Page 1

“Dripfeed” NEWSLETTER OF THE BANKS PENINSULA BRANCH OF THE VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF New Zealand (INC) VOLUME 42, No 6 july, 2019 Editor: Michael Williams 10 Selwyn Parade Lyttelton Ph 328 8043, email mimiandmichael@yahoo.co.nz

Chairman: Secretary:

Club Officers: Craig Keenan 322 1006 Ron Hasell 942 1105

Branch Address: 27 Showgate Ave, ChCh 8042 E-mail: bankspeninsula@vcc.org.nz Noggin & Natter: 2nd Thursday of the Month • •

Noggin 7.30 pm at the Papanui RSA. Upham Room – enter either from 55 Bellvue Ave or the first entrance on the left on Harewood Road (Papanui / Main North Road) Thursday 11th of July We look forward to seeing you there. Supper is provided.

From the Editor: By the time you read this, Craig Keenan, our tireless chairman will be in hospital, recovering from valve work and general fettling to bring him back to peak efficiency, and we wish him well during his lengthy recovery period. Craig will be off the road for some time, so that means the rest of the committee will have to take over the many tasks he does to make sure the branch keeps going , specifically the organisation of the Mid Year Awards Dinner, and the Balcairn Trial. Committee work load was discussed at our last committee meeting, and the evergreen(British Racing), Ron Hasell announced that he intended to pull back from organising the paperwork side of our speed events, his role as Clerk of the Course and sometimes Speed Steward. Ron has done all this for so many years that he makes it seem easy, but the load does need to be shared, and as a club we need to find someone to take over the roles. Ron will provide full support and there is training available for these important roles. So if we intend to continue to have members entering speed events, help is needed. before the start of the season. Please contact Ron or Craig if you are willing to help. I forgot to acknowledge John MacDonald and his photographic skills in the last Dripfeed. John goes to all our events, takes superb photos and then sends them to me. We are very fortunate to have


someone of his calibre, and of course for those who find some of the long words that I employ too difficult, you can always look at his photos. For some inexplicable reason, those marginalised members of society, Austin 7 owners, seem to feel that I am sometimes too critical of their frail little darlings, so the following item, although scarcely credible, is meant to assuage their hurt feelings. It comes from the normally reliable George Calder, and he read it in the latest UK VSCC bulletin. It’s an article by Tim Jones, in which he investigates what it takes for a standard vintage car to reach the hallowed “ton”. I quote (slightly abbreviated). “Teenagers can do 100 in hatch backs while texting with the other hand to complain about the traffic. I know that a good 998 Mini Cooper can do it, and I once sat alongside John Newell in John Desham’s Austin 7 as the needle bent round the 100 stop in a rush to get sausages before the Telford butcher closed.” So there you have it. An Austin 7 can do 100mph. But would you be brave enough to do it? Ring up John next time you want some sausages and find out. Or would you be going from the frying pan into the fire?

Obituary:

Ted Loversidge. 28.12. 33 - 30-6-19. Contributed by Stu Moore. Sadly we have to report the passing of extremely talented and somewhat eccentric long time member of the VCC and BP branch, Edward R Loversidge. When he was quite young, Ted’s parents took him to England before World War 2 broke out, and they were unable to return until after the war, so Ted’s primary education was in England, and he became rather Anglicised, wearing tweed jackets, cheesecutter caps and cravats for the rest of his life. He also tended to own English cars, although he did own a Delage for some years, (later owned by Craig Keenan), but mostly, Ted was an MG man. In the 1950s he had an MG PA which he hill climbed, beach raced at Nelson etc, and was restoring (still) from about 1960 until his passing. He was also restoring / rebuilding an MG “M” type alongside the PA, at a similar pace. He owned a couple of Z types in the 1960s, but will probably be best remembered for his MG NA special. The sound of that 1100cc, 6 cylinder supercharged engine revving at about 6000rpm was glorious. Ted had a huge knowledge of early ohc MGs as well as classic English and European cars, aircraft and trains. He designed and produced beautiful drawings for special car bodies to be built up by Autp Restorations and other companies, and his attention to detail, and eye for proportion was second to none. Ted was also a great cartoonist with his rather “different” sense of humour, and he also illustrated several books. He was a very talented man. Typical Ted.... On being congratulated on receiving his 60 year badge earlier this year, Ted said; “It’s really very easy, you just keep paying your subs”. Our condolences to his daughter Avril, and to his extended family.


Figure 1 The NA at Wings and Wheels, Wigram. Ted would probably have said he had just passed the XK

Figure 2 The PA at gymkhana, Rakaia.


Coming Events. The Balcairn Trial, Sunday 21st of July. One of our most popular events that always draws a good crowd of hecklers so put it in your diary. Hopefully there will be some more rain before then so that the course that will test the mettle of man, woman and machine as they strive for yet another of our prestigious trophies, The Old Boot. Can someone beat the Mauger/ Hyde domination of the top two places? Timetable. 8,30am Scrutineering 9.15am Drivers briefing 9.30am Battle commences. To get there, from the Anglers Arms Pub at Sefton, head up Pemberton road, turn right at the T intersection into Marshmans road, go straight ahead at the shingle, turn left at the VCC sign into Flemings road and follow the signs. If you end up in the river, you’ve gone the wrong way. As always, we are very fortunate to be able to play on the Flemings farm. We’ve been going there for 26 years, and two generations of the Fleming family have been kind enough to let us dig up their paddocks. Please remember that it is a working farm, and drive gently at all times, unless you’re competing of course. There will be no food or drink available for sale this year, so BYO.

