Page 1

PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

PHOENIX NUMBER 291

DECEMBER 2019

NEWSLETTER OF THE WAITEMATA BRANCH VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF NEW ZEALAND

Gerald Watson in the back of Vaughan Beesley’s 6B Ansaldo heading for the 50th Irishman Rally, 2004. Vaughan reflected in the auster screen.

P a g e |1


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

WAITEMATA BRANCH DIRECTORY CHAIRMAN: CLUB CAPTAIN: SECRETARY: TREASURER: BRANCH DELEGATE: EDITOR: SCRIBE PAST CHAIRMAN: COMMITTEE:

ROBERT CHAPMAN 021 038 3281 robman@orcon.net.nz STAN SMITH 0274 775 475 vintageaircraft@xtra.co.nz HAMISH ANDREW 027 296 9665 h.andrew@orcon.net.nz JACQUI GOLDINGHAM 09 445 8811 goldienz@orcon.net.nz GRAEME BANKS 027 500 3806 grabannz@gmail.com kandmbeesley@outlook.com KEVIN BEESLEY 021 765 860 goldienz@orcon.net.nz IAN GOLDINGHAM 09 445 8811 BRENDAN LAMAIN 021 132 4557 brendanandterry@gmail.com DI HUMPHREYS, MAX JAMIESON, MIKE GREIG, MIKE HOPE-CROSS and ROB SCOTT.

COMING EVENTS Looking Forward……… Month DECEMBER

JANUARY FEBRUARY

Waitemata

Other Events

Swap Meets

Club Night BBQ 5 New Year’s Eve Bash 31 Lochinver 18-19 Shed Raid with a Twist & Lunch 2

MARCH

Pakiri Sealed Hill Climb 29 N.S. Airfield Sprint and Gymkhana 22

APRIL

Monte Carlo tba

Hooters Taupo Tasman Revival Series, BMMP 5 Ellerslie Concours 9 Napier Art Deco Weekend 19-20 Brit & Euro Classic Car Show 1 Hooters BMMP Great Lake Taupo 28 Highland Fling B.O.P. 24-26

Drive & See 26 MAY

JUNE JULY

Kaipara Airfield Wings & Wheels 10 Roycroft Trophy Races Hampton Downs 2 Branch AGM 4 The R’Oilcan 11

UP NEXT…

P a g e |2


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

Club Night - Thursday 5th DECEMBER Usual place BUT… not the usual time. Being the last Club Night of the year we start at

7.00pm. With our usual end of year barbeque. Then the festivities will continue with Kevin Beesley being awarded his 50-year V.C.C. membership badge. As always, BYO offerings for the BBQ, plates, utensils and tipple of choice. The Branch will provide salads, tatties and perhaps a chocolate or two. See you at the RSA Room, King George V Memorial Hall, Library Lane, Albany, at 7.00pm.

Then…

The Branch New Year’s Eve Bash. 31st December. At the Mike and Kris Hope-Cross estate, 10 Anzac Valley Road, Waitakere Township. Look out on the LHS for number 10A which is easier to see from the road as #10 is just past that, and over the bridge. The roast will be provided. Please bring a plate of nibbles, salad, desert or other such accompaniments to share with it. And, of course, your own liquid refreshments. Further details will be announced at the forthcoming club night. P a g e |3


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

After that…

LOCHINVER 18-19 January 2020 ‘Nuff said, because this event is fully subscribed. If you’ve missed out then have a word with IAN GOLDINGHAM about getting your name down for next year.

