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It's that time of year when schools have broken up for the summer holiday and everyone heads for the seaside. But beware the temptation to get your car nearer the water than your neighbours, because cars are heavy and the shingle will not give any grip - so you sink as these girls found out in 1924 when their Bullnose Morris refused to budge.
Don't think sand is any safer. It's one thing to drive onto Pendine Sands with your Hot Rod and drive fast , but woe betide anyone who does not get back on the road before high tide! Our friend and photographer Stefan Marjoram had the right idea when he visited Pendine Sands recently with his camera, he left the car in the car park and built a sand car instead of a sand castle.
(Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Stefan Marjoram and author's collection)
This picture of the past may be a view on the future as well. When the private ownership of automobiles may be history due to environmental challenges... And we all once more will favour open top motoring in groups over the individual variety... Well let's forget about such dark thoughts. Let's concentrate on which (omni)busses are stopping for an afternoon tea in the pre 1914 scenery above...
In last week's quiz, we showed you a picture of a Worthington Runabout made by two brothers of that name in Hythe, Kent. Records show this prototype was made in 1909 and development work continued to 1912 but plans to sell their cars for £90 never came to fruition. The first engine used was a horizontally opposed twin of 8hp built in their workshops, but was later replaced bythe 9hp J.A.P. V twin mounted transversely with chain drive to the countershaft and then belt drive to the wheels. In 1909, the south coast of Britain was buzzing with news of Bleriot's flight across the channel landing at Dover just 12 miles from the Worthington workshop and the brothers made ambitious plans to build aircraft. Alas, neither dream ever went into production.
Just one reply this week from James Helms who we congratulate for sending a complete and correct answer, but since he is a jury member, he does not receive a prize. Still looking for other Worthington pictures, we did as James suggested and started to peruse the 1912 issues of The Cyclecar magazine (it was renamed The Light car & Cyclecar in Vol.ll No. 48 October 1913) but no reference to Worthington Runabouts so far - we will keep looking.
Editor: It turns out we received not one but two replies to this quiz, jury member Ariejan Bos sent his correct answer by email: "As there was only one Worthington Runabout built ever, there will not be many photos around I suppose. For more information I have to refer to Georgano, the only source with some detail. Although the car certainly has cyclecar features such as a 2 cyl. JAP-engine (at some stage at least) and final belt drive, it still was a cyclecar 'avant la lettre', because this type-name cyclecar was not used until 1912."
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