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Reader's Letters February 2017

Reader's Letters February 2017


Dear CMM
I refer to page 18 of the September edition of CMM (Issue 330) where you have an excellent article on the Robert White Collection. You however quote (presumably from information supplied by Bonhams) that the collection comprises 'chrystal glass car mascots', they were never produced inter-war in chrystal, only post ww2 and the firm is now known as "Christal Lalique". Also with the introduction in 1925 of the large version of the (two) Mermaids, this was then added to the car mascot range making a round figure of 30 different mascots. I quote from information provided in the "Unique Lalique Mascots" book Vol. 1.

G.G. Weiner
via email: [email protected]


Dear CMM
Clutching at Straws

On Wednesday I set off to take the dogs to the park.
The clutch had been juddering for a day or two. However, on this day it got about half a mile and gave up. I couldn’t get any gear.
I called the RAC, they took 3 hours to come to me. We took the car to Chris’s Garage. He quoted a price for the job, which I pointed out, I had no choice but to accept. And it would be ready by Saturday.
However, on Friday afternoon he phoned saying the gearbox was also faulty.
“Scrap it” I said. “Oh no, I can put a secondhand one in” was his reply “and it will be ready by Monday”. Again I have no choice but to accept.
On Saturday afternoon he called to say the car was ready.
I got down to his place and paid the extra cost. He gave it me back! saying I was too trusting and I should have asked questions about the gearbox and looked at the old one. There was nothing wrong with my gearbox!
I reminded him, as a radio engineer, what questions could I possibly ask?
The clutch was replaced four years ago and a sleeve had not been replaced. It seized, wrecking the clutch and thrust bearing.
I think speed was a priority four years ago and not quality.
I’m glad I didn’t go back to the place that did it then.
What next?

All the best,
Jim Littler
Hindley Green


Dear CMM

Re: The Gaz Volga (Have You Ever Owned, CMM Issue 333, December 2016)
I travelled a considerable distance in one of these cars, when I was 17, in 1963.
On leaving school, my very left wing headmaster persuaded me to hitch hike to East Germany as part of a good Marxist training (it had the entirely opposite effect!). Having crossed into East Germany on foot at Bebra/Gerstangen I spent my first culture shock night in the Jugenherberger Maxim Gorki in Weimar.
The following day I set off for Leipzig where it was my intention to visit St Thomas’ Church, where J. S. Bach had spent much of his life (I was disappointed in this since the church was in use as a potato store at the time).
In East Germany, there were virtually no private cars and so little other traffic that grass was growing up between the cobble on the Autobahn. However, waiting on the roadside, I was surprisingly quickly picked up by a large black Volga, inhabited by two men in Homberg hats and leather coats.
They said practically nothing to me, but took off at “high speed” for quite a distance, terminating in a barbed wire compound in a forest in an underground cell in a large concrete bunker. In my naivity I failed to appreciate the significance of a raised man-sized concrete plinth in the centre of the floor, complete with leather straps.
I was interrogated for about two hours in Russian (of which I spoke not a word) but was assisted in a three-way conversation by a German speaking officer (probably Stasi).
Finding me politically “clean” I was then taken in a Gaz Jeep, not to Leipzig, but to Dresden where the East German Stasi picked me up from the youth hostel in Radebeul.
It seems they wanted to know more about the KGB (presumably) than myself.
So, I did indeed experience travel in a Volga, but its precise characteristics tended to evade me, in my preoccupation of the then circumstances.

Yours faithfully,
R. D. Wolstenholme


Dear CMM
Just thought I'd respond to Simon Gangley's letter to 'Classic Torque' (Issue 332, November 2016), particularly as I am a Daimler fan too, and believe I have a close understanding of his conundrum. The simplest answer to the dearth of true Daimlers coming up for sale, is that they are relatively rare, in very popular demand, and often, through the Daimler and Lanchester Owners club, have members waiting for particular models, be they Daimlers, Lanchester's or BSAs.
I recently decided I should thin down my little collection, and let it be known at one of the club meetings. Within 24 hours, I was fortunate to have sold the 'Majestic Major' you see in the accompanying photograph, and had a very positive commitment on the 'Empress'.
The V8 250, (Jaguar Mk2 style), is currently having a complete engine overhaul, and whilst being a badge engineered Jaguar, (or is it a badge engineered Daimler?), it has that particularly sweet Turner V8 Daimler engine, and I already have three buyers asking for first refusal when back on the road in the spring.
Mind you, Daimler owners are no different to many other marque owners inasmuch as one model is never enough, and very often have several cars in various stages of restoration!
So my sole recommendation is to keep in touch with the Owners club, (Membership Secretary Bob Cantwell, UK 023 8076 6372), regarding those in the market place.
The club has 'stands' at nearly all major classic car and vehicle meetings, up and down the country, when Daimler, Lanchester and BSA cars are usually well represented.
Incidentally my 'Empress' is currently on the high seas to New Zealand, so it is quite possible Simon may cross it's path in the coming year.
It is refreshing to learn of Simon's ownership and interest in Daimlers, so congratulations and safe and happy motoring.

Best wishes,
Eric Scruton
via email:
[email protected]


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