Page 1

MAC NEWS ÂŁ1.50 where sold

March 2014

No 195

Breakfast Club Reports Further Reports on the Show Season Work party, Book Review


Available when you purchase any new Freelander 2, Discovery or Range Rover Evoque models. All brand new Freelander 2, Discovery or Range Rover Evoque purchased from Stratstone before 31st March 2014 can enjoy 5 Years free manufacturer scheduled servicing with our Service Pack^, plus free MOT tests until 2024 with our Free MOT Programme^, only available from Stratstone, at time of purchase. This means your servicing needs are covered for the next 5 years or 80,000 miles, whichever is reached first. Fixed cost, inflation proof servicing and service history updated, plus your MOT tests are carried out free of charge until your vehicle reaches 10 years of age. Both are fully transferable if you sell your vehicle before taking all your MOT Test and Services - which can enhance the resale value of your Land Rover. Please contact us today on 0844 556 1617 for more information.

Stratstone Aylesbury | Bury | Cardiff | Cheltenham | Doncaster | London (Mayfair) | Milton Keynes | Newcastle Newport | Nottingham | Solihull | Stockton | Stoke | Stourbridge | Swansea | Woodford ^

Excludes S models and any Limited Editions. Terms and conditions apply, ask in dealership for full details. Retail Customers Only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer ends 31/03/14. Offer is correct at time of publication and is subject to change without notice. Model shown for illustration purposes only. Loxley House, Little Oak Drive, Annesley, Nottingham, NG15 0DR.

Editorial By Mark Constanduros

The MIDLAND AUTOMOBILE CLUB (est. 1901) Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb Worcestershire WR6 6RP Telephone during office hours: 01886 812211 Fax No: 01886 812917

OFFICIALS 2013 President: J. W. Moody Vice Presidents: A.B. Griffiths, A.E. Gabriel, N.H. Harrison, I.A. Harper, M.D. Griffiths, F. Drasar, D.M. Nursey, J.J. Toulmin, D.S.Whitefoot Committee: I. Antony Harper (Chairman), M. Harrison (Vice Chairman), J.R. Wood, T.W.J. Moody, D.L. Ball, W.S. Durling, A.K. Harrison, Mrs M. Nightingale, J.S. Robinson, S.D. Fidoe, P.G. Nuthall, Dr C. Perks Treasurer: M Harrison Company Secretary & Commercial Manager: Mark Constanduros

As I write this the diggers have moved back on to the hill climb. Sadly, we didn't quite survive the recent storms; a rather large crack was discovered some weeks ago which has continued to open and the track has slightly sunk at Ess approach outside members. The work is moving ahead very rapidly; thankfully we have had some good weather which helps, so we can meet our current commitments and also prepare the hill for the forthcoming season. The Work Party is on 12th April so any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Dave Ball if you are free to lend a hand for an hour or two, his contact details are elsewhere in this month’s News. We have continued to open up the old route to the finish line creating some wonderful views for spectators, not only to the finish line but also back to the Esses. We hope to put some seating in place, but may have to wait until next year. For those asking, Gill is doing well and is almost at the end of her treatment, which she is now counting down the days to. It was great to see her at the Breakfast Club in February catching up with many friends. The filming season continued at Shelsley when we welcomed Philip Glenister, of Ashes To Ashes and Life On Mars fame. The ten part series is due to be broadcast in May on Channel 4, so keep an eye out.

Competitions Secretary: Roger Thomas Administration Assistant: Gill Dayson Archivist: David Moore Auditors: Bloomer Heaven and Co The views and statements expressed are not necessarily those of the MAC. Correspondence also is the opinion of the writer only. The Midland Automobile Club accepts no responsibility nor endorses the products or services offered by the advertisers.

Front Cover: March Breakfast Club Photo: Tony Adams design and print: The Printed Word


Midland Automobile Club Contacts Mark Constanduros Company Secretary & Commercial Manager for Sponsorship, Advertising, Corporate, PR, Marketing and MAC News

T: 01886 812211 ext 3 or M: 07891 544705 (office hours) E:

Roger Thomas Competitions Secretary for Competition enquiries

T: 01886 812211 ext 2 (Tuesday to Thursday) E:

Gill Dayson Event Co-ordinator and Administration Assistant for Event Enquiries, Membership, Tickets and Accounts

T: 01886 812211 ext 1 E: All our contact details are above to help you speak with the relevant person. If we are unable to take your call, we are either on the phone or away from the office, so please do leave a message and your call will be returned.