And…

HRC Tasman Revival Series BMMP Taupo 2020– VCC Hooters Vintage Race Series Round 2 DATE: VENUE:

Sunday 5th January 2020

Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo

Entry forms and Supplementary Regulations were sent out with last month’s ‘Phoenix’. If you don’t have them then: Entries are open on www.motorsportentry.com Or: Contact Tim Hill Series Co-ordinator tim@hrcevents.co.nz 021 614600 Let’s get a decent grid together. Get yourself entered. Now would be good. Tim advises that following his article in Beaded Wheels, he has had a couple of enquiries, so hopefully some new entrants will be coming along. P a g e |4


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

Plus…

Shed Raid with a Twist & Lunch 2nd February 2020 Nothing could be finer than a drive in Carolina in the morrrrrning? Oops, mean New Zealand, a tootle around the countryside (which may also have some twists and turns) to the “Shed Raid with a Twist” and followed by lunch? The lunch is is $30per B.Y.O. tipple as is an unlicensed

catered, and cost person and the lunch venue premises.

Start is at the Clubrooms, Albany on Sunday 2nd February 2020 at 1030 a.m. Prepare yourselves for some driving and fun! Please R.S.V.P. no later the Monday 27th January if you/your navigator/passengers are partaking of the lunch as numbers are essential for the caterers. E: vintageaircraft@xtra.co.nz

Ph: 027 269 5660 P a g e |5


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

And then‌

Pakiri Sealed Hill Climb 29 February 2020. Working tirelessly on your behalf, your worthy committee have reserved a private stretch of sealed road in a yet-to-bedeveloped new estate up at Pakiri for a speed event. This promises to be a beauty! Arrangements are in hand for inviting other like-minded organisations, (i.e. HRSCC, Waikato and Wellsford/Workworth Branches) having Portaloos on site and a post event barbeque. Full details next newsletter.

P a g e |6


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

Also…

AUCKLAND BRANCH MID-WEEK RUN Wednesday 11 December Note, A week earlier than usual, it’s Christmas. Starts from The Warehouse carpark at Westgate. 10-00 am for a 10-30 am departure. Jack will be taking us to Wenderholm for our annual picnic run. BYO everything. BBQ’s available. AND

Wednesday 15th January 2020. Starts from the Drury Service Centre, on the Southern Motorway. 10-00am for a 10-30am departure. Ryan Winterbottom is plotting a run to Port Waikato. Fish n chips or BYO sammies.

The Dewdrops tel. 09 232 0245 email dewdrops@xtra.co.nz

Not Forgetting…

9 February 2020. The Branch is planning on an entry, so keep your car clean and the date free. Further Out…

P a g e |7


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

P a g e |8


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

Repeating a message from Tim Hill, further to the notice above regarding the forthcoming Taupo event – read, be informed and on notice! “We have some provisional dates for our VCC Hooters race series next season. Unfortunately, we cannot get a Pukekohe date as HRC only have one event there and it is oversubscribed already. • • •

Sunday 5th January 2020 Saturday 28th March 2020 Saturday 2nd May 2020

BMMP Taupo BMMP Taupo Hampton Downs

Tasman Revival Series Great Lake Taupo Roycroft Trophy Races

Please can you indicate to me if you intend entering this year and which events you are likely to be at. We really need to increase numbers of competitors entering our races as at present the events are unsustainable and we will lose our VCC grids is we don’t support the series. Any ideas of how to boost our competitor numbers are also welcome Cheers, Tim Hill. Series Co-ordinator. tim@hrcevents.co.nz 021 614600”

Further Out Still…

2021 VERO International Festival of Historic Motoring 17-22 January 2021 Mark your diary now. Planning for the next VCC international rally in Taranaki is well underway. Come join the fun. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

P a g e |9


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

PAST EVENTS Looking Back…. The Great All-Day Dargaville Tour – 17 November This from the worthy organiser, Mike Greig.

