputation through tthe late 1950ss in the early 1960s, with many cla ass wins and podium perfo ormances in internatio onal and Britissh rallying. Ro ootes, being Rootes, made the most m of this for publicity purposess. Rootes a and Isuzu of Japan J came to o a licensing agreement in 1953, for f Isuzu to build b a Minx based ca ar in Japan. Over O 11 years, 60,000 cars were built, initially a version v of the e 1948 Minx and laterr a version of o the Audax saloon and estate. By the late 1950s, Roo otes knew that its productio on of 100,000 cars and relattively narrow rrange meant that t it had to expand or risk bein ng absorbed in n any coming (and generally accepted as a inevitable) consolidation of British industry. Initially, acquiisition was the e chosen optio on, with talks on o a merger with w Standard-T Triumph, then n building

The early 1950s we ere the start of what co ould be



Standard sa aloons, Trium mph TR roaadsters and contract assembling Massey M Fergu uson tractors with Standard d-Triumph engines. Som me accounts suggest s a meerger came qu uite close; others that itt was never going g to happpen in a way y that the personalities involved (the e Rootes brotthers, Standa ard’s Alick Dick and Lord d Tedder and, of course, H Harry Ferguson himself) could happily work together. One thing suc ch a merger would w have givven Rootes is access to a smaller carr, initially the Standard 8, to expand the existing and narrow ra ange below the Minx. Rootees, under pres ssure from its dealers, ha ad to considerr this alone, annd Project Apex began, which eventu ually led to th he Hillman Im mp. The Imp eventually e came to mark ket in 1963, frrom a brand nnew factory in n Linwood near Glasgow w in Scotland, over 300 milles from Cove entry. This was not Roottes’s choice; land had beeen acquired att Ryton to expand but development d permission p waas consistentlly refused as the UK Government G sought to buildd industrial capacity in areas that we ere suffering economically,, including Sc cotland, in part as shipbu uilding wound down. Rootes public cly announced d the Apex prooject in 1960, including the new facto ory in Linwood directly linkedd to a factory which the body builder Pressed Stee el were buildinng on an adja acent site. The plan was s for 150,000 cars a year, ddoubling the size s of the company, an nd for 5500 new employeees in Scotla and. More capital was raised as we ell as some ggovernment grant g aid. Developm ment work on the car starte ed in Coventrry, using an engine e derived d from a fire ppump engine, originally develope ed by the Coventry Climax company, with h an all-alumiinum alloy ove erhead cam cconfiguration and a linked with a fulll-synchromessh aluminum transaxle. Tecchnically, this was w both an advanced a andd dated car at the same time. Rootes w were struck byy a series of adverse a eventts at home fro om 1961, in a sequence off events that can now be sseen as almost a perfect sto orm. First, a three month all out strike e at the Gro up’s London pressing co ompany, Brittish Light S Steel Pressing (BLSP) ovver either job j security or increasing the reach of o union power, depending w who you ask.. Although Rootes R were still taking m many pressingss and completed bodies fro om Pressed S Steel at Cowle ey, the lack off supply from BLSP effectiively lost the company 3 months production that yyear. Sales w were down across a the in ndustry in 1 960 and1961, and Rootes took a double e whammy, w with production n dropping by a third compaared with 196 60. Profits collapsed d by 85% betw ween 1960 and 1961, and d the company y went into the red in 19622. The Group was only profitable e in one other year before th he Chrysler takkeover. But the Im mp was runnin ng late, going over budget a and the marke et space for vis sibly tighteningg, as the BMC C Mini and new 1959 1 Ford Anglia w were show wing the competittion, linked to o Rootes’ laack of prese ence and experien nce in that part p of the market, the unusually configured Imp would be up againstt. . The Imp p was unique in n Britain by beeing rear engined, with a four cy ylinder, water cooled enginee mounted longitudiinally behind the rear wheells, and is often n describe ed as a mini-Corvair, which, given Billy’s American A influence es, is a credible suggestion.. However, the e Imp was laun nched three ye ears after the Mini, at the sa ame time as the la arger BMC AD DO16, and the technology th hen looked dated d and out of step.


There wa as a new, larg ger Super Minx also availa able, alongsid de the Audax Minx, and waas originally planned p to replace itt, and which came in Singerr Vogue and u up market Hum mber Sceptre versions v as we well. Meanwhile, In Ita aly, Carroz zzeria Tourring Superleggera starting assembling Sunbeam S Alp pine sports ca ars and Hillman Super Minx saloons in Miilan in 1962 and in 1963 offered a bes spoke Sunbe am Venezia coupé, base ed on the Humber H Scepttre. Sadly thiis car failed, despite the attractive a stylling and conccept. In hindsight, why wou uld Italy buy tthis instead o of an Alfa Ro omeo or Lancia? The wh hole Italian ve enture petered out in 1964. Rootes to ook the decision in 1961 to keep the Aud dax in produ uction alongsiide the new car, and evven upgraded d it to match the new car’s larger engine . In reality, sa ales did grow, but were now w split across ttwo mainstrea am models. The T big Humb bers had a ma ajor makeove er in 1964 as well. w The Im mp made it to market in 19663, only to be e beset by quality y and reliability issues, soome attributab ble to the design n, some to th he innovativee (for Rootes at least) nature e of the pro oduct, alonggside labor issues i in Scotla and. Volume never n reachedd 150,000; the e best was about 50,000 a yea ar and Linwoood was a los ss making facility y until the late 1960s, when more productts went on stream m there. Not, initially at le east, deterredd by the Im mp’s early proble ems, Rootes commissioneed a concep pt for the replac cement for the e Minx and S Superminx with a rear engine. K Known as the Swallow proje ect, it was, pro obably wisely, abandoned just as road triials were abou ut to start, to be replaced by the Arrow A (Hillman n Hunter, Sunb beam Arrow and a Rapier, an nd Humber Scceptre) program m. This was decidedly uncomplicate ed update off Minx/Sup per minx form mula, using the same OHV V engine and transmission, with tidy, contemporaryy styling a and aimed at a the Ford Cortina and d Vauxhall Victor rather than the Austin 1800. Thiss was laun nched in 1966 6 and, in produ uction volume e at least, this was ultimately Rootes’ R mostt successfu ul car. Internatio onally, perhap ps the best kn nown elementt of the Arrrow story is th he Paykan, a version of the e Hunter built in Iran. In n October 196 64, the Iranian n Ministry of Trade in nvited BMC, Rootes and d Vauxhall to pitch ideass for an Iranian n national car,, and onlyy Rootes sho owed up. Ro ootes got the e contract and CKD production p of the Paykan n (Persian for Arrow) began b in 1967 7. Manufactu re became all-Iranian a by the mid-19700s, except for engines supplied from Coventryy. Engine toolling was sold to Iran in the early 1980s and a complete manufacture continued until 2005 5. Later cars were fitted with Peugeot 50 04 rear axles and engines, and in total oover 2million cars were built. By 1964,, these on-going issues and events com mbined with so omething else e that ultimateely transformed Rootes. Chrysler, under Lynn Townsend, were w on the hu unt for European business to help buildd up Chrysler as a true multi-natiional GM and d Ford rival, who w were botth well establlished in the UK, and were re two of Roo otes’ main competito ors. Chrysler initially purcha ased 30% of tthe voting sha ares and 50% % of the non-vvoting stock, to o become the largest but not con ntrolling share eholder, and g gained boardro oom representation. The w whole deal, alth hough not entirely u unforeseen, was w concluded d quickly and quietly in Jun ne 1964, but with hindsighht the alternattives were either a m merger into BM MC or Leyland d or a losing b battle against them t and Ford d. Chrysler byy 1964 had a controlling c stake in S SIMCA of Fran nce, as well as s an establish hed truck asse embly operatio on in London uusing the Dodg ge brand.