Reminder Work Party - 12th April by Dave Ball

The MAC's annual Work Party Day is a chance for the club members to come along and help prepare Shelsley Walsh for the start of the new season. There are always a number of jobs from small projects to repairs and painting. If you can spare a few hours to come along it would be very much appreciated; it is a great chance to meet up with fellow members. Assemble at 9.00am for 9.30am start and finish around 4.00pm with lunch provided. For more information and to indicate that you can help please contact Dave Ball on 01886 853488 or email:

Monthly Draw The MAC Monthly Draw, in which many of you participate, helps to raise funds for the archive and has for the last few years been looked after by Christine Perks. Due to other commitments Christine now needs to hand this task over to someone else. We would like to thank Christine for all her help and ask if anyone would be able to step forward and take over running the Monthly Draw. Christine will of course do a hand over and let you know how it works. If you are able to take this on please contact us in the office, 01886 812211.

Assistant Treasurer We are looking for an assistant treasurer to help Mark Harrison with the club’s finances. If you are interested in helping and feel you have the time please get in touch with Mark on

Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting of The Midland Automobile Club (Est 1901) will be held in the Stratstone Restaurant at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb on 11th April 2014 at 7.30pm. There will be some tea/coffee available to purchase. A copy of the accounts is enclosed. 3

Photo: Dennis Wood



































































Please see website or adverts elsewhere in the magazine for further details. 4

Race Retro Report by Tony Adams, Photo Tony Adams

MAC displays success at Race Retro ... Race Retro has reported that visitor numbers were up to nearly 30,000 for the three days of the annual classic car show held at Stoneleigh Agricultural Showground in Warwickshire. Around three hundred traders offered everything for the coming season from vehicle restorations, racing suits, accessories and parts to motorsport memorabilia and a massive auto-jumble. Club members on the MAC stand with Simon Durling’s Brabham on display. From left, April Portman, Graham Boulter, Campbell Deas and Andy Portman.

This record-breaking attendance proved a huge success for the Midland Automobile Club who have a regular stand at the show and were delighted with the number of visitors. Andrew Davis of the MAC Classic Section commented: “We were very busy on all three days and fielded a great deal of interest in the events that we have planned for this year, particularly the MAC Classic Tour and Classic Nostalgia. “Several well known faces visited our display including Aston Martin and Prodrive chairman Dave Richards who spent time on the stand on the Friday, and it is very encouraging to witness the continued passion and interest that so many people have in classic sports and racing cars.” Visitors to the show were greeted by James Hunt’s McLaren M23 in the reception hall, with a further display of the marque, including the Emerson Fittipaldi double championship car, featured as part of 50th anniversary celebrations in the popular ‘Speed Street’ area. The Rally Hall hosted an amazing line-up of famous machinery including a collection of the Metro 6R4, Rothmans Audi Quattro, Brookes Andrews-Heat-for-Hire Sapphire, Rauno Aaltenen’s Mini Cooper and the ex-McRae Lotus Cortina. Celebrities making an appearance included Barry Lee, Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, Quentin Wilson, Stab Dibben, Norman Dewis, Fuzz Townshend, Mike Brewer and triple British Rally Champion turned Hollywood stunt driver Mark Higgins. Silverstone Auctions reported a busy time for its Retro & Classic Sale which sold 65% of lots at a total cost of £1.6 million, including the late F1 driver Ayrton Senna’s personal Honda NSX which sold for £85,000. 5


February Breakfast Club Report by Tony Adams, Photo Tony Adams

First Breakfast Club of the year hailed a great success … The first Breakfast Club meeting of the year, a social gathering of like-minded enthusiasts, was held at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, near Worcester, and a surprising number of people braved the area’s flooded roads to attend the event. Organised by the Midland Automobile Club, event organiser Mark Constanduros said, “We are delighted that so many people have made the effort to come along this morning, most of whom I believe are simply fed-up with the rain and were eager to get out and do something. Many visitors took the opportunity to take an invigorating walk up the hill between the fallen branches and streams of water flowing down the track, and then enjoyed a traditional ‘Shelsley Breakfast’ in our Stratstone Restaurant. “Amongst those attending we had a good selection of Porsches, several TVRs and a matching pair of the latest F-Type Jaguars; however many people resorted to turning up in the family saloon or 4x4 rather than dusting off their more precious vehicles just yet in the current damp conditions.” The next meeting was due to take place on Sunday 9th March and, as ever, people wishing to attend were asked to register their interest on the club’s website, 7


March Breakfast Club Report by Tony Adams, Photos Mark Constanduros & Rob Macdonald