Report on the Great All-Day Tour. (Must be read with imagination as I did not take pictures) One has a duty while on the committee to provide events for members. I decided to put on an event and this was followed by asking oneself what will it be. I was in conversation with a fellow Velo owner in Devonport a short time later about things wheeled and he described a collection he had visited recently. I took down the details and contacted Mr. Andrew, living near Pouto, south of Dargaville. The collection was a few miles from home and would take near three hours to get there and another three on the return, so most of a day would be used up hence the choice of name for the event. It was a chance for members to get a few miles up on a vehicle of choice since most have sheds bulging with an assortment of two, three and four wheels. Faced with this problem I took the BMW bike as it was in need of a good run and the collection had bikes. I rode up with fellow Velo owner, Terry Bracey from Devonport who was getting more miles on his new Triumph 900. We motored away and waited at the Dargaville Museum, the starting / rallying point that overlooked the Wairau River and the town. The area was well known for the fishing in pre contact times, later a centre for the timber trade and the influx of Dalmatians, and one of the largest harbours in the southern hemisphere. It was a select group that attended, with only three non-pensioners. Laurie arrived with the MG C type with traditional coffee paraphernalia, Peter Benbrook came with Mike Hope Cross and Norm Holloway who lives near. Great to see Norm out with the Branch and he supplied his own three wheeled transport. Father and Hamish Andrew came, good to see this active combination at many of the club events. Vaughan came in the modern as the Hotchkiss was having minor surgery and in the wings (somewhere out there) was Max Jamieson in the Delage who finally arrived with minor delays and accompanied adventures to relay. As we left half the team took a turn to the wrong. I was in this group and arrived late very humiliated. When I dismounted, I found that the formal introduction had started with the traditional mihi or greetings with the Andrew iwi finding connections with ancestors and whenua (land). The discussions were as active as those at any marae or powhiri and we saw the importance of familial connections and land. Into the shed we moved and before and above were the cars, tractors and bikes well set out and complete. Near 50 bikes including a Brough Superior, (? 6/80), Vincent, including a Comet with chair and a Black Knight with full fairings, Square 4 Ariel , one with chair, Gold Star, single and twin, more Matchless and AJS’s than you could shake a stick at, Velocette including a Thruxton , Venom, Viper and MAC. Triumphs with a boxed 70’s Tiger 750 still in wrapping in its shipping P a g e | 10


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

box. Race set up G80 Matchless, Manx Norton, BSA Gold Star. There were the late Norton/ Matchless ‘blends’ of the mid 1960’s as AMC was losing the plot and failing. The collection overall represents the 1950 to ‘60’s era well-presented and displayed. The cars that were below included a new Bentley saloon, Model A saloon and roadster, Ford Mercury and a few Ford Populars, including a E93A. (Our family could get two adults and 6 children in the E93A.It finally went in 1970.) The thanks of the Branch were expressed to Mr Les Andrew for allowing us to visit and share his collection. There are a lot of private collections all around the country and it is a privilege to visit and share the thought and memories of these custodians of our motoring heritage. The return home was a greater adventure for me. After leaving I came across Max who was trying to refuel as he had not located the address we were going to. I helped with the refuelling and as the road had a bit of camber the wrong way I dropped the 250 kg BMW and had a severely damaged ego as well as a near hernia getting it up. It took a while to get assistance. On the way it started to rain and the arthritis came back with a vengeance with the throttle hand not coping with the brake and accelerator. I may look for an heiress or driver (must be capable on two, three and four wheels, and dance Argentine Tango).

Michael Greig ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

FROM THE THRONE Recently I had the opportunity to visit the 46th biennial Tokyo Motor Show. It has the reputation of being one of the big five expos, others being Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt and Detroit. I was quite excited to attend, because as a small boy I was an avid reader of my uncle’s weekly English Motor Magazines and the Earls Court Edition was always twice as big, so twice the excitement. The event itself is held in a stunning building, “Tokyo Big Sight” on the edge of Tokyo Bay and is attended by over a million people over ten days, so expect crowds. Crowds there were, as we attended, unbeknown to us, on a public holiday. The first surprise was that only two foreign car companies were attending, being Mercedes Benz and Renault. Mercedes had their new concept Vision EQS EV capable of 700km on a charge and a very sexy beast indeed. Reality soon kicks as further down their stand is the Smart EQ fortwo, the car you and I would end up driving. The theme of the show was EV Vehicles, with the Japanese manufacturers showing off their wares. The Japanese public seemed to be lapping them up until I breached the front of the crowd. What they were crowding around were not the cars themselves but the hostess girls that were posing in miniskirts or hot pants all in company colours

P a g e | 11


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

around them. Legions of photographers were taking their photos. All the manufactures had commuter EVs on display, but no one seemed interested. The performance cars like the Subaru WRX final edition or Nissan GTR had crowds around them all the time, but no-show girls. Enthusiasts were queuing for up to an hour to be able to sit in the driver’s seat of these cars for 20 seconds and get their photo taken. Not sure about the vehicle but the model risks being arrested for having no visible means of support. Ed.