CMRC Brooklands, Levels. 31st of August. Garage Raid, 1st of September. Past Events: The Night Trial. The night wasn’t as dark and stormy as last year, and organiser Michael Pidgeon showed what a workaholic he is by setting a new course for this year. Last year’s Night Trial was so foggy we could easily have done the same route and no one would have had a clue. Many of last year’s suspects turned up at the Northwood Super Centre. Anita and Morris Wright sensibly forsook their MGTD for the sybaritic comfort of a Rolls Royce Phantom. There were two good reasons for this. One was that the car belongs to John Ferguson, Anita’s father, so he would have to pay for the petrol, always a consideration with a car that does 8 mpg. The other much more important reason was that Anita and Morris brought along their 11 week old daughter, Esme, probably the youngest entrant ever in one of our events. Craig and Eden Pidgeon were in the beautifully restored Riley Merlin that has been in the family since the 1960s , and Irishman winner Vaughan Morrison was in the hotrod Model A complete with a full compliment of Morrisons, and an LED lighting system that lit up greater Christchurch every time he turned it on. There was only one headlight working, so the extra lights were a wise decision. John McDonagh and Carol Wallace were in their splendid Mk 2 Jaguar which John has had for most of his adult life, The Keenan family optimistically put their trust in the Lucas electrics of the XJ6, and many of the lights actually worked. The editorial Citroen’s efficient swivelling Cibie’s provided a contrast, and there were far too many members in their moderns. The route took the field through the new Prestons subdivision/suburb/area, and then snaked through Brighton, across the exotic sewage ponds, and up Mt Pleasant to the Summit Road. Then a brisk drive round to the new Sumner Road and down to Lyttelton, where things began to get interesting. In


general, Lyttelton streets are very narrow, steep and winding. They were of course the first streets in Canterbury and were not designed with cars in mind. Suffice it say that the cable brakes of the Model A were at full stretch, and how the Phantom got round some of the corners at all is a miracle, as at times it really was between a rock and a hard place. (It’s not often that a clichÊ can be correctly applied). Morris’s biceps will never be the same. Remarkably everyone seemed to successfully negotiate some very challenging terrain, and thus proceeded to Governors Bay, and then over Gebbies Pass. The route then meandered round the Motukarara / Greenpark area and River Road before arriving at Lincoln. There were nine questions to answer, and the McDonaghs and the Morrisons were observant enough to both score 100%, so they shared the glittering prizes. And in our own small, and progressive way, I think it can be said that the BP branch is helping to reverse the trend of an aging membership, with 11 week old Esme Wright among the participants. Many thanks to Michael Pidgeon and Louise Russell for their time and organisational efforts.


Great War Lorry resurrected from the dead 1911 3 Tonne De Dion Bouton French Army lorry to run for the first time in 100 years

There are relatively few surviving heavy commercial vehicles from the Great War. An even smaller number remain from before that time; of the handful of pre 1914 commercials that remain in Europe, only a small number are in working order. It is therefore a rare occurrence that an original vehicle of this type is brought back to life after slumbering in storage for 100 years. Even rarer is the fact that the vehicle in question was used as a supply truck for the Western Front. This De Dion Bouton 3 tonne lorry was made in Paris in 1911 and sold for Military use. It had won the Gold medal at the Parisian “Beauty Parade” that the French Military had all commercial vehicle manufacturers’ display their latest models at so the Army could choose their inventory. This lorry still bears its original Military plaque. The versatile truck was adaptable to all types of civilian and military use, from troop or munitions carrier, mobile anti-aircraft searchlight, or mobile hospital. Whatever body or equipment that was required could be mounted on its strong powerful chassis. Trucks produced by De Dion Bouton and a handful of other manufacturers were the key to winning the famous battle of VERDUN. There was only one road between the cities BAR-le-DUC and VERDUN that trucks could take to provide men and munitions to the French Army. By March 1916, 3500 trucks transported men and goods along this road. Every 14 seconds, one truck took this famous road. In one month alone, the trucks


transported more than 500,000 tons of material and 400,000 men. And, unfortunately, they also transported more than 200,000 wounded soldiers on their return journey. After the Great War ended in 1918, the De Dion Bouton lorry was laid up in Troyes, south-east of Paris and about 80 miles from Bar-le-Duc. It remained there in storage for nearly 50 years before being discovered by a Dutch enthusiast in the late 1960’s. Subsequently it came, still untouched, to Great Britain. The new owner took the plunge in 2016 to bring this lorry back to life and it has since had a three year programme of restoration to 1911 factory specification. A photograph was discovered of the fleet of similar trucks numbered 1-4, so it was decided to number this one no 5. There are no known other survivors and it is quite possibly the oldest remaining heavy commercial De Dion Bouton in working order in the world. Apart from testing the rebuilt engine at the restoration workshop, this rare survivor has not run for 100 years. It is now on loan to the Shuttleworth collection and will occasionally be exercised in the grounds. Specification De Dion Bouton 1911 3 Tonne truck Type BY 2, chassis no 74 Cab over engine; flitch plate chassis. 3 forward speeds plus reverse Shaft and bevel transmission 4 cylinder petrol engine cast in pairs. 25 h.p. - 4084 cc. Bore 100mm/Stroke 130mm Wooden artillery wheels; doubles to rear, solid tyres. Rear wheel and transmission brakes

Private Collection

Thanks to Garry Moore for supplying the above article


A few more Irishman photos, courtesy of Carolyn Elcock.

Profile for Vintage Car Club of New Zealand

Banks Peninsular VCC - July 2019  

Banks Peninsular VCC - July 2019