The Dodge operation wa as quickly wraapped up into o Rootes’ truck business and the Dodge D name progressively y replaced the Commer and Karrier brands. Billly Rootes chose this moment to retire r and pas ss the Chairm manship to his brother, and sadly die ed just a few months m later inn December 1964. In 1965, BM MC purchased d the Presseed Steel body y building company ou utright, includiing both the Cowley and Linwood facilities. Rootes’ key sup pplier was noow in the han nds of its largest comp petitor, and Rootes R were in a position of being forced to inv vest, through a BMC led bre reak up and sale s of the Pressed Stee el Fisher, in th he Linwood faccility, re-name ed Rootes Pressings (Scotland) Ltd, as a its body buuilder.

BMC, thrrough Pressed d Steel Fishe er, sold Roote es all the tooliing for the Rootes prod ducts which was transferre ed to Linwo ood, where all the Roo otes’ products’’ pressings we ere now produced. There w were then dailyy trains taking g bodies to Coventry, returrning with Imp engines and transmissions for assemb ly at Linwood. By 1970, pro oduction of the e Arrow range had transferre ed to Linwood as well.

Governm ment bailout funds, f this was w a cut down Avvenger with a three inch cut c in the wheelbasse and a sha arp suit of new w clothes with a gllass hatchbacck, styled by Roy Axe. Both the e Avenger and Sunbeam m died in 1981, wh hen Linwood finally closed. In 1978,, Chrysler so old all the European operation ns to Peugeo ot, valuing th he British operation ns at just £1.00 (Lee Iaco occa was adamant that Chrysler had made a serious error in b buying Rootes at all), and d Peugeot rebrande ed the cars again a under th he Talbot nameplatte, which Peugeot had d rights to through Rootes and d SIMCA. Three years later, th he remaining g Rootes ca ars were discontinued, Linwood closed and Ryton R was dedicated d to assembling kits for th he Talbot Alpine, S Solara and Horizon. Peugeo ot 309, 306 an nd 206 models followed before Ryton itsself closed in 2006. 2 The truck bussiness was solld to Renault in 1980 and U K production ceased in 198 83. PPreviously Roote es Maidstone                           See first photo  

In late 19 966, Rootes told t the UK government g th hat it had agre eed terms for a full takeo over by Chryysler. Despite Government pressure, both BMC and Leyland declined to counter c offer against Chryysler and control passed to Detroit in earrly 1967. Sir R Reginald Rootes (knighted in 1946) now w retired and Billy’s B son Brian beccame Chairma an. Chrysler sttarted a proce ess of tidying up u the empire, and the Singger brand and Sunbeam Alpine sp ports car were e soon dropped, the big Hum mbers followed and the car range was efffectively trimm med down to just the e Imp and the Arrow range. Rootes had one more ccar in develo opment in 1967, which with Chryslerr money could now be completed. The Hillman Avvenger was launched in 1970, by a company c now called Chrysler United Kingdom. In many ways, tthis was a tota ally typical Rootes produ uct – technicaally unadventu urous, but with a strong (but not ooverwhelming)) dose of style; it was pitched againnst the Morris Marina, BMC ADO16, Ford Escort and Vauxhall Viva.

Some accoounts will trace the decline of thhe Rootes Gro oup to the Hillman Impp, but I susp pect it is more compleex than that. The Imp, its techniccal issues, unusual configurationn and manufacturing infrastructuree were facto ors in its commerccial failure butt outside thes se Rootes we ere caught in a trap of nee eding expansiion to achieve e volume, whilst not being permittted to expand d in a location n that made most m sense to the Companyy itself. There e were the predictab ble British indu ustry labor iss sues, and the BMC Pressed d Steel Fisherr changes all worked again nst Rootes as well. T The company had variety but b was ultima ately too small. Even if the Imp had beenn a success an nd Rootes been able to build it in n Coventry, th he trail leadin g to some forrm of amalgamation with aanother producer would have hap ppened, and one o of the ind dustry’s more characterful companies c wa as never goingg to emerge unscathed u from the 1960s and 19 970s.