Bumper crowds and cars at Shelsley Walsh “An amazing day.” was how Mark Constanduros, commercial manager of organisers, the Midland Automobile Club, described the March Breakfast Club meeting at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb. “We had two Lamborghinis, five different Ferraris, fourteen Aston Martin supercars and a host of Porsches amongst over three hundred and fifty cars that descended on the venue. Together with over seven hundred people, the paddock areas were completely full by 9.30am.” The monthly free-to-attend meeting allows motoring enthusiasts to turn up in any sort of vehicle and enjoy a social get-together with like-minded people, stroll at leisure around the hundreds of cars on display, have a traditional breakfast and possibly walk the up the track of the iconic hill climb. Besides exotic cars, there were a very diverse range of vehicles parked up for visitors to enjoy, including an outrageous X-Bow sports car, a beautiful VW camper van, a classic Citroen utility van, Morgans, Jaguars and TVRs, together with Ducati and Moto Guzzi motorcycles. Mark continued, “This has been the first really lovely day of the year and I think many people have taken advantage of the weather to get out of the house and enjoy the warmth and sunshine in a great location. “The range and volume of vehicles arriving has been simply fantastic with superb examples of so many makes of classic, sports and saloon cars, all beautifully prepared and presented for everyone to see. “We have been inundated with visitors, many of whom are visiting Shelsley Walsh for the first 9

MAC Member Benefits The following companies offer benefits to members of the Midland Automobile Club. When contacting these companies make sure you say you are a member of the MAC.

Very special prices to MAC members, either fitted in Birmingham or delivered. Please contact 0121 331 1122 and ask for the race division or e-mail any enquiries to

No.1 tyre specialist in the Midlands

Quote MAC membership number to claim preferential rates when selling your vehicle at:

Trusted Insurance Partner Call 0121 506 6040 and quote 'MAC' for all your insurance needs and your next quotation

Use the code MACMEM2012 to claim a 15% discount on all products at

Get three issues for £3.00 and save 15% off remaining issues. See advert in this magazine.

15% off the Sunny Cam range Quote MAC2014SC

• • • •

From £120 Bed & Breakfast (subject to availability) 20% off Treatments of 60+ minutes 10% off Treatments of less than 60 minutes 10% off Food and Beverages

Certain Conditions do apply, please check beforehand. The Elms Hotel, Abberley, Worcestershire


time, and we hope to welcome them back throughout the year for one of our many competitive meetings which start in May.” One regular visitor was MAC member David Siviter, from Malvern, in his 1982 Morgan Plus 8, who said, “It is wonderful to see so many people out and about enjoying the use of their cars. This is a perfect morning and an ideal destination for motorists to enjoy a steady drive to in any sort of car, with its excellent facilities and relaxed social atmosphere.” David also took advantage of the meeting to sign up for the MAC Classic, a 100 mile run organised by the club's Classic & Sports Section, starting at four locations throughout the Midlands and ending up with a festival occasion and run up the course at Shelsley Walsh, which is taking place on Sunday 27th April.

Work to Open Up the Old Route to the Finish Photos Toby Moody


New Members Ian & Isobel Goddard, Leominster Tim Dennis, Wotton-Under-Edge Jake Cartwright, Redditch Stephen Bailey, Broom David Duerden, Tewkesbury Vivian Joy, Powys Andrew Benson, Callow Hill Tim Smith & Alison Taylor, Feckenham Dennis Williams, Towcester Richard & Belinda Thorne, Ludlow Alan Foster, Loughborough Andrew Tatlow, Astwood Bank John Sheldon, Wombourne

OLD MOTORING BOOKS REQUIRED The Shelsley Walsh Bookshop would be grateful to receive donations of any old motoring books or motoring memorabilia for resale. All money raised will go to support the Archive. Contact Alex Harrison 01562 700811 12

MAC Sports & Classics – News & Events by Tony Harrison

MAC Classic events are open to MAC Members only, unless otherwise noted. Eligibility of cars - Vintage, classics and modern sports cars. The major show season continued with Race Retro on 21st to 23rd February inclusive at the usual Stoneleigh Park venue. Courtesy of Richard Cook and his Global Displays business, we produced a superb looking display featuring three excellent cars – Simon Durling’s Brabham, Rod Wheat’s Ford Puma and Guy Spollon’s ERA. All three days produced great levels of interest from the public and resulted in some new members plus visits from Barrie Williams and Aston Martin Chairman Dave Richards. Many thanks to all our volunteers who manned the stand. 27th April 2014 - MAC Classic This will be another of our biennial fund raising events using a number of start venues around the Midlands. They currently include The National Motor Cycle Museum, Cotswold Airport, Shelsley itself and Halfpenny Green Vineyard. Open to all comers, we will be inviting other clubs and individual classic car owners to enter, so do tell anyone you know with a qualifying car about it. As well as the Tulip note guided route to follow there will be a chance to experience the famous Hill, plus music, food and drink, mill tours and so on. Entries are open until 28th March and a form is available in this issue. 13th to 19th May 2014 - MAC to Scotland 27th August to 3rd September 2014 - Trip to Brittany Entries for this are now closed as we are fully subscribed. 29th June and 28th September 2014 We will be running two other events on the above dates featuring excellent and interesting new venues. More details as soon as they are finalised.