For me, the high light of the show was the Japan Auto Parts Industry Association

stands. From NGK spark plugs, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Yuasa Battery, Sony Semiconductor Solutions, the list goes on and every facet of manufacture was covered. On most stands they spoke good English. They all appreciated the recyclable car and clean energy etc. The people I spoke with saw the battery car as a short-term step. The hydrogen car was the long-term goal, but the semi super conductor was getting a lot of research also. All in all, I enjoyed the show. It gave me an insight into where the motor industry is going. Fun? Well maybe not, so get out in your vintage car, come along to the events the Branch has organised over the summer months and enjoy the ride.

Happy Motoring, Robert. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

FROM THE ED. Following advice from Nigel Russell that the Chelsea café was closed over Christmas/New Year your committee recently explored the opportunity of sneaking in a Chelsea hill climb over that period. The decision was made not to proceed, partly due to organising time constraints but primarily on the basis that it is now so difficult to manage wandering stock, of the human and canine kind, at that venue. It is, of course, public domain nowadays and trying to monitor the many points of entry and manage indignant senses of entitlement does not aid our ‘health and safety’ obligations. Despair not! Your committee have been and remain busily engaged researching potential speed event venues, with some success. There are alternatives out there. It may only be a one off but our need for speed will be catered for early in the year by way of the forthcoming Pakiri event. We have a splendid venue for this, all sealed and all private land. So, all to ourselves! A month later we have the sprint and gymkhana at the North Shore Airfield. This presents a wonderful opportunity to spiritedly exercise your vehicle. It’s been a long time since we had the chance to play on an airstrip. Both these worthy events deserve your full support. Get entered as soon as entries open. P a g e | 12


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

We conclude the Freddie Dixon series this month and, thanks to Keith Humphreys, we have an interesting account of motoring matters in the land of OZ. Keith, as you know, is a regular contributor to these pages and a tireless photographer of Branch events. ‘Phoenix’ would be much the less without his input. Thanks, Keith.

Kevin Beesley. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

OTHER NEWS…… Concluding, (for the purposes of ‘Phoenix’) the series written by Freddie Dixon for the ‘Autocar’ back in September/October 1945, wherein Freddie describes his process, trials and tribulations in building up and campaigning his Riley 9 Special the ‘Red Mongrel’. With thanks to Rob Chapman for sending it in. Apologies for the quality of the first page. P a g e | 13


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

P a g e | 14


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

P a g e | 15


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Sent in by Keith Humphreys. Read on and enjoy…

The Humps’ R & R in Castlemaine With the pressure of retirement wearing us down with regular gym attendance, house maintenance and social pressures, we needed a break to recharge the old batteries. (Retirement is such hard work. Yeah right!) The Australian Lancia Rally in Castlemaine was coming up and we decided it was a suitable excuse to spend time with good friends Ric & Rainey Furlong who live in the area. There is no better place to stay than with this pair, Ric having been involved with vintage cars all his adult life, and in fact drove a Lancia Lambda around the world and then around Australia, an amazing story in itself and Rainey, like Di, just full of energy and ready to try anything. We arrived only to find that somehow we’d got the dates wrong and the Lancia Rally was the week before. This was no great loss as we simply love staying with Ric and Rainey in the stone P a g e | 16