You could arrgue Chryslerr’s influence showed s in the styling, or o you couldd argue a typ pical midmarket Rootes’ product w was always strong s on style. Certain nly, you wouldd not necessarily have expected a Rootes R producct to have a brand b new engine an nd a new coil spring rear suspension, s bu ut also you wonder w if Billy would have ccalled it a Hillm man Minx. This car was sold in North N America a as the Plymo outh Cricket and a production n actually rann until 1990, as a the VW 1500 in A Argentina, after Chrysler’s withdrawal fro om South Am merica. By 1975,, Chrysler Un nited Kingdom m was bailed o out by the U UK Government to the tune e of £125m a and the Roote es brand nam mes were finally removed fro om the cars, being replace ed by Chrysle er. Ryton startted the assembly of the UK U styled, Fre ench engineerred Chrysler Alpine (SIM MCA 1307/1308) for the U UK market. Meanwhile, developme ent started on perhaps the la ast Rootes ccar, the 1977 Chrysler Sunb beam. Using tthe


Some remnnants of the e original Rootes retaail business are still apparent inn the British Peugeot network, wiith some de ealerships trading undeer the Rootes brand as late as 20008, as well as other names orig inally operate ed under the Rootes uumbrella.


Quiz The swan n song …

Wien ass den Erfanner vun dëser, bei villen Autoen leider nach ëmmer net bestellbarer, onverzichtbarer, Optioun?

Äntweren w.e.g. mat folgender Souche un: BSCOC c/o Thierry Hilger 5, rue du Moulin L-5899 Syren

Sunbeam m Lotus works drivers included the late Henri Toivonen, T Guy Fréquelinn (co-driven by Jean Todt) wh ho narrowly missed out on being the e Driver's Wo orld Champion in 1981, Stig Blomqv vist, Tony Pond, A Andrew Cowa an and Jean n-Pierre Nico olas. Russell Brookes als so competedd in a works--built car, privatelyy sponsored by Andrews Heat for Hire e.


 Quiz Äntwert:



Telefonsnummer: Adress: En Notaire ass responsabel fir den Tirage au Sort. Et kann een net rechtlech géint den Tirage au Sort ugoen. Spéitstens anzeschécken bis den 31. Januar 2017.

Jean-Marie Schmit


Ze gewannen: 1 Carbadge mat oder ouni Fouss


LOF Oldtimer Breakfast

eng Abberzu uel aussergewéinllech histtoresch Gefi erer ze beewonneren n. Wéi ecch gefrot gi sinn h ze zielen w wéi vill Olldtimer ob ecch kënnt hëllefen sech afonnt hätten, hunn h echh no dräiivéierel Stonnn bei derr Nummerr Dräizéngg opginn … Du gouff et mir kloer dass den d Haapttattrait vum m LOF Oldttimer Breaakfast d’Bensinsgesppréicher sinn. s

Zënter Z hireer Grënnu ung am Jo oer 1993 war et ëm mmer e grrouss Uleeies vun der LOF F fir all d’Lëtzeb buerger Oldtimerfrë O ënn beien neen ze bréngen. b Ech fann nen do muss m een ddem aktueelle Virstan nd vun deer LOF e grousst g Komplimen K nt mann a soen: „M Mission acccomplie“

Bekanntschaften opfrëscchen a nei Al e Bekaanntschaftte maacheen kann ddach sou einfach sinn,, wann datt richtegt Ëmfeld Ë geeschaafen ass.

Tëscheen 90 bis weit w iwweer 200 Olddtimer hu sech op de d verschidddene Siteen vum Oldtim mer Breakffast afonnt. A wéi eeng Siten dat d waren!! Den Hôtel Légère L asss scho bekanntt fir seng Oldtim merfrëndleechkeet a sou m muenchen Tour od der Rallyee, wéi dee FIVA World R Rally 2014, huet do Statiouun gemaacch. An dacch war alll Mënsch iwwerrasc i cht dass oop eemol d’hallef Industriezo I on zu Mëënsbech mat m Old- a Youngtim mer zougeparkt warr.

Ech free mech op o jidder Fall F op d’B Breakfasten vum näächste Joeer an hoffeen dass ech keee verpasssen … an dat wëll eppes heeeschen, vu un engem m dee léiw wer mat 6.500 rrpm iwweer Feldweeeër briederrt wéi op Ausstellun A nge geet. Jean n-Marie Sch chmit

Jo o, et gesääit ee scho o mol ëfteers deeen een ooder anereen Oldtim mer viirum APL L geparkt, awer da méi m wéi 900 beieneen n…

Fir meech war deen historessche Site vun eiiser gud dder ARBE ED zu Dummelde D eng, wou de Oldtimeerbus Georrges Carbonn ageluedden hat, den Highliight. D‘Prooprietaire vun 150 ale Gefieerer hunn dervu d proffitéiert firr sech e Lëtzebuerrger Industriegeschiicht unzek kucken. Stéck L

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D’Escherr Uelzech htstrooss, zougepaarkt mat iwwer 200 Oldd- a You ungtimer ënner eenger herrrlecher Hierschtssonn, d’L LOF an hire h Sponssor „Maison de Coiffure et de Beauté ByT Tun“ huunn et mééiglech gemaachh. r reealiséiert dass dee LOF Hei hunnn ech richteg Oldtimerr Breakfasst méi duerrstellt wéii d’Méigleechkeet 17


Meeeteen =

with Jaaap for a Saturrday morning and invitedd me to stay the night be efore at his pplace, two kilometres  away  fro om  the  Speedcentre.  La aszlo  is  not  only  very  knowledgeab k ble  about  caars  but  he  iss  also  an  excellen nt cook and  I spend a ve ery enjoyablee evening with Laszlo an nd a few moore car‐nuts  having a  great Hu ungarian dinner with excellent Tokayy wine. 