Lunch @ The Hill A New Option For Your Motoring Calendar Wednesday 26th March Wednesday 25th June Wednesday 1st October Bookings required for details



Competitions Secretary’s Report by Roger Thomas

The 2014 season feels much closer now with Supplementary Regulations and entry forms for the Club’s events available to be downloaded from our web site, or on request in hard copy from the Club office. Since these became available in the last couple of days of January we have had good numbers of entries each day from enthusiastic members and other competitors. I remind competing members that for this season we have raised the member discount against entry fees to £10. This makes membership even more attractive to competing members. In the last days of February we were attacked by the Shelsley gremlins once again with land slippage caused by excessive rainfall damaging the track through the kink towards Ess approach; this will need a substantial amount of groundwork stabilisation and resurfacing before our first Hill Climb event in early May. Also a victim of the prolonged wet weather was the Sporting Trial scheduled for 9th March to coincide with the March Breakfast Club, After an inspection on 3rd March it was decided to cancel this event mainly on the grounds of safety, but also because of the waterlogged car park that would be needed to accommodate competitors’ cars and attendant vehicles and those of spectators. I am pleased to see competitors taking advantage of our decision to run our Blyton Park Sprint as two separate one day events. If you have not been to Blyton Park before it is well worth a visit as the course is quite long with fast straights and complex corners, all helped with generous areas of run-off for the over enthusiastic. We could do with a few more marshals for these events at Blyton; we help with car sharing and overnight costs. If you have not indicated your availability yet please let the office or Mick Robbins know. Highlights of the year’s hill climb activity include the usual Championship rounds for the British, Hill Climb Leaders and Midland Championships, including (new for this year) an extension of the Midland Championship to cater for National B Licence holders. We have during the year the usual supporting championships including The Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Championship, The Ferrari Owners Club Hill Climb Championship, The SBD H.S.A. Championship, The Service Hydraulics Speed Championship and other one make championships for Porsche, TVR, Aston Martin, Austin Healey and Austin Seven. We also will be running feature classes for Shelsley Specials, Historic 500s and Rally Cars in June, and special classes in August to celebrate the 80th Year of E.R.A. Cars and the 50th Anniversary of the Ford GT 40. Our Classic Nostalgia meetings on 19th and 20th July continue to be better supported year on year and the format will be a similar relaxed programme of events as in previous years, with the informal concours on the Sunday supported by Classic and Sports Car magazine. I will give more details of the year’s events prior to each competitive weekend. Finally if any members would like to become involved in event organisation either on the banks or behind the scenes we would love to hear from you. 15











Matt Neal Evening A very amusing evening was had at the Warriors on 21st February with Matt Neal, three-time British Touring Car Champion, who was in conversation with Toby Moody. About eighty people enjoyed listening to touring car tales from Matt’s early days in racing through to this current year and the Civic Tourer. An insight was given into the Bathurst race in Australia and Matt’s feud with fellow racer Jason Plato as well as his visits to the Clerk of the Course and that defining moment, winning the £250,000 prize for the first independent to win a British touring car race. Matt also chatted about Rimstock, his day to day job and family business, who manufacture wheels for a wide variety of automotive manufacturers and individuals. Some wheels cost hundreds of thousands of pounds as it turned out! Matt also let on to buying a Lotus Cortina so we may be able to persuade him to come to an event at Shelsley in the not too distant future.

Film Show 2014 Wednesday 14th May at 7.30pm In The Stratstone Restaurant • Hill Climbing in Britain, An Historical View • The BRM Collection 1952-1950 Tribute to Fangio Interval • 1954 Alpine Rally • World Champion 1963 Ride with Jim Clarke round Oulton Park Motorcycle Clips Tickets £8.50 to include a Ploughmans To book please contact or tel: 01299 266468


Introducing Brownhills Glass Unrivalled glass merchants and processors GLASS / BEVELS / PROCESSED / PAINTED Proud to present: • Independent company • Craftsmanship second to none • Fast, reliable delivery using our own transport fleet • We process 2mm-19mm glass • Glass processing in-house • Quality, bespoke projects our speciality • Fast turnaround guaranteed • Projects taken from conception to completion in-house.

Call 01922 749 910 for unrivalled glass products Coloured




Create a feeling of depth, space and light.

Make stairs, balconies and walkways look fantastic.

Suitable for fire prevention and containment.