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

house built by Ric and bordering a national park which not only results in much natural wildlife, but is also in the centre of Australia’s greatest gold rush, and the ground all around Castlemaine has been turned over 2-3 times as the means of extracting gold improved and the value of gold see-sawed. In fact, if it weren’t for the re-growth of trees where there is virtually no soil left, the area would look like it had been bombed to oblivion as miners had 20 foot square claims all immediately adjacent to one another where they sank shafts and then dug horizontally along the seams. Ric has expert knowledge of the goldfields and we walked through them, with him pointing out all the evidence of structures, watercourses, horizontal chimneys, crucibles, waterwheels, stampers etc., etc. Ric is also a great raconteur and he can keep one entertained as long as one wants. Castlemaine is also a hub of much car activity, vintage and hot rods and it’s here that ex Kiwi Grant Cowie of ‘Up The Creek’ fame, has long established himself as one of the best engineers for engine rebuilds and car restoration. Since we last visited him a few years ago he has had a larger purpose-built workshop constructed, which enables him to store the cars he is working on and have a large space specifically for machining, another specifically for storage of parts and another for assembly of components. All clean and logically laid out. Grant Cowie’s Workshop from the Mezzanine

Grant has his staff work four days at longer hours than normal and then on Fridays they can work on their own projects in the workshop, so we visited on Friday so as not to interrupt productivity. There was only Grant and one staff member assembling a quick-change diff, similar to that in our car and I watched with fascination as Grant went about a meticulous setting up of the diff. He also was generous with his time giving us a comprehensive tour of the facility which really is impressive, as are the cars he is working on. Also, it was interesting to see the dissected test casting for the Type-S 1914 Delage Grand Prix car that was done using 3D scanning and printing of the patterns and which received considerable publicity. The famous Austin 7 Rubber Ducky although sold, still sits all covered up in the workshop and he has a partially restored, very desirable, low mileage twin supercharged Gough engined Chain Gang Frazer-Nash for sale. Brendan’s JAP re-creation

Whilst staying with Ric and Rainey, we were visited by Brendan Dylan, another very clever fellow who has created a Vee twin engine of 5 P a g e | 17


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

litres using the barrels from a Wright Cyclone radial aero engine and fitted it to a car generally copying a GN cyclecar. He is also reverse engineering the 1908 JAP air-cooled V8 aircraft engine of which only 4 exist, so that parts will exist for the existing ones and new copies can be built: By Richard Scaldwell: My GN JAP is constructed around the rebuilt remains of what was originally a belt drive pre-World War I GN V-twin using only original parts and technology which were available in period. Now upgraded to four-speed dog clutch-shifted chain drive like the post war cars; it does however retain a wooden chassis, GN

Overhead view of the V8 engined GN

clutch and tiny rear wheel brakes. What many people find to be the most amazing part of the car is the air cooled V8 JAP engine. It was built towards the end of 1908 as JAP decided to build a range of engines aimed at the budding The JAP engine aeroplane industry. The firm already had a very good knowledge of building engines for motorcycles and industry. John A. Prestwich’s keen interest in early flight made this a perfectly reasonable next step, and both V8 and V4 engines

Richard Scaldwells wonderful JAP powered GN P a g e | 18


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

were constructed. The engine in the GN is one of four known surviving overhead valve JAP V8 engines and is in fact the prototype V8 which was re-acquired by the factory at some point to be kept on display along with a small collection of their most innovative and interesting projects. This collection of engines was still on display after the demise of JAP and their acquisition by Villiers Engineering, and subsequently fell into private hands after the closure of that manufacturer. We three drove through the bush in Ric’s totally original Ford Model A Roadster Pick-Up (RPU) experiencing a hail storm on the way, visiting Steve and Gina Hands who are Bull Nosed Morris enthusiasts, but have also discovered a Hands car, possibly the only survivor and have collected enough parts to restore the car. Ric says that each time he goes out in the Model Ric’s rusty Model A outside Hand’s garage A, he wonders if it will make it back, but after years of crazy events with the Feral Sports Car Club, it has never let him down. Ric also has a wonderful Ford V8 Special that we thundered around the country in. Unfortunately, I dropped my camera en route and by the time we drove back and located it, I think that it had been run over. Luckily we had Di’s mobile phone, but as a keen photographer, especially of wildlife, I quickly discovered its limitations. Ric is also restoring a 1932 Model 903 Packard Boat tailed roadster, a rare beast and the largest straight 8 that Packard made. Also visited was Roger Rayson who is a compulsive collector of historic racing bicycles and has a substantial collection, but also a 1924 Essex Four historic special with OHV twin spark head conversion in need of a complete restoration, and a superb Invicta tourer. Ric's superb Ford V8 Special