we eeteen

Speedcenter logo 

Imagine a  freshly  reebuilt,  properly  run  in,  engine,  nice  large  valves,  a  Fast  RRoad/Rally  Cam,  C two  mbined maniffold, all new w ignition …  and still, youu’re not reallly happy  double 440’s Dell’ortos on a com with thee performancce. Yes it is fast, but you  still have the impression n that there  is more “GO O” hidden  somewh here.  Starting  up  is  a  co omplicated  eexercise  and  the  engine  can’t  hold  iits  idle  spee ed  …  You  have cheecked and trried it all, co ompression i s perfect, all gaskets on the manifolld are new a and tight,  cam tim ming has been checked at least threee times, all p possible ignittion timings  have been ttried… to  no avail,, you don’t gget the engin ne to run prooperly. The e exhaust is deep black andd sooty, the engine is  running far too rich and a re‐jettting of the caarbs seems to be the onlyy solution.  s of  in formation,  The  inteernet,  being  a  perfect  source  gives  yo ou  all  advan nce  curves,  spring  loadds,  jet  and  needle  ssizes  for  eveery  standard d  setting.  Hoowever,  as  soon as you go the sslightly modified and/or tthe Weber  or  Dell’orto  route,  the  advice  is  always  the  same:  there is  no engine like the othe er and the o nly way to  find  thee  perfect  jettting  is  to  pay  p a  visit  too  a  rolling  Jaap’s  Treasuure cove 1 …  18 drawers o of nearly everytthing   road. W While there arre a couple o of rolling roaads not too  for Weber, Dell’orto, S U, Sttromberg …  far  awaay,  they  do  not  have  a  a sufficient  supply  of  Dell’orto o jets readilyy available. B Buying  half aa dozen or sso sets of jets is not onlly expensive e  but you  also riskk ending up w with a still far from perfe ct setting.  Then  I  rremembered d  an  article  written  w by  m my  friend  Be ert,  the  form mer  Presidennt  of  the  FEH HAC,  the  Dutch  O Oldtimer  Fed deration.  He  was  delightted  with  the e  performance  increase  of  his  Morrris  Minor  after hiss visit to the  Speedcentre in Gelderm malsen operaated by Jaap vanWuijckhhuijse (don’t  even try  to  pronounce  Jaap’’s  family  name,  many  D Dutch  native e  speakers  don’t  succe ed).  After  a  a visit  to  www.sp peedcentre.nnl  and  a  co ouple  of  emails  later  l I  was  ssure  Jaap  had  every  single part needed ffor my Dell’o ortos and  that thiss was the plaace to go to.  Yes,  it  is  a  four  andd  a  half  hou urs  drive  and  Ja aap’s  Engliish  is  basic  but  fortunattely  I  didn’’t  have  to  bother.  Laszlo,  another  frieend  from  th he  Dutch  ointment  Federation,  arrangeed  an  appo

No o escape, Cham mois firmly tied d to the rolling  road 


Next mo orning at 10:00, the Cha amois was duuly tied to the rolling ro oad with fou r strong rop pes and a  probe atttached to th he exhaust. T This probe m measures the e air/fuel rattio and poweer and torque figures  are mon nitored by th he rolling roa ad. For optim mum perform mance the m mixture shoulld read around 12 on  the com mputer and produce a reggular and higgh power and d torque curve. The first  run showed d that the  engine p produced a b bit more than 76 hp at tthe best, had d a strange d dip of about  2.5 hp around 5.800  rpm that lasted for jjust 300 rpm m and that itt was running hopelesslyy rich. The jeets were cha anged for  some sm maller ones  and out cam me the sparkk plugs. Jaap p suspected tthat copper  grease was  used on  the sparrk plug coress. A wipe witth a blank piiece of paper towel show wed he was  right. Jaap e explained  that  wh hen  copper  gets  into  th he  combustiion  chamber,  the  heat  melts  it  intto  the  meta al  of  the  sparkplu ugs and rend ders them usseless. Well,  I did not fee el it, but the computer cllearly showe ed it. The  cores in  the cylinderr head were duly cleaneed, new spark plugs fitted and a new w test was ru un. While  the mixtture was stilll too rich, the e power dip  had disappe eared.  Next  on  the  agenda,  before  b continuiing  the  fine  tuning,  werre  the  starting  problems  and  the  lack  of  idling. Jaaap checked the carbs an nd the  gaskets  for  air  leakss,  none.  Off  came  the  air  filters  to  ch heck  whethe er  the  carbs  w were  correctly  balanced.      No  problem m  either,  so  that  part  of  o my  work  waas  properly  done.  Some ewhat  The MASTER a at work …  longer  id dle  jets  werre  fitted  and,  hey,  the  engine  s started  almost  a immediaately and heeld its idle sp peed for nea rly 10 seconds before dyying away. Jaaap got a larrge smile  on his faace and he lo ooked as if h he was goingg to shout “Eureka!” He o ordered his m mechanic to open up  the carb bs and to put the floats  on the workkbench. In th he meantime e he poppedd up with a ttechnical  drawingg of a Dell’ortto carb and explained thhat the level of fuel was too low to rreach the idle jet and  that  pro operly  setting  the  heightt  of  the  floaats  would  cu ure  the  prob blem.  When  the  float  assemblies  were lying on the beench, the roo ot cause of thhe absence o of idling was clear. The fl oats were se et far too  low, clo osed the floa at needle muuch too earlyy and did  not allo ow sufficientt fuel into thee float cham mber.  By thatt time it wass time for lu nch and Lasszlo and I  were in nvited to sit at Jaap’s tabble togetherr with his  family  and  mecha anics.  “Geseellig  even  broodjes  eeten  en  Melk  drrinken”,  Duttch  hospitaliity  at  its  best! 

Jaap’s  treasure cove 2 … Dell’orto E Emulsion tubess 

After lu unch the heiight of the ffloaters was  properly  set,  the e  carbs  asse embled,  the  old  idle  jet  put  back 


in and th he car starteed on the firsst turn of thee key and idle ed properly. Problem sollved. 