Cut and polish glass to any shape or size.

✔ Modern and stylish ✔ Brightens any room ✔ Colour matching

✔ Stairs ✔ Balconies ✔ Walkways

✔ Insulation and integrity ✔ 30 or 60 minutes ✔ Kite marked approved

✔ Bevel edge ✔ Polished edge ✔ Sandblasting

Beecham Close Aldridge Walsall West Midlands WS9 8UZ


T: 01922 749 910 F: 01922 749 911 E:

Our Correspondent Reports by Eddie Walder

As the new season approaches virtually all of my 2014 travel is booked and I am eager to go. The first diary booking, Marshals training at Prescott, was a great success with a change to the organisation and presentation style by new Lead Trainer Adrian Mudge, a Guernseyman by birth now settled in Worcester. Mudge, as he is universally known, has been living on the mainland for some years and has become a fixture on the hill climb scene both in the Midlands and further afield as a marshal, rescue team member and more recently a hill controller. His father Dave is a well-known past competitor around the Channel Islands. The new presentation style was in the syndication style with small groups rotating around several classrooms and practical subjects from incident handling through a first aid briefing to some fairly spectacular but safe and supervised hands-on fire training. This presentation technique needed more individual trainers and some very experienced and familiar faces spread their knowledge. This included Shelsley identities Chief Medical Office Dr Chris Perks and vehicle recovery guru Richard Weaver. I encourage anyone who wants to get involved in our sport to seriously consider having a go at marshalling. Just ask MAC member Justin Walker and his teenage son Sam who have turned their spectating passion into hands-on commitment. A week before writing this piece I was flattered to receive an invitation from MAC Committee member and former Hill Climb Leaders Champion Simon Fidoe to a presentation by Sauber F1 aerodynamic team leader Willem Toet in Brackley. Many of you will remember Willem’s spectacular driving style in a broad spectrum of cars culminating in finishing second in the 2005 British Championship driving his Pilbeam-Judd. Willem has been busy in the race industry since then but has recently been working in his rare moments of leisure with Empire Racing’s Bill Chaplin on the Empire Wraith, which made its debut in what Willem calls ‘cigar car’ specification last year. In the hands of owners and MAC members Clive Austin and Chis Aspinall it made an encouraging debut but lacked the full aerodynamic package. It was on the theoretical development of the full aero pack that Willem gave his fascinating session. He has always been an engaging character and was long a favourite for best-interview since I started out in the reporting game and he did not disappoint as he made a massively complex subject fully understandable to the audience of 20+ people. If we didn’t know about Computational Fluid Dynamics before Willem started speaking we had a good grounding by the time he had finished. Two more cars are in build for Simon and comeback man Phil Cooke with both on track soon. All three cars will carry the first generation of the full aero kit, and Willem was keen to stress that there is massive further development potential which has already been trialled in extensive computer simulations. This will make for a fascinating few seasons ahead in the now well-populated 1100cc single seater division. Both Fidoe and Cooke are established ‘giant-killers’, putting small cars in amongst the larger capacity cars in British Championship, and Cooke in particular was the first to regularly field modern motorcycle engine power in Championship run-offs with the original Force PC being built around him. When these three Empires get on the pace I suggest you don’t stray far from the Shelsley spectator fence when they are on the hill. 23

Book Review: Charles Rolls of Rolls Royce Author: Bruce Lawson, Reviewed by Diane Brandon

Most of us have collected numerous books about cars and therefore know how James Ward Packard, frustrated with the Winton, founded the Ohio Automobile Company in 1900 and began producing a better horseless carriage, the Packard. And who hasn’t read about two other renowned engineers, the Duesenberg brothers, who founded their automobile works in 1913 to build sports cars? Then there was Henry Ford, an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company, who joined with Edison to design and build a 26 HP automobile in 1901, which led to the legendary Ford Model ‘T’ and his considerable Ford Motor Company empire. In England, at the same time Ford, Packard and the Duesenberg lads were beavering away to design a better motor car, Henry Royce was doing the same. All of these innovative men, who went on to great success working on both sides of the Atlantic, were first and foremost hands-on engineers experimenting with their respective cars, competing in races and competitions as drivers, and often acting as their own mechanics. All were frustrated by the noisy, unreliable, fragile, smoky, early cars and in the process of sorting out those pesky problems, often by the side of those muddy early roadways, were inspired to build quiet, reliable and sensible machines. Royce, like the others, was frustrated with his shaky, breaky DeDion and Decauville machines and by 1904 in his small workshop, he produced the first of three 2-cylinder Royce automobiles. His Royce was far superior to anything else available in England and therefore he attracted the attention of another young motoring innovator, Charles Rolls, who had just established his splendid London car showroom. Rolls wanted to sell all the cars Royce could produce, badged as “Rolls-Royce”. Much of this history I had learned reading earlier Rolls’ biographies: the 1966 work by Lord Montagu, Rolls of Rolls-Royce, and one Dalton Watson published in 2007, by David Baines, Why Not? The Story of the Honourable Charles Stuart Rolls. When long-time friend, CCCAmember, and Rolls-Royce enthusiast, Jim Stickley, recommended this new biography, I was happy to add it to my library but, quite frankly, I doubted I would learn anything new. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a well-researched, and eminently readable biography, chock-full of previously unknown facts and images. Yes, Charles Rolls was known for cofounding Rolls-Royce and, yes, he was well-known as a pioneer in aviation and, yes, he holds the dubious distinction of being the first aircraft fatality, at Bournemouth on 12th July 1910. However, his short life was more than automobiles and flying machines. He was a bit of a contrarian, and in the late 19th century, born with the proverbial silver spoon, young Master Charles must have been a trial to his family. The family homes were more than stately. His family’s winter residence was a vast country estate built in 1776 on 1,000 acres near Monmouth, the ‘Hendre’. When compared to the scenes used in the television series 24

