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Mystery car at 1948 Luton Hoo speed trials


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#1 Adam F

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 09:35

Can anyone identify this car?
It was, I believe, photographed at the Luton Hoo Speed Trials in March 1948

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The unusual angle from which the photo is taken certainly doesn't help.
Even though I have a photocopy of the results from Luton Hoo, I have little idea which car is pictured (Classes 3 & 4 are most likely)

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Over to you............

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#2 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 10:05

It has Austin seven wheels so I think it is a Class 2 car: it's not Maclachlan's car as we now know it (can't say that I am sure it was always like that)
In the report of the event written by Philip Turner, Bowles' car was said to be an Ulster (it did start, but failed to complete a run) Mallock's car was not described as a single-seater, so I think it must be Symonds in what was described as the ex-Brettell single-seater.

#3 Alan Cox

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 10:36

Are you certain that it's a single-seater, Allan? The driver looks offset to the right to me.

#4 Stephen W

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 10:37

Certainly an "Austin Special" but could it possibly be the Croysdill Special from Class 3?

It isn't in either Bolster's book on Specials or 'Bill' Williams' Austin Seven Specials book.

:wave:

#5 Mark Ballard

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 13:10

I don't think it is the ex-Brettell Austin as that looked much more like an actual single seater. There are a couple of pics of it in 1937 & 1938 on pages 308 & 314 of Canning-Brown's recent Austin 7 book.
I agree that is probably isn't the MacLachlan.
In the same report in the VSCC Bulletin, it describes the Croysdill Special as being "notable for the way in which it sat down on the road", which the car in the picture could also be described as doing. The only info on the Croysdill is that it had a Riley engine. Could it have been a Riley engined Austin 7?

#6 David McKinney

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 13:28

We can also eliminate Wharton's MG-powered Austin 7, which didn't start
We're just about down to Mallock, aren't we?

#7 Alan Cox

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 14:45

Originally posted by David McKinney

We're just about down to Mallock, aren't we?



Can anyone positively identify the Major's side parting?

#8 Adam F

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 14:59

Thanks for all the contributions.
To further help to eliminate cars here is Croysdill

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and Maclachlan

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That does rather make Mallock the most obvious candidate, as David says.

Here is a portrait of him from the same meeting - unfortunately not much of the car is visible, but, Alan, he does part his hair on the right side!

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#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 15:09

What a great picture of Major Mallock, Adam. Imagine son Ray, with a moustache......

#10 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 15:13

In Canning Browns fabulous book AUSTIN SEVEN COMPETITION HISTORY I have found a picture on pg. 145, which shows probably the same car. It is identified as the BC Special ( ex "Mrs. Jo-Jo" ), driven by a GGL Willis at Branches Park, date is 25. February 1931.
Since all the features are seemingly equal (radiator cowl, exhaust, oil filler, rear suspension fairing, tonneau cover etc.) - even the driver has the same appearance, hunched over the steering wheel, goggles and hair are similar. On the picture, a side view from the left, it shows starting nr. 6.
There is also a picture from the front, taken on 11. July 1931, showing the BC Special at Shelsley Walsh, with a EF Philips driving.

I assume, on the picture above it must be Mr. Willis, so might there be the wrong date affixed to it ?

As far as I know, Mrs. Jo-Jo changed quite a lot to the end of the Thirties, so it must have been taken rather early in that decade.

I am, of course, talking about the top photo, which was thought of taken at Luton Hoo.

#11 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 15:13

Yes Mallock looks more likely now, but although you can't see the aero screen in the original photo, the Mallock picture shows that there is very little car to his left.
I thought of it as an offset S/S body, and that still seems likely. Could well be Mrs Jo-Jo which was like that IIRC

The Maclachlan looks as I still think of it.

Wonder what chassis the Croysdill had?

#12 Adam F

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 15:18

Yes, Alan. What a resemblance!

To further help elimination, here is Symonds' ex Brettell car.

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(from Motor, B.C.)

#13 Adam F

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 15:28

Ralf,

I think you are right!

The photo on p145 of the Canning book shows railings in the background similar to those on the photo, and the car looks identical.
A pity copyright forbids posting here. (Anyone interested who doesn't have the book can PM me)

Because another photo in the batch I have just acquired was definitely taken at 1948 Luton Hoo, and photos at Luton Hoo also show similar railings along the course I had assumed, wrongly, that the photo was post-war, at Luton Hoo.
Apologies to everyone.
It just goes to show what a fantastic book the Canning Brown book is.
At least it gave us a chance to review Mallock family resemblances!

#14 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 15:31

And it gave me a few minutes of something to do - since my intial plan was to take the car for a short run around the block - but it is raining quite heavily outside plus some rather heavy storm !

#15 Roger Clark

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 16:47

In Motor Sport October 1959, page 767, there is a photograph of Mallock's Seven, in the form in which it won the 750cc Vintage Racing Cars Class at Luton Hoo in 1948.