Placken a Sandweiler - quelle affaire

Now I  learned  what  Jaap  meanns  when  he  states  “meeten  iss  weeten”,  measuring  is  knowingg.  First  I  showed Jaap the data o of my cam annd that it can n be used  up to 7.250 0 rpm. This w was up to whhere the little engine  was pushed d during mosst of the addditional six m more runs  it took  to reach  the ide eal  mix of jeets.  While tw wo of the  runs  were  aborted  at  around  a 5.0000  rpm  because  Jaap  didn’t  like  what  w he  saw w  on  the  com mputer  and  what  he  un to the  Jaap’s treeasure cove 3 … … all you need for Webers  heard from the exhaustt. The other ttests were ru end. If you  fear for your engine andd can’t stand d to hear  it scream m, you better walk away during thesee runs. Jaap smoothly runs the enginne up to top gear and  then,  fro om  around  2.500  rpm  pushes  p it  to  the  limit,  fo or  the  Chaammy  this  was  w a  bit  ab bove  7.300  rrpm  and  18 85  Km/h.  YYou  can  seee  and  hea ar  the  littlee  engine  on  o Speedceentre’s  facebook  video  dated  06.002.2016.  This  was  thee  last  run,  the  air/fuel  mixture  w was  hoverin ng  around  12,  power  turned  t out  at  a 84.8  hp  @ @  6.839  rpm m  and the  torque read ds 96,8 Nm @ @ 5.461 rpm m. I have now w  a  more  than  10%  more  m powerfful  and  torqquey  little  caar  Jaap’s treasure cove  4 … venturis aplenty  with an excellent “around town”” behaviour,  superb. 

De Luc Bram huet dem Pollo Bisenius säi Spitti kaaft. “So weit so gut”. Plack: E 2839. Déi wollt de Luc dann och behalen. De Pollo huet och konfirméiert dass dat geet. De Luc huet all Pabeieren fäerdeg gemaach; ass op Sandweiler gepilgert (just mat de Pabeieren; den Auto huet nach bal 2 Joer Sandweiler); a gouf dunn am Guichet ëmgedréint a krut gesot et géif net goen den Auto mat där Plack unzemellen.

Jaap’s ttreasure cove 5 5 …                                 needle es for our Britissh carbs 

magician? No o, by no meaans. He usess a rather  Is Jaap a m scientific  approach  just  as  hhis  experien nce  and  knowledgge  to  interpret  the  meaasures  of  his  rolling  road,  and d  this  with  stunning  resuults.  I  am  co onvinced  that  a  vissit  to  Jaap’s Speedcentrre  is  the  sin ngle  best  power  up pgrade  you  can  c have  forr  your  car.  Next  N to  4  drawers ffull of goodie es (jets, emuulsion tubes,, chokes,  venturis … …) for Dell’orrtos, Jaap haas the same selection  for Webers while his ccollection off jets and needles for  SUs and SStrombergs iss equally imppressive. 

Y Yes, meeten n = weeten , especiallyy at Jaap’s S Speedcentree. 

Wann een dat sou gesot kritt dann ass deen normal Stierflechen iwwerzeegt dass et net geet. Net sou de Luc; hien huet e mail op Sandweiler gemaach: Bonjour, Den mueren wollt ech mäin Triumph Spitfire (Chassis Nr FH80823L) umellen deen ech vum Här Pollo Bisenius kaaft hunn (Plack E 2839). Wollt onbedengt des Plack halen. Den Här XXX am Guichet huet gesot dat wär net méiglech. Den Auto ass 28/04/1976 mat där Plack ausgeliwwert ginn. Den Här Besenius huet en 30/07/2014 kaaft an huet d’Plack däerfen behalen. Gett et en Grond firwat dat elo net méi méiglech ass? Villmools Merci am viraus. Mat beschte Gréiss Luc Bram D’Äntwert vu Sandweiler per Mail huet net laang op sech waarde gelooss: Gudde Moien, D’Plakke nummer E2839 kennt dir net haalen well daat nach dei aal serie vun der plakke ass. Dir musst eng plakke nummer mat 2bustaven an 4 zuelen hun oder 5 zuelen. Bescht Gréiss Spéitstens dunn hätt den normalen Ottonormalverbraucher opginn. Net sou de Luc. Nodeems hien iwwer Telefon eng aner Kontaktpersoun zu Sandweiler krut an där de mail och nach eng Kéier geschéckt huet komme folgend 2 Äntwerten:

1. Äntwert

Gudde Moien, Et ass méiglech des Plaquenummer ze halen wann d’Gefier mat dëser Plaquenummer déi éischt 1976 ugemellt ginn ass, allerdéngs misst do eng schrëftlech Ufro gemaach ginn wéinst dem Garde Patrimoine historique vun där Plaquenummer. Mir missten dann och eng Recherche dovun maachen loossen, an Dir misst eng Beaarbechtungsgebühr vun 44,20€ bezuelen. Dono maachen mir en Accord favorabel un eisen zoustännegen Ministère, deen Iech dann eng Autorisation ministerielle zoukommen léist. MbG

      Marie Schm mit Jean-M



2. Äntwert

De Luc huet dunn e Bréif geschriwwen:

Bonjour Här Bram, An ärem Fall muss d’Plaque E2839 erof, well nom « Règlement grand-ducal du 26 janvier 2016 relatif à la réception et l’immatriculation des véhicules routiers » musst dir d’Plaque op dat aktuellt Format ëmstellen. Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures Département des Transports L-2938 Luxembourg à l’attention de M. Marco Feltes

Hei deen Artikel : Chapitre 6 - Dispositions transitoires Art.43. (1) Les véhicules ayant été immatriculés avant le 1er juillet 2003 sous un numéro d’immatriculation composé soit de deux ou de trois chiffres, soit de deux chiffres et de deux lettres, soit d’une lettre et de quatre chiffres, soit de deux lettres et de trois chiffres peuvent continuer à circuler avec ce numéro. Dans le cas de la transcription d’un véhicule ou dans le cas de la réimmatriculation d’un véhicule suite à la péremp¬tion de son certificat d’immatriculation par application des dispositions de l’article 4, paragraphe 8 de la loi précitée du 14 février 1955, ledit véhicule est immatriculé sous un nouveau numéro d’immatriculation qui y est attribué conformément aux dispositions du présent règlement. Fir dass d’Plaque drop bleiwe kann, muss dir eng Autorisatioun ministerielle ufroen, a begrënne firwat dir se drop loosse wëllt (ouni garantie dass dëst akzeptéiert gëtt). Da kann et sinn dass dat akkordeiert gëtt an dir d’Plaque E2839 drop loosse kennt. Art.34. (1) Le ministre peut autoriser la mise en circulation sur la voie publique d’un véhicule, immatriculé ou non, sous le couvert d’un signe distinctif particulier, d’une plaque spéciale ou d’un numéro de plaque rouge. Le ministre fixe les modalités d’utilisation du signe distinctif particulier et de la plaque spéciale, qui peuvent notamment être autorisés pour des usages ou des services déterminés ainsi que pour la préservation du patrimoine automobile.