Downton Abbey, the ‘Hendre’ makes the latter appear quite ordinary. Rolls’ London family home, equally impressive, was ‘South Lodge’, located in the Kensington area. Charles Rolls was ‘to the manor born’ in every sense of the word. However, with a much older brother and a younger one who was often ill, Charles was often left to his own devices, adventurous ones. While other young boys of his class were most often confined to the Nursery or the School Room when not away at school, young Master Charles was elsewhere. He converted his brother’s invalid chair into a soap-box derby-type car, and often confiscated the harness reins urging the horses to go faster during buggy and sleigh rides. And he notoriously experimented with the gardeners’ wheeled lawn care implements, creating handbuilt contraptions to bring speed and excitement to his life. Unlike other biographies I have read, this one has faithfully captured the essence of the man who was Charles Rolls. For example, one of his prep school masters prophetically wrote the following when Rolls was being enrolled at Eton, “Rolls, I regret to say, is still forgetful, irregular, sometimes even to the point of vanishing point, moreover his thoughts are far away in dreamland or vacancy instead of being on his work, but apart from this constitutional wandering, I am disposed to take a more cheerful view of his proceedings.” Later at Eton, he was described by another school official, “I think he has considerable as well as inherent ability, as well as an interest in what I may now call his own line.” His own line, indeed! At age eleven, Rolls convinced his father to have electricity installed in the family home; however when the electrical devices were delivered, instructions were that they were not to be touched until Master Charles came home for the holidays to assist in the installation – age eleven! A telephone soon followed, the first home in the area to install these very early devices. I’d always pictured the lad as a bit of a poufty, a spoiled rich kid who used family influence and inherited money plus charm, to sell expensive cars to his wealthy friends. He was anything but the dilettante I’d imagined. Physically he was gangly and shy, 6ft 5in tall, parsimonious, and a young man who preferred working with mechanical devices rather than the prevailing activities of a young man of his class – hardly the milksop I’d assumed he must have been. Bright, creative, industrious, his early death was a tragic loss. Who knows what innovations he might have brought to the world had he lived an average life span. There was not much ‘normal’ about Charles Rolls’ life. In 1896, while at Cambridge University, when he was just nineteen years old, there were only ten cars in the entire United Kingdom. Charles Rolls owned one of them. Within one year, there were perhaps one hundred cars in the country, and Rolls along with other early motoring pioneers, competed in many of the burgeoning early motoring events in England: the Emancipation Run, the Thousand Mile Trial and the Motorist Tourist Trophy Race. At South Lodge, his family’s London home, he built a small engineering workshop and later, with his father’s support, founded the London motor car showroom, C. S. Rolls and Company. Through his network of fellow early motoring engineers, drivers and mechanics, he met Henry Royce, who by happy coincidence had also been developing a better motor car from his own small workshop. Considering the division between British social classes then, it is remarkable two men from such diverse backgrounds, Rolls, a titled and wealthy member 25