Finally, after a bloody wonderful week where we had kangaroos within metres of the house and magpies chortling at the back door demanding to be fed and which would jump up on one’s knee for food, we had to return home, calling in to Ryan’s Bus Company depot in Tullamarine where the recently deceased Pat Ryan, Vice‐President/Club Captain of the Vintage Sports Car Club and also a member of our Daimler SP250 Car Club, ran the business, to pass on our commiserations to his wife Kath.

The original Bull nosed Morris with a mine on the tray P a g e | 19


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

He was a real character, into Vauxhall 30/98s, MG TCs and other cars, but always great fun to catch up with. His unexpected death came far too soon. Arriving home at 2:00am I turned the water back on, as after a previous flooding we take this precaution and when we awoke at 7:30 in the morning, we discovered a new flood,

The Hands’ early Bull nosed Morris

fortunately not too extensive, but them’s the breaks! KSH

Brendan’s V twin engine GN replica

Roger Rayson’s Invicta

Rear of Ryson Essex Special

Front of Essex Special Photo of how Essex Special used to look.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 20


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

And now for something completely different… Remember the photograph of Lucy Schell in last month’s ‘Phoenix’? Well, as promised, herewith, courtesy of ‘historicracing.com’, her fascinating story. Thanks to Keith Humphreys for sending in that photo. (I’ve left the photo captions in French. You’ll work it out.)

Lucy O’Reilly-Schell Lucy O'Reilly-Schell was the only child of an American multi-millionaire of Irish origin, Francis P O'Reilly. Francis was born in late 1848 in Reading, Pa., but lived in France from July 1894 until November 1914 and then again after 1916. He married a French woman and Lucy was born at Brunoy, just outside Paris, in 1896. She met Laury Schell, an American who had lived in France since his early youth, sometime around 1915 as they all made passport applications at the same time and have consecutive numbers. He was an ardent racing enthusiast and, after they got married and settled down in France, their names soon became familiar competitors in various rallies. Her first major outing was the Grand Prix de la Baule in 1927, in which she came twelfth. She returned to La Baule the following year, again in a Bugatti T37A, and was eighth this time. 1928 was probably her most successful year, with a sixth place in the GP de la Marne and a superb win in the Coupe de Burgoyne voiturette race, all in the Bugatti. 1929 brought Lucy back to La Baule where she competed in the 1500cc class, but she was out of luck this time and was not classified. She turned to rallying and drove to a Coupe des Dames and excellent overall finish in the Monte Carlo rally. Throughout the Thirties, Lucy raced sportscars and rallied various vehicles. In 1934 she became involved with Delahaye. She approached Weiffenbach at the Paris Salon with a request to have a vehicle built that could be entered in rally events. A 6 cyl engine was thus put into the 12CV chassis producing suitable car.

Lucy Schell à la Coupe de Bourgogne 1928, sur Bugatti 37A.

Further developments led to Bourgogne 1928, sur Bugatti 37A. the type 135 Sport (3.2 litre, 96 BHP), the 135 Coupe de Alps (3.2 litre, 110 BHP) and the 135 Compétition (3.6 litre, 120 BHP). Then in 1936 Lucy inherited the multi-million-pound estate when her father died. Lucy wanted a special racing variant to be built, the 135 Compétition Spéciale or 135 CS. Soon she had collected orders from wealthy friends for 12 cars and suddenly to Weiffenbach's surprise Delahaye found themselves into the French sports car series with a 2 car works team and 12 privateer cars, six of them owned by Lucy Schell. The works cars were withdrawn after the accident at the 1936 Marne GP that left Delahaye privateer "Michel Paris" paralysed, but the other privateers went on racing their cars quite successfully.