Monsieur Feltes, Par la présente, je prends la liberté de demander une dérogation à l’article 43 du Chapitre 6 sujette aux Dispositions transitoires d’une plaque d’immatriculation en cas de transcription d’un véhicule. Ayant acquis un véhicule de type Triumph Spitfire (No chassis FH80823L) dont la première immatriculation en 28/04/1976 portait le numéro E2839, je voudrais me référer à l’article 34 de ladite disposition afin de pouvoir continuer à disposer de la plaque sous-mentionnée. Depuis sa première immatriculation, le véhicule en question a été transmis avec ce même numéro et il serait opprtun de le garder avec la voiture dans le but de conserver l’historique. Dans l’attente de la suite que vous voulez porter à ma demande, je vous prie, Monsieur Feltes, de croire à mes sentiments les plus distingués.

Bescht Gréiss

“Lange Rede gar kein Sinn”. Wat ech wollt heimadder soen ass dass de Luc zu Sandweiler 2 mol eng falsch Ausso krut -> geht gar nicht.  Mee och wann ech 5 Leit an der Oldtimer Zeen gefrot hunn hat ech 6 verschidde Meenungen zu dësem Thema.  MIR HALE FEST: ET GEET

Claude Betzen



Die bösen Tricks der Rallye Organisatoren Zuerst ein grosses Dankeschön an alle Organisatoren und deren Gehilfen für die Vorbereitung und Ausführung der zahlreichen Rallyes und Ausfahrten. Ohne sie hätten wir im verflossenem Jahr viel weniger Spass gehabt. Ich gebe zu, dass ich ein miserabler Beifahrer wäre, deshalb ist bei mir der Co fast ganz auf sich selbst gestellt. Aber auch als Fahrer kriegt man so manche Misstöne vom Beifahrer mit. Anbei eine kleine Auswahl der Tricks und Fallen die mir aufgefallen sind. Tricks wie, der schwarze Punkt ist nicht wie gewöhnlich unten, oder die Topos sind vertauscht/seitenverkehrt sollten eigentlich in der Zwischenzeit bekannt sein, obwohl auch erfahrene Beifahrer immer wieder auf diese Tricks reinfallen Was die Sackgassen und Einbahnstrassen angeht, gibt es bei je nach Veranstalter schon mal unterschiedliche Interpretationen, also Reglement genau lesen. Richtig dreckig wird es dann schon mal was das Entgegenfahren anbelangt, was ja grundsätzlich verboten ist. Hier muss unbedingt klargestellt sein, wann und wo dieses Verbot gilt: -nur für die Karten oder auch für die Topos, -nur für die jeweilige Etappe/Karte oder für den ganzen Tag.

Wichtig ist zu wissen, ob der Veranstalter diese Situation (T) überhaupt noch anzeigt oder nicht, es besteht ja schliesslich nur eine einzige Möglichkeit. Abgefahrene Toposeiten im Roadbook sollten auch nicht während der Fahrt entsorgt werden, denn es gibt Veranstalter die mitten in der Rallye zum Beispiel auf Topo Nummer 1 zurückgreifen, und wenn dann das erste Blatt irgendwo im Auto verschwunden ist, fängt die grosse Suche an. Die Schriftweise der Ortsschildern oder Strassennamen sollte unbedingt beachtet werden, Goebelsmühle ist nicht gleich Göbelsmühle. Und dann altes Kartenmaterial. Ich frag mich manchmal wo die Veranstalter jenes uralte Kartenmaterial ausgraben. Auf dem gelieferten Kartenabschnitt ist die neue Umgehungstrasse, welche natürlich zuerst auf der Route erreicht wird, gar nicht erfasst. Wer jetzt nicht auf die Streckenführung achtet und merkt, dass auf der neuen Umgehungstrasse die Kurven der gelieferten Karte fehlen, tappt in die Falle. Punkt -Pfeil auf dem kürzesten Weg, dürfte eigentlich kein Problem darstellen, allerdings gibt es auch hier Veranstalter, besonders im Ausland, wo die KOMPLETTE gezeichnete Figur auf dem kürzesten Weg gefahren werden muss. Kürzester kürzester Weg. Hier sollten die Veranstalter das unnütze Kreiseln in den Dörfern vermeiden indem die nicht zu fahrenden Dorfstrassen durch X gesperrt werden. Ungerecht finde ich mehrfach Bestrafungen im gleichen Streckenabschnitt. Dies passiert wenn auf der zu fahrenden Strecke eine richtige DK (Durchfahrtkontrolle) steht und auf der Nebenstrasse eine falsche.

Nächste Falle, das Entgegenfahren auf einem bereits befahrenem Streckenabschnitt. Stellen sie sich ein T vor.

Das Team das hier falsch fährt wird für einen Fehler gleich doppelt bestraft. Noch schlimmer wenn auf einem 200-300m Streckenabschnitt richtige und falsche DK gleich zigmal vorhanden sind, wer hier falsch fährt, kann eine gute Platzierung gleich abschreiben.

Zuerst wurde laut Topo der obere Balken von rechts nach links befahren. Dann einige Zeit später kommen sie wieder auf den gleichen T, allerdings diesmal von unten angefahren. Nach rechts dürfen sie nicht mehr wegen entgegenfahren, also kann nur nach links abgebogen werden.