of the upper classes and Royce, the impoverished son of a failed mill owner, would join to form one of the most remarkable motor car companies in existence. However, this is a book for anyone as interested in the the people behind the machines, as much as the machines. This is a book for anyone fascinated with automobiles of all sorts, but also this is a book for anyone interested in aviation, not just motorised aircraft, but ballooning, as well. It is also a book for Anglophiles, anyone interested in the advancements of the Machine Age, especially in England, and it’s a book for those of us fascinated by the late Victorian and early Edwardian lifestyles of the rich and famous. Within the pages of this 256-page hardcover book, the reader will discover rare and unfamiliar photographs, advertising reprints and posters. Photographs and overviews are included of Rolls’ colleagues involved in early motoring and aviation: Frederick Henry Royce; Claude Johnson, often called the ‘hyphen’ in Rolls-Royce; James Gordon Bennett Jr, newspaper tycoon who sponsored early ballooning events; Selwyn Francis Edge, who along with Rolls and Charles Jarrott, a successful race driver, were the trail-blazers in early motoring and saw racing as the way to promote and market motorcars, and make money. And we can’t forget, Henry Edmunds, an early investor in the Royce car, who introduced Rolls to Royce. The level of detail is remarkable, and it is obvious the author, Bruce Lawson, was devoted to getting it right. The foreword by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who wrote an earlier biography and whose own father was a good friend of Rolls, validates its authenticity. I urge anyone fascinated with the early days of motoring and/or aviation, to add this volume to their collection. Notes on Ordering: The book is currently privately published and may be ordered directly from the author’s website:

You can now follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, Issuu and Twitter

Noggin ‘n’ Natters The Third Thursday Dining Group Meets at various venues, for more information contact Drene Baker on 01299 250778 or email The Bell at Trysull meet on the last Thursday of the month Meets at 7.30pm - 8.00pm, for more information contact John North 01902 895276 For all social event enquiries please contact Pam Jarvie on or 01299 266468 or see any adverts in the MAC News.



Brand Mechanical Engineering Co. 25 Wainwright Street Aston Birmingham B6 5TH Tel: 0121-327 6622 Email:



J. H. Berry & Company Goldsmiths English Hop Jewellery Gemstone Cufflinks Pearl Importers Registered Valuers and much much more at: 51 Teme Street, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire WR15 8AE Tel: +44(0) 1584 811444 Fax: +44(0) 1584 811234

The Midlands No 1 Tyre Specialist since 1919! Over 50,000 car, van & 4x4 tyres always in stock. Premium, mid range and budget tyres stocked. High performance tyres, sophisticated balancing and wheel alignment a speciality.

Pirelli Performance Centres Depot of the Year 2014. Very special prices for MAC members and their families. For a very special deal and a very special service, please email or call ...





For Sale 1967 SUNBEAM STILETTO HILLCLIMB CAR Aldon/HSA Speed Champ class winner 1999, 2002, 2003, Midland Hillclimb Champ class winner 2007, BOC Classic Champ class winner 2009. Driver retiring from Motorsport. Complete package: CAR, PRG enclosed trailer, plus paddock awning and spares package. Whole package worth £30+K ... Best offer over £15,000 secures. Tel: 01327 262444. E-mail: FORD KENT X FLOW ENGINE A complete Aldon Automotive built from a 711m block for hill climbing, maybe an ideal fast road engine for sports or saloon car. Low running time with 145 BHP at 6500rpm and 135 lbft torque. 1700cc Big valve gas flowed head, steel rocker pillars, 244 cam, dry sump, complete with 5 port oil pump, twin 40s Webers, Aldon distributor, all internals fully balanced, mechanical rev counter take off, water pump, lightened flywheel with clutch. Video of engine running just prior to removal is available. All paper work filed. £2,500. Mike Fisher, 01531 640353, SURTEES TS15 F2 No15 1974 2 litre Cosworth YB, Hewland FG400. 12 x wheels and tyres, 2 x noses and an original spare tub with various spares. 12 x Hill Climbs since total rebuild and a new engine. £38,000. Contact Peter Voigt 01444 483206

MK 4, JEDI KNOWN AS CATPOL Powered by ZZR 1100 Kawasaki with high compression pistons, R2 cams, flat slide carbs, Vance and Hines switchable ECU, Corrillo con rods, Bewley adjustable diff casing, sequential gear shift lights. Two rear wings. Full nut and bolt strip down and chassis repaint for 2012 season, along with complete body repaint. £6,000. Can put a package together including spare engine with lots of other engine spares, and a twin axle trainer with elevating roof. All for £7,500. Contact Brian Sanders 07884 121427 or 01905 821763 1967 ALFA ROMEO GIULIA SPRINT GTV Originally a Rhoddy Harvey Bailey development car, totally rebuilt in the late 90s. Acquired by me in 2009. Since then the car has had a full engine rebuild by Alfaholics in 2010 and has had very limited track day and hill climb use since. For more in depth details please contact Ian on the number below. Current MOT and free road fund licence. Price £34,500. Telephone Ian on 07831 820648 or email 34