For 1937 Lucy Schell wanted to enter GP racing and asked Delahaye to build a car for the new 4.5 litre formula, with her paying all the costs. The decision was taken to first build a hybrid for both Grand Prix and Sports car racing, the type 145 for 1937. That year an organisation called the Fonds de Course announced that it would give 1 million francs to the French car that could run 200km at a speed exceeding 146.5 km/h by the widest margin on the Montlhéry track before 1 September 1937. On August 7 Dreyfus drove Delahaye and took the record. Lucy Schell ordered a white and red line to be painted in an angle over the body on all the cars to celebrate the event. While work was progressing on the Delahaye type 155, a pure GP car, Lucy Schell's Ecurie Bleue team had to start the season with the type 145 and it was with this car that Dreyfus scored a famous victory in the Pau Grand Prix driving a Delahaye on the twisty street circuit he beat the Mercedes team fair and square. Poor Hühnlein then had

P a g e | 21


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

the unpleasant task of having to explain to his superiors how the Germans had been beaten by a French driver with a Jewish name driving a semi-sportscar from a relatively unknown lorry factory. Dreyfus also won the Cork GP two weeks later. A fight broke out over the "Fonds de Course" money. After winning both the Pau and Cork GPs with their old type 145, Delahaye was confident that they should get money to develop their new Type 155 GP car. To their horror, 600 000 francs went to the Talbot factory when Anthony Lago showed a couple of blueprints and a promise of a new car for the French GP. Lucy Schell threatened to boycott the French GP and after a long fight with the ACF and a considerable amount of illfeeling, she moved her team headquarters to Monaco and no Delahayes were present at Rheims. The Delahaye 155 was never fully developed and Ecurie Bleue bought two Maserati 8CTFs, chassis #3030 and Lucy Schell en 1930 #3031. In October 1939 her husband Laurie was killed in a road accident, Lucy was devastated but didn't give up and continued to run the team, but she renamed it Ecurie Lucy O'Reilly Schell. Meanwhile war had been declared between France and Nazi Germany and fighting had already begun on the Polish Front. Lucy and Harry moved back to America to avoid the Nazi occupation.

Grand Prix catégorie coupés au Concours d'élégance automobile de Cannes en avril 1938 à Lucy Schell (Delahaye cabriolet décapotable, carrossée Chapon).

Dreyfus was drafted into the French Army but was granted leave to compete in the 1940 Indy 500. Lucy shipped the two 8CTFs to America to race in the 'Indy 500' entered by Ecurie Lucy O'Reilly Schell. The cars arrived a week before official qualifying, hardly ideal. Le Bègue and Dreyfus worked together to find the best race set-up. Their main aim was be one of the 33 qualifiers and with this in mind they were advised that an average speed of 118 mph should be fast enough to qualify. After their four officially timed laps, they had both provisionally qualified: Le Bègue in 31st at 118.981 mph and Dreyfus 33 and last at 118.831 mph. Unfortunately Drefus did not understand the bumping that goes on at Indy and was eliminated. He was given permission to take out the 49 car of Le Bègue for a few laps to accustom himself to the right line through the turns and was soon lapping at 123 mph, fast enough to have qualified in the middle of the grid. Then a con-rod broke and put a leg out of bed. The block was holed in two places but with the help of a few mechanics, supplied by Augie Duesenberg, the drivers installed the engine from the 22 car and got Le Bègue ready for the start. The two Frenchmen agreed to race for 250 miles each and thought 'to hell' with the petty rules of the Indy, after all, P a g e | 22