In diesem Jahr war ich mit wechselnden Beifahrern in F-D und B unterwegs, da sind die Ausführungsbestimmungen noch unterschiedlicher und deshalb fielen die Resultate auch ernüchternd aus, Spass hats trotzdem gemacht. Besonders die ORI (Orientierungsfahrt) Haserundfahrt, nein da fehlt kein n, in der Nähe von Osnabrück hat



neue unbekannte Tricks und Fallen hervorgebracht mit denen ausschliesslich Insider klar kamen, wir nicht. Besonders seit Einführung des Oldtimerrallyechallenge sind die Anforderungen an die Organisatoren grösser geworden. Wir, die Teilnehmer, sollten aufpassen, dass wir mit unseren “Reklamationen” die Veranstalter nicht vergrämen. Ein Minimum an Informationen sollten im Reglement allerdings selbstverständlich sein, damit meine ich zB - ein klares Reglement, Ausnahmen sollten sich auf das absolute Minimum beschränken - Regeln zum Entgegenfahren und Kreuzen - ein Strafpunkte Register.

MG European Event of the Year 2016, la grande fête européenne MG C’est au Touquet-Paris-Plage que le MG France a organisé du 8 au 12 juin 2016 le «MG European Event of the Year 2016», un événement annuel qui propose aux propriétaires de MG, membres de clubs MG européens affiliés au MG Car Club, un certain nombre de rallyes et d’activités pendant 4 jours. 370 MG étaient inscrites (MMM, séries T, MGA, MGB, MG modernes) en provenance de 15 pays dont l’Australie et l’Afrique du Sud. On y trouvait des modèles représentatifs de toutes les époques, des MG uniques et des voitures historiques.

Auch sollte die Auflösung der richtigen Strecke systematisch zur Verfügung gestellt werden, sonst kann man nie aus seinen Fehlern lernen. Zum Challenge möchte ich mich bei den Organisatoren ausdrücklich bedanken. Anfang November wo ich diese Zeilen schreibe steht nur noch die Snow Rallye an und es können gleich noch mehrere Kandidaten die Challenge gewinnen, es ist also spannend bis zur letzten Rallye. Ab in die Saison 2017 mit neuen Tricks und Fallen und den Beifahrer auch mal loben.

Guy Konz

Grand site des 2 Caps

Les organisateurs avaient concocté un programme varié et riche en découvertes où chaque participant pouvait choisir entre 3 variantes parmi lesquelles: Le rallye Les Monts des Flandres: un parcours de 265 km en pays «flamand» dans un décor fait de maisons basses aux volets de couleurs vives, de houblonnières, de moulins, de géants et de monts. Le rallye des 2 Caps: un parcours de 225 km autour du Cap Blanc-Nez et du Cap Gris-Nez devenu en 2011 Grand Site de France dû à la beauté de ses paysages et le contraste des palettes de couleurs qui le composent.

Baie de Somme

Le rallye de la Baie de Somme: un parcours de 137 km dans le plus grand estuaire du nord de la France qui offre du nord au sud suivant les marées et les saisons, des paysages très variés et lumineux. Le rallye Les Lieux de la Mémoire: 173 km à la découverte de 2 vestiges impressionnants de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, lieux symboliques de l’oppression nazie: le Blockhaus d’Eperlecques et La Coupole.

La Coupole



Tout était au rendez-vous : splendide région, météo agréable, belles rencontres entre MGistes et beaux moments de détente, bonne organisation, repas exquis, ambiance conviviale autour de belles voitures ! L’édition 2017 se déroulera à Porto au Portugal dont vous pouvez déjà consulter le programme sous

Nicole Marnach

Le circuit d’Abbeville

La journée au circuit d’Abbeville: cette journée permettait de tourner sur la piste le matin et l’après-midi lors de 2 séances. 11 plateaux de MG du même type avaient été constitué pour cette journée de roulage et non de course. Chaque conducteur pouvait être accompagné d’un passager, les deux munis d’un casque. Les voitures ne pouvaient pas dépasser les 90db. Le rallye féminin: pour ce parcours de 135 km, seules les femmes pilotaient les MG, accompagnées de copilotes féminins ou masculins. Les 90 voitures inscrites étaient réparties en deux groupes. L’ensemble des équipages se sont retrouvés en fin de rallye au Touquet pour une grande parade vêtus d’un chapeau et d’une tenue vestimentaire en accord avec sa propre MG. Nous remercions vivement les organisateurs de ce rallye qui a permis à la douzaine de membres présents du MG Club Luxembourg de découvrir la très belle région du Touquet et les départements du Nord, du Pas-de-Calais et de la Somme riches en magnifiques paysages, petites routes pittoresques et un littoral avec des falaises impressionnantes.



On Tour mit dem V8 Es gibt ein französisches Sprichwort das besagt: Les années se suivent mais ne ressemblent pas. So auch meine Saison 2016. Die Erfolge im Ausland von 2015 konnten nicht wiederholt werden, wobei es keineswegs am V8 lag. Das vielfache Wechseln des Beifahrers, weil halt nicht jeder Beifahrer immer zur Verfügung stand, mag wohl eine mögliche Ursache sein.

Daraus sollte allerdings nichts werden. Bei der Anfahrt zum Ring brach der vordere rechte Achsschenkel urplötzlich weg. Gott sei Dank passierte dies auf der Autobahn kurz hinter der Grenze Wasserbillig, es gab also Platz genug zum Auslaufen und ich konnte den V8 ohne Feindberührung sicher zum Stehen bringen. Da hatte ich beim Wechseln der Radlager die genauen Anweisungen des Werkstattbuches auf die leichte Schulter genommen und das Lager mit zu wenig Spiel eingebaut, mit dem Resultat dass der Schenkel wegen Ueberhitzen weggebrochen ist. Nicht daran zu denken was da auf der Nordschleife hätte passieren können. Also nochmal gutgegangen. Highlight 2016 war aber der European MG Meeting in Le Touquet Paris Plage. Neben den zahlreichen Ausfahrten hatte ich mehrere Sessions auf der Rundstrecke in Abbeville gebucht. Dieser kleine Rundkurs von 2300m ist sehr technisch und ich