#16 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 17:08

Originally posted by Roger Clark
In Motor Sport October 1959, page 767, there is a photograph of Mallock's Seven, in the form in which it won the 750cc Vintage Racing Cars Class at Luton Hoo in 1948.

And it looks much more like an Austin seven than our original puzzle pic.
And it has an aero screen!

Back to square one.

#17 Adam F

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 23:39

Roger,

Thanks for pointing out the Arthur Mallock photo.

As Allan says, it look much more like a "normal" Austin Seven than "our" BC Special.

#18 metalshapes

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 07:43

In the book The Lone Furrow, The story about Arthur Mallock and his U2 racing cars by Paul Lawrence there are some more pics of his Austin 7 special, WJ1515

Cowl and aeroscreen look the same as in the pic posted with Arthur.

But it doesn't look like the car in the first pic.

#19 Ted Walker

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 08:39

I can confirm that its the "jo jo" car. I recently sold some prints of it taken at Brooklands. I think its being re-built at the moment.

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#20 Allan Lupton

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 10:29

OK so we seem to agree it's Mrs. Jo-Jo.
However there is no car in the 1948 list that can possibly have been that car, as we've eliminated them all.
If it's Luton Hoo, perhaps it's 1949
If it's 1948 perhaps it's somewhere else

Probably in the recent Austin Seven competition book somewhere.

#21 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 11:47

A bit of Googling has thrown up two conflicting stories about Mrs Jo-Jo. Coys advertised a car bearing this name in their Summer Sale 2005 and included the following history:

The 1924 machine was built by Gordon England and was the result of several record breaking sessions and race wins in 1923. The car itself had staggered seating initially with the steering column lowered and canted over. In 1927, the car passed to Boyd Carpenter who also produced a series of road going sporting Austin Sevens. As well as campaigning "Mrs. JoJo" in several 200 mile races. His exploits included several long distance events including records taken at the 3, 6 and 12 hour points and also 500, 1000 km and 500 mile in between. In 1928, the car passed to HC Spero. During this period, the car won its class in the annual 200 mile race in four out of five years. A number of drivers exercised "Mrs. JoJo" in the intervening years achieving a mixed bag of podium finishes and placings as the Green Austin. In the Thirties, the car was raced by the Junior Racing Drivers Club and then by Louis Klemantaski who later became a world class motor racing photographer. The engine blew up in 1935 and the whole car was rebuilt in 1937 by Bill Costello into its current single seater form. In the post war period, the car was fitted with hydraulic brakes and 15" wheels and later, in the 60's, was cosmetically refurbished by Kim Ralph. Mechanically still sporting the Power Plus supercharger and Brooklands cylinder head, "Mrs. JoJo", complete with period aluminium exhaust manifold and reported Laystall crankshaft is worth far more than the sum of her parts. Indeed with the shear length of competition history, not to mention success, she is ready for a comeback. The car has not turned a wheel in anger during the current ownership of some 30 years but has been living peacefully in rural Norfolk. Never under-estimate however, the potent heart in this very special and historically significant little car.



There is an alternative history here which states:

1. The 'Ugly Duckling' Vale prototype.

Built by Pownoll Pellew, the Vale designer in the early months of 1932. The original intention was that Vales would be Austin Seven powered, but after this car was built, agreement could not be reached with Sir Herbert Austin to supply power and train, and Pellew turned to Triumph . For the prototype, Pellew travelled to the premises of Boyd Carpenter in nearby Kilburn, and purchased the famous Austin Seven racing car 'Mrs Jo Jo'. He had an underslung chassis frame built to his own specification, with tube front axle,and outboard semi elliptic springs. To this he added the mechanical elements of Mrs Jo Jo and a simple doorless body was constructed. In May 1932, the car was tested by the motoring press at Brooklands, where its amazing handling properties were widely praised. The car survived until the War in the hands of Ken Hurst, who felt that it might still be tucked away in the Sheffield area.


The car shown in the Coys ad doesn't bear much resemblance to the car in Adam's photo. So, which of the above histories is correct, or was there more than one Mrs Jo-Jo?

#22 Adam F

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 13:11

Allan,

In my post #13 I agreed with Ralf that it is the ex "Mrs jo-Jo", but not photographed at Luton Hoo in 1948, but at Branches Park in February 1931. A similiar country house speed trials, but some 17 years earlier.
My fault for the confusion.

#23 Allan Lupton

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 13:39

First, most of what you can see in Adam's photo apart from the front radiator cowl does look like the Coy's photo I think.

IIRC there was also a Mr. Jo-Jo which may give the two histories effect

#24 Allan Lupton

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 13:41

Originally posted by Adam F
Allan,

In my post #13 I agreed with Ralf that it is the ex "Mrs jo-Jo", but not photographed at Luton Hoo in 1948, but at Branches Park in February 1931. A similiar country house speed trials, but some 17 years earlier.
My fault for the confusion.


No, my fault: you were quite clear but I'd misread/misremembered