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

once they were racing the rules were the same worldwide: go as fast as you can, nurse the engine and overtake your opponents. Le Bègue started the race with Dreyfus nominated as reserve driver, taking over at half distance. Le Bèque handed over to Dreyfus, as planned and was lying in tenth position when it started to rain. The Americans slowed down respecting the rule of no overtaking in the rain. Dreyfus, used to European rules, overtook one driver after another, wondering why it was so easy. He was black flagged, returning to the track after the rules were explained. When it stopped raining, Dreyfus put his foot down and once again found himself overtaking one car after another. He was black flagged again. This time he was asked why he had ignored the yellow traffic lights. Unfortunately, he never saw them. He rejoined the race, but by now was eight laps down the winner Wilbur Shaw in the Maserati 8CTF 'Boyle Special'. After the race Lucy O'Reilly sold both cars to Lou Moore, When Germany invaded Paris a fortnight later, Dreyfus decided to stay on and join the American Army. After the war he brought his family over and opened a famous restaurant in Manhattan, Le Chanticlair. As late as 1980 he appeared in a celebrities' race supporting the Long Beach GP and three years later published his autobiography, My two lives: Race Driver To Restaurateur. He died in 1993. Her son Harry who was born in 1921 became well-known F1 driver and participated in 56 Grands Prix, debuting on May 21, 1950. He achieved 2 podiums, and scored a total of 32 championship points. Harry died in practice for the non-championship International Trophy event at Silverstone in 1960, when he crashed his Cooper at Abbey Curve.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Another Keith Humphreys contribution. Marilyn Monroe poses as stage actress Lillian Russell for LIFE Magazine in 1958. Photograph by Richard Avedon. The aerodynamics are quite interesting. That hat must wobble about at anything above a gentle walking pace.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 23


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

THE SQUEAKY WHEEL… Maybe next edition. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

DESPATCHES…. If you aren’t mentioned in despatches it means you aren’t telling the Editor what you are up to. ➢ Insult of the month, from when insults had class.

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." Andrew Lang (1844-1912) ➢ Not sure what the Advertising Standards Authority would have to say about such an ad these days. Guess things were different back then.

P a g e | 24


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

➢ Another contribution from Keith Humphreys…. Which may ring a bell with some.

THE ARMCHAIR MOTORIST by Phogbound I know exactly the sort of car I need in the vintage line. I’ve got pictures and photos of various makes which I study all the time. There are quite a few good models around in various parts of the land, And some are for sale at a reasonable price if you’ve got the cash in hand. But it’s so much trouble to travel about and haggle and all the rest That I’d rather wait ‘till I’m quite, quite sure that it’s the one that would suit me best. I often ring odd people up who know where there are cars all the time And I talk for hours about what I’d do if a certain car were mine. But I don’t feel up to hunting about and then there’s the cash to outlay, And once you’ve actually got a car there’s work to do on it each day. So, I sit in my chair and read my books and dream for evermore, Till the car I desire at the price I will pay is delivered to my door. ➢ It must be that time of year… The Mike Greig Riley 9 doing Santa Service at the Devonport Santa Parade. Mike looking resplendent in red beret. Car all bright and shiny. No sign of steam from the radiator. Well done Michael, and Riley!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

P a g e | 25


PHOENIX Number 291 DECEMBER 2019

PHOENIX The OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER of THE WAITEMATA BRANCH of the VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF N.Z. INC.

CLUB NIGHT THURSDAY 5 December 7.00 pm at the RSA Room, King George V Memorial Hall, Library Lane, Albany. Take Exit 410 Oteha Valley Road. Travel west along Oteha Valley Road, ahead through 2 roundabouts and straight ahead at Traffic Lights into Albany Highway then almost immediately RIGHT into Library Lane then very soon go right again into the parking area. The RSA Room is at the rear.

On the 50th Irishman Rally, 5 June 2004. Aldersleys, Beesleys, Watson and Humphreys.

P a g e | 26

Profile for Vintage Car Club of New Zealand

Waitemata VCC - December 2019  

Waitemata VCC - December 2019