So auch die Targa Lorraine. 2016 wurde das Konzept geändert und alle Regelmässigkeitsprüfungen (RT) (etwa 50% der Strecke) wurden mit dem System Blunik überwacht. Dies bedeutet, dass im Fahrzeug ein Sender eingebaut ist und auf der Strecke jede Menge unsichtbare Empfänger stehen die bei jedem Vorbeifahren die Zeit speichern, Boucles de Clervaux wird ähnlich gefahren. Zusammen mit Co. Thierry Hilger hatten wir mit dem System und dem Ablauf von Anfang an Schwierigkeiten und das Resultat war dementsprechend. An die Virée des Cols Vosgiens hab ich mich nicht getraut, wollte erst mal abwarten wie der neue Organisator das hinkriegen würde. 3 1/2 Tage sind einfach zu lang und zu kostspielig um Experimente zu wagen. Auch meine Runden auf der Nordschleife waren auf ein Minimum begrenzt, wobei hier der V8 aber eine Teilschuld trägt. Aus den alljährlichen 90 Minuten Nordschleife wurde nur eine Kurzfassung, Nebel auf der Strecke, so blieb nur Zeit für 4 Runden, schade. Zum Oldtimer GP am Nürburgring war ich wieder als Taxifahrer eingetragen und bei der Experience war ich ebenfalls für eine Stunde gemeldet. Insgesamt 3 Stunden Vergnügen auf der Nordschleife waren eingeplant.

konnte mich mit dem V8 richtig austoben. Besonders lustig die Auseinandersetzung mit dem MG X Power SV (siehe Foto). Dieses Modell wurde nur 82x gebaut, also äusserst selten, deswegen hat der Fahrer mich wohl vorbeigelassen. Dieses Meeting war sehr gut organisiert und auch kulinarisch ein Erlebnis, immerhin waren am Galaabend über 900 Gäste erschienen. Ein tolles Erlebnis. Mit Ausnahme vom Problem Achsschenkel lief der V8 während der ganzen Saison sehr zuverlässig, allerdings nach wie vor mit der jammernden Hinterachse. Mit diesem Gejammer werde ich 2017 jedenfalls nicht nach Goodwood fahren, da steht ein Tausch an. Ubrigens die jetzt verbaute Quaifesperre macht den V8 auf trockener Strasse wesentlich handlicher aber auch sehr tückisch bei Nässe. Ich wünsche euch allen knitter-und pannenfreie Ausfahrten 2017.

Guy Konz



Une nouvelle expérience Le 13 et 14 aout je m’étais inscrit pour la « 1ière montée historique du ballon d’alsace ». Ne savant pas très bien à quoi je devais m’attendre, Angela et moi sont partis le samedi matin pour rejoindre le village de Saint Maurice en Moselle avec la Sabre Six sur la remorque.

Bien que l’organisation était un peu « à la française » nous avons passé un w.e. merveilleux dans une très bonne ambiance et avec une météo formidable.

Le plateau était superbe et très varié.

Une course de côte de 9km avec 10 épingles attendait les concurrents. Je pense que tout le monde était très content, les pilotes ainsi que les nombreux spectateurs le long de la route. Pour moi, en tout cas, c’est une expérience à refaire. Avis aux amateurs pour l’édition 2017.


Jean Hansen 34


11 + 12







17 + 18




Programme Cobweb Run

1st May Rallye

British Sports Car Days




Karting Mondercange




Golden Leaf Rallye


Night of the Long Knives


End of Season Dinner



nov. 35

Assemblée générale à l’Eurohôtel à Gonderange



9 Réunions mensuelles tous les premiers vendredis du mois au Café Poiré à Senningerberg à partir de 19h30 91 Route de Trèves L-2633 Luxembourg

Afterworkrun tous les derniers vendredis du mois à 18h30 au départ de Luxembourg-Hamm, cimetière US Dernier vendredi du mois, de mars à septembre Regalia / Goodies Consultez aussi le site de la fédération : pour les événements nationaux


A special THANK YOU to: Guy Konz, Claude Betzen, Jerry Lenert, Jean-Marie Schmit, Nicole Marnach, Jean Hansen 38

Members Aghina Joseph Augsbuger Pierre-Yves Baatz Fernand Backes Vincent Becker Paul Becker Romain Becker Frédéric Becker-Ersfeld Roger Berchem Patrick Bertrand Francis Berwick Robert Besenius Polo Betzen Claude Biermann Frank Biver Paul Bolmer Guy Brandenburger Brigitte Brandy Robert Breuskin Romain Brouschert Théf Clarke Jonathan Collard Marc De Becker Rudi De Cillia Georges De Jamblinne Olivier De Vleeschauwer Koen De Vylder Jean Deltgen Nico Di Lauro Marco Dichter Jean-Pierre Diederich Steve Diederich Francis Elvinger Romain Faber Jean Faber Jean Faber Paul Faber Paul Faust Manfred Feller François Feltes Goy Ferber Guy Ferron Daniel Feyereisen Claude Feyereisen Bob Fonck Jean Fournelle Benoît Gantrel Romain Gedgen Arsène Gelhausen Jean-Jacques Glatz Joseph

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Schintgen Gilbert Schlesser Emile Schmit Jean-Marie Schmit Max Schmit Michel Schneider Hilaire Schneider Etienne Schnell Georges Scholtes Joseph Schommer Marc Schram Jean-Pierre Schroeter Karl Martin Schumann Marc Skinner Neil Soisson Jean-Jacques Staudt Claude Steinbach Marc Steinhäuser Jean Stoldt Kurt Stoll Jean Stoll Gerry Sünnen Michel Tanz Marc THE CAR’TELL SA Thewes Georges Thill Marc Thommes Jan Antoine Thoss Roger Unger Carole Vermeer Steve Wagener Frank Wagner Curt Wagner Constant Walesch Mike Wampach Paul Wantz Pierrot Wathgen Georges Weicker Alain Weins Pierre Weissen Jeff Welbes Paul Welbes Jean-Charles Weyer Marc Weyer Marc Weyer Jos Wildanger Nicolas Winandy Tom Wirtz Jim Zimmer Jean-Paul


We whish you a Merry Christmas and a happy 2017

BSCOC - On the Road 2016  

The British Sports Car Owners Club Luxembourg is dedicated to promoting the British automotive sport and hobby.

BSCOC - On the Road 2016  

The British Sports Car Owners Club Luxembourg is dedicated to promoting the British automotive sport and hobby.