SKON An opportunity to buy this unique hill climb and sprint car built by Nutsan Racing. It is a total one off probably never to be repeated. Powered by Suzuki TL1000R engine, with Power Commander ECU set up by HML, cross pin diff with unique adjustment for chain tension. All new suspension and modified front wish bones, lightweight brake calipers, detachable steering wheel. Three sets of wheels, slicks, wets and another set, two front wings and two rear wings, spare chassis and the fibre glass mould for the body, a one off. This mould alone has been valued at £1,000. All this for £7,500.Contact Brian Sanders 07884121427 or Phil Nuthall 07720 040093. ARGO JM 9- BUILT 1984. Chassis No. JM9 057 FA – Formula Atlantic chassis fitted with QED built 2000cc Vauxhall with DTA ignition pack 4 speed Hewland FT200 gearbox. Has been fettled by Dave Whitehead in the past and more recently by Ian Dayson at Force Cars. An ultra reliable car in first class condition that can be double driven with no problems. Comes with a host of spares including front and rear wings nose cone, suspension parts, wheels, etc. Wet and dry tyres- new Avon slicks this season. Complete with purpose built 2-wheeled covered trailer plus jacks / fuel cans / fitted car cover etc. Tow it away and take it to a meeting - you will have everything you need. Priced at £ 17,000 ONO for the lot. Contact Laurie Ritchie on 01527 852548 or or GARAGE CLEAROUT Assorted Taps & Dies, mainly imperial with a few metric. £50 ono. Contact Malcolm 01527 872176 / 07790 748814 (Bromsgrove) BRIAN JAMES COVERED TRAILER 2,000kg gross capacity, 1,500kg load capacity, internal dimensions: 4 metres long x 1.75 metres wide x 1.42 metres high. Fitted with centre deck, wheel stops, spare wheel, rear prop stands, winch, locking hitch, heavy duty jockey wheel and lockable fuel can storage box. In very good condition. £2,300. Contact Peter Cox 01299 896450. BIG VALVE, DRY SUMP,1600CC FORD KENT X FLOW ENGINE c/w Twin 40DCOE18 Webers Freshly built with: gas flowed head with new valves, guides, springs, retainers, collets, steel rocker posts and Ajusa gasket. 711M block honed and decked with new 1300GT pistons, KC244 cam, followers, duplex vernier sprocket, water pump c/w toothed pulleys and Titan 5 port oil pump. Lightened, deseamed, polished, shotpeened and balanced conrods. Tuftrided, double dowelled crank with skeleton steel flywheel and sintered clutch – new plate. All new bearings, seals and gaskets. All new fasteners as required. Will email full spec on request. Ideal hillclimb engine built, but never fitted, as a spare for the light blue and red Lotus 51s I used to run – now both sold to good homes and both still on the hills! All receipts and other documentation available. Price £3,495 ovno. To view central Birmingham contact Paul J Robinshaw 0121 351 7592 or 07875 235 264 email TWIN AXLE BOX TRAILER With barn doors and clam shell roof. New heavy duty tow hitch fitted last season. Internal measurements 13’ x 6’ 2” by 5’ high. £1,200 ono. Call on John 01905 381161. SINGLE AXLE TRAILER Contact Keith Robinson, Buxton 01298 24644 or mobile 07989042977 E mail 35

PARTS FOR SALE 4 into 1 High Level Exhaust Manifold & Silencer for Lotus Twin Cam c/w Support Frame to Hewland £185.00; Pair ITG Foam Air Filters for Twin Weber DCOE £25.00; two Cobra Clubman Seats, one like new & one well used! Offers. Contact Roy Fellows 01384-393116

Wanted LOTUS TWIN CAM ENGINE Wanted for a restored Alexis Mk17. Ideally should be complete with Weber carbs and built to a good spec. Contact Mike Broome on 0208 337 1572 or 0743 215 1316. Email: NAVIGATOR/CO-DRIVER For classic car, mechanical knowledge, shared expenses, lady owner, call 01746 768382. CEMENT MIXER Contact Dave Ball on 01886 853488 or email

MAC Monthly Draw January Winners 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

P Aldridge RS Jones J Bradburn J Whetstone R Johnson J Balch W Evans J Fry

£100 £50 £35 £30 £25 £20 £15 £10

ALL PROCEEDS TO SHELSLEY ARCHIVE You can enter at any time. Print off an Entry Form from or contact Christine Perks 07814 792021 THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

MAC Monthly Draw February Winners 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

D Badgery A Hunstone D Siviter J Boswell JW Moody G Hall P Voigt P Kirby


£100 £50 £35 £30 £25 £20 £15 £10

You can enter at any time. Print off an Entry Form from or contact Christine Perks 07814 792021 THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT


MAC News 195 March 2014  

MAC News, the official club magazine of the Midland Automobile Club.